What Is Remote Work?

What is remote work

Everyone was talking about it; then everyone started doing it. Now, everyone’s addicted to it. But what is remote work? What kind of work-from-home jobs can one do? Many questions surrounding this new way of working waltzed into the limelight during the pandemic. Here’s where you’ll find all the answers you need. Let’s start by sharpening our remote work definition.

Remote Work Definition

Remote work refers to work done by people who aren’t in the same physical location but are able to work successfully and efficiently on the same tasks. It is also known as telecommuting, telework, or working from home. Remote workers can be dispersed across many places or time zones. 

Since remote employees work from different locations or from their homes, remote work requires the use of communication technologies such as instant messaging, videoconferencing to get things done. Task organizing (or project management) apps are also a must. Working from home sounds comfortable, but are there many remote jobs in the market? “Uncountable” is the answer to that. Let’s take a look at the type of jobs that can be done remotely and are easy to find.

What Types of Jobs can be Done Remotely?

Remote employment comes in many forms:

  • Fully remote positions
  • Flexible jobs or hybrid work
  • Freelance

1. Fully Remote Positions

Fully remote employees work full-time for an organization but instead of working from their company office, they work from home, coworking spaces, etc. Though several advantages of working from home are kept secret, the truth is fully-remote employees have the same rights and benefits as on-site employees. Depending on their roles and responsibilities, fully remote workers may live and work from anywhere in the world.

What’s great about working from home is everyone can become a remote worker, it only takes the right research to find where you can start.

Here are some popular full-time remote jobs: 

  • Digital marketing 
  • Graphic or web design
  • Copywriting
  • Proofreading 
  • Translation 
  • Software development 
  • Social Media management
  • Bookkeeping 
  • Virtual Assistant

Check this article to know more details about these remote job opportunities.

2. Flexible Jobs or Hybrid Work

Flexible employment or hybrid work is a kind of arrangement that permits employees to work from home for some days in a week or month while on the other days the staff is expected to be in office.

You’ll find plenty of flexible jobs with a hybrid work model in the following industries: 

  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Healthcare 
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Software development 
  • Project management 
  • Finance and accounting 
  • Customer service
  • Training and education

3. Freelance 

A freelancer can be called a virtual entrepreneur. They get to work on multiple projects for different clients at once and aren’t bound by an employment contract with any company. Terms, costs, deadlines, etc can be discussed with each client. Freelancers can also work on top of a full-time or part-time job, either as a side hustle, or to supplement their income. 

Freelancing is most frequently seen in the following fields:

  • Graphic designing

Is Remote Work Here To Stay? Some Promising Statistics

Things are looking really good and remote work seems to have a bright future.

  • A PwC research revealed that 83% of organizations now believe their company’s transition to remote work has been a success. 
  • According to the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED), worker productivity has improved during the pandemic.
  • As far as remote recruitment is concerned, here’s Think Remote’s report on remote hiring trends in 2021 and 2022 that will help businesses and hiring managers understand where the future of work is headed.

From employee productivity to organizations giving a green signal, remote and hybrid work seem to be thriving. Remote work benefits are many but nothing is foolproof and working from home comes with its own challenges for both employer and employees.

Remote Work Advantages and Disadvantages

After all these numbers, you may be wondering, is remote work worth it? Let’s get into the advantages and disadvantages of working from home so you can evaluate for yourself.

Remote Work Advantages For Employees

  • Flexible schedules – your time, your control 

Working from home allows you to plan your work around your most productive periods and create a routine that works best for you

You are free to take breaks anytime you want and can choose to work in an environment that makes you happy and productive. One of the biggest advantages of flexible schedules is that working parents can easily manage their erratic schedules to accommodate family time. 

  • Save more money – subtract commute, clothes and coffee

Working from home can help you save money on expenditures such as commute, food, work apparel, and daycare. With remote work, even your office events, workshops, etc are online so you save money on expenditure related to fancy outfits, professional gifts, etc too.

Find here more ideas and inspiration for virtual celebrations with your remote team.

