You’ve probably been curious about what is remote work. You’ve read about it and it’s something you’d want to learn more about.
With remote work comes more flexibility, less or even no more commute time, you can work on side projects and even plan your own daily schedule. You no longer have to be controlled by a 9 to 5 schedule.
Because of the quick penetration of the internet, remote working has now become a popular possibility. More and more people are exploring working full time on a remote basis.
Companies are also embracing this new trend and allowing their employees to have flexible working schedules.
Sound like something you’d like to do?
Read on and learn more about what is remote work, how to work remotely and all the opportunities available for you.
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- Top 7 Reasons to Become a Digital Nomad and Create the Life You Want
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- Become a Digital Nomad: How to Work and Travel the World Full Time
What is remote work?
So you’re definitely wondering what does working remotely mean. Remote work is a system that allows people to work outside of the traditional 9 to 5 office environment.
With remote work, you don’t need to go to an office during particular hours to get work done. Instead, you can work from anywhere at whatever time you want, as long as the work gets done.
This means that you don’t need to commute daily to an office to work from a designated desk from 9 am to 5 pm. Instead, you get to work from home or anywhere else you want within a schedule of your choice.
Why do people work remotely?
There are so many benefits that come with remote working. Here are a few top benefits:
- Freedom: You have the freedom to work wherever and whenever you wish because you are free to make your own schedule. Depending on your job function, you can work when you want to. You no longer have to get stuck working in a cubicle at the workplace. You can now have more than just the usual 9 to 5 life.
- Travel: With remote work comes a location independent life. A life that will allow you to travel the world while still working a job that you love. You now don’t have to choose between a job and full-time travel. You can choose to work in a different country every few months.
- Experiences: When you work remotely and travel the world you get to experience new cultures in the countries that you work in. You get to meet new people with different experiences and backgrounds. They get to inspire you and help you grow both as an employee and a person. You get to experience life to the fullest when still working a full-time job.
- Fewer costs: You no longer have to worry about commute costs and other expenses you’d incur when working a 9 to 5 job such as an expensive lunch at a restaurant.
- Office stress and distractions: You don’t have to deal with office gossip and politics. No more having colleagues distracting you from work and definitely no office drama 🙂
For more benefits of working remotely check out our Top 7 Reasons To Become A Digital Nomad post.
How can I work remotely?
Now that you know what is remote work let’s take a look at how you can make this awesome working system a reality.
There are several ways that you can work remotely.
You can ask your employer to allow you to work from home a few days of the week and go to the office in person for another few days.
So instead of working a full 5 days in the office, you can have 3 days where you work remotely and two days at the office.
This is a great plan to get you used to the remote work system as you prepare to go remote full-time.
Working From Home
The other option is to work the entire five days remotely and only go to the office when necessary. With such an arrangement you never get to go to the office unless there is a meeting you need to attend or any other reason that needs your attention in person.
With this kind of arrangement, you can work from home, from a cafe or a coworking space. Coworking spaces are hubs that give you a more relaxed office environment without the distractions that come with a home office.
You can choose to work in a coworking space a few hours daily or for a few days every week. Coworking spaces are great because they allow you to work productively without having to use a traditional office. You also get to meet other remote workers that you can bounce off ideas with.
Set up a home office
If you have the chance to work remotely on a full-time basis without the need to go to an office, you can choose to take your work on the road and travel full-time as you work.
With such an arrangement you get to live and work from a new country every couple of months or as you desire.
Radhika living and working from Fortaleza , Brazil
Pathways to working remotely
As you’ve seen, there are different ways to become a remote worker and enjoy this kind of flexible life.
The type of pathway you choose will depend on your skills and of course on what you want to achieve.
Here are some options to think about:
1. Take your current job on the road
The first option to explore is your current job. Does it require you to be in one place? If not, ask your boss if you can work remotely. If they say, yes – hooray! Pack your bags — you’re ready to go.
Wondering how to convince your boss to let you work remotely? We have some tips on this blog post: How to Work Remotely: A Toolkit to Convince Your Boss
2. Find a remote job
If it’s impossible to turn your current job into a remote job then your second option is to find a remote job.
The good thing is that there are so many digital nomad friendly companies that let you work remotely.
Here are some pretty good sites that you can use to find a remote job today:
- Remotive Jobs
- We Work Remotely
- Remote Ok
- Remote Workers Club
- Skip the Drive
- Working Nomads
3. Start freelancing
If you want to totally do away with having a boss and instead want to be your own boss, then consider becoming a freelancer.
As a freelancer, you have the freedom to choose the kind of jobs to do and whom to work with.
You might even decide to change your career entirely.
For instance, you may currently be working in sales but you enjoy doing graphic design you may now choose to work as a freelance graphic designer.
Freelancing is how we started and we actually recommend this pathway to most newbies. It’s the perfect starting point for your new location independent life.
