Remote work: How to get it, how to ace it

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The world of work is changing. Flexibility and work-life balance are gaining in importance for employees and employers are more focused on hiring for the best skills regardless of location. Improved technology and communication tools have made it viable for many roles to be worked from anywhere in the world. How do you find a remote job and once you’ve been hired what do you need to do to be successful?

survey by OwlLabs, a company that manufactures products to make communication between remote teams easier, showed that 16% of companies surveyed in 23 countries were fully remote and 40% had a hybrid model, offering both remote and in-office models. Of all the employees surveyed 52% work remotely at least once a week.

Companies offering remote working models are also likely to see 25% less employee turnover, so the benefits for both staff and employers are clear: greater job satisfaction and improved employee retainment.

Because remote roles, by their nature, are not limited by geography the world of remote work can be highly competitive. Beyond the obvious skills you need for the specific roles you are applying for, here are some things you can do to improve your chances of bagging a remote role and then making sure you keep it.

Decide if remote working is right for you

This is the most important first step. If you can’t spend an afternoon by yourself or find it difficult to make decisions, then working remotely is not for you. While most companies will be focused on how to keep their remote team connected, the reality is that remote working requires a lot of alone time. A study by the Harvard Business Review showed that more remote workers felt left out or shunned by their team than in-office workers. Be honest with yourself and analyse if you truly have what it takes to work by yourself most of the time.

Get creative with job applications

If you have decided remote working is right for you then you need to get creative with your applications. There is even more competition for remote roles than in-house roles so it’s essential to stand out from the crowd.

Prove you are capable of working independently

Even if you have never worked remotely before, highlight times in your career when you have worked independently and how you did that successfully. Once you’ve been hired show you can work autonomously, but make sure to ask for help when you need it.

Focus on your communication skills

In the hiring process and once you have been hired make sure you communicate clearly and concisely in writing (emails, chat messages, etc.) as well as face-to-face (videoconferencing and in-office meetings). Working at a distance means that non-verbal communication plays less of a role and increases the chances of miscommunication. Clear and concise is the way to go and remember the person you are communicating with may not share a native language with you.

Consider a flexible working space

Remote working need not be lonely. The biggest downside of working from home is potential isolation. This can be overcome by using a desk at a flexible workspace such as LACS. Working with other people around, who may also be remote workers themselves, offers you a sense of community and belonging that you may lack otherwise. There are only so many people in your life you can have coffee with at a moment’s notice, increase that number by joining a flexible workspace.

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