What Is Remote Work? Everything You Need To Know
There was a time when it was common for all employees to wake up early, rush to eat breakfast, get stuck in traffic, work in an office all day, and get stuck in traffic on the way home. It was uncommon to wake up early, make a pot of coffee, and work remotely.
However, there’s starting to be a shift to remote working. This has especially become more prevalent since the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, employees are still heading into the office, but more people prefer a remote job. Certainly working remotely is still relatively new and a mystery to the majority of people. Workers have a few questions regarding the recent remote working phenomenon and we are here to answer them all for you.
What Is Remote Work?
Remote working allows employees to work outside of the traditional office setting. Instead of commuting to an office, many professionals choose to work from home by setting up a home office. However, they can set up their office anywhere they want, including coffee shops or the library. Indeed, they only need a decent internet connection and a laptop to work remotely. This type of work is also great for world travelers. Their desks can truly be anywhere they desire.
There are various types of remote work. For instance, some workers choose to work entirely at home in their kitchen, bedroom, backyard, or home office. As technology advances, working remotely has become more manageable with the aid of programs such as Slack, Notion, and Zoom helping create a digital workplace. These tools make it easier for co-workers to connect no matter where they are in the world.
Another option for remote work is co-working spaces. These locations are for all types of professionals and freelance workers. They always have great Wi-Fi connections and other work-related facilities that make working remotely so great. Co-working spaces often result in helping with productivity and creativity.
Types of Remote Work
Hybrid work combines the best of both worlds. Hybrid work is a popular and common form of remote work. Hybrid remote employees split their time between the office and working remotely. For instance, they choose their own schedule and workspace. However, they often head into the office for meetings. They likely have a desk in the office as well. In this case, hybrid workers get the flexibility of working from home while still getting the structure of traditional office space.
A fully remote job is quite different from hybrid remote work. For instance, a fully remote company doesn’t work out of a central office building. Indeed, there isn’t an office building at all. That means that no employers or employees have in-person meetings. Instead, it’s more of a virtual team as they meet online through Zoom or video conferencing. Many fully remote companies exist, including Aha!, Github, MeetEdgar, Ghost, Salesforce, and Skillshare.
Freelancer workers are part of the remote workforce. Writers, web designers, graphic designers, copywriters, social media managers, and data analysts are just some of the jobs fully remote workers undertake.
It might be tough to know if remote work is for you or not. Indeed, there are many benefits to remote working as it allows employees to set their hours and choose their workspace. For instance, it enables parents to plan their work day around their kid’s school schedules. It can also allow people to travel the globe, work in different countries, and experience new cultures. It truly allows professionals to find their ideal work-life balance. There are numerous pros to working remotely, but of course, there are a few cons as well. It’s crucial to weigh all the pros and cons of remote work before deciding.
Pros of Working Remotely
Improved Physical and Mental Health
Remote work benefits physical and mental health. According to a Forbes article, workers are less likely to exercise due to long commutes. However, working remotely allows employees to make time for the gym and take better care of their health. Plus, workers are less likely to catch a cold or flu when staying out of the office.
In 2016, the University of Minnesota released a study that found workplace flexibility reduced anxiety, stress, and burnout. Indeed, eliminating the commute relieves a lot of stress. Therefore, employees are less likely to take sick days since they can pay more attention to their health.
No Interruptions or Distractions
Working in an office can be distracting for many employees. Indeed, there are more interruptions in the office than working remotely. In an office, a quick question from a colleague can end up taking hours. Plus, an employee’s momentum might get cut off in an office when the boss calls a meeting.
Working remotely allows the employee to focus intensely on their work. Indeed, it actually increases productivity. There are no more minor interruptions to distract from work. The theory is that sitting in one place all day in the office isn’t necessary. Remote workers can get more work done outside of the office. Plus, workers have more flexibility to work their schedules around virtual meetings.
Many remote workers find a rekindled passion for their jobs. They’re more motivated to accomplish goals and add to their achievements. Remote employees tend to be more relaxed and in a better mindset to tackle tasks. Indeed, flexibility and lack of distractions manage to motivate workers, increase productivity, and lead to greater job satisfaction.
