Love it or hate it, remote work is here to stay. Whether due to changes brought about by the pandemic or a desire to create greater work-life balance, many people are choosing jobs they can do from the comfort of home. From July 2021 to July 2022, search queries for terms like “remote jobs near me” and “entry level remote jobs” jumped 300%, according to Semrush. Meanwhile, as of a September 2021 Gallup survey, 45% of full-time U.S. employees were working remotely. This includes 25% who worked exclusively from home and 20% who worked remotely at least part of the time.
In other parts of the world, remote work is also gaining popularity due to its positive environmental impact. In a survey by European Investment Bank, 36% of respondents said they favor remote work as a means to combat climate change.
If reducing your carbon footprint isn’t enough of a motivator, consider the benefits touted by leading researchers at Gallup, Harvard University, Global Workplace Analytics, and Stanford University:
- Productivity. On average, remote employees are 35% to 40% more productive than office workers.
- Performance. Remote workers left to do their work autonomously, produce higher-quality work with 40% fewer defects.
- Engagement. The combination of productivity and greater performance results in 41% lower absenteeism.
- Retention. Over half of employees say they would change jobs if it meant more flexibility. This can mean greater retention among remote employees.
- Profitability. Organizations can save up to $11,000 per year, per part-time remote employee. That equates to 21% higher profitability.
Clearly, the benefits of remote work are numerous, but getting started can be a challenge for both the employer and employees. It’s crucial for the success of your remote team to get the right remote work tools in place. If you’re curious whether remote work is right for you or your team, the following guide will help you weigh the pros and cons. Read on to learn the ins and outs of the world of remote work today.
What Does Remote Work Mean?
So what does remote work mean in the current day? The world of remote jobs is rapidly changing, with more and more companies embracing the idea of an employee base that works remotely at least part-time. Remote work jobs offer flexibility, better productivity, increased employee satisfaction, and lower overhead costs, making it a win-win for everyone.
Those who work remotely from home may perform their jobs from home or any other location outside of an employer’s office. In some cases, employers are choosing to forgo a traditional office entirely in favor of a virtual office model. As Forbes writer Mark Roberts puts it, the priority is having the right team, not the right place.
To enable remote jobs online, companies must also embrace technologies that keep employees connected and ensure productivity. To work remotely from home successfully, workers need to foster virtual connections that keep employees engaged. Virtual meetings and celebrations, casual online hangouts, and friendly gamification activities with rewards can help to inspire teamwork and camaraderie. For local employees, you can schedule get-togethers in real life, too.
Perhaps one of the best ways to keep virtual employees engaged is with a curated box of goodies sent straight to employees’ doors. Swag Magic’s curated swag kits are easy to customize and build with branded merchandise, snacks, and more, and you can ship them anywhere globally.
Work From Home Jobs
If you’re looking for work from home jobs, there are a few different types to consider. The most common type of remote job is one that requires minimal travel. In this case, it’s possible to do your job from the comfort of your own home without having to go into an office.
Some positions also allow for occasional travel within local areas or states, but these jobs still have more flexibility than traditional 9-to-5 positions. Other options include full-time remote positions where there are no set hours or days on which employees must show up in person at an office building.
When searching for remote work, you can use job-search platforms like LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and Indeed jobs. Jobs get updated frequently, and you can specify your search parameters to find remote jobs. You can also upload a resume and make it searchable for potential employers. Remote social work jobs, remote customer service jobs, and remote work product management part-time or full-time are just a few examples of popular work from home jobs you might find on these platforms.
How to Set Employee Expectations for Remote Work
The benefits of distributed teams can be many, but there are some challenges that come with both full-time and part time work from home jobs. For managers of distributed teams, it’s important to understand how to set employee expectations for remote work from the get-go.
The two biggest challenges with remote work are that it’s hard to measure productivity, and it’s more challenging to keep tabs on someone’s workday. You need an effective strategy for measuring productivity at a distance so you can identify any opportunities for improvements. You need regular communication with your people so they don’t feel like they’re working in isolation all day long.
Here are some tips that can help:
- Set up regular check-in times. This can be anything from daily standups to weekly one-on-ones. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what your employees need to get done that week and if there are any roadblocks in their way.
- Make it easy for them to communicate with you and their teammates. There are several tools available for this, such as Slack and Google Hangouts. Whatever tool you choose, make sure it’s easy for people on both sides of the office to access it from anywhere at any time.
- Be transparent about what’s going on in the company. Give your remote workers access to everything from company news articles to internal meetings so that they feel like they’re part of the team no matter where they are.
What Is Hybrid Remote Work?
You’ve heard talk about a hybrid model, but what is hybrid remote work exactly? Hybrid remote work is a combination of working from home and in the office. Companies with local employees may choose to allow them to work part of the week from home and part of it in the office.
Some organizations will also choose to stagger different teams’ time spent in and out of the office. For instance, one team might come into the office on Mondays and Tuesdays, and another might come in on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
It’s not just full-time roles that might utilize the hybrid model, either. Even part time remote jobs may incorporate hybrid remote work if they require employees to be in the office part of the time. So, if you’re looking for remote work part time and you prefer either a fully remote position or a hybrid arrangement, make sure you understand the expectations prior to accepting a new job.
Fully Remote Jobs
If you’re interested in fully remote jobs, you can turn to sites like We Work Remotely and Working Nomads to find remote jobs worldwide. Being a digital nomad is a lifestyle that appeals to people who love to travel, explore new destinations, and meet people from different cultures.
Plus, oftentimes, fully remote workers can set up shop in places with a low cost of living compared with their local economy. For instance, Ko Lanta, Thailand, is a beautiful island filled with powdery beaches and lush rainforests. On average, it costs just $360 per month to stay in a hotel or a private room in Ko Lanta and eat out for three meals a day.
Of course, fully remote jobs don’t have to take place in another part of the world. Many workers simply prefer the remote lifestyle over going into an office. If your organization has fully remote workers, consider sending them a Swag Magic box. Gifts such as that can keep them connected with your team culture. We have a huge catalog of items and handle all the details. All you need to do is imagine it, and we’ll source it.
Remote work might be just what your company needs to take advantage of today’s shifting workforce. If you’re ready to make the move, it’s important to not only choose remote workers wisely. It is also important to set expectations from the very beginning of their employment.
Without clear and consistent communication, your new remote workers may feel isolated. That can lead to them compromising both their performance and their loyalty. A successful remote work program begins with clear communication and planning, a willingness on all sides to try something new, and a commitment to patience along the way.
If you’re looking for more ways to engage your remote workforce, consider building a SwagMagic store and stocking it with your favorite swag. We do the work to create incredible designs, you set a budget and decide who gets a gift, and recipients shop and receive items shipped to their doors. It’s a fun, simple way to keep up with today’s changing workforce — while keeping employees happy and engaged no matter where they are.