Remote work is the new cool. Many web developers and designers in Nigeria now have remote jobs online. However, there are challenges that come with having a remote job in Nigeria. Perhaps you are considering taking up a remote job in Nigeria; this article highlights the challenges ahead of you and, of course, the solutions to those challenges.
Global Village and Remote Work
When Canadian Media Theorist, Marshall McLuhan predicted the Global Village, he probably didn’t envisage that the world would be so interconnected that individuals in a country can be on the payroll of companies thousands of miles away from them. Well, that is our reality today and that’s what we know as Remote Work.
By the way, remote work must not be inter-country. Any job that allows you to work from wherever you are is remote.
Remote Work vs Freelancing
A lot of people tend to confuse remote work with freelancing. These two, though similar, are not the same. A typical freelancer works remotely, but that does not mean a remote worker is a freelancer. A freelancer usually just works on projects per time for different clients, while a remote worker is employed by an organisation to work from where he is. You get the difference now? Great!
Nigeria, contributing 2.6% of the world population sure has enough manpower to be a major player in the Remote work “industry”. However, the country has a number of challenges that makes it difficult to work efficiently if you have a remote job in Nigeria.
Challenges of Remote Work in Nigeria
Of course, to every challenge/problem, there is a solution. Let me walk you through some of the challenges you may face as a Remote worker in Nigeria and how you can overcome them:
- Power: It’s no news that power supply is still a major problem in Nigeria. For instance, I typed this article to this point sweating profusely and seriously hoping and praying PHCN (or NEPA if you like) restores power. That sums up the reality of a typical Nigerian remote worker.
You probably already know to have at least a power generating set; you may want to have two at this point if you can. Also, your budget for fuel will have to increase (well, now you know what CEOs go through)
- Internet: The only reason you are a remote worker is because of the internet. Take away the internet and your role doesn’t exist. That’s why you should never play with your internet as a remote worker.
Knowing your work (your life) depends on it, you should always have a backup data plan. You may be disappointed by Internet service provider (ISP) sometimes, so to be safe, you want to have at least two of them. Hence, when one disappoints, you can easily switch to the other.
- Work-Space: As a remote worker, you are free to work from anywhere you consider convenient. However, it is highly recommended that you work from a work-space close to you.
Why do you need a work-space? There are too many distractions in a typical home that you need a high level of discipline to stay focused working from home (and to be honest, most of us have not attained that level of discipline yet).
Also, working from a work-space with people around you makes you get the feeling of normal work life, while you still enjoy your independence.
Now, because remote work is still a growing phenomenon, not so many work space options are available in Nigeria, especially those outside Lagos. And the few that are available are a bit expensive. Techpoint did a list of co-working spaces in Lagos and their pricing in 2017. The prices may have changed slightly now though.
You can start by working from home while you look around for a work-space in your environment. Of course, you want to make sure the work-space is not far from you so you don’t end up defeating one of the aims of remote work.
If you can’t find one close to you, then you may want to try a Cyber Café. Look for one close to you, make an arrangement with the owner and trust me, a typical cybercafe would even be glad to have you around.
Depending on where your employer is located, there may be other challenges such as cultural and time difference. All you need to do here is just make sure you know the time difference and find a way to balance with your local time. Also, be open-minded and willing to learn about your employer’s host country culture so you know how to relate with them.
Working remotely is amazing and many are already of the opinion that it is the future of work. If you are a disciplined self-starter, who can walk with little or no supervision and who knows how to obey deadlines, then you should consider working remotely. Need I say it pays more too.