Dealing with a Family Emergency
One of the key benefits of remote working is finding more balance in life. For instance, it’s much easier for a remote worker to deal with a family illness or emergency. In most office jobs, employees take sick leave or miss days of work in those situations. They often feel obligated to go into the office while dealing with stressful situations. Working remotely alleviates those stresses associated with an office job. All they need is a laptop and internet to work from anywhere. Therefore, remote workers are more likely to stay at the same job for an extended period.
Working remotely has a lot of benefits for everyone. However, it’s a great benefit to women that have family priorities but still want to advance their careers. Taking time off can hurt careers in some situations. However, working remotely allows women to return to work sooner while giving undivided attention to their personal lives.
A remote work myth is that it’s challenging to communicate with colleagues and the boss. That might have been true at a point in history. However, a digital workforce makes it possible to communicate, share work, and still have those random conversations. As noted, online tools such as Slack and Zoom make it much easier to communicate and have meetings from anywhere in the world. Indeed, working remotely will actually improve communication skills.
Cons of Working Remotely
Not for Everyone
To be fair, working remotely does have a few challenges and might not be for everyone. For instance, it’s up to the remote employee to avoid distractions and finish their work. Nobody is checking in and making sure a remote worker meets their deadlines. Indeed, it’s up to them to set a schedule that works best and keeps them motivated. An employee that’s not good at self-starting and needs a push to get their work done might struggle with remote work.
The Time Zones
It’s common for a remote company to employ workers from across the globe. However, the remote team might have difficulty connecting due to different time zones. For instance, one person could be at the end of their day while the other is just about to start. If they need to communicate, they must determine a time that works best for both parties.
Isolation and Loneliness
One of the most significant drawbacks of working remotely is the feeling of isolation and loneliness. The isolation can be challenging to deal with, especially for those who love socializing. There are no co-workers to interact with on a break or during the day. Indeed, they’re missing out on the hot gossip at the water cooler. Of course, working at the library, in coffee shops, or even in a park can ease those intense feelings of isolation and loneliness, but it’s still not the same as working in an office.
Employees aren’t the only ones that benefit from remote work. Indeed, there are many benefits for any employer that allows remote working.
Higher Rate of Productivity
Remote employees tend to have a higher rate of productivity than someone stuck in the office all day. Indeed, a remote worker is more likely to work harder and go above and beyond. The remote employee is more motivated to reach goals and meet deadlines. There was a time when the boss demanded each employee be in the office. However, that’s changed dramatically in the last few years. A study notes that 65% of full-time employees feel their productivity would increase with remote work.
One of the keys to remote working is employee engagement. It’s essential to keep employees happy and relaxed. Undoubtedly, happy workers often mean a rise in productivity. According to one study, 77% of remote workers report increased productivity. Additionally, 52% stated they’d be less likely to take time off if working remotely. The fewer distractions and happy mood equal a motivated remote worker.
A remote workforce is a great cost-saving measure for an employer. Even if the entire team isn’t remote, the employer saves thousands. Fully remote companies save money because they don’t need office furniture, computers, or supplies. Indeed, they don’t even spend money on rent for office space.
Employers that offer remote work can hire a wide range of individuals. For instance, they can offer jobs to people with disabilities, workers in other parts of the world, and parents with little children. They often have diverse staff members.
Remote Work Opportunity
Several employers offer the opportunity to work remotely. Working from home might be appealing, but weighing the pros and cons is essential. Of course, the best way to start is to have a conversation with the manager to find out about the remote work arrangement.
Types of Job
Many jobs fall under the remote work umbrella. However, in-person jobs aren’t ideal for remote workers, such as doctors, construction workers, or postal workers. Those jobs require the employee to be on site. Indeed, the best remote jobs are the ones that need the internet and a computer. Companies can adjust specific jobs for working remotely. For instance, jobs that require in-person interviews can now happen over Zoom and video conferencing.
However, specific jobs lend themselves to remote working. According to Flexjobs, these are the five best jobs for remote work.
