The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Remote Job Opportunities

Remote job opportunities give you more flexible work hours and space. Most remote workers can work from anywhere and manage their schedules to fit other commitments in their lives.

That freedom explains why remote work is growing rapidly. But it’s not just employees who are benefiting from remote work. Businesses are getting the rewards too.

In this guide, you’ll discover why remote job opportunities are growing, how to get a remote job, the pros and cons of working remotely, and actionable tips to help you get started.

Understanding Remote Jobs

More companies are enabling a large part of their workforce to work remotely, making more remote job opportunities available. By 2020, 44% of US employees worked remotely more than five days a week, a 27% increase pre-COVID-19 (1).

Landing remote jobs could become easier with 82% of employers (2) planning to engage more remote workers post-pandemic.

Time management is a big part of working remotely. It requires additional planning to improve your chances of success and personal effectiveness in an unsupervised work setting.

Remote jobs allow you to work away from the offices of the employer. You can work remotely across cities — even continents. All a remote worker needs to function as productively as on-site workers is a fast and stable internet service and a computer or a phone.

Remote workers may work from home, but many remote jobs require a coworking space either provided by the employer or for your convenience.

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Not all remote jobs are full-time remote work opportunities. On-site workers could work part-time from home a few days a month. 46% of C-suite executives have worked part-time at one time (3).

However, since they all require some time away from the office, we can classify them into full-time remote work, part-time remote jobs for a flexible schedule, and telecommuting.

In telecommuting, the employee can work from anywhere, including a coworking space or a coffee shop. But, you must collaborate with your team or the office via virtual meetings, chats, phone calls, and other collaboration tools for a large amount of the time.

Types of Remote Jobs

It has been an ongoing question to figure out what jobs could be comfortably done away from the workplace without disrupting productivity. Economists have considered it in two ways:

  1. Does the job require you to do some part of the work outdoors?
  2. Does it involve operating some machinery?

All jobs that meet these two conditions could not be plausibly done remotely. A study by a University of Chicago economist analyzed survey data from the US occupational information network. 

A second Norwegian survey (4) showed that separate career groups could work remotely in varying degrees. For instance, nearly 66% of office support roles could be done from home or a coworking space. Meanwhile, only 21% of trades could be done remotely.

Overall, both studies proved that at least 37% of jobs in the US could be done remotely (5).

Here are some job categories that could be done remotely:

  • Office support
  • Management
  • Academic and education
  • Technicians and professional services
  • Customer service and sales
  • Crafts and related trade

Remote Working Trends You Should Know About

The Coronavirus pandemic has redefined the role of remote jobs in industries from convenience to a necessity. Amidst the 2020 lockdown, global enterprises have made it mandatory for their employees to work remotely.

74% of companies plan for most of their employees to permanently work remotely (6). Already, non-essential and support job functions have more frequently become full-time remote jobs.

Due to the outbreak, remote workers in the world have increased up to 159%. By the end of 2020, 75% of professionals had moved their practice to workspaces away from the office, mostly at home.

Besides the pandemic, some other factors like virtualization of business processes and other emerging technologies drive remote working adoption.

One thing that has become clear is that remote jobs are the future of an efficient workforce. With more opportunities available and not enough talents to fill the roles required, companies are willing to pay more for remote positions.

High-paying Remote Job Opportunities

Remote worker compensation varies for different industries, occupations, roles, and remote-work frequency.

Here are some high-demand remote job opportunities with high salaries you can apply for. Some of these jobs are reported on CNBC’s list of jobs that pay over $100,000 (7). It also includes jobs listed on Indeed.com as paying over $40,000 (8).

  1. Digital product design roles: designers who conceptualize digital products, including sites, apps, software UI, and consumable media, can work on projects from anywhere in the world. They often need to collaborate with product management teams through any number of remote working tools. Jobs in this category include:
  • Graphics designers; to produce product graphics, marketing media, and brand elements.
  • UI/UX architects; to conceptualize site, apps, and software layout on the front-end for a smooth user experience.
  1. Remote programming jobs: developers these days need not write so much code to build end-user products, but enterprise services and software still require a programmer’s services. Programmers work together with the product team to achieve the functionality of the product. 

