#FireDrillFridays: I Want to Work Remotely
Working from home must be amazing! How can I find a job that lets me work from home?
Remote Rita (not her real name)
Would you believe I've been working remotely for four years?
It's been an amazing personal and professional journey, and, although you didn't ask for this, here are some interesting insights about the world of remote work:
1. 90% of remote workers plan on working remotely for the rest of their careers, and 94% encourage others to give remote jobs a shot. (Source: Buffer)
2. The State of the Remote Job Marketplace report from FlexJobs says there are now 3.9 million Americans or 2.9% of the total US workforce who work from home at least half the time. (Source: FlexJobs)
3. Eliminating commute times can save full-time or part-time remote workers anywhere from $100 - $500 per year in gas money. (Source: SimpleTexting)
That said, it isn't all pajamas and Netflix up in here.
Some common issues one encounters when working remotely include:
- motivation (or lack thereof)
- childcare issues
- communication challenges
Make sure you evaluate your personal strengths and weaknesses before pursuing this type of work.
If you still want to move forward with finding a remote role, here are a few approaches you can take:
1. Start with your current company. Four years ago, I had a rapid cross-country move that my family needed to make, and I was able to propose that telecommuting be an option for the role I had at the time. Fortunately, it was approved. You never know what your current organization is capable of until you ask. Talk to your HR person or boss to see if they would consider some flexibility in your current role.
2. Scour job listings and remote job boards. If embracing remote work isn't an option at your current place of employment, you might consider looking elsewhere. As someone who has been through a specifically REMOTE job search, I highly recommend these sites:
- The Muse
*use "remote" or "telecommute" in the job description field for best results
3. Begin your own company or become a freelancer. If you can't or don't want to go the traditional route, consider becoming a freelancer or a one-man/one-woman show.
One caveat to this: Be wary of sites such as Upwork. Many companies hire freelancers using this route, but there are some predatory practices on this site that I (and several other freelancers I know) have experienced.
Do some networking.
All it takes is one steady client or steady stream of work, and you're in business!
Working from home (or remotely) isn't for everyone, but it's something that has worked well for me and my family. If you want to pursue this lifestyle, consider starting with 1-2 days per week if you can, and then go from there.