Most teachers had to conduct classes online during the pandemic and give out assignments virtually. It might have been a challenge initially, but many teachers and tutors eventually discovered the benefits of remote working. Indeed, it was a benefit for both the students and teachers. Teachers can now connect with students online and through Zoom. Of course, teachers would probably need to have in-person sessions from time to time, but remote work is now a way of life for many teachers.
An engineer would likely be a hybrid remote worker. There’s a certain level of method, analysis, and design suitable for remote working. However, there’s also a practical aspect of engineering that might require in-person work in the office.
A consultant offers advice and guidance to professionals in a specific line of work. Therefore, a consultant can do their job anywhere, including their home, a coffee shop, or the library. Plus, connecting with clients through Zoom and video conferencing is much easier now.
Technology has made it easier for an accountant to work remotely. Of course, there are varying levels of accountants. Indeed, some accountants might need to work in the office or connect with clients in person. However, a large portion of an accountant’s job lends itself to remote working. They’re more likely to be a hybrid remote worker.
The term “writer” covers a wide range of jobs within the industry. For instance, some write screenplays, news articles, novels, and more. Regardless, a writer can really do their job wherever they desire, such as at home, in coffee shops, the library, or anywhere in the world with an internet connection. It depends on where the writer feels most productive, motivated, inspired, and creative.
Remote Work Myths
Remote Workers Don’t Work
One of the most common myths about remote employees is they don’t work. Most people assume they roll out of bed and spend the day in their pajamas watching cartoons. Of course, that’s simply not true. Indeed, some remote employees treat it like a typical work day and prepare to leave for the office. They wake up early, spend hours getting dressed, and head out to work at a coffee shop or their home office.
On the other hand, they might wake up early to start their morning at the gym, go for a run, or walk. That allows the employees to dedicate the rest of the day to work. Either way, the remote employees are working hard and getting their work done.
Always On The Clock
Another common myth associated with remote workers is they’re always working 24/7. Of course, employees working 24/7 defeats the purpose of remote working. Reduced stress to avoid burnout is one of the key benefits of remote work. The employer doesn’t want an overworked staff either. Indeed, a remote work agreement between the boss and employees is crucial. It’ll set the standards for availability and work hours.
For job seekers, there are numerous options for working remotely. Many remote work boards offer several job listings. Indeed, virtual teams are always looking to add the right people. Of course, job seekers need to have a strong resume and portfolio when applying.
5 Best Remote Job Boards
Remote job boards are one of the best ways to search for remote work and connect with employers. Many different remote job boards are eager to help.
Flexjobs is a trustworthy remote board that vets all their job postings. Flexjobs has an enormous range with roughly 50 categories of remote jobs. Indeed, they have several options for various professionals, including entry-level, part-time, freelance, and executive. Flexjobs is an excellent place to start for those looking to work remotely.
Powertofly is a website dedicated to helping women find remote jobs. It specializes in finding tech jobs for women to work remotely. The site’s database will connect women to a suitable job for a trial period.
3. Just Remote
Searching for the right job can be challenging at times. Just Remote is an excellent site for remote jobs. It’s easy to use with a simple layout. Indeed, they’ll connect you to a remote job in a short amount of time.
4. We Work Remotely
We Work Remotely is another excellent site for finding remote jobs. The site offers jobs in programming, customer service, and web design.
Some remote job boards can be confusing to use. However, Remote.com is a straightforward website for finding the most suitable remote jobs. They have a wide range of opportunities, from writers and managers to recruiters and web designers.
Choosing Remote Work
Choosing to work in an office or work remotely might seem like a simple decision. Of course, remote work is actually a significant lifestyle change. It might not be for everyone, especially if they don’t work well alone. However, there’s a lot to consider for those who want to work remotely. It turns out that having an elaborate workspace with top-of-the-line laptops, desks, chairs, and cameras isn’t that important.
Indeed, it’s more about having flexible schedules, comfortable workspaces, and happy moods. That combination decreases stress and anxiety while increasing productivity and creativity. It’s about being able to adjust to a new lifestyle and work routine. Working remotely is ideal for workers looking for flexibility, freedom, and motivation.
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