Businesses also hire programmers for their proficiency in specific programming languages. Some high-paying remote programming jobs include:

  • Java remote jobs; for programmers proficient in the use of the Java language. Java is the most popular web programming language, making Java remote jobs high-demand.
  • C# remote jobs; C# is a multiparadigm and general-purpose programming language. So, Java programmers are useful in multiple applications like web development and app building. C# remote jobs are in high demand.
  • Remote developer jobs; for front-end and back-end website developers, web app developers, desktop and mobile app builders. Developers use multiple languages, tools, and building blocks to achieve a working site or application’s functionality and user interface.
  • Software engineer jobs; software engineers collaborate with coders, product teams, and management to build or scale a product software using different programming languages.
  1. Remote business management and consulting jobs: companies outsource some of their business management and processes to expert consultants who, more often, don’t even have to come into the office. In other cases, senior management jobs can be done remotely with only a few weekly or monthly visits to the office. Some of these roles include:
  • Accountants;
  • Digital marketer;
  • Senior product manager;
  • Operations Manager;
  • Sales consultant;
  • Project manager;
  • Senior business analyst;
  1. Remote IT support jobs: technical support for software firms don’t require the IT team to be present on site. Other management information systems roles can also work remotely. High-paying jobs in this category include:
  • Tech support engineer,
  • Senior information security consultant.
  1. Remote medical services: Upper management positions in medical and health institutions can coordinate, organize, and direct medical teams remotely. Specialized medical practice can also be done from home. Already health workers and caregivers can provide services at their home or the patient’s home. These medical jobs can be done remotely:
  • Medical Director;
  • Psychiatrist;
  • Medical writer;
  • Registered nurse (RN);
  1. Remote data science jobs: there’s a world of possibilities in the world of data science. With corporations investing in tools for better analytics and predictability, more data science jobs become increasingly relevant. Some of these roles can function from home:
  • Data scientist;
  • Data analyst;
  • Data and analytics manager;
  • Business intelligence manager;
  • Machine learning engineer;
  1. Other freelance professional services:
  • Freelance writer;
  • Tutor;
  • Travel agent;
  • Freelance translator;
  • Actuarial analyst;

How to Find Remote Job Opportunities

There are countless other remote job opportunities you can apply for in several industries, like virtual assistantships, customer support jobs, and telemarketing roles. It’s unlikely that there are industries you couldn’t find a remote working position.

But, we only listed the most high-paying and high-demand job opportunities in this guide.

To land these remote work opportunities, you have to know where to find them and prepare yourself to get them.

Where to Find Remote Job Opportunities

  • Networking; remote job search may require irregular strategies. Like trying to pitch a sale to a prospect, you can pitch your skill or services to a prospective employer even if they’re not advertising a remote job. A few places to find industry executives who may require a remote worker include your LinkedIn connections or Twitter crowd.

Getting in touch with your connections on social media will require a lot of research into their businesses. You do this to get information that will inform your email.

You may also get referrals from your network when a remote job is available. If you’re looking, talk to your friends and make sure to show it on your LinkedIn profile. Career meetups and conferences are a great place to network for a remote job opportunity.

  • Remote job boards; regular job boards will still carry remote job ads but, it may not be apparent if a job is remote. You can find remote positions on regular job boards by performing a remote job search.

Most job boards will let you filter jobs related to a keyword by selecting the location. Choose ‘remote’ or ‘everywhere’ to get remote job opportunities to show up first. Otherwise, add the word ‘remote’ to every keyword you search for. For instance, to get to the remote web developer listing, enter ‘remote web developer’ into the search bar.

Alternatively, you can search for remote jobs on job boards that are strictly for remote job opportunities.

A few examples of remote job boards include:

  1. Flexjobs
  2. We Work Remotely
  3. Remote OK
  4. Problogger
  5. Virtual vocations
  6. Jobspresso
  7. Outsourcely
  8. Guru
  9. AngelList
  10. Indeed
  11. Remotive
  12. Hubstaff Talent

Some remote job sites require you to subscribe to their premium services to get a curated listing of proofed employers.

Amazon.jobs is unique as a job board that lists only jobs available at Amazon. Currently, most jobs at Amazon are virtual positions requiring employees to work from anywhere. Amazon remote jobs are still posted by country, but there’s no reason to work from their offices. Other job boards may also relist these Amazon remote jobs on their sites.

Some remote job search sites will allow you to host your services as a freelance profile and will earn a percentage of your payments per client you serve. Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com are examples of these freelance sites.

How to Get a Remote Job

  • Upskill—if you’ve worked on-site before now, there are useful skills you’ve gained that are readily convertible to your remote work. However, you may require additional skills for your new remote working role, and you should take some time to upgrade in those areas.

For instance, transitioning from a traditional marketing career to remote digital marketing requires knowledge of digital marketing strategies. Other tech and computer skills will enable you to use tools you otherwise never needed in your previous work.

  • Manage your self-marketing—improve your professional presence online to increase your visibility to potential employers.

