It’s no big secret that due to the pandemic, the number of remote jobs skyrocketed. According to data collected by researchers, there’s been an increase of 40% in the number of U.S employers who offered flexible remote work in the last five years, and as many as 43% of employees work some of the time remotely. Interestingly, small companies are twice as likely to seek out full-time remote workers. The reason is most likely due to the cost-saving benefits.
Remote workers allow employers to save on average around $11,000 per year for each remote employee due to reduced office costs, reduced turnover rates, reduced absenteeism, and increased productivity.
There are more open positions for part-time and full-time remote work than ever before, but finding the right job can be challenging. Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits you can gain working from home, tips for finding remote work, and explore the different types of positions available.
Benefits of working from home
Is remote work a good fit for you? When asked in a recent survey, 97.6% of respondents said they would like to work remotely, making it seem that the vast majority of people would like to work from home. But is it for everyone? More importantly, is it for you?
Increased productivity: Sometimes, trying to knuckle down and focus at work can be tricky as even the tiniest interruption can kill your productivity. Studies have shown that the average employee is interrupted 4-12 times every hour and can lose up to 6 hours of productivity each day.
If that doesn’t sound so bad, the best-case scenario is one interruption every 15 minutes. The worst-case? One interruption every 5 minutes. Whenever a co-worker stops by for a quick chat, your phone pings with a notification, an email announces its arrival in your inbox, or another meeting reminder pops up, you end up losing your concentration.
It can take up to 20 minutes after an interruption to get back to work. It’s no wonder that sometimes you feel like you haven’t been productive at all.
Work according to your schedule: Many people enjoy the freedom and flexible schedule remote work allows. Some like to work out, while others may want to run some errands or relax on the couch. If your work schedule allows for it, you can even take off chunks of time throughout the day. As long as you complete time-sensitive tasks when needed, your time is pretty much your own to do with as you see fit.
If you have a family, this can be a huge help, especially if you need to drop the kids at school, pick them up again, or take your child to the doctor suddenly. Instead of requesting a few hours off from your boss, you can change your schedule to fit your day instead of the other way round.
Gain new skills: If you’ve ever wanted to learn a new skill, when you work remotely you have much free time and flexibility to study. Coding is great remote work, and it’s seen a huge boom since the pandemic. If you don’t know how to code, but want to get your foot into the door then you can learn in an online bootcamp. Before embarking on any learning journey, always do your research. In this case, it would be a good idea to take the time to learn about the pros and cons through coding bootcamp reviews.
You can apply this mentality to nearly any profession. Want to become a copywriter? Take an online writing class and start building your portfolio. If you enjoy working with numbers why not take a data scientist course?
You can work from anywhere: One of the biggest benefits to remote work is working from anywhere (as long as there’s a stable internet connection and you’re following pandemic rules). There’s nothing to stop you from working in bed for a few hours before relocating to the garden to catch some sun and reply to those important emails. If you’re able to travel to different countries, you can travel and work simultaneously – the possibilities are near-endless.
No more commuting: The average commute time in the U.S. is 26.6 minutes, or nearly one hour every day. If you’re commuting in a busy city or taking public transportation, that number suddenly jumps to 60 minutes each way. Saving yourself 1-2 hours a day may not seem like much, but it adds up over the course of a year, and that’s not including the financial benefits. For many Americans, not having to commute can save them as much as $4,000 each year, whether that’s travel fare or money for gas. Not to mention the reduced stress from sitting in traffic jams early in the morning and late in the evening.
Tips for finding remote work
How do you find the perfect remote job?
There are lots of online job boards like indeed.com, flexjobs.com, and zippia.com, which focus on remote-only jobs or allow you to filter them. Be sure to read the job description and check whether it’s fully remote or partially remote. You don’t want to waste your time applying for a job that’s not a good fit for you.
Before starting your search, write down your goals
Ask yourself why you want to work remotely in the first place and check that it aligns with the job you’re applying to:
- Can you work according to your schedule?
- Is it a permanent or part-time position?
