In a lot of industries today, you’re not really limited as to where you work. Technology has opened up a lot of doors for employers. They can hire remote workers with higher qualifications than the local talent pool. There’s the added benefit that they don’t have to invest in as much office space or supplies.
This all sounds great for employers, but rarely do people consider the benefits on the other side of the arrangement. That is, for the employee. It’s not just about working in the comfort of your own home, the benefits go much deeper than that.
According to a 2015 survey of 15,000 people, 43 percent of employed Americans spend at least some time working remotely. Of these workers, 31 percent work from home either four to five days per week. Both these figures are increases from previous years.
Employees save time for the lack of commute. They save money on expenses like gas, public transportation, or even dry cleaning. They get to be more comfortable, and possibly have an even more flexible schedule.
There’s good news for people who enjoy this arrangement — as working remotely becomes more commonplace, companies are beginning to branch out their job searches.
Several recent studies indicate that working remotely increases productivity and lessens stress, if the right person is doing it. It’s up to companies to find the right people, but they are certainly looking.
In fact, 3.3 million full-time professionals in the United States excluding volunteers and self employed people consider their home as the primary place of work, and that number is only expected to increase.
Take the tech industry as an example. People in tech work flexible, though sometimes very busy, schedules. Because services are typically web-based and clients are typically remote, these jobs usually allow telecommuting opportunities, even for full-timers. You can be a web designer, a content writer, a graphic designer, SEO specialist, or really anything in tech as a remote worker.
Sometimes, though, projects will require collaboration. For that, it helps to have an office space. The same studies that show more people are working from home also suggest that the sweet spot for telecommuting is between 2 to 3 days a week.
Still, people are more connected than ever, and just because you may need to collaborate, does not mean you need to do so in person. There are so many options available for remote communication, depending upon a company’s preference.
People can arrange phone calls, video conferences, use messaging platforms, or something else. As far as work goes, the only thing you can’t do is walk up to someone, tap them on the shoulder, and ask a question.
All of this leads to the main point that it’s possible to get a full-time job working from home, and your job search should not be limited by location.
Of course this depends on your industry. If you’re a doctor or a mechanic, it might be difficult, but for people who work on computers all day, it’s probably possible.
There’s no reason that if you live on the East Coast you can’t look at jobs in New York. Your only concern might be time zones. For that, it might be difficult to work remotely in another country or on opposite sides of the United States, unless of course you enjoy the schedule.
Obviously, it’s best to look for jobs that offer the option to telecommute explicitly, and there are some sites that cater to this idea. But some employers who were not previously thinking about remote work may consider it for the right candidate.
If it’s a job you’re well-suited for, it’s probably worth a try to just ask for it outright. Maybe your qualifications would make them reconsider the job structure. However, unless your experience is through the roof, this is probably not a real possibility.
If it’s something you really want and can’t find the right opportunities. You can try taking your web skills freelance. Sites like Upwork connect freelancers with remote clients for work opportunities. Often, these arrangements can lead to longer term contracts.
Bottom line is that if you really want to work remotely, there are a ton of ways to get there. It may just take some research and time to find the right opportunity.