For many years, working from home was just a dream for most employees. Today, it’s become commonplace.
Remote work has already doubled and is expected to increase by more than 87% by 2025, according to the employment platform FlexJobs. The pandemic played a big role in the increase, but there are other factors too.
Cutting down on commuting helps fight climate change and may lower turnover. A survey reported by Forbes found that 97% of employees don’t want to return to the office full-time.
If you’re job hunting or about to start, you have more options than in the past. Learn how to make remote work part of your criteria for finding a new position.
Seeking a Remote Position:
1. Focus on knowledge. Some types of work are more flexible than others. If you’re a firefighter or an airline pilot, you can’t really stay home. On the other hand, knowledge workers, like accountants and writers, can easily find such positions.
2. Select keywords. In addition to remote and hybrid work, use common synonyms, like telecommuting and virtual jobs. You might also search for listings that mention balance and flexibility.
3. Use your network. Some strategies apply to any job search. Reach out to your contacts for information and recommendations.
4. Talk with recruiters. Combining a variety of methods will often shorten your job search. Let recruiters know that you’re interested in new opportunities, especially if they mean working from home.
5. Visit specialized sites. Online positions might be advertised anywhere these days, but some platforms cater to such arrangements. Sign up for customized alerts at places like Virtual Vocations and Remotive.
6. Share your experience. Let potential employers know why you’re a great remote candidate. Describe what you’ve accomplished working from home and how you communicate effectively. Highlight your technology skills too.
7. Prepare for video interviews. Make sure you’re ready for an online hiring process. Test your internet connection and devices. Rehearse what you want to say. Practice making eye contact and keeping the conversation flowing.
8. Check restrictions. Some remote positions will allow you to travel the world, but others have limits. For example, you might need to live in a certain area for tax reasons.
9. Stay safe. Many reputable companies allow you to work from home, but you still need to watch out for scams. Beware of anyone promising unlimited earnings. Walk away if they ask you to pay money upfront or demand sensitive information like social security numbers.
Negotiating to Make Your New Position Remote:
1. Set priorities. It’s more challenging when an employer isn’t offering remote work. You’ll have to decide if they seem open to the idea, or if you’re willing to compromise.
2. Prove your worth. Strengthen your position by demonstrating the unique contributions that you can make. Focus on the reasons why working from home would benefit your employer, like saving on office space.
3. Take it gradually. Your new boss may prefer a slower approach. Maybe they’ll agree to hybrid work that will require you to come into the office only 2 or 3 days a week. Maybe you can arrange a trial period for a few weeks or months.
4. Try other changes. If remote work is out of the question at least temporarily, see if you can use other methods to get some of the same results. A four-day work week would cut down on your commute. A weekly casual dress day would let you wear your sweatpants.
When asked if they enjoyed working from home, 82% of workers agreed or strongly agreed, according to another survey by Forbes. Many studies show that productivity remains high too. Finding a remote job could turn out well for you and your next employer.