Remote work is booming, with both employees and employers jumping on board. The perks are easy to see: Employees save themselves the commute and the need to have office attire. Employers are able to expand their applicant pool and hire the most qualified candidate, not just the best one in their immediate radius.
According to the 2018 State of Remote Work Report by Remote.co, remote workers are both more productive and efficient. They are less stressed and more engaged with their work.
Remote work appeals to everyone from millennials to those approaching traditional retirement age. And the hiring managers expect the trend toward remote work to grow over the next 10 years.
So if you’re ready to jump in and benefit from this remote work trend but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading. This article will walk you through the best work-from-home jobs, how to find those jobs, and a few tools to help you work remotely effectively.
The Best Work-From-Home Jobs
There are literally hundreds of different types of work-at-home jobs available nowadays. The positions in the following list are abundant, easy to get into, and expected to grow over the next decade.
You could choose to be a freelance writer or a full-time employee who produces in-house company content. Either way, you’ll probably be responsible for producing content such as blogs, newsletters, brochures, website copy, and emails. If you’re working for a small business, you may also be asked to produce social media content.
Being an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher is a steady, flexible work-at-home job, with the demand for native English speakers able to conduct classes online growing rapidly.
Being a remote travel agent has some great perks if you adore travel, enjoy spending all your time researching countries around the world, and love learning about the must see, do, and eat things in the other places. And, best of all, you get those sweet travel agent discounts.
Social Media Manager
Businesses are placing more and more importance on maintaining a social media presence. Many are hiring social media managers and are happy to let them work remotely. Small businesses may hire a freelancer to start, but the role can develop into a full-time remote job.
Customer Service Representative
If you want to work remotely but still speak to people on a regular basis, being a customer service representative may be a good choice for you. Fewer companies are using call centers and instead rely on remote in-house customer service and technical support representatives to answer customer questions and concerns through chat, email, Twitter, and even over the phone.
Developers are the original remote employees, leveraging their in-demand tech skills for the perk of working remotely. Major Silicon Valley companies like Github started offering remote work as a means of attracting the best developers, and the trend has spread to other fields and to more traditional companies like Aetna.
A virtual assistant is a jack-of-all-trades who is usually hired either by a startup founder who needs a little help with everything or a successful company who needs help keeping their executives on track.
In the former case, you’ll probably be doing some combination of the work of a writer, social media manager, customer service representative, and personal assistant. In the latter case, you’ll primarily be functioning as a personal assistant and travel agent and performing some data entry.
Would I Be an Independent Contractor or an Employee?
While it was once true that most people who worked from home were independent contractors, nowadays many full-time employees work remotely. There are an abundance of full-time and part-time job opportunities for those who know where to find them. Many of the full-time remote jobs come with the normal benefits package of healthcare, a 401k retirement savings account, and paid vacation.
How to Find Work-From-Home Jobs
There are many websites you can use to peruse remote job listings. Some platforms are better than others for certain types of jobs. When this is true, it will be noted below.
No matter which platform you choose to use to search for your remote job, remember that you are still looking for a job, so treat the entire process seriously and always put your best foot forward.
The most popular platforms for remote jobs are:
Upwork — Upwork is a popular platform for entry-level remote work. If you’re looking for a remote side hustle or to dip your toe into remote work, Upwork.com may be a good place for you to start. The pay is generally lower as you’ll be competing with people quite literally all over the world, but these jobs take less effort to get than those on other platforms.
Flexjobs — Flexjobs is a more traditional job listings website and you’ll be expected to submit a cover letter and resume to the jobs you find there. Flexjobs has been around since 2007 and makes it easy for job seekers to peruse and apply to remote positions.
Remote.co — Remote.co is one of the leaders in the remote work trend, providing resources to both remote employers and remote employees who are seeking one another. You can easily search remote.co by job type.
Angel.co — Angel.co focuses on serving the needs of startups who are hiring remote and traditional employees. Companies on Angel.co may be hiring their first or their 200th employee, although smaller startups tend to be more willing to take a risk on new-to-the-remote-workforce employees.
Jobspresso — Jobspresso is a job listings website that primarily serves the tech industry. They focus on job postings for development, design, writing, marketing, project management, and customer support.
Tools to Help You Work Remotely Effectively
While much about working remotely is just like working in an office, certain things are a little harder — namely, communication and coordination. You can’t just saunter over to a colleague’s desk to ask a question or pick up a document. Your remote work life will be easier if you have a range of tools. If your remote job doesn’t already use them or something similar, be the hero and suggest they start.
Slack — Slack is the digital equivalent of the watercooler conversations you used to have in the workplace. It efficiently replaces long email chains with direct communication. Plus, it has emoji, which many teams use to help them convey tone when speaking online. You can belong to multiple Slack groups, which is handy if you’re a freelancer or part-time employee at multiple companies.
Zoom — Zoom is a video conference call hosting software. You can host multiple people, share your screen, and even record the call for future review or note-taking if you have the professional version. You may use Skype for interviews or one-on-one calls, but most businesses run their remote meetings on Zoom or an internal tool like it.
Trello — Trello is a project management web tool. Trello allows for multiple teams and multiple projects so you can see how all the projects you’re working on are progressing in one easy-to-navigate app. If you’re a freelancer, you can have different teams on different boards and they won’t be able to access each other’s information.
Pinstriped — Pinstriped is a meeting tool that adds clarity, accountability, and timers to meetings. It enables you to have shorter, more effective meetings, so you can keep the idle chit-chat on Slack, where it belongs.
Google Drive — Google Drive is agreat platform for sharing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. If you’re transferring huge files, it may be worth looking into Dropbox instead.
Stay Home and Work
Remote work is becoming more commonplace as both cutting-edge and staid companies offer their employees the ability to work remotely. You can start small with a gig or two on Upwork to see if you actually like working from home or you can dive in headfirst with a full-time job through Flexjobs or Remote.co.
No matter what career path you choose or how you decide to start, now is a great time to do so.
Happy job hunting!