What Is Working Remotely? (With Tips, Careers, Salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 October 2021

Many employers use technological advancements to allow their employees to work in unconventional ways, such as from home, and the job market has evolved significantly because of this. Remote-based work has many advantages for companies and offers employees more flexibility. If you're considering a remote job offer, understanding how working remotely can affect your life is essential for deciding if this type of employment is right for you. In this article, we explain different types of remote work, explore the benefits of this employment type and list popular careers you may consider if you're interested in becoming a remote professional.

What is working remotely?

Working remotely, or working from home, is employment done outside of the traditional office environment. The concept of remote work is that employees can perform their regular duties without commuting to an office. Typically, employees who work remotely stay in touch with their team members and supervisors through digital tools and IT solutions, such as business communication platforms or video calls. There are several types of remote work, including:

Fully remote jobs

Fully remote employees work exclusively from their remote locations. They often work for companies that have traditional offices. It's also possible for employees of this type to work for fully remote companies, which are businesses that don't have physical offices. Many businesses that employ fully remote employees have adapted a specific structure that supports remote employment. For instance, it's common that they organise annual trips for the employees to get to know each other while working from one place for a few weeks. They sometimes refer to it using the term 'workation' (work and vacation) or 'workoliday' (work and holiday).

Related: Everything You Should Know About Working From Home

Flexible jobs

This type of employment offers some flexibility with location, schedule or both. It's common for flexible jobs to require that you work from the office a few times per week and allow you to telecommute at least once per week. Similarly, some employers offering flexible jobs may allow you to work from home most of the time but require that you commute to the office once per week to attend in-person team or client meetings.

Freelancing

A freelancer is a remote employee who often works for multiple companies or clients. Most freelancers start with completing side projects on top of their full-time job and become self-employed once they've got enough experience to take on more clients. If you're interested in freelancing, you may focus on a career that you can pursue and develop online, such as digital marketing, social media management or copywriting.

Advantages of remote work

Here are some key benefits of working remotely:

Flexible lifestyle

Pursuing a remote career provides people with the lifestyle flexibility that's typically impossible to achieve when working full time from an office. It gives remote employees the opportunity to work from wherever they want and change their schedules to fit their current life situation. For example, parents who work from home may choose to schedule their work around their children's activities.

Better work-life balance

Typically, people who work remotely can maintain a better work-life balance because their employers don't require that they work from one location. Remote employees can use the time that they'd otherwise spend commuting to work pursuing passions or doing things with their families. Adding those hours back to their day often results in being less stressed and more productive at work.

Saving money

Working remotely is a great way to save money. By allowing their employees to work remotely, employers can cut costs and spend less on things such as furniture, equipment or rent. Similarly, employees who work from home can save the money that they'd spend on commuting or lunch.

5 popular remote careers

Although nowadays it's possible to find remote-based jobs in almost all industries, there are some careers where work-from-home opportunities are more popular. Here are five careers that you may consider if you'd like to work remotely:

1. Virtual assistant

National average salary: €11.55 per hour

Primary duties: A virtual assistant (VA) is a professional that supports business owners and digital entrepreneurs by offering administrative services to them. Their duties commonly include scheduling appointments, checking email and calendars, making phone calls and travel arrangements or other things that may help their clients save valuable time during the day. Important qualities for VAs include reliability, resourcefulness and self-motivation. They also benefit from excellent organisation, communication and time-management skills, which they use to support their clients' businesses and projects.

Related: Communication Skills You Need To Succeed

2. Social media manager

National average salary: €32,232 per year

Primary duties: A social media manager is a digital professional responsible for a brand's communication on social media, which involves creating and posting content on their social media channels. Their responsibilities include engaging with online communities to maintain the brand's reputation and implementing engaging social media campaigns to promote products or services. In their day-to-day work, social media managers take advantage of excellent organisational, interpersonal and project management skills. It's also important that they stay up-to-date with marketing trends and are proficient users of various digital marketing and advertising tools.

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions and Examples

3. Digital marketing specialist

National average salary: €37,018 per year

Primary duties: Digital marketing specialists, or digital marketers, are professionals who design, plan and implement digital sales and marketing strategies for products and services. They need strong persuasive writing skills and knowledge of the best SEO and SEM practices. It's important for them to master the most popular digital advertising tools. Experienced marketers may consider advancing to a leadership role as a head of marketing and managing a team of marketers. Typically, getting promoted to a senior role in this field requires that they have expert knowledge in many areas of marketing, such as content, inbound or outbound marketing.

Related: What Are Leadership Skills?

4. Copywriter

National average salary: €38,758 per year

Primary duties: A copywriter is typically responsible for creating engaging written content for brands, including newsletters, blog posts, articles, landing pages or e-books. Their duties include researching keywords, producing interesting texts and proofreading their work. It's common for experienced copywriters to work in quality assurance, ensuring that content which other writers produce complies with project guidelines. Many copywriters who work from home are self-employed and work with multiple clients. If you enjoy writing and would like to pursue this career, consider strengthening your creativity, research and communication skills.

5. Software developer

National average salary: €56,963 per year

Primary duties: Software developers are IT professionals who write and develop software tools, including games and other applications. They typically work remotely alongside UX and UI designers, testers and writers to perform tasks related to researching, implementing and evaluating software programmes. One of the key elements of a successful career in software development is knowledge of programming. Some of the most popular coding languages that developers use include Java, Python, C++ or Scala.

Tips for a successful remote work career

Adjusting to working remotely may take some time and require you to learn new skills or create new habits. Here are some tips that might help the transition easier for you:

  • Structure your days. Although working remotely often gives you the freedom to work whenever you like, it's important that you plan out your days to have enough time for pursuing your passions or spending time with family. To structure your workday, you can use organisation and time-management tools, such as to-do lists and planners.

  • Dress for the job. Taking the time in the morning to dress as if you were preparing to leave the house is a great way to wake up your body and get in the mood for work. It also makes you look more professional during video calls with clients or supervisors.

  • Leave personal tasks for later. Sorting laundry or paying utility bills during work hours may cause decreased productivity and staying up late to finish work. To avoid this, leave personal tasks for after work.

  • Stay connected with your co-workers. Working from home may feel lonely, but staying in touch with your team members is a great way to feel you're a part of a community. To do that, consider scheduling virtual coffee breaks and lunches during which you can quickly exchange new ideas or brainstorm.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.