Last Updated Oct. 22, 2020
Are you looking for tips to equip yourselves for remote working? Are you eyeing an online job but don’t know what you need?
Look no further! Here is the ultimate checklist to equip you for remote working in the Philippines.
Beginner’s Guide to Remote Working
Some of you may be total newbies in this field. Some might have worked already but don’t know how to manage a remote job. Some might not have any marketable skills at all.
Don’t worry! Regardless of where you’re starting, you can find resources to achieve your goals. And we got those for you! Check this beginner guide on how to become a topnotch Filipino remote worker.
You can also enroll in our free skills training program to guide in your remote working journey.
Prepare for the Online Interview
Getting that potential client starts with the interview process. It’s where you need to sell yourself and convince them that you are the best person for the role. It involves knowing what they are looking for and answering their needs with the skills that you possess.
But then, face-to-face interviews are different compared to virtual interviews. How can you project your confidence and effectively sell yourself in the interview process? Check out these 9 tips to ace your virtual interview.
Set an Ideal Workspace
Sometimes, possible clients want to know if your work area is ideal for working remotely. It establishes trust for them that you can do your job. And on your part, you can be more productive in this endeavor.
That’s why you need a dedicated workspace! You don’t need to have the perfect work area at first. It can be a separate room or a quiet corner in your house.
But if you want to build an ideal workspace in the long run, you can check these 14 tips for an ideal workspace in your home office.
Find the Best Internet Provider for You
A stable internet connection is the lifeblood of your remote working career. You need to continually be connected to provide the service that your client wants. But we are in the Philippines!
Getting reliable internet might be a struggle for most people. It would depend on the service provider, the locations, and even the weather. Yes, internet connections fluctuate when it rains.
So to compete, you need to find a way to solve this. Try looking into this article about how fast your internet should be in the Philippines.
You Can Still be Seen in Person (at least virtually)
If you’re the type that doesn’t want to meet people, remote working will be for you. But as the demands for remote work grow from day-to-day, work interactions change like team meetings, collaborations, and even team bonding.
So, you might actually see people virtually. For the introverts, hold-on because work relationships are necessary for business success. It’s for the betterment of your career.
For the extroverts, let me hear that big hurray for virtual social interactions! Regardless of your qualms or delight with this setup, it’s almost 95% sure that you will meet each other, at least online.
If you want to look your best in Zoom calls, check out this guide!
Master Your Digital Tools
Digital problems often need digital solutions. That’s why when you work remotely; you need to know the specific tools to help you in your career.
Your digital tools and software will differ depending on your job — tools like communication software, time tracking tools, collaboration programs, etc. You need to be familiar with this to properly integrate yourself with the company you will be working with.
Have a Set Schedule
Most online jobs available might have a schedule already. But it should not coincide with your personal endeavors during your working hours. For example, you are working from 7 AM to 4 PM for an Australian client, don’t do your laundry or tend the garden during those times.
Remember, you are working even though you’re at home. So you have to honor their time as well.
In the same way, you should not be obliged to go beyond your hours of work for your personal time. You still have a life even though you’re working-from-home.
There are many things you can do in a day. But not all tasks can create the results you want, and your client wants. Some tasks are definitely more important than others.
After setting your schedule, the next step is to know what to do first. You should prioritize tasks from most important to least. Don’t spend all your time checking emails. Setting surprise meetings.
You should prioritize high-value tasks. Maybe plan and put milestones if it’s something too hard. In this way, you can provide the best output you can to your client.
Humans are heavily distracted with things in front of them. I mean, if you can choose without repercussions, would you watch your favorite shows playing in front of you, or would you work online?
I think we know the answer. So find ways to manage the distractions in your area. Maybe, move to another more quiet place, leave your phone far from you, or hire some help to take care of your kids.
If you can solve this dilemma, you’re half-way through the productivity battle.
One way to cope up with procrastination is the Pomodoro technique. And no, it’s not a pasta dish. Drop your spoons.
The Pomodoro technique helps you focus your efforts during pockets of 25-min bursts of work and around 5-min break per Pomodoro session.
This timeframe of focus allows you to zone-in in a relatively short amount of time on the current task, while having a break time reward after to satiate your distractions like social media.
It’s relatively easy to do. Check these 6 simple steps to use Pomodoro to your advantage.
Understand their Culture
Filipinos have different cultural traits compared to our clients. Some nationalities are more straight-forward. Some have rituals or days that can’t be bothered.
If you want to be a thriving remote worker, you need to understand the culture of your clients. One example is the Australian Slang. You should be familiar with it when you have Australian clients.
You should adjust yourself to their working styles and cultural differences, if possible, to have a harmonious relationship.
You Need to Over-communicate
Communication is essential in your career. Even if you have great ideas, you can’t expect to have them heard if you can’t communicate it to your boss and colleagues. You need to share your ideas well to collaborate better. And hopefully, your innovative opinions can land you a promotion and more.
But then, online communication is way different than face-to-face communications. You can’t see the non-verbal cues, which is crucial if you want to know someone’s real take on things. Heck, you don’t even see the person at all.
Therefore, you should over-communicate. As much as possible, attach and relay as much relevant information regarding your project pitch or that assigned tasks.
Also, confer your exact expectations to your colleagues. Don’t assume that they know it already. In this way, you can have harmonious working collaborations with the team.
