16 Signs You’re Ready to Work Remotely

work remotely

Sick and tired of the same old work routine? Compare your symptoms to this list and treat yourself to a job that will allow you to work remotely.

16 Signs You’re Ready to Work Remotely

As telecommuting increases in popularity, more employers and employees are experimenting with this mutually beneficial work arrangement. In fact, Global Workplace Analytics found that remote work environments can increase employee satisfaction, reduce turnover and absenteeism, and increase productivity and company revenue. However, how do you know when it’s time to transition? If you’re an employee wondering whether you’re ready to make the leap, here are some tell-tale signs that it’s time to give telecommuting a try.

1. You’re Always Late for Work

Whether you’re fighting traffic or ushering the kids off to school, morning chaos can cast a shadow on the rest of the day. Working from home can help relieve some of the stress, as you don’t have to spend time primping, defrosting the car, finding a parking space, and coming up with yet another excuse as to why you’re late for work. Even if your boss understands, habitual tardiness is an indicator that something needs to change.

2. Your Road Rage Is Rampant

According to a 2016 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, almost 80% of drivers admit to expressing road rage and intentional aggressive driving behavior. If you find yourself becoming increasingly angry on the road, maybe it’s time to put the rage to rest and channel your energy more positively. By working remotely, you significantly reduce your daily driving time and potential bouts of road rage.

3. You’re Over Office Drama

Catty chatter gets old, and fast. Plus, other people’s negativity can wear you down after a while, and you risk getting pulled into their circle of chaos. If you can’t escape the drama of your coworkers’ personal or professional lives, you can always change your locale. Though working remotely by yourself can feel lonely at times, it sure beats warding off all the naysayers and theatrics.

4. You’re Way Too Distracted

Even if your workplace is low-key, you always run the risk of getting sucked into conversations you don’t want to have. As a matter of fact, about half of all Staples Workplace Survey respondents said that talkative coworkers were the major cause of daily distractions. When you work at home, there’s no need to permanently lodge earbuds in your head or come up with polite ways to end useless dialogue. Just clock in, get your work done, then clock out.

Work-at-Home Tip: Home offices aren’t devoid of distractions, so you need to arm yourself with tried-and-true tactics that all telecommuters swear by. Check out our 18 Ways to Reduce Distractions While Working from Home to get a jump start.

5. You’re Too Efficient

Do you get your work done faster and better than your peers? Sometimes managers expect super-efficient employees to take on more workload without offering a reward or pay raise. However, you shouldn’t be responsible for more work than your colleagues just because you can get it done faster. If you can’t negotiate a schedule or promotion to match your skill level, ask to work at home in lieu of compensation. You can still uphold your industrious reputation by cranking out work in less time, thereby raising your hourly wage.

6. Your Job Doesn’t Rely on Location

Some occupations are not telecommute-friendly. However, if you sit at a desk, pitter-patter on a computer, communicate mostly through email or online applications, and use a lot of cloud-based software programs, you might be a great candidate for remote work. Once you realize that your job doesn’t rely on your geographic location, telecommuting becomes a reasonable possibility. The next step is pitching the switch to your boss or manager.

Work-at-Home Tip: Many employers understand the benefits of remote work, but they need assurance that you’re responsible enough to maintain the status quo. Check out The Telecommuting Pitch: Convincing Your Boss to Support Remote Work to help document your current role and create a professional proposal that will impress your employer.

7.  You Get Sick a Lot

Are you susceptible to colds and the flu? You’re not doing anyone any favors by going into work sick. In fact, you’re exacerbating the problem by spreading germs and prolonging your own illness. Alas, as your paid sick leave dwindles and your deadlines loom, sickness often takes a backseat. Wouldn’t it be great if you could work remotely to minimize leave time and nurse yourself back to good health? Plus, you’d reduce health risks for coworkers and help keep your whole team on track while remaining productive.

8. Your Office Is Uninspiring

Maybe your employer’s office building stands up to code, but that doesn’t mean it’s a stimulating, creative environment for work. Dim lighting, out-dated décor, musty air, and other uninspiring factors can dramatically influence your happiness and productivity. When working remotely, you control your environment—the lighting, decorations, airflow, and scent—without needing managerial approval or consensus.

