Computer screens have collapsed the distance between work and home, and many Americans seem to prefer it that way. Whether you have a completely remote job or a flexible work arrangement that splits your time between the home-office and the office-office, the ability to work from home gives you more power over your schedule. And while it can be difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance when your dining room table is covered in work documents, working from home allows you to find a position that suits your individual skills, regardless of geography.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes remote work so great.
What is a remote job?
A remote job, work-from-home job, or telecommuting job allows you to perform work duties without physically travelling to a work site such as an office. These could be full-time jobs or part-time positions. Office workers all over the United States have likely worked with a remote team member or operated remotely themselves.
As a remote employee, you’ll stay in close contact with your team via online tools such as email and videoconferencing software like Zoom, which will teach you more than you ever wanted to know about the importance of muting your microphone. Oh, and it will probably turn your nosy pet into the beloved star of your workplace.
Remote-work arrangements come in a few different flavors. A fully remote job won’t require in-person work at all, except in extenuating circumstances, like, say, an in-person investor’s meeting. Flexible or hybrid work happens partly at a work site, partly at home. You might work at home for two days and at the office for three days. Finally, freelance positions often allow for remote work, but keep in mind that freelance work makes you a contractor, not a regular employee. You’ll be working for yourself, choosing projects to take on for various clients.
The benefits of work-from-home jobs
The future of work will undoubtedly involve some level of telecommuting. Employees have come to expect flexible work options, and many employers have tried to accommodate requests for remote or hybrid work to keep up in today’s highly competitive labor market. After all, a successful remote work model has only a few simple requirements: reliable internet access, fluency with communication technology, and a little trust between employer and employee.
Job seekers and hiring managers alike have made the switch to remote work for a variety of reasons, including:
Working a remote job doesn’t exactly mean that you can set your own schedule every day, but it does give you more control of your time than a typical office job. Many remote jobs focus less on chaining you to your desk from 9 to 5 and more on your actual productivity: the real work you get done. That’s not to say that these positions do not have mandatory work schedules. You need to be available during work hours to support your remote teams. Talk to your hiring manager about their expectations for remote an employee’s regular schedule. Still, cutting out your commute and completing projects on your own time can give you much more power over your day-to-day life.
No cacophony of car horns blaring through bumper-to-bumper traffic. No crowd crushing into the train car. No terrible feeling in the pit of your stomach when you pull into the parking lot and realize, “Oh, dear, I’ve left the stove on at home.” When you work from home, your morning is comparatively breezy. With a little less chaos to deal with, you can focus on your work goals. Perhaps remote work trends will even cut down on performance issues as the distractions of office sites fall away. And for all you drivers out there, just think of the cost savings on gas!
More professional opportunities
Remote work opportunities remove geography from the equation and expand your job search. No longer will you have to settle for a less-than-ideal job just because it’s in the same state. Remote workers can compete for better positions and higher salaries without having to move to a major city. Physical location is not such an important factor for remote companies; you might live long-distance, but in an online community, you’re as close to your team members as the next block over on the Zoom call.
Before the internet era, companies only had to compete in their local areas to find the top employees. Today, they are competing with the world. Everyone from the entry-level employee to the department head can perform their duties from the comfort of home. Workers who know how to market themselves can find remote positions in New York, Los Angeles, London, Chicago, and Sydney. If your offer isn’t compelling, no problem: there are millions of other company cultures where you could be a great fit.