Voice Out Your Ideas and Opinions
One inherent trait of Filipinos is our non-confrontational nature. We don’t want to tackle conflict head-on. That’s why if we have opinions, things we don’t understand, or points we disagree with, we just stay silent. We’re like, “Yes Men.”
You have to forget those roots. Most foreign clients don’t take it against you when you voice out your opinions. In fact, they appreciate it. It’s good to work with someone who has their own footing and thinks for the betterment of the company.
Know their Policies
Every company has its policies. The same with remote working clients. Are they strict with the schedule? Do you need to be online on specific hours? How about leaves? Data privacy?
Yes! You need to be aligned with the company’s policies.
Managing Client Expectations
Have you heard under-promise and over-deliver? Make sure that you don’t over-promise outputs that you can’t back up. Do the opposite. Again, under-promise but over-deliver.
When they ask you when you can deliver the output, tell them a deadline you can justify. Not too long that they will think you’re not doing anything. Not too short that you will be stressed to the core.
You just need to manage each other’s expectations to build trust and a better working relationship.
Have the Initiative
It’s alright to give the bare minimum in a project. But if you want to be one of the best and sought-after remote workers, you need to have the initiative to go the extra mile. No, it’s not going above what you are paid for.
It’s thinking about your client’s business as if it was your own. And provide actionable solutions and suggestions to further their business endeavors.
With remote working, you can balance your other endeavors because of location flexibility. You can now have more time for your kids. You can now take care of them while building a remote working career.
But it’s easier said than done. Your kids, especially those in their formative years, demand so much attention. How do you manage your time and performance with your sweet little angel prancing in the background?
Well, it’s possible! If this is the first time you worked-from-home with kids, check this guide to help you juggle both responsibilities well.
Manage Your Finances
When you’re earning already, you should not spend all your money all at once. For sure, if you do your best while providing the value that your clients want, you can rake in significant earnings.
But it doesn’t stop there. As a freelancer or remote worker, you need to build a budget coupled with an emergency fund to make sure that you are financially healthy. This will protect you from sudden changes like a client dropping you or you get a massive pay cut.
Although, if you’re contracted by big agencies like Remote Staff, they can provide a replacement for your leaving clients. So there’s income continuity just in case.
Set Aside Money for Taxes
Most remote workers are considered contractors of their clients. They are providing a service not bound by employment. The good thing about this is that you can control your cash flow. What’s terrible about this is when you don’t set aside money for taxes, you mess up your finances.
So as an earning remote worker, you need to set aside money for your taxes. Depending on your tax bracket, you can opt for 30% of your income or the current 8% from the gross income option for freelancers.
Hone Your Craft
You’re either green and growing or ripe and rotting. There’s no in-between. When you are a remote worker, there are constant changes in what your industry demands. For social media managers, Tiktok might be a new frontier, which you need to learn if your client wants to.
In our careers, we need to hone our craft. We need to continually find ways to be updated and upskilled. It can be through online seminars, courses, mentorships, etc.
This will make you marketable regardless of any changes in the future.
Join a Remote Working Community
And you can also get those learning if you join an online community. Online communities like “Filipino Freelancers with Australian Clients (FFAC),” “Online Filipino Freelancers (OFF),” and Filipinomads can help you with your questions, skills-building, client tips, etc. for your career.
And in a way, you can also meet like-minded people that can be your bridge to your next client. Or at least, be a lifelong friend in this industry.
Connections and Social Life
And speaking of lifelong friends, every human is a social being. We need constants in our lives like friends and family to lift us up on a tiring day. But how can you do that online?
There are numerous ways to connect with our loved ones online, especially now with the pandemic. Explore your options and be happy not only financially, but also socially.
Eat Healthy Food Options
Remote work is not all about your skills. You should also be healthy overall, And this includes your physical health.
Most can say that our physical health is directly related to what we eat. In fact, we are what we eat. So if you want to be more productive, you should have the energy, the mental acuity, and the resistance from diseases.
With this trifecta, you are sure to deliver the most productive output you can give.
Do you want to eat healthy but afraid too close for comfort? You can still live healthily with this guide if you have fruits and vegetables that you want to extend the shelf life longer.
As a remote worker, your life can be sedentary. Just look at your 3-min commute from your bed to your computer desk. It’s easy to forget about exercising.
Coupled with healthy food, you should exercise to keep your body in tip-top shape. It doesn’t only promote a desirable physique. It also protects your body from chronic diseases and builds up immunity.
You don’t have to work out like a bodybuilder. You just need to find the exercise routine you can adhere to. After all, the best exercise routine is the one you can stick with.
We are just humans. We can feel frustrations and tiredness even if we’re at home. Who said that Remote working is just a walk in the park? It probably is more comparable to a jungle with carnivorous predators than a park, though.
And these predators can take its toll. Yes, you can still burnout when you work from home. You should avoid burnout by managing your workload and using some of these 10 tips to battle work-from-home burnout.
Find the Time to Relax
Of all the tips, this deserves its own section. When you get more time and location freedom, you will have more choices as to additional projects, accepting new opportunities, and learning new things.
But don’t ever forget to find the time to relax. It might just be that calming weekend on Netflix. Or that few hours of respite meditating or playing video games.
It would depend on you what the source of relaxation is. But make sure you schedule these to avoid burnout. So unwind and free your mind of all your stressors once in a while.
There you have it! An ultimate guide to almost everything you need to have and consider when you do remote work. Do you have other questions in this field? Let us know by typing in the comment section below!