What is remote work?: It might be called “telecommuting” and “work from home”, but “remote” is any work that does not require you to travel to an office.
This is the premise: you can communicate with your team, complete projects, and even manage them all remotely without ever being in the same place or city. This means that you do not need to go into an office or a darkened cubicle every day. You can work remotely as long as your internet connection is available. Access to good internet is crucial.
This brings us to the ” any job” section of the definition. Remote workers can be fully remote, which means they work remotely from home or a coworking space. Some companies allow remote workers to work, for example, for a few days per week. Some freelancers work remotely, as they own their businesses. Remote work is something that all of these people can do.
What makes remote work different from work from home, or work “flexible hours”, and how can it be distinguished?
REMOTE WORK Vs WORK FROM HOME
Remote work means working remotely from anywhere. Working from home is the same.
Remote work is the umbrella term. Many of us work remotely at our company. However, others prefer to be in a coworking space for part of the day. Some people choose to work in a cafe at the end of the day. Some work remotely, such as Caro Griffin, our Director of Operations. She gave up her apartment last January to take a flight abroad, and Remote Year allowed her to do so.
Is work from home right? While some people can work from home (as far as I am concerned), others prefer to travel and do their jobs in the comfort of their own homes. It is worth taking a look at remote job boards before you dive into them. You do not have to give up remote work completely. You can still look for coworking spaces that pay stipends. Skillcrush does!
FLEX JOBS VS REMOTE WORK
The bottom line: Remote work involves location, flexible jobs, or “flexible hours”. You can set your schedule. Not all remote jobs are flex jobs.
Flexible hours are also a part of our remote team. Given our multiple time zones, this is quite normal. Skillcrush has a team that decides when they meet based on the hours they overlap. For example, if our graphic designer from Romania meets us via video chat at 8:30 am my time it will be 11 hours later for her.
Flex hours do not necessarily mean “remote work”. Flex can sometimes mean changing work hours or sharing a job with someone part-time. It is important to be aware of all options. Here is a list of five possible flex schedules.
The main difference is that a flex role allows you to choose when and how often you work. This allows you to prioritize other aspects of your life, such as parenthood. Remote jobs allow you freedom over where you work. Many companies and roles combine both to create a sustainable culture.
REMOTE WORK Vs. TELECOMMUTING
They are pretty much the same thing in 2019, but hip companies often say “remote” instead of “telecommute”.
Telecommuting is another term that is a little outdated. You will see it most often when you read old business websites. Telecommuter: Someone who works from home and is usually located in the same area as the company. If necessary, she can go to the office to attend a team meeting. Remote work means that you do not need to be present in the office. This could mean you can live in Bangkok while talking to your boss from Berlin.
However, companies are becoming less able to distinguish the terms. Therefore, it is a good idea to search for telecommuting job listings if you are looking for remote work. Let us just use “remote work” for this article.
Is it possible to work remotely?
Absolutely. Flexible hours and a fully remote team mean that everyone can work when they want. Research shows:77% of remote workers report higher productivity (opens in new tab). This is partly because they have fewer distractions (opens in new tab). Think about all the times someone “drops by” when you are trying to work.
Companies are seeing positive changes as a result of the exponential rise in remote workers in recent years.
Remote companies could be a great option for top talent, as millennials are more open to remote work.
Remote work is something we believe in, which is why we are a completely remote company. Let us now look at some remote work pros and cons.
Remote Work: Advantages and Disadvantages
Let us now talk about remote work.
PRO: You are more likely to stay longer-term
Remote work has many advantages. You can handle all aspects of life, even those that could have put your job at risk.
Skillcrush was my first job. I was a caregiver for a parent who was seriously ill and had to be away from work for weeks. This forced flexibility was stressful despite the support of my boss and team. I had to ping-ponge back and forth between different cities every time I felt out of touch. My company was not so understanding that I would have had to take unpaid time off for all the extra days.
