Most people seem to be perplexed by the concept of freelance and remote work. Working from home, on your own schedule, that sounds like a fantasy to most people, to the point where they just plain don’t believe it’s possible.

However, with companies like Systemato, remote working is the furthest thing from that.

Just to be clear, from my experience, once people get over their disbelief, their feelings will quickly turn to those of envy and potentially disgust, but that might only happen when I’ve let slip that I get most of my work done in my pyjamas while eating Nutella by the spoonful. #sorrynotsorry

Why go to work in a suit when you could work from home in your sweatpants, amirite?

Thanks to Systemato’s extremely flexible remote working arrangement I’ve been able to work steadily from home for the past three years, whether home was Malta, London, or even the US while on holiday. Working on holiday might not sound like much fun, but if doing a small job on a chilled afternoon will give me some extra cash to spend, then there’s hardly any harm in it, right?

With my handy laptop and the incredible innovation of cloud storage in tow, I’ve been able to work remotely from my own little bubble, wherever that may be.

Over the years I’ve learnt a thing or two about the pros and cons of remote working – here are four tips to keep in mind if you’re considering taking the leap into the wonderful world of working from home.

1. Time management is important

Working freelance means you’re your own boss, managing your projects and your time in a way that suits your lifestyle. If you’re working from home on a full time basis, it might seem like there’s no bad time to be working.

This is true to a degree – got to run errands during the day? Go ahead, just make up the time in the evening.

That said, I really recommend working similar hours to those as the people closest to you – there is nothing worse than being unable to join in on dinner plans or weekend fun because you’re working on a completely different schedule.

2. Energy management is even more important

Good time management doesn’t necessarily mean that you should lock yourself in a room for 8 hours and not emerge until the sun’s gone down.

What you should do though, is create a routine that allows you to make the best out of the flexibility you have.

Make sure to start your day with some exercise, plan healthy meals – I know my Nutella eating habits don’t really encourage this, but work with me – and don’t overwork yourself to the point where you can’t engage in your hobbies or after-work shenanigans with your friends.

3. Not all that glitters is gold

Working from home can have its downsides if you’re not careful – staying in for too long very often may lead to some unsocial behaviour.

Remote working can be isolating, and having to manage your own schedule can be tough.

Try to keep the following in mind: just because you can work from home doesn’t mean that you should never leave the house, or you know, never shower; and just because you can work at any time doesn’t mean you should sleep all day and work all night.

That said, there aren’t really any cons of working from home if you’re able to live a balanced life.

4. Don’t just settle for anything

If you’re going to work from home, make sure that you do something you enjoy.

It’s not every day that you can find work that actually lets you do what you’re good at and at your own pace. Often times you enter a job being told that your role will be one thing, and your day-to-day actually ends up being completely different.

Although I’m currently only remote working part-time, I make sure that I actively enjoy the work I do from home – otherwise I would dread coming home, and that’s a big no-no.

I really can’t complain about my current setup with Systemato. I get to work in my pyjamas, and listen to loud pop music without having anyone around to judge or complain about my taste in music (or pyjamas).

“I get to work in my pyjamas, and listen to loud pop music without having anyone around to judge or complain about my taste in music (or pyjamas).”

Some people don’t get how I can clock in work hours without having an office to show up to, and some people are slightly jealous that there are jobs out there that will pay for you not to show up.

Alas, the joke’s on them – remote working is on the rise and it seems to be working advantageously for employees and employers alike.

Much like the ladies in Fifth Harmony, the Systemato team is all about working from home.

Author Diane Brincat

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