Worried about catching that office flu? Stressed by messy commutes?  Experiencing daycare nightmares due to school snow days? Do winter hassles have you thinking that a remote job better suits your personal and family needs?

Rejoice! Based on a special analysis of U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Global Workplace Analytics, the number of people doing some or all of their work remotely has increased 159% in the past 10 years.  And a recent study about the workforce of the future indicates that 73% of all company departments will have some remote workers by 2028.  

Today’s talent shortages, due to historically low unemployment, are fueling the growth of workplace flexibility.   As one of the most sought-after benefits among job seekers today, working remotely is being adopted by more employers in order to attract the brightest and the best.  

There’s no time like the present to get in on all the advantages a remote position has to offer.  Here’s what you need to know to launch your remote work lifestyle. 

Is Remote Work Right for Me?

Employers seek self-motivated, highly organized candidates to fill their remote positions.  If you’ve ever worked remotely or off-site, even for a few days or weeks, think about how you were able to predict and conquer any challenges.  Did you find it rewarding or nerve-wracking? Remote workers enjoy talking on the phone or via video chat. They don’t crave the in-person camaraderie you find in an office.  Will you miss the social interactions and feel isolated? 

Reflect on your answers and think about what makes you most productive.  Consider the pros and cons perspectives from those who are working remotely and see what resonates with you. It may be that a partially remote position is a better fit than one that is 100% remote.  

What Kind of Remote Job is Right for Me?

There are many different ways to work remotely.  If you are looking for stability and advancement opportunities, then a full-time salaried position for one company might be the best fit.  If you want more freedom and flexibility, then freelancing or contract work may be a better choice. You may want to work for a company that maintains traditional work hours in your own time zone.  Or you can look for remote opportunities that better match your work habits. For example, if you live in New England, enjoy sleeping late and crave a workday that starts at 11am or noon, then look for jobs based on the West Coast.  

Every company conducts remote work differently. Some companies will require in-person meetings weekly or monthly, while others are 100% remote and rely on video conferences to keep in touch with their team. Determine what you are most comfortable with when evaluating potential opportunities and be sure to include questions about in-person expectations when communicating with prospective employers. 

Where Do I Find Remote Jobs?

Begin your search with remote-only job boards.  According to this annual survey of the 100 Top Companies with Remote jobs, the top  five remote career fields are Computer & IT, Medical & Health, Sales, Education & Training and Customer Service.  

Here are some of the leading job sites for finding remote work in 2020. Flexjobs has over 50 remote jobs categories, with positions ranging from freelance gigs, to part-time work, to full-time jobs, with remote careers varying from entry-level to executive. Remote.co hand curates its job list to showcase the best remote job opportunities in the most recruited job categories. In addition to global job postings, Justremote.co offers “how to” resources for job seekers seeking remote opportunities primarily in IT, marketing, design, management and writing. Be sure to include general interest sites in your job search as well like The Muse for extensive information about remote job opportunities and tips to get started. 

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