Remote work isn’t the unreachable dream it used to be. More and more companies are offering remote work as an option for some of their employees — according to Buffer, at least 46% of companies are planning to permanently allow remote work.
Maybe you have to pick up kids from daycare or stay home to care for a senior family member. Others have disabilities that make commuting difficult.
Or, maybe you’re the type of person who feels more productive when you’re in control of your own work environment. If that’s the case, you’re not alone. 90% of employees feel more productive when working remotely than when working in an office.
If the idea of working remotely interests you, let’s explore how to find a remote job and make your job search easier to achieve that goal.
A remote job is a type of job where you’ll work from a remote location instead of commuting to a traditional office location. When companies offer remote jobs, they understand that the nature of the work for this position can be achieved regardless of where you are.
Remote positions aren’t necessarily done from home. In reality, it can be done from anywhere. For example, some remote workers live a nomadic lifestyle in which they travel to different locations every year (or even every month). Others prefer to work in a coworking space close to their home to simulate the feeling of an office — but without the long commute.
Many remote workers also use the opportunity to visit friends and family across the country. Some manage to care for pets and children while they remain in their homes.
Remote work isn’t one-size-fits-all. Companies can adopt a variety of remote work styles, including:
Distributed workforce: This is an umbrella term that means employees of this company are spread out across the globe in some way. It can mean some people work as part of a remote team from home, but it can also mean there are several offices across the world.
Distributed and fully remote workforce: A fully distributed and remote workforce doesn’t have any centralized office. Everyone works remotely.
Work at home/work from home: This is a general term that means you’re allowed to work from home. However, that doesn’t mean you’re constricted to your home. It depends on the specifics of the company.
Work from anywhere: Your location is completely irrelevant to your job. You can even live outside of the country. Some companies will require you to be legally able to work in the U.S., while others will accept to hire you as an outside contractor.
Agile workforce: This type of workforce doesn’t just entail remote-friendly jobs — it also includes openness to part-time and full-time work, the capacity to adapt to new technologies, and overall flexibility.
Remote-friendly or remote-ok: These companies usually have a centralized office where you can do your work, but they allow remote work, too. Some of these companies will require you to live in the same town or city as your office.
Satellite offices: Instead of having a single office, some companies have satellite offices that work remotely from another location. While this allows you to work remotely from the central location, you’ll still be required to commute to the satellite office.
When you work a remote job, you may become an employee or work as a contractor.
When you work as an in-house employee, you get added to that company’s payroll. This is also known as a W-2 employee. Your employer is responsible for withholding taxes from your paycheck and providing you with benefits. The minimum requirements for benefits depend on which state you live in, but here are some federal minimums:
Social Security contributions
Worker’s compensation insurance
Family and medical leave (for companies with 50 or more employees)
Many companies will provide paid vacation time, parental leave, additional health insurance, bonuses, and more. But keep in mind that those job benefits depend on the company.
Working as a contractor or freelancer is different. You’re known as a 1099 contractor when this happens. As a remote contractor, you provide services under a specific agreement or contract. You’re responsible for your own taxes, vacation time, insurance, and more.
As a contractor, you have more freedom over how to do your job. Some contractors work part-time for several companies, while others will work full-time for one company and take on side gigs at the same time. You also can’t be fired without notice if your contract specifies that notice is required.
Think remote work would suit your situation? Here are four steps to help you find a remote job that suits your skills and needs.
Remote jobs aren’t all the same. Nearly all traditional office jobs can be done remotely since the beginning of the pandemic.
And while some companies are reverting back to traditional office settings, others will either remain fully remote or at least offer it as an option for their employees. Global Workplace Analytics predicts that 25–30% of the U.S. workforce will work from home at least one day a week once the pandemic is over.
Because a variety of positions exist that can be done remotely, it’s up to you to look at your previous experience and skillset and examine your transferable skills. What job history or life experiences do you have that could translate to remote work?
Here’s an example — if you’ve worked as a server in the foodservice industry, you likely have the following skills:
Ability to multitask
These skills could be transferable to jobs in customer service, which can easily be done from home. That type of work is also friendly to entry-level job seekers.
If you’re making a complete career change, don’t just consider your transferable skills. Take some time to consider what you really want to do. While you may not be able to land your dream job right away, you should look for an entry-level position that will help you build the skills required to get there.