Freelancing comes with a world of advantages including:
- Flexibility: Freelancing allows you the flexibility to work when, with whom and where you want.
- A growing economy: There’s a growing number of freelancers. According to the freelance marketplace, Upwork, 3 million jobs are posted on their site, every year. That’s over 8000 jobs EACH DAY! That’s a lot of work!
- Availability of work: People around the world are becoming more open to hiring freelancers and finding the right person for the job — even if that person happens to be on the other side of the world.
- You get to do what you’re good at/love: It’s so easy to make use of a skill that you already have to make money freelancing.
How does freelancing work?
Freelancing is quite simple actually.
So you have a skill, you find people who are looking to hire people with that skill, you do the job and you get paid. Simple.
It will take you some time to find your footing as a freelancer especially if you are just starting out but it’s totally doable and there are soo many people making a successful living working as freelancers.
If you want to start freelancing, here is what you need to do:
- Identify your skill – What skill do you currently have that you can sell to clients? Begin by identifying if you have a marketable skill that people would want to hire you for. The best skills to explore are those that are in high demand.
- Sell your skill – Once you’ve identified the skill you have the next step is to market yourself. This means letting people know you have skill A and you’re available for hire. It’s important to build an online presence before you even start looking for clients.
- Find clients – Once you’ve built your online presence you can now start looking for clients. A good place to start is to get freelance work from the people you already know. You can also find your clients through networking and other means. Get creative and push hard. Put yourself out there.
- Build an income – Before you leave your old job make sure that you have consistent work so that you have some assurance of having consistent income once you go remote. Build a stream of steady work so you can comfortably live a digital nomad lifestyle.
Where can you find freelance work?
There are several ways to find sustainable freelance work including:
- Freelancing platforms: There are lots of online platforms that you can use to find potential clients. Some are quite good while others are just a waste of your time so do some research before joining any of them. Our favourite (and the one we’ve used most extensively) is Upwork. Check out other options in this article: 52 websites to find freelance work.
- Networking: Your networks will greatly come through when you’re looking for freelance work. Talk to friends, family, former colleagues and even employers to find out if they have any opportunities or know someone who is looking to hire a freelancer. Put yourself out there. Anyone could be a potential client – don’t be afraid to ask.
- Cold calling/ emailing: Check out different companies and entrepreneurs that you’d want to work with and send them a cold (i.e. unsolicited) email introducing yourself and your services. If you do your research and pitch yourself the right way, a cold email can lead to freelance work.
- Online networking: Facebook groups and other online forums can be a fantastic source of freelance work. Join groups for freelancers, digital nomads or any other group where your potential client is likely to hang out. You’ll see plenty of opportunities to pitch yourself and your services.
Upwork – The biggest freelancing platform online.
4. Become an entrepreneur
If you don’t want to trade your skills for money and would rather run your own gig then consider becoming an entrepreneur.
Here are some ideas for that:
Whenever you ask someone what is remote work they’re highly likely to mention blogging. Blogging is one of the most popular ways of making an online income.
You can make money blogging by building a blog and monetising it with advertising, sponsorships and so much more.
Interested in starting a blog but don’t know how to go about it? Check out our free course: Free 5 day blogging course.
You can make money online by promoting products and services. By doing so, you earn a commission whenever someone makes a purchase based on your recommendation.
You can learn more about affiliate marketing here.
Got a product to sell? Sell it online. E-commerce is a super popular way to make a location independent income. The secret is to sell a product that’s in demand and sell it in the most profitable way.
Got a unique product or service that could change the world? Build your own startup and work on it remotely.
Building a startup will not be an easy task and you’ll need a good dose of patience. Stay open to learning and remember that you might fail at the start but don’t give up.
If necessary, you can always start freelancing to create an income while you build your new startup.
Options for learning
Do you feel like you don’t have the right or enough skills to successfully work remotely? Don’t worry you can teach yourself a skill or two in just a few weeks.
There are some incredible online courses that will teach you everything you need to know about a particular skill.
Here are some suggestions for online course providers:
- Khan Academy
Don’t get too excited and sign up for the very first course that you come across. Do your due diligence and purchase your course from a known course provider. This way you get to purchase a course that will give you maximum training.
We have a pretty comprehensive list of course providers here: Best Online Course Providers: Learn the Skills You Need to Become a Digital Nomad
Now that you understand what is remote work how about you go on and give it a try. If you truly desire to live a more flexible lifestyle and quit the cubicle life then it’s time you look into how remote work could work for you.
Have you been wanting to work remotely? What has held you back? Let us know in the comments section.
Fulltime Nomad is your passport to saying no to normal, and yes to a life of unlimited travel. Founded by Radhika & Johnny, this blog will help YOU take that big scary first step towards building your own freedom lifestyle. Are you new? Start here.