Although there may be an initial physical interview, more commonly, interviews are held online. Once successful, remote employers often have no physical contact with their workers thereafter who are largely employed on trust.
Trust is a big element and you may have to spend some time building this with your remote employer. A remote job means you don’t have to go into an office but some employers require remote workers to be on the same continent or at least in the same time zone, so do check this.
When your employer sets a deadline, it will be in their time zone. This means you could be as much as a day ahead or behind, depending on where you are. Bear this in mind when accepting remote work.
You can do any remote job that requires digital work. For most jobs, you just need a decent laptop and good WiFi. You might have the skills already, or you can often train online to acquire them. Despite what you have read or been told, it’s not easy. So, cast aside that image of sun-filled days with easy money.
There are many jobs you can do from home, but these are the most popular:
Being a remote “developer” is a blanket term for a huge variety of tech-friendly jobs. This category can include anything from software engineering to app development, to website design, systems administration, testing, and ops infrastructure.
Pros: in demand and well paid, no need for perfect written English. Cons: need to be tech-savvy or prepared to train
Video is very big. If you have a filmmaking background, being a remote video maker could work well for you. Companies want a video for their various promotions.
Pros: It’s very pertinent for image-based industries such as travel, fashion and food, so a huge market. Cons: You do need experience of filming and some talent. The kit can be expensive. If you work remotely, you need to have somewhere safe to store your kit securely when you aren’t working.
This covers a raft of possibilities and is probably the most advertised remote job. It covers work such as supplying website copy, blogs, transcribing interviews and general content creation. Pros: Easy entry to this field. The web and his uncle need written content and it’s everywhere. The good news is you don’t need any particular experience or qualifications.
There is software to catch spelling mistakes and grammar errors. You don’t even have to be a native English speaker, but it obviously helps if you are. A quick thinker and fast typist will also be an asset if your work is paid per word.
Cons: It’s hard to get well-paid work from the off – it’s a saturated market that drives prices down. There are only so many hours in the day, so beware of being on a poorly paid content treadmill. Some experts claim it’s good to develop a niche, especially in tech, medical or finance, where you can command a higher rate.
This remote job goes hand in hand with website design. Pros: can be well paid and in demand, especially for niches such as infographics Cons: need to be competent with all the design packages and pay for subscriptions, such as Adobe CC.
Increasingly, websites with worldwide appeal need translating into another language. Pros: Language skills, especially in more unusual languages are in high demand. If you have a good level of education, you should find it easier to get work. Cons: Not so many job ops with more unusual languages, so it’s a bit of a double-edged sword.
This is the digital equivalent of the old personal assistant job, without the tea-making. Pros: Perfect for highly organised, digital wizards. A growing market. Cons: Easy to underestimate how long simple tasks will take. May be expected to be available outside normal office hours, or even on call.
A growing industry, highly suitable for trained marketers keen to embrace digital. Pros: Email marketing is a popular niche. Cons: Training needed or evidence of previous success to be trusted to get the first job bite. You need to know all the current platforms, such as MailChimp, Buffer and Trello.
Social media strategist
If you live on social media and know the platforms inside out, this could be one for you. Pros: Firms are eventually waking up to the fact that social media is not going to go away and to do it properly, they need help.
Cons: You may need some training to be able to develop a credible company strategy, rather than just posting for personal reasons. You also need to be highly organised and a multi-tasker. You will be expected to respond out of hours.
Online English tutor
There is a high demand for conversational English tutors, especially from China. Business English is another option, taught to adults. Pros: If you have good conversational English, this might be a useful part-time supplement to your income. Cons: You will have to be available to suit the client’s time zone. Some agencies insist on a bachelor’s degree and teaching experience.
You will have noticed that “Can I help you pop up?” on some websites. Nowadays, it’s a real person. You will be helping online, by phone or email. You need a helpful, friendly voice and may have to deal with difficult people who are having technical problems, so need to stay calm under pressure.
Pro: You often work a shift so it’s guaranteed money and you are paid whether anyone contacts you or not. Cons: Rates may be low in some countries. You have to be available and at a laptop or desktop for your whole shift.
True remote workers will tell you it’s hard work and you have to be able to deal with the inevitable setbacks in your stride. It’s a slow burn thing, where you build up your reputation, rather than get rich quick. However, you don’t have to stick to just one remote job type. You might have talent in several areas so bear that in mind when looking for jobs you can do from home.