Show your knowledge and expertise through thoughtful content useful to your profession. Create a digital portfolio of your work you can share easily, and practice your pitch and self-introduction. Maintain a good online presence on social media, LinkedIn, or using freelance profiles.

  • Up your mailing game—you’ll sometimes have to cold-mail employers for gigs, as a freelancer, or pitch your services for a consulting role. Your mails should be interesting enough, concise, and refreshing to read to improve your chances of getting a positive response.

Applying For a Remote Job

Applying for a remote job opportunity is not any more complicated than a regular role. However, there is a difference in how you qualify for the job. Here are a few steps to guide you:

Step #1: Find the Right Job Opportunity

Perform a simple job search of keywords relevant to your desired remote job role. Most remote job boards will notify you of recent job opportunities related to a keyword when you set up an alert.

To pick the job that’s right for you, you’ll have to consider;

  • The timing required for the role. Is the job a full-time remote work opportunity or a part-time one? If it’s part-time, how many hours are you required to work per week? Are there other special time requirements, like night-only work opportunities?
  • Your availability. Does the required time match your desired work schedule? Will you be available to work the number of hours needed, or can you work through holidays and weekends, if it’s required? Are you open to deliver on the productivity requirement specified?
  • Compensation. Employers who want to go straight to the qualifying and on-boarding stage will advertise the compensation for each remote job role. The right job for you should pay as much as you’d have to put in, considering your experience level and productivity, of course.

Step #2: Research the Role

In this step, go through the job role and specified responsibilities. Match each responsibility with the right skill and verify that your experience can deliver on it. Make sure that you can do the job you want to apply for.

As a rule, senior roles for any remote job opportunity requires higher knowledge and skill level. Some remote job ads also specify the experience levels needed to fill the position.

Step #3: Research the Company

More companies adopt remote work to plug the talent gap in their organization, enable virtualization, and maintain uninterrupted business processes. However, not many of them have made the provisions for managing a remote workforce effectively.

For every remote job opportunity you find suitable, research the company to ensure good remote work culture.

Workers will more readily work remotely if their company provided the necessary tools. For instance, most remote employers don’t pay for your internet use, but up to 15% do so (9).

Step #4: Improve Your CV

Suffice it to say that you have to modify some part of your CV every time you make an application. You do that to capture the information about you different employers would want to know.

Employers want to know that you’ve worked in unsupervised or low-supervision work conditions before to qualify for remote job opportunities. Even if you’ve never held a remote job before, let your CV show how you make the most effective use of your work time.

Step #5: Create a Cover Letter

Send an introductory letter with your application. Some applications will demand a cover letter. However, if a job ad does not ask for it, write a couple of introductory paragraphs in the email body when you send your CV.

The cover letter should summarize the most relevant sections of your CV and gives the employer a reason to look at the CV.

Step #6: Follow Up on Your Application

Most employers will send you feedback throughout the hiring process, but you can send a reminder email and ask about your application’s status if they don’t.

In this step, take the time you have between your application and feedback to gather more information about the job and company.

Upskilling for Remote Job Opportunities

Unfortunately, remote work is not for everyone. Employers are insistent on improved, or at least the same level of, productivity from remote workers as on-site workers. So, not as many people as there are remote jobs will get remote working opportunities.

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Many people who could and who did work remotely had a bachelor’s or some form of higher degree. However, as the workforce and hiring have become a lot more skill-based, talents with specific high-demand skills will most likely land remote job opportunities.

Generally, the remote working frequency varies across skill intensity. Besides, employees working remotely for the first time will need to learn how to work unsupervised and use telecommuting tools.

You can improve your chances of getting a remote work opportunity by building up your skill in these required areas:

  • Computer skills; use of the computer and essential computer tools like word processors, spreadsheet tools, and photo manipulation tools.
  • Tech skills; tech skills on their own can get you a job. However, they may also improve your chances of landing other job types when you show them off in your CV or your portfolio. Tech skills you can learn include web development, content management systems like WordPress, programming skills, analytics, and other digital skills. 
  • Learn soft skills; soft skills improves your productivity, ensures your consistency, and promises a smooth relationship with your employer and teammates. Employers look out for specific soft skills like communication skills, listening skills, empathy, time management, organization, social skills, and creativity.
  • Get familiar with remote working tools; all forms of remote job opportunities require some form of teleworking. Teleworking is more comfortable now with several collaboration tools for smooth communication among teams. 

