These aren’t deal-breakers, but be on the lookout for these as potential warning signs that remote work might not be a great fit.
1. Your spouse/significant other is an oak tree. If you have a spouse whose job cannot be easily moved, and you live in a major metro, you may not be able to fully enjoy a remote role (since, as mentioned above, remote work doesn’t always pair well with urban dwelling).
2. Your spouse/significant other already works from home. This is not a problem by itself, but proceed with extreme caution and make sure you both have access to separate, dedicated, workspaces.
3. Your home is less than 700 square feet per person. I will admit, I just made up this stat, but I’m willing to bet it’s pretty accurate. It’s critical that you have a dedicated workspace and that you’re not set up to go stir-crazy. It’s just more difficult to accomplish that in an NYC studio apartment than it is in something with a little more (literal) wiggle room.
If one or both of the below are true for you, it’s likely not a good time for you to go remote.
1. You’re anchored in a major metro. If for any reason, you are in a major metro and unable/unwilling to leave, remote work is likely a poor fit for you.
2. Unsuitable dwelling/workspace. If you live in a place that cannot be made to reflect the key criteria below, and you can’t move, you’re likely to have a bad experience working remotely.
Remote Workspace Requirements
At Very, we style ourselves as Best Practitioners of Remote Work. While we have a full list of workspace requirements for employees, below is sort of a TLDR:
- Fail: Shared studio apartment
- Minimum: Total dwelling size > 700 square feet per person
- Ideal: Dedicated workspace that no one else can claim during working hours
- Pro: A purpose-built home office, complete with a battle station.
- Fail: Windowless/low-light basement space or any public space.
- Minimum: Access to a quiet space with a window and/or sunlight.
- Ideal: Access to a patio or outdoors for breaks or change of pace.
- Pro: Multiple workspaces that you can move between (e.g. primary battle station, patio, couch).
- Connection Speed:
- Fail: Unreliable connection or <10 Mbps up/down
- Minimum: 10 Mbps up/down
- Ideal: 25+ Mbps up/down
- Pro: 100+ Mbps up/down and a phone set up to be a hotspot.
- Battle Station:
- Fail: Laptop, couch, and coffee table
- Minimum: Desktop space, comfortable chair, professional backdrop, non-echo-y acoustics
- Ideal: Minimum requirements, plus: quality peripherals, printer, sit/stand desk, Airpod Pros or equivalent
- Pro: Ideal requirements, plus: multiple monitor setup, docking station, wired noise-canceling headphones with microphone, external camera, Herman Miller-type chair
So, what’s your score? If you have more green flags checked than you do yellow, and zero red flags, congrats! Remote work sounds like a great fit for you, and you might even want to check out our careers page if you’re looking for a change.
If you’re seeing a lot of yellow and red, that’s okay, too. Remote work may not match your lifestyle right now, and it’s good to know that before you dive in headfirst. If remote work still interests you, however, remember that things change, and there might be a time in the future where remote work is a better fit.
In either case, this list is good to keep handy as a guide to successfully working remotely. Feel free to bookmark it or share with a colleague.