Of all the job perks available to modern employees, there's one that we all desire above all others: the option to work remotely.
In this time of high-speed internet and endlessly accessible WiFi, remote work has become the norm across a variety of different industries. In fact, over half of the global companies allow their employees to work from home.
For team leaders and company executives seeking to best support employees and stay competitive in the world of talent hiring and retention, remote work is something you might be considering offering if you don't already.
Remote work is work that's done outside of a traditional office setting. Remote workers either work from home or work in satellite offices away from the rest of their team, or the company might be fully remote with all employees working outside of a traditional office. Remote work is a canvas and the breadth of your capabilities is the paintbrush, in today's increasingly mobile workforce there's no need to stay in one place.
Working from home is a form of remote work that allows you to work from your home office. Working from home may be supplemental for employees who work primarily from an office environment, or it may refer to remote workers who work full-time from their home city or office.
Flexible jobs refers to company policies that allow you to set your own schedule, so long as you complete your job responsibilities. With a flexible work schedule, you might choose to work from home some number of days per week during your company's normal business hours, or (depending on your policy) you might be able to set your own hours so they're optimized for productivity.
Freelancers are becoming integral to businesses as the gig economy grows exponentially, with 57 million Americans freelancing in some way in 2018. In addition to coding and programming, there are many opportunities for writers, video editors, web producers, web developers, tutors, marketers, virtual assistants, and other skilled professionals to earn money without having to leave their homes or favorite coffee shops.
Freelance work can also involve decidedly nontechnical tasksl, such as dog walking, house sitting, and wedding and event photography. Whether your freelance work keeps you tethered to a laptop or has you out in the park with a pack of dogs, you'll thrive in the sweet freedom that comes with working remotely.
Getting a remote job can be great for testing your way into self-employment -- seeing how well you'd manage your time, stay motivated and productive working from home, coffee shops, or a coworking space. Today, countless people are landing remote jobs for these reasons (and more). And luckily, getting a remote job is no more difficult than getting an in-office job, it's just different. In fact, in many areas, remote jobs offer more opportunities than in-person employment.
Most companies don't necessarily advertise themselves as fully remote and the ones that do are hard to find unless you are looking on the right remote job websites. Here are a few of our favorites:
FlexJobs offers full-time, part-time, and even some jobs that are perfect for testing your way into starting a freelance business. Companies can post jobs for free, but candidates have to pay $14.99 a month for the service. However, outside of the paid service, they also have a ton of free resources for remote job seekers. One main draw of FlexJobs is that they offer job postings from a wide variety of industries, not just tech.
Bonus: FlexJobs has new posts all the time, and posters usually get back to you quickly after you've applied.
AngelList is geared specifically toward start-ups, unlike the other sites on our list. If you want to work at an early-stage startup, this is the place to be. There is no cost to use AngelList, but you'll need to make a profile that is primarily your resume but a little glammed up. You get interviews by clicking "yes, I'm interested" and by leaving a small note for the hiring manager. If the company likes your profile, they will set up a meeting with you. The process with AngelList is super easy, with no classic resume or cover letter needed.
On Hubstaff you have the option of searching for remote jobs that are full-time, hourly freelance contract, and even fixed price -- so this platform is particularly great if you're looking to expand your freelance network or freshly jump into the freelance game. With their hundreds of open roles ranging from web development, to design, marketing, sales, customer service, social media marketing and more, there's something for everyone on this remote job platform.
Whether you've been working remotely for a long time, or you have a new flexible schedule, there are a few solid habits of exceptional remote workers that it is always a good idea to revisit or develope.
With remote work comes freedom, which the best employees need to work to their full potential, but freedom alone is not enough. The best employees also need structure to stay aligned with their team and company. It can be easy, as a remote employee, to get off track or lose focus without the constant productivity reminders that working in a traditional office brings. This is why a goal-first approach to work is essential for working remotely, it maintains your alignment with your team and gives you the clarity to start each workday with purpose.
One of the best things about remote work is the ability to create your own work schedule. Are your most productive hours those with a pot of green tea to your right and the sun rising to your left? Or do you need to get that early afternoon hot yoga class in to feel ready to work in the afternoon?
As long as you stay in touch with your team and put your key goals for the day in perspective, you can design a schedule that optimizes your productivity as well as maintaining your sense of personal ownership.
No matter if you come from working in an office with an open floor plan or cramped cubicles, working remotely can feel like a huge change. Blurring the lines between home and work can be a slippery slope, but not if you stay organized. A cluttered workspace and appearance send a message to those you communicate with, whether it is just yourself or with colleagues on a video call, a forgotten pile of laundry or unbrushed hair sends a message about productivity.
Forming clear boundaries for yourself when you are working from home will up this productivity, maybe you have a specific mug that you drink out of when it is business hours, or you change into a pair of slacks so your pajamas don't convince you to crawl back into bed. Whatever it is that gets you to where you need to be mentally, while you're physically working remotely, have it be organized and intentional.
Working remotely can introduce a new set of distractions that you hadn't had to navigate before. The lack of separation between your work and the outside world can make it difficult to concentrate. It's challenging to be mindful of how these distractions are impacting your own concentration and those of your colleagues when you're on a video call.
Try working in a specific space with a door that can limit noise and interruptions, if there's a noise beyond your control (Why does my neighbor always have to mow his lawn at 2:00 PM?) take initiative to mute yourself when you're on a conference call when you aren't speaking. Keep pets, partners, and children out of your workspace. I know your dog is adorable, but even Buddy counts as a distraction.
It's not just freelancers any more, in the past few years more and more executives have also been joining the remote workforce. With the onslaught of inclusive technology and more ways than we can count to keep in touch with one another execs can lead meetings, stay in contact with their departments, and manage their teams on-the-go. And with millennials taking over the job market and the majority of global employees working remotely at least once a month, executives need to be savvy with remote work trends or risk losing top talent.
Executives hesitate to embrace remote work because of the fear that company culture can be lost when a team goes remote or hybrid. This fear can be squashed by implementing a few key strategies to maintain company culture, such as weekly video chats with the remote team, video conference meetings rather than audio-only for optimum relatability, and a daily calendar that includes where and when each employee is working to keep everyone accountable and in the loop.
Adapting to support your remote employees can be tricky, but it doesn't need to be. With the following factors in mind, it will be a successful and profitable transition out of the office.
With these thoughts in mind, you'll be ready to find remote work careers and thrive as a remote worker. Looking for more? Check out these remote jobs you can do from anywhere next.