Remote jobs are on the rise. While the concept has been around for decades, it has only become mainstream in the past few years. Remote work is the ability to do your job from outside of a traditional corporate or office setting. It is based on the premise that work does not have to be done from a specific place in order to be effective and successful.
Workers can have the flexibility to design their work days in any way that they see fit. For some, this may mean working out of a home office. For others, it may mean traveling the world and taking their jobs with them. There are a few things you should take into account before applying for a remote opportunity.
How Do People Work Remotely?
One of the benefits of remote work is that there is no set way in which to do it. You can choose to do your work in a way that makes sense for what you have going on in your life.
Part-Time Remote Work
Some people work remotely for the majority of the time, but may have to periodically come in to the office to attend meetings. In this instance, the remote worker would have to live close enough to the home office in order to fulfill in-person obligations.
A method of working in which a workspace is shared with other remote workers. Unlike a traditional office setting, the workers may or may not know one another or even work for the same company. These spaces are typically available for rent on a daily or monthly basis and may provide amenities such as coffee, snacks, computers and office supplies. Some see these spaces as a middle ground between office work and a non-traditional workspace.
In some instances, remote-based employment can give you the full freedom to work from anywhere in the world. Some workers take full advantage of this by using it as an opportunity to travel full-time or move to a completely different location. You may have heard the term “digital nomad” used to refer to this type of worker. As long as they account for differences in time zones with their employers, these workers are able to schedule their tasks so that they can work at the times they feel are most convenient or productive for them. There are remote work programs available that offer curated travel experiences, though some may prefer to make plans on their own.
Freelancer, Contractor, or Employee
There are several types of remote positions. It’s important to take their unique characteristics into account when deciding which route you want to take.
Many workers start their remote careers off in the freelance world. Freelancing gives you the opportunity to build a client base by working on multiple small projects at once. You may also choose to focus on one or two larger contracts instead. Freelancers are typically paid a flat rate per project, though some may negotiate a per hour rate.
Independent contractors are taken on by agencies to complete a project (or several), over a specified period of time. Contractors are typically paid per hour. Neither contractors nor freelancers typically have benefits.
You may choose to apply for a remote position that gives you employee status. In this case, taxes are removed from your pay by your employer, which can be an added benefit for some. Your insurance will also be provided by your employer if you are full-time. These roles are highly coveted and also, very competitive.
Consider Your Skill Set
There are a wide variety of companies looking for remote workers; however, not every individual is suited for every available job. In order to determine which job may be right for you, it’s a good idea to take a look at your existing skill set. Ask yourself what sorts of jobs would suit your current skills.
What kinds of hours would you want to keep? Some employers are seeking full-time remote workers who can keep traditional hours. Working in this type of role is very similar to working in an office setting. If this is something you want to get away from in your traditional role, you will want to seek out opportunities that provide more flexibility. Some employers will require that you track your time on a site such as https://buddypunch.com/.
Certain roles are more task-based than hours-based. This means that your employer may not care what hours you work as long as you are able to meet your deadlines on time. In this instance, you get to decide how much you want to work in any given week. If you are going to go this route, be honest with yourself about your work ethic and working style. If you struggle with time management or if you lack internal motivation, it may be challenging for you to be successful in a role where you have a great amount of independence.
Transitioning to Remote Work
If you’re currently a full-time employee at a corporate office, the transition to a remote job will be a multi-step process that will take place over time. If it turns out that you have a job which can be done remotely, it may simply be a matter of creating a proposal for your boss which outlines all of the benefits of transitioning to remote work, such as increased productivity, cost-savings and better health and wellness. Even then, remote work is still a fairly recent concept and not every employer will be open to it.
If you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur, you may already be in the best position to work remotely. Consider if your career path requires you to have a brick and mortar location. A fitness trainer may be able to hold online sessions, but a hairdresser would need certain physical requirements in place in order to be successful.
Remote work can be highly rewarding and worth any potential struggle, if you set yourself up correctly. If you match yourself with a position that you have the right skill set for and that you naturally enjoy doing, there’s no reason why you can’t be successful in this style of work.
About the Author
Eric Czerwonka is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Buddy Punch, a software company founded in 2013 that provides time tracking solutions for startups, companies with employees, as well as anyone with a remote team to manage. In the future, Eric hopes to continue to fit each problem with the correct solution through the use of technology as well as innovation. Eric also holds a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.