Remote work is possible, however. Remote work is possible with a laptop. You can work at home, on the move, or even in a hospital. It is work that considers the unexpected.
Remote jobs can also be a great option if your partner is on maternity leave or you want to work in another city. You do not have the job you love, but you can still do the job you love for the future child. You are warm and fuzzy, right?
PRO: MORE TIME FOR DEEP-WORK
Do you remember the study (opens in new tab) which proved that work interruptions can cost you up to six hours per day?
Those notorious “Hey, quick question…”s add up. Skillcrush tends to stack meetings in the morning. This means that late afternoon is primed and ready for deep work. (I am writing this huge article in unassisted bliss right now).
You can focus more when working from home or in a coworking space without knowing the people around you. Remote work has another benefit: it is based on the belief that you will get your work done and not that you have to sit in one place for 40 hours per week.
This means that you will be more focused on quality than quantity. This is good news for all, including the company.
PRO: LEARN IMPRESSIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Although it is possible to argue that communication is more difficult when working remotely, I disagree. Communication is essential when working remotely. You will quickly notice when your communication is not working and be forced to correct it. This is communication on steroids.
It means that you will dramatically improve all aspects of your communication, from how you present ideas to how to express frustrations about coworkers. These are all good things.
PRO: You will feel healthier
A 2016 University of Minnesota study (opens in new tab) found that flexibility at work reduced stress levels and decreased the chance of burnout. This is good for your mental health. Working from home also means that you are less likely to catch the flu this season.
Another benefit of remote work is the impact it has on your health. Forbes claims(opens in new tab) while those who commute to work reported being less likely to exercise or eat well, remote workers are not subject to these barriers. It is almost like a treat to go to the gym after a long day at work. Almost.
PRO: IT IS A ONE (HUGE!) STEP TOWARD ENDING GENDER WAGE & LEADERSHIP GAPS
Skillcrush CEO Adda Birnir decided from the beginning to create a remote company because it allowed women to have the flexibility they needed to pursue their personal goals and succeed in their careers.
Numerous studies have shown that the gender wage gap is actually a motherhood gap (opens in new tab). This gap affects the number of women who become leaders in their organizations. In a country with weak parental leave standards, time off is a sure way to fall behind.
Intersectional feminists see a clear advantage to remote work. Remote work allows you to work in a great city and find the right job. Remote work opens up more possibilities for all, but it is especially good news for those with scheduling issues, poor backgrounds, or locations that might have been previously excluded.
CON: YOU ARE RAKING THE RISK OF FEELING ISOLATED
Remote work has its disadvantages. You might not like the idea of working in an office environment.
Many companies offer coworking spaces stipends and other programs to help you get out of the monotony of your home office. There are also always coffee shops nearby! A remote company is a complex one that involves many video calls and messages throughout the day. You may find it less lonely than you thought.
We do not mince words, remote work requires self-motivation. You do not have to be a perfectionist or check in on your performance. All that matters is getting the work done. Remote work may not be for you if you struggle to self-motivate. It might also teach you how to take control of your work, which is ultimately a good thing.
Liza, our graphic design assistant, signs off at 9:30 am, my time, to avoid making a fuss about her. This means that if I realize I need something from Lizu that I have not assigned, it does not be available until the next day. Remote work is about creating processes that prevent such moments from happening or at least make them rarer. Scrum helps us to plan properly so everyone is aware of what is coming.
Remote work is right for me?
That is the big question. You might be unsure if remote work is right.
Although I am tempted to argue that remote work is available for all, it is not possible. The key is to find the right one, which leads me to the next point.
Is Tech Right For You? Take our 3-Minute Quiz to Find Out!
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN: What career options are right for you? What tech careers match your strengths? What skills do you need to achieve your goals?
Locating a Remote Job: Nearly Everything You Need To Know. It is a must-read if you are interested in remote work. If you are just browsing, here are the key takeaways. Remote work-specific job boards (see our listing below)
Save the careers pages of remote companies to your bookmarks (see below for some of my favorites).
