I recently did a post on online work and how convenient it is. The response was overwhelming and I wish to thank everyone who took their time to read through it. You can still find the article here.
If you have been doing research on online work, you will agree with me that the motivational scripts are all over the internet. Reading from most of the sites, it is possible to imagine that you just need to set up an internet connection (assuming you do not have one already), buy a good computer or laptop, sign up on a hiring site, place a bid and boom! Within a few days of work, you are hired and money is trickling into your Pesapal, PayPal, Payoneer or even M-pesa account.
This kind of articles make online work; whether its transcription, graphic design, data entry, content writing, survey jobs, and many other online jobs appear as though they are a walk in the park. Well, while in some cases it is possible to have a smooth ride in online work, in many cases, it is possible to encounter a few hiccups. I do not mean to scare you from working online.
In today’s article, I will give you a heads up on some of the challenges you may encounter while working online. I will also tell you how to deal with most of these. Keep reading for this and much more.
Challenges You May Face While Working Online
Low Self-Drive and Proper Time Management
One thing you will notice with online work is that you will be 100% responsible for how you manage your own time. It is an environment that will be supervisor, manager or boss free. Which is a good thing right? Well, this good thing has been and still is a challenge for many people. I can tell you for sure, even those who seem to be ‘online work gurus’, time management is still a big challenge. When there is no one to boss you around and yell; you have to be extra disciplined to remain productive and to remain so efficiently.
The Uncertainty That Is Associated with Online Work
Ideally, a job is a series of tasks which one completes in order to get some payment. In a ‘normal’ work frame, one reports to work for a given period of time and gets paid for it, either weekly or monthly. Normally, in the jobs, many people refer to as ‘formal’ you work for 8 hours a day and get a monthly salary plus allowances here and there. Yes, you are assured of an income whether you work for 2 or 3 hours. You will get paid anyway. Whether you are on leave or not, there is a paycheck somewhere.
As such, it is likely that online work may not feel real let alone safe. Yes, you do not have specific ‘working’ hours with online work. You also do not have some signed paperwork with your client. Well, the best there can be for now is an agreement, which unfortunately is not enough security to many people. Which leads us to the next challenge…
Working for Online Cons
There are cons everywhere. Yes, even in online work. See, for nearly all online assignments, you will be required to complete the given tasks and make submissions before you can get paid for it. While some clients will genuinely not pay for the poor quality of work, others will outrightly refuse to pay you after you have invested your time and other resources working for them. It’s a major challenge especially if you have been working on demanding projects, for instance; writing hundreds of articles for a client then hearing nothing from them upon completion.
You May Experience Boredom
Do I need to say much on boredom really, we all know sitting in front of a computer screen the whole day can cause some boredom. It could get worse if you are stationed in a place where you are all alone. While this may be a good thing as it allows you concentrate, you might find yourself getting bored. I mean it does not come close to the open office space where you can always say Hi to your immediate neighbor when you feel some boredom crawling in, or where you can task yourself with moving files from office ‘A’ to ‘B’ when you need to feel your attentiveness is going down.
Connection Problems and Unexpected Power Interruptions
As you already know in order to work online, you need to have a computer and a strong internet connection. Sometimes the connections are interrupted and you could be targeting a given deadline. It’s even worse when you are using a desktop and power disappears for hours. I know we can all relate to these disappointments. This is something that can cause disappointments to your client and some may fail to understand.
You Could Suffer Solitude
Unless you are a born loner, being alone for long hours may not be such an easy adaptation, not when you are used to talking and laughing with everyone around the office. Transitioning to an environment where it is just you and your computer screen may be a challenge. Especially noting that human beings are born social.
How to Overcome Challenges associated with Online Work
Here is how to fight the challenges discussed above, try them you will be surprised at their efficacy.
- Low Self-Drive And Proper Time Management
Set your priorities right. While at it, make sure you make a daily schedule of what you intend to accomplish within a given time frame. Make sure you lay down a plan before taking up on an assignment.
- Uncertainty That Is Attached To Online Work
Always remember that online work is a job like any other. You are only required to work in order to get paid, which is the main objective of a job, right? In line with this, you can set up a proper working area even if you are working from home and make a point to always work from this ‘home office’. Respect your job and it will respect you.
- online cons
Go for clients with verified payments record or those with high ratings. The idea here is to rely on referrals. I know from experience, it is very hard to be referred to a con by any reliable person.
Adjust your schedule and do your best during the hours that you are most active. In between, you can take a short distraction as simple as sipping some water or stretching. Assign exciting tasks for when you are most likely to feel bored. An interesting task will most likely keep you alert effortlessly.
- Connection problems and unexpected power interruptions
Have some backup plan. For instance, in case of a power outage, you can invest in a good UPS. For the internet connection, consider buying a modem as your back up plan. You may also liaise with your neighbors who have an internet connection from a different provider. They can come in handy on a rainy day. At the worst, hook up with fellow freelancers, they can help you meet a deadline just in case a blackout hits your area.
To fight solitude you need to go an extra mile. Here are a few tips on how to:
Create time for other social activities such as get-togethers and parties. Also, make it a habit to participate in discussions that are related to your work, for instance, you can help that newbie who is enquiring on the most suitable software for audio enhancement and so on. Stay active as much as is humanly possible, as long as it does not stop you from completing your set tasks.
Working online is fun. I know so, fun that is equally thrilling as it is challenging 🙂 The good thing is that we are all up to challenge, that is if we set our mind to it. Do what you can until you are your own boss; effortlessly. Till then, we keep doing what we have to do to get there.
What challenging experiences have you had while working online? Feel free to share your thought in the section below; it will be great to go know what has challenged you and how you have dealt with it.