Want to work from home. Every. Single. Day?
Working remotely can be a great way to create the perfect work-life balance, whether you’re trying to skip the commute, avoid office-based distractions, improve your family life, or anything else. And whilst the ability to work from home is becoming more available, companies that want their employees to work remotely all the time are harder to find.
To make sure you’re first in line, here’s how to find remote work – and actually get it:
Figure out if it’s right for you
Remote working can be great.
Not only does it allow you to skip that potentially long (not to mention expensive) commute, you can also save money on everything from food to afterwork drinks.
Other benefits include the ability to work flexibly, from anywhere, with more time to spend with your family and on your hobbies. Plus, zero distractions.
But, regardless of its perks – that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone.
So before you jump at the idea of working from your bed, take some time to figure out if it’s actually the right thing for you, your career, and your lifestyle. Try asking yourself the following questions:
- Are you self-motivated enough to manage your time with little guidance?
- Will you get lonely and/or miss those impromptu ‘water cooler moments’?
- Will you be able to divide home and work life effectively, to avoid under/over working?
- Will you feel left out of social activities (AKA FOMO)?
- Will you be able to communicate effectively via email, phone, and video calls?
Lastly, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Recruiters can tell the difference between someone whose motivations are in the right place, and people who just want to stay in their pyjamas all day.
Don’t be a ghost (and/or a dinosaur)
Translation: keep your online presence active, and make sure you’re tech savvy enough to have (and use) the tools needed to work remotely.
Because remote workers have limited face-to-face interaction with their employers, it’s vital for them to make their presence known online – whether it’s through social media, blog posts, or a personal website.
These are also great places to build a professional network, which is often your best friend when it comes to landing remote work.
The same goes for your technical ability. OK, so you don’t need to be an expert in every piece of software known to man, but having the tools to work from home is absolutely vital.
So, check you have a good internet connection, webcam, headphones, and a professional email address before you apply for remote jobs.
After all, a CV sent by email@example.com complete with cartoon avatar, followed by a lagging video interview with poor sound is unlikely to turn any heads…at least not for the right reasons.
Demonstrate the right skills
You’ll need to have a specific set of skills to stand out to recruiters looking for remote workers.
In addition to being proficient in the tools used to bridge the communication gap (e.g. Slack, Salesforce, Trello, Google Hangouts etc.), you’ll also need to demonstrate soft skills that’ll help you work remotely.
Trustworthiness, autonomy, and a love of what you do usually comes first.
After all, remote work requires a lot of self-motivation – and if you aren’t passionate about your role, you won’t be motivated to do it without anyone around to push you. In other words, distractions will take over.
You should also make sure your CV and cover letter demonstrates:
- Great communication. Because remote work is primarily based on written communication, it’s extra important to show it in your CV. So be sure to give practical examples, not to mention (double) check your grammar and spelling.
- Examples of your work. If you have a portfolio of work, or you’ve worked on projects on a freelance basis or outside of work, shout about them. Anything that required you to work autonomously is always likely to be valuable to recruiters.
- How you can actually deliver. Many remote employers will prioritise deliverables over merely sticking to a set schedule of working hours. So, mentioning any hard numbers related to your job (e.g. increased revenue by X%) is likely to make you stand out.
Be open to opportunities
When it comes to remote work, versatility is key. And the same rule applies for finding it.
Not only are there are a variety of places to find it (e.g. remote work sites, or job boards), there are also a number of ways into it.
The first step you should take is asking if your current employer allows remote work. Whilst your options will depend on your role and company, you might find that there’s more versatility than you think.
If remote work isn’t a choice, you could also consider asking for flexible working hours; whether this means working to your own schedule, from home or a different location a few days a week, or part-time.
This is a great way to see if remote working would work for you, and it’ll allow you to prove to future employers that you’d be productive in this kind of environment. Starting out as a freelancer could also be beneficial.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to do your research into which companies hire remote workers, or place an emphasis on flexible working hours as part of their culture.
That way, you can ensure you find the right fit for you.