Remote work is when you do not go into an office but instead work from home and communicate with your employer and coworkers using the Internet. This can be because you live in a faraway place from your job, or you prefer to improve your quality of life by living somewhere cheaper than where your workplace is located or due to Covid restrictions or lockdown.
But this isn’t always possible for all jobs; some places don’t allow it or require face-to-face meetings.
Some companies only hire people who work remotely (sometimes called “telecommuters”) and don’t have any locations for their employees.
How Does Remote Working Work?
Employees work from home or another location of their choice, using the Internet to communicate with coworkers and the company they work for.
They use chat software like Slack. Webex, Zoom, and Microsoft teams to talk to each other (and can even make phone calls through it) instead of physical meetings in person or on video conferences. This is often referred to as “Flexible Working”—flex means that you can change your schedule if you want, but people usually keep Monday-Friday hours with evenings free.
Sometimes this is part-time or temporary, depending on what kind of company or job it is or if there is a temporary lockdown imposed due to Covid, unrest, bad weather, etc.
Besides the apparent luxury of not getting dressed and commuting to an office daily, remote work has many benefits.
For one, your company will save money on rent, equipment, and furnishings by not having a workplace for you—making it cheaper if they need to lay people off for any reason.
Also, you can focus 100% on your work since there are no distractions from coworkers asking you questions all day or needing your help with something that isn’t part of your job.
You have more time to do the things you might have put off because of work responsibilities since now your schedule is much less packed! This can be especially true if you live somewhere where transportation takes a long time, so the savings in gas alone may justify the switch to remote work.
However, working from home does have a few drawbacks. For one, you may find it harder to stay motivated if there’s no one around to push you or give you feedback on your work. And since many people do their best work in the morning, you may also find that your productivity drops later in the day (or at night) when everyone else has gone to bed and left you alone with your thoughts and Netflix.
Additionally, some people can feel isolated socially if they’re not used to working from home and lack a social support system; this is especially true for parents trying to raise kids while working remotely.
So Is Remote Work Right for You?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to know if remote work is proper for you is to try it out! See if your job allows for it and any restrictions on where you can work from.
If you’re self-employed, look into what companies are hiring telecommuters. And then set some ground rules for yourself—like how many hours per day you’ll work or when you’ll take breaks.
Don’t worry if you find that remote working isn’t for you after trying it out! There are plenty of other jobs that don’t require working in an office. You could try looking for a job in customer service, which often allows employees to work from home. Or you could apply for a job with an online-only company, like social media manager.
How to Find a Remote Job?
When searching for remote jobs, there are two different search methods you can use:
1) Search by Company Name (or Location).
If the company you’re looking into has their website, but “remote” or “work from home” into the search bar to see if they list any telecommuting positions. This is often faster than scrolling through all their listings on larger job boards (where they might not be included), but if they don’t list it anywhere on their site, you’ll have to go straight to the next search method.
2) Search by Job Categories/Keywords.
If you’re looking for a job in a specific field, go to the main jobs page of that field’s website. For example, if you want to work remotely as an interior designer, search for it on Houzz or Thumbtack. Then look at the categories under “Jobs” and see if any of them are “remote.”
The Best Remote Job Boards – Some good places to start searching for remote jobs:
Fully Remote Companies (And Their Job Listings)
A fully remote company is one where all employees work from home offices—in other words, there isn’t even a single office location!
Many of these companies do list jobs on job boards, but they also post their listings directly to their sites, which is the best place for you to look since it’s where they’re most likely to list remote positions. Examples include Automattic (the parent company WordPress), Buffer, and Code School.
What are the advantages of remote working?
There are many advantages to remote working, which is why it’s becoming increasingly popular. Some of these benefits include:
1) Increased productivity
One study found that employees who work remotely are 13.5% more productive than their office-based counterparts; they save about two hours per day by not traveling to and from the office.
2) Better work-life balance
Because remote workers aren’t tied to an exact location, it’s much easier for them to travel or take time off for personal matters without worrying about leaving their job behind.
3) Increased flexibility
Remote jobs mean that there are no set working hours—you can choose when you want to work as long as your deadlines are met! And even if your schedule does have set hours, you might be able to adjust those based on your preferences (for example, if you want to go hiking every Sunday afternoon).
4) Better home office setup
Often, companies will let you work from home for some time as long as you’re setting up the right kind of workspace. This could include customizing your computer and buying ergonomic furniture if you’re lucky!
What is the trend towards remote working?
Remote work has become increasingly popular in recent years and will likely continue growing exponentially because:
1) The workforce is changing rapidly.
As we move away from an industrial economy and towards a service-based one, creative jobs are becoming more valuable—and creative workers often prefer to work from nontraditional offices like coffee shops or working spaces. In addition, the workforce is aging, and many baby boomers desire work-life balance in their golden years.
2) Technology has evolved
It’s much more accessible than ever before to work remotely—you don’t even have to leave your home! Set up a reliable Internet connection, invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones, and voila: you’re all set to commute via video call. You can also buy ergonomic furniture that helps you stay comfortable (and makes it easy to work at any time of day).
3) Employees are demanding change
The average person switches jobs every four years, and millennials switch even more frequently: every 2.5 years, which means companies must offer different benefits if they want to retain top talent. And as we’ve already seen, one of the most popular employee benefits is the option to work remotely.
What are some of the challenges of remote working?
Although there are many advantages to working remotely, there are also a few challenges you should be aware of:
Because you can’t always see or speak to your coworkers in person, it’s easier for misunderstandings to occur. Make sure to clarify any instructions or questions via email or instant messenger to get everyone on the same page.
Working from home can be lonely, especially if you’re not used to it. Make sure to set up regular check-ins with your team to avoid feeling disconnected from the rest of the company.
3) Technology problems
When you’re working in a traditional office, there’s always someone around who can fix tech-related issues when they come up. If you work remotely, make sure to have all necessary tech equipment on hand and have quick access to tech support if something goes wrong—otherwise, it could be difficult for you to get any work done.
4) Improved productivity
To reap all the benefits of remote work, it’s vital that employees set clear boundaries with their managers. This often means establishing a flexible yet structured schedule to complete tasks on time without compromising quality.
How can I learn remote-friendly job skills?
As the number of companies that allow remote work continues to grow, so will the need for employees who can work remotely. If you’re looking to switch employers and want to find a company that offers remote jobs, consider these three things:
First, ask yourself if you prefer working from home because you might be surprised by the answer! Second, make sure that your interests align with what the company does. They may not believe in the future if their business model shifts towards face-to-face interactions (for example). However, they may offer telecommuting options now.
Finally, remember that even though most companies won’t hire employees without telecommuting experience, there are plenty of opportunities to get remote work experience before you start applying for jobs. For example, if you currently work at a physical office, consider asking your boss if you can volunteer to work from home for specific projects (if they’re short-term) or on certain days (if they last longer).
The number of companies that allow remote work is growing, which means the demand for employees with remote-friendly job skills is also increasing. If you’re looking to switch employers and want to find a company that offers telecommuting options, consider these three things: first, ask yourself if you do prefer working from home; second, make sure that your interests align with what the company does; and finally, remember that even though most companies won’t hire employees without telecommuting experience, there are plenty of opportunities to get remote work experience before you start applying for jobs.
It’s important to consider both the employee and employer perspectives regarding the advantages and disadvantages of remote working.
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