Top Remote Working Tools You’ll Need

  • Project management tools
  1. InVision
  2. Monday
  3. BaseCamp
  4. Asana
  • Scheduling
  1. CoSchedule
  2. Toggl
  3. Doodle
  • Workflow and checklists
  1. StatusHero
  2. TickTick
  3. Trello
  • Communication and conferencing
  1. Microsoft Teams
  2. Google Meet
  3. Zoom
  4. Skype
  5. Spark Mail App
  6. Slack
  • Shared storage
  1. Dropbox
  2. Google Drive
  3. Apple iCloud Drive
  4. OneDrive
  • Other productivity tools
  1. Serene
  2. Google Docs
  3. Figma
  4. Hootsuite
  5. Buffer

Getting Ready for Remote Working

Now that you’ve gone through remote job application the right way and sharpened your relevant skills, this is how to begin your first remote job:

Step #1: Set up a work office

A home office is most comfortable and preferred by a lot of remote workers. However, if there will be distractions at home or a lack of space, get a coworking space membership.

Make sure the place you choose has stable access to the internet and electricity. A coffee shop or cafe will also serve but choose the most serene option.

Step #2: Balance your schedule

It’s a lot harder to stay focused working from home than at the office. You could get distracted and switch from work to unrelated tasks if you don’t set up a work schedule.

Without a work schedule, your work time may also over-extend into your personal time. To be most productive, work out your daily schedule and practice keeping to it.

Step #3: Get familiar with your work tools

Each company and the remote job will have relevant tools that you must learn to use to make work easier, faster, and more efficient. Take some time to understand them.

Step #4: Engage with your team

Now that you’re working in a geographically distributed team, work out a time in your schedule to connect with your colleagues. Chats, video calls, and texts will help you get to know and build a relationship with your coworkers.

However, set up a boundary. If you’re managing the team, don’t get too close as to encourage lax working behaviors. Don’t let playtime interfere with your work time.

Step #5: Manage yourself

The boss is not there to look over your shoulder. The job of supervising yourself falls to you. Manage your work time and productivity.

Keep to your schedule and don’t work past your set time.

Advantages of Remote Jobs

Here are the top four reasons why workers would choose remote jobs over regular work:

  1. Flexibility: working remotely gives you the freedom to choose your work schedule. You also have the opportunity to work from anywhere, work while you travel, and work for international firms while never leaving your home. 58% of remote workers agree that flexibility is the top benefit of remote jobs.
  1. Save money and time spent on commuting: when you work from home, the time usually spent moving to the office every morning can be put to better use. You also save money on transportation.
  2. Spend more time at home: not that it should interfere with your work time, but remote jobs enable you to spend more time with your family. This affects an employee’s job satisfaction level positively.
  3. Higher productivity and control: 35% of remote workers are individual contributors with a lot more power and autonomy over the creative process, work terms, and direction. Remote jobs give you more control over your work environment. You get to choose where’s most suitable for you and at what times to work.

Also, as office dynamics does not limit you, you have greater responsibility for your productivity. 77% of remote workers are more productive working from home than the office (10).

Remote Working Challenges

The top remote working challenges mostly focus on remote employee engagement with the rest of the company’s workforce. Here are a few of the disadvantage of remote jobs:

  1. Isolation and low visibility from the office make remote workers feel neglected for promotions or not included as a crucial part of the company.
  2. Irregular work/life balance when work time takes up all of your personal time.
  3. Distractions from remote work environments.
  4. Inadequate communication/collaboration with the team, especially when the company doesn’t have an excellent remote work culture.
  5. Loss of motivation while working away from teammates you could draw inspiration from.
  6. Data costs when you have to pay for your internet use for work, or inadequate connection on your home wifi.

Remote Working and the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic affected global economies and employment statistics, most evidently, in a negative way. There were roughly 8 million workers on temporary leave in the UK, and up to 24.7 million jobs were lost globally (11). In the US, the employment rate reached a record low of 51.3% in April of 2020 (12).

However, the year 2020 was also the year of the remote work revolution. Companies mandated most of their staff to work from home, thus, professionals took their services to home offices. Likewise, furloughed and laid-off workers took up remote jobs.

So in the midst of all that, there’s the possibility for job security.

Summing It Up

Remote jobs are no longer just for convenience. Companies cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity to build a better workforce by hiring across geographical barriers. With increasing adoption of the virtual workplace, remote work is becoming a lot easier for both employees and companies, more comfortable to do, and profitable for businesses.

Besides, remote jobs have come to the rescue of millions of out-of-work professionals. If you lost your job due to the pandemic, moved to a new city, taking care of your children at home, or simply enjoy working from home, use this guide to get started now.

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