Look on LinkedIn for the remote job(opens in new tab)
You should have a strong resume and portfolio. Customize your cover letters to show that you are a problem-solver and independent worker.
For those inevitable video interviews, practice your remote presentation skills
Many job boards specifically target remote work. This is the beauty of the digital age. You can search for flexible jobs at companies that offer work from home, telecommuting, or remote employment. These are some of our favorite jobs.
THE 5 BEST JOB BOARDS FOR REMOTE JOBS
1. FLEXJOBS(OPENS IN A NEW TAB)
FlexJobs offers over 50 categories of remote jobs. These include freelance gigs and part-time work as well as full-time positions. Remote careers can range from executive to entry-level. What is the best part? FlexJobs screens all job postings before you post. This means that only the most reputable opportunities are available. There are currently more than 20,000 job openings for digital nomads and work-at-home jobs on FlexJobs.
2. WE WORK REMOTELY(OPENS IN A NEW TAB)
This job board has a simple layout and is great for anyone looking for remote work-at-home opportunities. It includes everything from web design to customer service to programming. The We Work Remotely website connects more than 130,000 monthly users to telecommuting opportunities, fulfilling their stated goal of “finding the most qualified people in most unexpected places”. This site is your key to remote employment.
3. REMOTE.CO(OPENS IN A NEW TAB)
Remote.co curates their list of remote jobs. These listings include remote jobs such as customer service, design jobs, job opportunities, HR and recruiter roles, developers jobs, sales jobs, and other remote work (including writing, marketing, and management). Remote. co also allows you to search and browse for specific job types.
4. POWERTOFLY(OPENS IN A NEW TAB)
PowerToFly is the ultimate destination for women who are interested in remote work. PowerToFly is a site that matches women who are interested in remote or work-from-home tech jobs. After you sign up, the site will go through a screening process to match you with potential employers for a paid trial (2-4 weeks). Two tech-savvy moms founded the site to help other women become digital nomads. PowerToFly continues this mission today.
5. JUSTREMOTE.CO (OPENS IN A NEW TAB)
This board was legit. I received three solid interviews for the positions that I applied for. It is targeted specifically at web developers, marketers, and designers.
These are only a few of the 25+ top remote job boards we have compiled in another article. Did I tell you that remote work was the future?
TOP REMOTE COMPANIES
These are our top picks for fully remote companiesSkillcrush
10up (opens in new tab) Career page (opens in new tab)
Aha! (opens in new tab) Career page(opens a new tab)
Buffer (opens in new tab) Career page (opens in new tab)
Close.io (opens in a new tab) Career page(opens at a new Tab)
Ghost (opens in new tab)
GitHub (opens in new tab) Career page (opens in new tab)
InVision (opens in new tab) Career page(opens a new tab)
Knack (opens in new tab) Career page(opens a new tab)
MeetEdgar (opens in new tab) Career page (opens in new tab)
MoveOn (opens in new tab) Career page (opens in new tab)
Moz (opens in new tab) Career page (opens in new tab)
Salesforce (opens in new tab) Career page (opens in new tab)
Skillshare (opens in new tab) Career page(opens a new tab)
Stripe (opens in new tab)
Toptal (opens in new tab) Career page (opens in new tab)
Zapier(opens in a new tab) (career page(opens in a new tab))
Buffer also offers a huge list of remote companies.
Even if you have a remote job, it may mean that you need more skills
Many remote jobs can be found in tech and truth-telling. This makes sense. You should be able to believe that technology can accomplish anything, even help teams work from anywhere. You might be interested in a flexible career and gaining tech skills.
Take a look at the programs that cover topics such as WordPress and User Experience, or register for our 10-day Bootcamp and learn HTML & CSS basics. You never know what you might become. You might be a web designer, receiving emails from Brazil by next year.