Work Matters: What does “remote work” mean?

It's more than about working from your bed.

Work Matters: What does remote work mean?

Remote work is becoming more and more prevalent. With the rising threats of our current COVID 19 crisis, it has become even more popular a term. But what is it about? What does “remote work” mean?

First off, let’s get one thing out of the way: remote work is not about fixing remote controls. Get this out of your head when you hear friends tell you “yeah, I’m working remotely.” Notice how they follow that up with some humble-braggy remark about how malleable their daily schedules are or how they’re able to work from anywhere.

In this post, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about remote work, starting with its meaning.

What is remote work?

Remote work is a non-traditional working arrangement that enables professionals to work remotely from their homes or anywhere in the world. It is based on the concept that teams do not need to be physically together in one specific place in order to accomplish work.

Also referred to in a variety of names like telecommuting, working from home (WFH), and virtual work, remote work dates back to the 1970s. Thanks to our rapidly growing technology today, remote work is becoming quite popular, with approximately 115% growth since the past decade.

There are several reasons why you’d like to consider working remotely, but there are potential drawbacks too. Suffice it to say, remote work is not always for everyone.

Why work remotely?

If you hate the feeling of having your boss breathe down your neck, you might want to consider working remotely. Because all the work is virtual, you’ll still have regular check-ins, but it’s never as obtrusive as your boss constantly pulling you aside for progress reports.

Remote work’s most primary benefit is autonomy. Work schedule is typically flexible, so you get to decide when or where you work. You can work from your bed, at the coffee shop down the street, or a co-working space. It’s your choice, which is nice.

For Filipinos like myself, the biggest takeaway is that you become exempt from the dreadful traffic office-based workers have to face on the daily.

Of course, the direct downside of that is you’ll have to be more self-directed and have to be able to work even with little structure. There’s more: it’s hard to form strong bonds with your colleagues too. There’s simply no replacement for real human-to-human, face-to-face connection. Finally, you’d be a slave to the stability of your internet connection.

Where to find remote work

There’s no shortage of remote work. You can find it in almost every job board you can find online. Quite simply, you can hit up your job search engine (e.g. LinkedIn, AngelList) of choice with the keyword “Remote”, and you’ll be good to go.

If you’re looking for freelance work that you can do remotely, there is a lot of work you can do on sites like Upwork, Online Jobs PH, and Fiverr.

And finally, there are websites made specifically for remote jobs. Our go-to are the following:

That’s about it, really, for places to find remote jobs.

How to start working remotely

Whether it’s by choice or by circumstance that you find yourself working from anywhere, it’s imperative that you do right by your remote job.

Here are some tips you can follow to make sure you work at your best.

Block your work hours

I know it sounds a bit counterintuitive, but trust me, you’re going to want to set boundaries. And this is the easiest way to do that.

Always remember that you have your work and your life. And you can always live both to the fullest. You see, remote workers tend to set the two apart and end up forsaking one for the other.

Also, this makes sure you’re productive for a huge chunk of the day.

Double down on communication

When you work remotely, it’s doubly important that you communicate clearly. Make sure you are saying what you mean, be it work-related or for a more “water cooler conversation” subject.

Keep in mind that you and your workmates don’t have the full context readily available IRL.

Use tools to make your life easier

Remote work takes advantage of our technology to make work easier and more efficient. There are a ton of tools that reinforce these, and here are just a few of our favorites.

Over to you

Now that you’ve read everything you need to know about remote work, I say you’re ready to take on the workday — from the comfort of your bed.

Good luck!