  • Enhanced productivity – stay motivated 

Employees who work alone at their own speed in their chosen setting, away from office distractions and stress, are happier and more productive.

The flexibility to roam freely around your house and take breaks whenever you need them also has an impact on productivity. Reduced commute and travel time can also contribute to a boost in motivation. 

  • Improved Work-Life Balance – make time for you and your family

Many employees find it challenging to manage their job and personal lives. When working from home, this balance might be a bit simpler to maintain. You’re in control of your work and personal schedules. This helps you plan out your personal and professional time in a day better.

When you work from home, you will be able to make more time for yourself and your family. There are several opportunities for those who have other priorities besides work. Even if you work from home just as much as you would in an office, you still feel connected to your personal life. 

  • The commute game is over – say no to pollution and expenditure 

Working from home eliminates the need for commuting. No more overloaded public transportation and no inconvenient traffic congestion. You save time and money by skipping the commute to and from work. It can even help reduce raising daily stress levels from commuting.

Remote work allows you to have that extra time in the morning which you can use to sleep more, make time for exercise, eat a nutritious breakfast or spend time with family. 

  • A healthier and happier “you” – choose happiness 

Employees who work from home are more content because working from home decreases stress. It gives employees more leisure time to improve personal connections. 

You’re not in a hurry to dress up and take that long commute to work. You’re no longer that tired person who comes back home and crashes after their boring meal. You now have time to prepare healthier and balanced meals for yourself and also indulge in leisure activities of your choice.

Remote Work Advantages For Employers

  • A greater number of candidates – more applicants to choose from

Allowing remote work benefits everyone involved. It reduces location-related challenges when recruiting. It not only expands your staff to include a diverse spectrum of qualified employees, but it also makes your firm more accessible to everybody.

Disabled persons or pregnant women, for example, will not have to worry about getting to work. Even parents with children who are prone to leaving their jobs to spend more time with family might stay for long-term employment.

  • Savings on equipment – time, effort and money

While this is not always the case, many remote employees pay for their own work-related equipment when working from home. This saves an organization a lot of money. Even in cases where the equipment needs to be billed in the company’s name, remote employees can purchase the equipment and claim returns later by submitting their bills to accounting. This saves the company from going through the trouble of sourcing tools and equipment for everyone in the company.

  • Access to global talent – the world works for you

Hiring remotely enables organizations to select top talent from around the world. Companies can go as per their requirements and select region-specific or global employees.

In any case, there will be a wider pool of candidates than if the role was offered as an in-office position.

  • Greater employee retention – they’ll take you with them wherever they go

How does remote employment reduce attrition rate?

  • Employees will not resign for reasons like relocation. 
  • Employees are more likely to continue working during pregnancy and the early stages of parenting (even if they reduce their hours). 
  • Greater freedom and flexibility is important for millennials and you’ll be more likely to retain them if you offer remote or flexible working arrangements.

Remote work allows you to keep skilled employees on the job for a longer period of time.

  • Lower salaries – more savings

Remote workers profit financially from working from home. They save money on lunches and coffees and don’t have to pay for commuting which means most don’t mind a modest income cut.

Moreover, if you’re hiring from regions where the standard of living is typically lower, you have high chances of recruiting the best talent at half the cost.

  • No more renting an office space – even more savings

One of the most apparent advantages of remote working for businesses is that they spend less or no money on office space. Renting or purchasing office space is costly, but it is not the only expenditure associated with having an in-house office. 

Electricity and water expenses, as well as Wi-Fi prices add up to present themselves as huge monthly bills. All of this disappears with a remote or hybrid work model.

  • All time zones – get work done for you 24X7

Hiring remote teams means tasks and projects can be completed around the clock. You’re no more limited to office hours or the office space where your team sits and works for a set amount of time in the time zone you’re in. To be precise, you now have a global team working in different locations with different time zones. This means your business never stops working!

This is ideal for big companies with huge clientele or customer base that necessitates online availability at all times. Having customer service professionals in important time zones ensures that someone is always available to answer questions and address problems.