- Will you be required to travel to the office for specific meetings?
Do you have the skills and/or experience?
Job adverts usually come with a list of required skills and experience. If you don’t meet them exactly, that’s not a problem, and you should apply anyway and explain why you think you’re a good fit for the position.
Prepare for your remote interview
Interviewing remotely can be challenging, so it’s best to prepare beforehand:
- Create a distraction-free environment. No kids, pets, or anything that makes a noise like a T.V. or someone cooking
- Clean up the space around you and use a professional or regular backdrop
- Make sure there’s plenty of light, so you’re visible, but don’t sit in front of a window or create a glare on the screen
- Test all of your equipment before the interview. Does your microphone, camera, internet, and anything else you need work?
What remote positions are there?
It’s not just hi-tech companies that are focusing on providing remote work opportunities. You don’t need to be a tech-wizard to work from home. There are plenty of industries and jobs out there looking to recruit remote workers.
Information Technology (I.T.)
I.T.-related jobs are needed now more than ever, and you don’t need to work in an office to do it either. From systems administrator to cloud server specialist, these jobs can be done from nearly anywhere. There are lots of freelance and full-time employment opportunities in this industry. It’s expected to grow 12% over the next ten years as companies shift more and more towards a remote environment.
The number of companies looking for programmers is at an all-time high, and it’s one of the fastest-growing industries that also has one of the highest average salaries too. If you already know how to code, you’re in a solid position to look for a remote job.
During turbulent times (such as a pandemic) it may be the right time to choose a new career path. Many jobs, such as frontline workers in retail found themselves out of work and struggling to get by. Choosing a new career based on one that allows you the freedom to work remotely can ensure you don’t suffer the same fate. Learning to code, for example, is just one way you can switch up your career. There are plenty of online resources to help you research what to look for in a coding bootcamp and other online learning environments.
Everyone can write, but not everyone can write well. In the same way, everyone can drive, but how would you perform on a racing circuit? Good writers are in high demand, especially as businesses are shifting towards the online sphere. They need content for their website, blog posts, product descriptions, emails, and plenty more things too. If you’re a writer or have thought about becoming one, there are many open writing positions. Unlike other jobs, you only need a standard laptop to be able to do it.
Sales representatives help sell products and services by making connections, understanding what customers want, and communicating it. Face-to-face meetings are rare due to the pandemic, as people opt to use video calls over the internet instead. Unlike other jobs, which may require technical training and experience, it can be easier to find a sales job as many companies prioritize hiring candidates who can talk to people. The salary range for sales positions can vary greatly. If the job includes commissions on successful sales, you can work anywhere while making money.
Educational institutions found themselves in a challenging position when the pandemic first hit. Elementary schools, high schools, and universities had to shift from class-room learning to remote learning rapidly. If you’re a qualified teacher, you’re not restricted to teaching at schools located nearby. You may not even need a degree! Options like outschool mean you can teach just about anything to anyone, sometimes even without a licensed degree. Remote learning allows you to teach from wherever you are, even in a different country. There are also many students looking for online tutors in all kinds of subjects if you’re a freelancer.
You may be surprised to know that the health industry employs the largest number of people remotely in all kinds of positions, from insurance to logistics. A side effect of the pandemic is that people can’t travel to see their doctor anymore. It’s led to a vast increase in the need for call and video-based service to patients by doctors and nurses. The healthcare industry is never going to go away, and with a worldwide pandemic, people are looking at remote healthcare to stay safe.
Project managers are the movers and shakers behind the scenes. It requires constant attention to detail and excellent task management skills. With all the video calling and messaging options available today, there’s no reason project managers need to be in an office. Many companies have no problem hiring people that work remotely.
Running a customer service center isn’t easy, especially when you have a large team and your customers expect friendly and knowledgeable staff. Hiring remote workers has allowed customer service teams to expand their pool of employees as they’re no longer restricted to people who live near enough to commute. As long as you have a quiet, well-organized space to work and a friendly nature you can find remote-based customer service jobs.