Remote work, a trend that has been steadily growing over the past years, has become a norm due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is not just a passing phase. As many remote workers have discovered, it offers numerous benefits, ranging from an improved work-life balance to the flexibility to work from anywhere with an internet connection. With the ongoing digitization of work, remote work will continue to be a standard in the foreseeable future.
Given the potential long-term growth of remote work, it is necessary to learn how to find remote work opportunities and master the skills required to excel at them. In this article, we will discuss the future of work in the digital age, how to find remote work opportunities, and the skills you need to succeed in remote work.
The Future of Work in the Digital Age
The rise of remote work is part of the digital transformation of work, which has disrupted the conventional work pattern and opened up new opportunities. In the past, workers were tied to their physical office spaces. However, the digital transformation of work has changed this dynamic, allowing workers to work from anywhere with an internet connection, whether that be their home, a coffee shop, or a co-working space. Remote work enables individuals to work more flexibly, integrate their work and home lives, and gain more autonomy.
The shift to remote work has accelerated in the past year, and history has shown that it is unlikely to disappear soon. The benefits for companies, from optimizing productivity and morale to recruiting top talent and reducing overheads, make remote work an attractive option, not just for during the pandemic but beyond it. Importantly, remote work provides companies with the resiliency to face unexpected challenges such as natural disasters, political instability, or other crises, making it essential for business continuity.
Remote work, however, requires certain unique skills and habits that make it successful.
Finding Remote Work Opportunities
The shift to remote work requires individuals to think beyond traditional job search methods and look for opportunities through digital methods. The following are ways to find remote work opportunities:
General job boards such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Flexjobs have many opportunities, which can be easy to filter for remote work. Use keywords such as “remote,” “distribute,” “work from home,” and “telecommute” when searching for positions.
Platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer provide freelance employment opportunities for professionals. These platforms have given rise to the gig economy, which enables talent to offer services to clients from all over the world.
Networking remains essential for job searching. Connect with friends, colleagues, former employers or people in your preferred industry by using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or ClubHouse. Join professional groups or online communities to find job opportunities.
Remote Work only Platforms
Remote work-specific platforms such as Remote.co, Workew, and We Work Remotely aggregates job postings exclusively for remote, freelance or distributed companies. These platforms list job openings from multiple companies that are entirely or partially remote.
Skills Needed to Succeed in Remote Work
Remote work presents many opportunities, but it is not without its challenges. Individuals need certain skills and habits to excel in remote work, including self-discipline, strong communication skills, ability to work independently, and problem-solving skills.
- Communication: Strong communication skills are essential for remote workers. Communication is not limited to verbal communication, but also written communication. Remote workers must communicate effectively through emails, video chats, and instant messaging to collaborate effectively.
- Time Management and Self-discipline: Working remotely means a lack of direct oversight or supervision. You solely bear the responsibility of managing your workload and delivering timely results. The ability to create and stick to a daily schedule, reducing distractions, and being self-motivated is critical to meet deadlines.
- Technology Savviness: Remote work is not possible without access to modern technology. It means being comfortable with a variety of technology and devices such as video conferencing software, project management software, collaboration tools, and time management applications.
- Ability to Work Independently: Remote work does not provide the face-to-face interaction present in an office setting, which can be reassuring. Individuals working remotely must possess self-motivation skills and an ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
- Flexibility & Adaptability: Remote work environments are always evolving, and individuals must possess openness and flexibility to keep up with changing environments, new projects, clients, or team members.
- Emotional Intelligence: Given the lack of face-to-face communication in remote work settings, remote workers must possess high emotional intelligence to read a person’s tone and have empathy as needed.
- Collaboration and Teamwork: Collaboration in a remote work environment takes different forms compared to an office setting. Remote workers must be comfortable working in virtual teams, understand team dynamics, and collaborate effectively through video conferencing and other tools.
- Problem Solving: Remote work environments require individuals to be good problem-solvers, since they may not always have easy access to others for immediate support.
Benefits of Remote Work
Remote work offers several benefits to both workers and companies.
- Work-Life Balance: Remote work enables a more balanced life by giving individuals more autonomy in managing their workday. They can take care of important personal responsibilities while still delivering their work to their employer.
- Increased Productivity: Studies have shown that remote workers are more productive than their office counterparts. Remote work eliminates the distractions and interruptions that often come with working in a traditional office space, allowing for more concentrated work.
- Lower Overheads: Remote work saves money for companies. Since remote workers do not occupy physical office spaces and do not require expensive equipment, companies save on office rent and overheads.
- Attracting Top Talent: Companies that offer remote work options attract top talent from all over the world, increasing the diversity in the workforce, and giving them access to a broad suite of skills and experience.
- Resilience and Business Continuity: As previously mentioned, remote work provides a safety net for companies against unexpected challenges. With remote work, companies can facilitate business continuity uninterrupted by disasters, emergencies or other crises.
Remote work is here to stay, and it presents various benefits for workers and companies alike. Remote work offers increased flexibility, higher autonomy, and access to a global talent pool. Given the future of work in the digital age, it is crucial to know how to find and excel in remote work opportunities. Finding remote work requires individuals to think beyond traditional job search methods and find opportunities through digital methods such as job boards, networking, and remote work platforms. Individuals must master skills and habits such as communication, time management, self-discipline, technology savviness, independent work ethic, flexibility, emotional intelligence, teamwork, and problem-solving to thrive in a remote work environment. The future of work is digital, and mastering these skills is essential to take advantage of the opportunities presented by remote work.