Remote Work Disadvantages for Employees

  • At-home distractions – pets, children and doorbells

At home, there are several distractions like screaming children, road noise, ringing doorbells, pets, etc. Employees who continue to work from home must create a separate workstation for themselves to avoid these distractions.

  • It can get lonely – I walk alone 

Remote work can surface emotions of loneliness and isolation, especially for people who live alone. Even if an employee has their own office in a physical office building, they encounter others throughout the day in the hallway, elevator, and parking lot. They also engage with individuals at gas stations, coffee shops, and restaurants on their way to work and during their lunch break. Employees who work from home are excluded from such in-person social interactions. 

  • Not disconnecting from work could affect work-life balance – switch off 

Some employees discover that work is infiltrating their personal lives more and more. It might begin with something as easy as responding to an email after clocking off for the day. One thing will lead to another and before you know it, your eight-hour work day will become ten hours or more, feeling overwhelmed.

This can not only lead to burnout and distort your personal relationships but also lead to setting a bad example for your team or coworkers. Countries like Portugal made it illegal for bosses to contact their employees while they’re off. So, keep this in mind: maintaining a work-life balance should be one of your priorities. Therefore, it’s important for remote workers to disconnect from work.

Going through a burnout? Check these self care tips to learn.

Remote Work Disadvantages For Employers

  • Communication problems – he said she said

Workflow issues can arise as a result of different schedules and time zone discrepancies. Organizations need to be willing to experiment with several communication technologies like Slack, Zoom, Skype, Trello, etc to see which ones work best for their remote teams. It’s good to take input from your remote workers and do your best to accommodate their preferences. 

  • Overworked Employees – overtime without overtime

As discussed above, remote employees can have a hard time disconnecting from work even after their working hours are over. As an employer, if you don’t actively encourage your employees to take off days and vacations, you’re at a risk of working with a burnt out team that delivers sloppy results.

  • Concerns about cybersecurity – someone’s always lurking

Security is always at the top of a company’s priority list. However, it becomes even more important when a company must support remote working arrangements. 

Employees who choose to work from a coffee shop or other site with public Wi-Fi, as well as those who bring personal devices onto a company network could be putting the company’s confidential data at the risk of online hacker attacks. Before even considering remote work, businesses must ensure that they can meet or surpass security standards in order to avoid a cybersecurity disaster.

How To Find Remote Work-from-home Jobs?

You’ve now understood the remote work definition and the pros and cons that a remote work environment comes with, so if you’re convinced that you’re cut out for this life of freedom and flexibility, you’re probably wondering about how to find these remote jobs? There are plenty of reputed websites that are dedicated to posting only remote positions. Here are some of the best:

Full-time remote jobs:

Part-time remote jobs/Freelance remote projects:

The list could go on, but these are some of the best platforms to find a remote job. Keep in mind, these sites offer all kinds of jobs, even when you need them urgently.

You can search for a remote job that matches your skills and qualifications on these websites but before you go ahead, it’s best to understand how work flows in a remote environment. How will you communicate with your colleagues? How will you collaborate on projects? Here are some tools that you need to know about before you hop on the remote job bandwagon.

Tools For Remote Work

Any job requires effective communication. When it comes to remote work, it’s not as simple as strolling over to a coworker’s desk to start a discussion to get things done. 

Let’s get acquainted with some of the tools remote companies use to ensure smooth communication and task management.

1. Trello – Getting Things Done 

Trello is a popular tool among many remote companies. It’s a Kanban-based project management application that’s incredibly versatile and simple to use. 

It also makes it simple for managers to design cards and guide employees through a lean process tailored to their specific needs. 

Trello’s success stems from its visual list generation tool, which allows you to track project progress in a straightforward and visible manner. 

A manager may delegate assignments, track progress, gather and save information, and plan and manage work processes by creating and rearranging task cards.

It’s easy to use for the manager and the remote team members. Its uncomplicated functionality and simple yet efficient design make it an excellent choice for teams who need to cooperate on a variety of challenging projects.

2. Slack – Ping Your Colleagues 

Slack is a simple chat/channel communication solution with a user-friendly design that keeps everyone in a remote team or organization connected. 

