Most would argue we’re out of the pandemic emergency phase of COVID-19, and we’re moving into a new period.
While there were certain things that employers did during the pandemic out of necessity, including having employees work remotely, they’re now looking at their long-term strategy.
As part of that, many employers are embracing the concept of remote work as a long-term strategy, more so than at any other point in the past.
When you’re looking for a new job, you’ll see the majority available, if not fully remote, are at least hybrid.
So what should you know if you’re in the market for a remote job or you’ve been offered a new remote position?
1. Culture Still Matters
From recognizing employee accomplishments with gifts to making sure there are opportunities to get to know one another outside of only discussing work, corporate culture still matters when you’re working remotely.
Before you accept a remote position, do some research and figure out what the employer does to keep the connection between employees and the company strong.
Even when a company is fully remote, it’s very much possible for the culture to be negative.
For example, if you find a remote job that requires you to be available online nearly 24/7, this is going to create a negative work environment for you.
A good company culture, along with employee recognition, opportunities for development, and transparent communication, also includes chances for advancement, whether someone works primarily in or out of the office environment.
You want to see a path forward with a company, even when you’re accepting a 100% remote position.
2. Know What’s Right for You Personally
Just like any other job, there are going to be pros and cons of any company and position when you work remotely.
You might think there are things you can overlook when you have more flexibility, but in reality, the same things can be problematic for you as they would be if you were in office.
As you’re looking for remote opportunities, a good starting point is to first think about how much stability you want.
Yes, you can find remote positions that are full-time and salaried, but you also have more options.
You can work on a contract for a few months at a time, or you can work with several companies as a freelancer.
If you want opportunities for growth and, of course, stability, you might become a full-time employee as compared to a contractor or freelancer.
If your biggest goal is working on your terms and having flexibility, the latter two could be right for you.
You also want to think about when you’re able to work and where the company is located.
If you’re on the east coast and you’re applying for a job on the west coast, will you be okay with the difference in work hours?
3. Update Your Linkedin Profile
If you’re currently at the point where you’re looking for a new job that’s remote or mostly remote, LinkedIn is a great resource for you.
LinkedIn is where hiring managers tend to go to find employees all over the country and the world.
If you want a remote job, you should update your LinkedIn profile to reflect that.
You want to show up in search results, and remember that the headline is the first thing a hiring manager or recruiter is going to see.
You also need to potentially update your resume to reflect what it is that hiring managers want to see in a remote employee.
You may need to emphasize different things than you would for an in-person position.
For example, are you organized and self-motivated, and do you have experience working remotely?
If so, these are all things to make sure you’re highlighting.
You need to know what sets you apart, not just as the right candidate as far as skills and experience, but what makes you the right remote employee.
4. Understand the Pros and Cons
It’s easy when you think about working remotely to glamorize it, but you have to remember that it is still work, and there are pros but also cons.
Some of the benefits include the flexible potential working hours and the fact that you can probably work from anywhere.
You also don’t have to worry about buying and maintaining a work wardrobe, and you can learn a lot through the sense of independence you get in a remote setting.
You learn new skills along the way simply by doing because there’s not necessarily anyone there to hold your hand.
You can also save money on things like transportation and lunches out.
So What Are the Downsides?
Aside from the more obvious ones, like fewer opportunities for social interactions, the reality is that some people are not cut out for this type of work.
If you’re someone who has a hard time managing yourself and your time, you’re a procrastinator, or you’re easily distracted, it’s unlikely you’ll be successful in a remote work environment.
You’re also going to be taking on a lot of responsibility in many cases.
You’re probably going to be working with and relying on a team less often, so if something goes wrong, it’s on you.
It’s also inevitable there are going to be communication problems.
You might be working with people in different countries and time zones, or you could have a hard time understanding the context of someone’s communication.
It’s all too easy to misconstrue communication in an online environment.
This isn’t to say the downsides and hurdles of remote work are insurmountable because they certainly aren’t.
What you do need to do is take your time, find a company and role that fits your needs, and be realistic with yourself going into it.
Working remotely doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything, that you can slack off, and you’re just going to get a paycheck.
In fact, a lot of remote workers find there’s more on their plate than when they were in an office full-time.