Today’s workforce is a blended one; remote work, or telecommuting, is the new normal. According to a Gallup survey, 43% of employees regularly work remotely and that number continues to grow. Working from home—and all its perks—is no longer a novelty reserved for stay-at-home moms or remote workers in extremely specialized fields. In fact, remote work has become so commonplace that it’s now standard on job postings across industries and job roles . Working from home can be challenging and may not be for everyone—but the numbers show that more and more people are taking advantage of the opportunity. Here’s everything you need to know about remote work, whether it’s right for you, how to get hired as a remote worker and what challenges you might face along the way.
What is remote work?
Remote work is an employment model that lets employees work outside the office—whether they’re sitting at home on a computer, looking over project materials in a coffee shop or working from a co-working space. Remote work is not necessarily working from home: It’s more about the freedom and flexibility to go to whatever location works best for you. Remote workers typically set up shop in coworking spaces, coffee shops or from home offices.
Why work remotely?
Working remotely has a load of benefits for both employers and employees. For employers, it can increase productivity, improve retention and help with recruiting. For employees, it offers the chance to avoid the daily distractions of working in an office, the ability to work in your pajamas, increased flexibility, the option to work from wherever you want and the chance to live in more remote or exotic locations.
How to get a remote job
If you want to get a remote job, you’ll need to be proactive. The good news is you can use all the same tactics you would for in-office work. Remote work is on the rise, and it’s become a staple in hiring. So, you can use your network to get plugged into the right opportunities. Online job boards like Indeed and Remote.co let you easily filter and search for remote positions. You can also check out websites like Remote.co, We Work Remotely and FlexJobs to find opportunities directly. If you already have a job, you can talk with your manager about transitioning to remote or let your employer know that you’re looking for a remote-friendly opportunity. If you have experience as an entrepreneur, you can also consider starting your own business and setting up your operations remotely.
The challenges of working remotely
There are a few challenges to working remotely, but on the whole it’s a flexible and rewarding lifestyle. For some people, though, it may not be the best fit. You may miss out on office camaraderie and in-person collaboration. You may also have a harder time building a relationship with your boss and establishing trust. Remote workers do have a few things they can do to combat these issues. First, you can use technology to stay in touch with your colleagues. It’s also important to remain engaged with your team and boss. Find ways to stay involved in office conversations, and make your presence known.
Remote work is the new normal. Although it’s sometimes associated with startups and tech companies, you can find remote jobs in virtually any field across industries. To get a remote job, you’ll need to be proactive. You can use the same tactics you would for in-office work, and you can use technology to stay connected with your team. The challenges are few, but for some people remote work might not be the best fit.