It can work with a variety of different programs, including G Suite, Dropbox, Adobe Creative Cloud, and others. You can easily chat with a colleague or your manager on Slack to clarify your doubts or just discuss a task or project. Slack also allows you to create chat channels for specific projects or even just for fun to discuss casual interests like food, pets, etc.

3. Zoom – The Face of a Remote Team, Literally!

Zoom is a video conferencing solution that is extremely light and works well with Google Calendar. The software’s high-quality video calling feature is used by remote teams and organizations across the globe.

It’s apt for remote team meetings. Whether it’s a complex task to discuss or challenges and conflicts to resolve, Zoom helps remote workers connect with their remote colleagues on a regular basis.

4. Dropbox – Pick Your File

Dropbox is a cloud-based file storage service that allows remote workers to save all of their data in one place and share it with their team members.

You can organize and manage information such as documents, images, videos, music, and a variety of other file types. Dropbox makes it easy for remote teams to work on shared documents and resources without asking  for permission all the time.

It works with a variety of devices and can be easily used on any computer or mobile device. 

5. Basecamp – Organize, Delegate, Deliver

Basecamp’s user-friendly design and actionable task items make it quite popular among remote companies. 

Users can easily prioritize and organize their work with specific segregation of task due dates, calendaring, and to-do lists.

Message boards, group chats, and automatic check-ins ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page. 

Team members can indulge in real-time interactions using Basecamp from the comfort of their laptops or mobile devices.

With all of the information on the remote work tools you need to know about, you’re well equipped to begin your work-from-home job life or start a remote company but are you? There’s just one more thing you need to know about before you take off.

What is Remote Work Culture?

The social order inside an organization is referred to as culture. It influences the company’s conduct, attitude, and employees. The company’s cultural standards establish what is acceptable, unacceptable, supported, and discouraged inside the organization. Culture may aid in the achievement of common corporate goals when it is properly matched with personal needs and beliefs. 

The digital culture inside a business that allows employees to stay connected via shared experiences, interests, and priorities is referred to as remote work culture. 

Why Is It Vital to Have a Remote Culture? 

  • Strong remote work culture reduces isolation

Some employees who work remotely face personal problems or struggle with loneliness. A strong and consistent remote work culture may bring people together and offer them a common goal. It also fosters a sense of community and leads to concrete acts such as casual check-ins and more casual talks, which help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.

How can a firm impart the same vision to all Remote employees?

  • Internal webinars that discuss the company’s vision and goals.
  • Distribute internal communication that talks about the initiatives taken by the organization that will positively impact employees.
  • Remote work culture fosters long-term partnerships

Even if a company decides to return to the office and fully embrace onsite work, building  a remote work culture will be of great help. It leads to stronger relationships, more trust, and greater communication. It not only makes it easier for remote employees to interact and collaborate with their coworkers in the office, but it also enables the transition from remote to office work to go more smoothly.

How does an organization build better remote working relationships?

  • Talk beyond work by playing board games or indulging in communication surrounding personal hobbies.
  • Talk openly about diverse cultures and learn from each other.
  • Get to know other employees via donut sessions.
  • Build trust and loyalty in an organization

As a remote employee, one needs to feel secure and valued by their boss and in their job. Building an employee-centric remote work culture that focuses on rewards and recognition and  an empathetic approach to resolving challenges and conflicts can go a long way in creating loyalty towards an organization.

How does a company achieve this?

  • One-on-one chat sessions with employees.
  • Online company events focusing on employee recognition.
  • Casual team meetings.
  • Employee engagement surveys.
  • Set clear expectations.

Discover more remote work challenges here.

Remote Work – A Lot More Than Just A Work Model

Whether you’re a professional looking for a remote job or an entrepreneur who is deciding to break free from the shackles of traditional work, you’re on your way to something bigger for yourself. Remote work isn’t just about how you work or your freedom to choose your schedules. It’s about your overall development and growth in one space that encompasses everything you are and can be: professionally, personally, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Remote work could be your first or maybe the final step to discover who you really are.

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