9. You Don’t Like Being Around People

Some people love people, other people don’t. If you’d rather work in privacy than share a physical space, working remotely could be a good fit. Thanks to collaborative online tools for work and communication, there’s no need to deny your preferences or force yourself into an environment that prevents you from doing your best. Say “so long” to the standard office space and “hello” to the freedom of working remotely.

10. You’re Feeling Grumpy

Everyone has bad days, and sometimes bad days turn into bad weeks, months, or years. If you find yourself being overly negative and grumpy at work, consider removing yourself from the traditional onsite environment to experiment with working remotely. It doesn’t have to be a permanent move, but a little space might help neutralize your thoughts and feelings and give you a fresh perspective. And who knows? Maybe you’ll enjoy telecommuting so much that your retreat will open doors to a whole new way of working.

11. You Miss Your Kids

When you work at least eight hours per day, five days per week, plus spend at least an hour in the car driving to and from the office, it’s normal to feel removed from your family and children’s lives. Working remotely won’t inherently fill all your family or relationship gaps; however, telecommuting can give you back a few hours each day so that you can spend more time with the people you love the most.

You can have more time to take your kids to school, pick them up after soccer, attend all their after-school events, and drop off a sandwich when they forget to bring their lunch. Working from home means you have more time to be there for your babies while supporting the roof over their heads.

12. Your Car Broke Down

Car troubles are time-consuming and expensive. When you decrease the amount you drive, you also decrease your chances of a fender bender or flat tire and reduce your overall car maintenance costs. By working from home, you lessen the potential stress of unexpected vehicle-related events and keep your hard-earned cash in your pocket.

13. You Spend Way Too Much on Gas

Speaking of hard-earned cash, how much do you spend on gas each week? The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that the current average gasoline price is $2.93 per gallon in the U.S. If your office is 20 miles away, and your vehicle averages 25 miles per gallon, you could be spending nearly $100 per month just to get to and from work. Imagine putting that money away for travel, home repairs, emergency savings, or retirement. By ditching the daily commute, you could increase your earnings and have more control over your spending.

14. You Want to Reduce Your Environmental Impact

In addition to saving money, reducing your vehicle usage is one of the most impactful ways to alleviate environmental concerns. Telecommuters spare the air millions of tons of carbon emissions and other pollutants. They also use less energy, fossil fuel, paper, and plastic products. Therefore, you can do your part while doing what you love simply by removing your daily commute.

Work-at-Home Tip: Read our article on 8 Positive Environmental Effects of Remote Work for more ways remote workers reduce negative environmental impacts on Earth.

15. You Want to Work on Your Own Schedule

Are you sick of others telling you when you need to clock in and out, how many vacation days you’re allotted per year, and whether you can swap weekends for weekdays? Many telecommute jobs also come with flexible schedules so that you can work around your life rather than live around your work. Therefore, a home-based position you can perform whenever you want might be your loftiest dream come true.

16. You Want to Travel the World

What’s better than working whenever you want? How about working wherever you want? Many telecommuting jobs allow you to take your work on the road. Since remote work doesn’t rely on a geographic location, you can book that trip to the islands, plan a month-long backpacking excursion, or visit family members for the holidays without skipping a beat.

Ready to Transition to Telecommuting?

If you think that working from home will enhance your life and career, you have two choices:

  1. You can pitch a telecommute option to your current employer.
  2. You can get a brand new telecommuting job.

In either case, consider signing up as a Virtual Vocations member to get access to our Telecommute Toolkit, which contains resources for creating remote work proposals, setting up a home office, and finding work-at-home jobs. You’ll also get access to our extensive job database, which contains tens of thousands of listings that our expert job analysts evaluate and filter every day.

You’ll also want to think about your current technology resources and abilities, whether you want to work as a W-2 employee or independent contractor, and how to create work-life balance while telecommuting. The Telecommute Toolkit and Virtual Vocations blog are excellent resources to get you started.

What are you waiting for? Join thousands of telecommuters at Virtual Vocations and start your job search today!


What inspired your desire to work remotely? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to tell us about your dream telecommute job. We’d love to hear from you! 

Photo Credit: 1. iStock.com/seraficus

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