No matter how you look at it, remote work is the way of the future. For one thing, technology is constantly making remote work easier. In addition, 71% of remote workers report that they’re happy in their job. On top of it all, world events in Spring 2020 seem to have forced a shift to a remote workforce, a trend that may impact how workers and employers alike view telecommuting.
With so many factors at work, it’s important to slow down and consider the pros and cons of remote work, what it takes to succeed in a remote work situation — things like maintaining backups and protecting data — and what different kinds of labor can be properly executed while working off-site.
There are numerous benefits that come with remote work, including:
Flexibility for employee work schedules.
No need to commute to work regularly.
Autonomy and empowerment of employees.
Low overhead via reduced office space and BYOD policies.
Mitigated risks from working on the cloud.
Many of these items benefit employees and employers alike, leading to a more effective and efficient work environment.
While there are many benefits, it’s important to consider the negative aspects of remote work for both an employer and their staff:
A lack of communication and collaboration.
An inability to closely monitor productivity.
Struggling to maintain equipment such as mobile devices and laptops.
Reacting to IT needs such as hard drive failure, defragmentation, or data recovery off-site.
Establishing cybersecurity measures across a geographically remote network of devices.
While most of these can be addressed in various ways, they are common concerns that must be considered when establishing a remote work environment.
While remote work has been around for a while now, it’s interesting to see how it has evolved over time.
Early on, the idea of a remote worker conjured images of telemarketers or customer service reps working part-time for low wages. However, as the Internet has improved, and technology along with it, full-time, lucrative positions have begun to appear within the remote work world.
Some of these are partly remote while others are fully remote. Looking at the history in the U.S., in particular, by 2015, 24% of those employed worked at least partly at home. By 2019, that number had jumped up to 54%. In addition, by that time, 70% of the global workforce was working from home at least one day a week.
At this point, remote work has become a way of life, as professionals from all industries and walks of life have shifted their work onto the cloud. Below are just some of the most common positions that can be worked remotely in 2020.
Considering the fact that it supports the entire remote work world, it’s only natural for the information technology (IT) sector to provide a variety of remote-work-friendly jobs, including:
Data Architecture: The task of organizing and structuring a company’s data is one that can easily be done from a laptop or desktop located off-site.
Software Architecture: Designing and creating software is a task done both online and on a computer, both of which can easily be moved and accessed from one remote location to another.
Software Engineer and Programmer: The tasks of developing, implementing, evaluating, maintaining, and testing software can all be done from a remote workspace, making a software engineer an ideal remote-work candidate.
Software Developer: Keeping up on software languages and applying that knowledge through building and debugging applications are all remote-friendly activities.
Coding: Crafting code for computers can easily be done on the cloud these days, allowing coders to work and write programs from the comfort of their own homes.
Desktop or IT Support: When it comes to supporting the various technological devices in use, it hardly requires the need to be physically present in an office. IT Support representatives can aid customers from virtually any location using a laptop and a good headset.
Information Security: Right along with supporting devices, information security analysts can establish and oversee cybersecurity measures for a company without ever needing to step foot out of their home.
Digital ad spending has officially surpassed traditional print and television marketing. The shift of money to the online market has created a slew of new remote-marketing positions in its wake, including:
SEO Strategist: Search engine traffic is one of the most highly sought after forms of customer acquisition online — and the best part is that an SEO strategist can craft a strategy right from their home office.
Writing/Editing: Both writing and editing are classic creative jobs that require focus and solitude, both of which are in abundant supply in a remote work setup.
Social Media Management: Social platforms are already 100% remote, and creating content for them can be completely done online as well.
Web Design/Developer: Web designers and developers create websites that will live on the Internet, where they are easily accessible to their creators from any workplace in the world.
The academic realm has already been acclimating to the online world for years now, making it a ripe industry for remote work, including:
Teaching: The coronavirus crisis has shown that teachers in nearly any scenario can instruct their students online when necessary.
Tutoring: Along with classroom teaching, one-on-one tutoring is another excellent remote-work situation that can easily be done over text, phone, and video chat.
Curriculum Specialist: The task of designing, structuring, and assembling the curriculum being taught can be comfortably executed from the privacy of a curriculum specialist’s home.
With so much of the financial world operating online, it’s only natural that the industry would be able to support a wide variety of remote work, including:
Accountant: With automated software, online banking, and internet access, most accounting activities can be done remotely with little to no trouble.
Accounts Payable Processor: Automation has also revolutionized accounts payable and inventory methods, allowing an accounts payable processor to remotely monitor these systems with little need to ever be on-site or in an office.
Bookkeeper: With so many of the nitty-gritty financial details of business transactions already stored online, bookkeepers have an easy task of recording business transactions remotely.
Translation is a written and verbal art form. Both of these activities can be executed in a variety of different ways from remote locations including creating transcripts, joining video chats, and hopping onto a conference call.
The medical world has also seen a revolution in digital information, creating many remote jobs in the process, including:
Medical Billing: Much like accounting and bookkeeping, a medical billing professional can easily adapt their work to a remote workspace, since most, if not all, of the information is already stored in a digital format.
Medical Coding: Right along with billing, the process of translating medical procedures, equipment, diagnoses, and services into medical codes is a task that can be done in any location with a laptop and Wi-Fi connection.
Provider Contract Specialist: Already serving as a go-between, a provider contract specialist is rarely required on-site in any one location and can do most of their work over the computer or the phone.
Fielding phone calls, overseeing processes, and other general administrative tasks have always been remote-friendly, including:
Executive Assistant: While it’s common to picture an executive assistant outside of the boss’s office, the truth is, booking appointments, answering phone calls, and most of their other administrative work can easily be done remotely.
Virtual Assistant: When the duties of an assistant are contracted out to a freelancer, it’s even easier to compartmentalize the work and pass it off to be done in a remote location.
From IT to marketing, administration to education, finance to medical, there are countless remote jobs in numerous industries. With technology always evolving and improving, the number and kinds of jobs only promise to continue increasing as the future unfolds.