For instance, let’s say you want to lead a high-performing sales team one day. You’ll need to improve your communication, leadership, and sales skills. Starting a role as an entry-level sales associate could be your first step.
Once you’ve got an idea of what you’d like to do, it’s time to search for remote opportunities.
An easy way to get started is to use Jobcase. Jobcase can help you network with other job seekers and hiring managers, but it’s also a great platform to find a variety of job opportunities. That’s because it allows you to filter your job search to look at remote companies and opportunities only.
First, go to Jobcase.com. When you land on the home page, you’ll see a tab at the top named “Jobs.” Click on this menu item.
You’ll land on the job search tool. You should start by specifying your location. While you’re looking for a remote job, some companies only hire employees in specific locations. If you live a nomadic lifestyle, enter your current location — but make sure to read the job description carefully so that you only apply to jobs that won’t require you to commute at all.
Now it’s time to enter relevant keywords based on what you’re looking for. For instance, enter “bookkeeping” if you want a job as a bookkeeper. You could also try “bookkeeper.”
Next, click the “Search” button. You’ll be presented with all the job listings that contain the keyword you typed.
Select the Remote Work Only option on the left-hand menu to make sure you only see remote job opportunities. This will filter all job postings accordingly.
Look through all the options available to you, making sure to review the job postings carefully. Always read the entire job description before you apply. Some employers will leave highly specific instructions to check whether applicants have good attention to detail.
Bookmark the postings that interest you and that you qualify for so that you can batch apply later.
Don’t hesitate to try out other locations during your search. Some remote positions only appear for certain locations. Just make sure to verify the job is really remote before you apply. You wouldn’t want to land a job that’s 15 hours away from your current location unless you’re willing to relocate.
Before you apply to one or more jobs, you should tweak your resume. The first step is to ensure your resume is up to date with your latest skills, job experiences, education or training, and other relevant life experiences.
But you shouldn’t stop there. Customize your resume to each job opportunity to highlight the right skills that the job demands. For example, you’ll need to put more emphasis on attention to detail if you apply to a data entry position compared to a customer service representative job.
Do your research on each company to see their values. While you shouldn’t fabricate a completely new career goal based on another company’s values, you’ll know what to emphasize.
Many interviews for remote job opportunities will also be remote. It’s important to take a few extra steps when preparing for this type of interview.
For example, get your tech in check. This means you should:
Download and run any software you’ll need beforehand (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or other video conferencing software)
Test your camera and microphone to ensure your voice is clear and the image is crisp enough to see you clearly
Test your Internet connection to verify it’s strong enough to maintain a video call
Let people in your home know when the interview will occur so that they don’t make an overwhelming amount of noise during the call
If you have low Internet bandwidth, kindly ask the people in your home to limit their Internet usage during your interview
Once all your technology is secured, you should prepare the background your potential employer will see when they chat with you. You don’t need a highly polished area with perfect interior design but avoid visual clutter. You should also remove any items that you wouldn’t want an employer to see.
Make sure you don’t have people walking behind your camera during the interview. If it’s possible, move your computer to a room with a locking door.
Finally, do a practice call with a friend before the real interview. You’ll not only get to practice how you behave on camera, but you’ll also verify if the tech runs smoothly. Do your best to do this test with someone located outside of your home — or at least on a separate network. This will allow you to make a realistic test.
Unfortunately, not all remote jobs are legitimate. There are predators out there looking for opportunities to scam people out of their hard-earned money.
Luckily, it’s possible to spot a work-from-home scam if you know what to look for.
First, a legitimate company that’s looking to hire someone will never ask for your personal financial information until you’ve signed an employment contract. So if a hiring manager asks for your Social Security number, banking information, or other personal information, steer clear. They could be attempting to steal your identity or use your banking information for fraudulent purposes.
A legitimate business will also never require you to shell out upfront expenses to access work. If you’re a contractor, you may be expected to supply your own tools. But you should never have to pay a company to be able to work.
Finally, look at the information in the job post. Scams often have unprofessional-looking contact info, like personal Gmail addresses. They’ll also have little to no information about the company.
Overall, if an opportunity seems too good to be true — such as extremely good pay for very little work — stay vigilant.
There’s an abundance of remote careers available for people of all experience levels and skill sets. One of the ways you can find more remote job opportunities is by using Jobcase to network with other professionals and find remote-only job postings.
Sign up for free today to start your remote job search.