How to become a remote worker

With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, remote working has seen an extraordinary rise. Whereby answers frequently asked questions about remote working.

Advances in tech have made working from home in a remote job easier for many in the modern-day world. With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, employers and employees have taken serious measures to help reduce its spread. As a result remote working has seen an extraordinary rise with a huge increase in remote positions becoming available.

During April 2020, statistics by the UK Office for National Statistics revealed that 49.2% of employed adults had begun to work remotely due to the social distancing measures implemented. This resulted in approximately 5 million workers working remotely.

Whilst this global health crisis has forced workers across the world to operate from home where possible, many have started to see the benefits of this. Some potentially even preferring being remote workers over being in the office.

For those wanting to learn more about becoming a remote worker, Whereby has compiled a list with some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding this topic.

Why Would You Become a Remote Worker?

COVID-19 has had a considerable impact on the way businesses operate, with many now working from home where possible. Therefore, one major and vital benefit of working remotely is to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

That being said, tackling COVID-19 is not the only reason for working remotely. There is a lot of different reasons why people choose for this more home-based way of working with a remote job, including the following:

Comfort - whilst many enjoy working in an office environment, some feel it's more comfortable to work from home. You’re able to surround yourself in all the comforts of home, and thereby potentially making for a calmer, more enjoyable 9-5.

Increased job flexibility - having the ability to work remotely can also offer you more flexibility in your job. For example, if a remote worker wanted to move further away from their company's base, this would have less of an impact on their job than more office-bound employees.

Additionally, it could also mean you can carry on working (probably reduced hours) if you have recently become a new parent, as you can operate fully from home in a remote position.

Save money - remote work can also save considerable amounts in travel costs for the daily commute, as well as potentially reducing the costs for food and office clothes.

Increases productivity - whilst there are concerns about the potential lack of work employees would do at home, remote working can actually have the exact opposite effect. Without distractions or interruptions from colleagues, remote working can actually increase productivity.

With numerous potential benefits, there's a variety of different reasons why people decide to work remotely. It offers workers more control over their working environment and enables them to optimise this for a more comfortable working experience.

What Types of Careers Can You Pursue Remotely?

There are a range of different remote job roles you can operate from home. The environment in which you can conduct your profession will very much depend on the nature of it as well as any equipment you may need for it.

Job positions that could potentially be the easiest to operate remotely include the following:

  1. Writer – whilst this covers a broad range of different job types, if the main role within your profession is writing (whether this is for a blog, a newspaper or a book), this may easily be done as remote work from home using your laptop or home computer.

  1. IT developer or consultant – covering a broad range of different jobs, from web development, software engineer, creating apps and more. Many IT developers find it easy to work from home and work during more flexible hours.

  1. Digital marketer – digital marketers operate primarily online, meaning they would need appropriate equipment at home – e.g. a laptop, phone etc. – to manage their remote job.

  1. Virtual assistant – this is a type of self-employed worker who offers admin-led services to their clients. This is typically conducted remotely from where the client is based – e.g. the assistant’s home – and includes administrative tasks as managing emails, appointments, phone calls etc.

These are some of the more common roles that can be operated remotely. This list by no means holds the only types of professions that can be done from home.

Whether or not you can work remotely in a job will depend on the nature of your work, your employer’s (or potential employer’s) opinions on this, and the equipment you require to execute the role effectively.

What Equipment Do I Need to Work Remotely?

The equipment you’ll require to work remotely can vary depending on the nature of your job. Some of the more basic, essential things you’ll need to operate effectively from home include a stable internet connection, laptop or computer and a phone to stay in touch with colleagues.

Other items that can be essential for remote work include a video conferencing tool, as well as a camera on your computer. These can enable you to get involved in company meetings, as well as helping present and explain work-related tasks via screen sharing.

Do I Need Any Qualifications to Become a Remote Worker?

As there are an extensive number of professions you can operate from home, the qualifications you’ll need will depend less so on remote working and more so on the nature of your profession.

However, whilst there’s no exact type of qualification you’ll need for remote jobs, you will need to hold a certain set of skills to operate from home effectively. This includes the following:

  1. Being organised in your tasks

  2. Being able to separate your home life from your work life

  3. Communicating effectively with colleagues (over the phone, via video chat and email)

  4. Being self-sufficient and proactive

Working from home can be the best transition you make in your professional career. However, it’s important that you possess skills, such as those listed above, in order to do this effectively.

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