8 People Share Why They Decided to Start Working Remotely
There’s nothing quite like experiencing the benefits of remote work to inspire a search for work flexibility. When Remote.co asked successful virtual workers to share their stories, we got great responses from people who travel the world while working remotely, as well as from virtual workers whose careers are primarily in a home-based office.
As part of our remote workers Q&A, where digital nomads and remote workers answer commonly asked questions, Remote.co posed this query: how and why did you start working remotely?
Here are some of the great responses Remote.co received from people who decided to start working remotely:
After working the 9-to-9 in NYC for over a decade, we decided that the world was too big and our vacation time was too short. So we quit our traditional jobs and set out on a 500-day honeymoon around the world. Halfway through the journey, our travel site HoneyTrek.com had gained a loyal following and enough acclaim (Conde Nast Traveler, Daily Mail, LA Times, etc.) that we were able to continue traveling (today is day 1,703) and run it as a business from the road.
I started at EContent in 2008, and we always had a small, satellite office. As our numbers dwindled, so did the reasons to have an office. First I started working from home on Fridays—then I became the editor of the magazine during a particularly bad winter in New England. I was lucky if I could get out of my driveway and to the office once or twice a week. I started to realize I didn’t need to be near the office, and started thinking about moving closer to friends and family. Eventually we closed the office—which was down to two people—and just started working from home full-time.
A few years ago I found myself in an interesting situation; I was a few months pregnant with my second child and had just been laid off. I worked a few contract jobs at home over the next year and a half and loved the flexibility that it provided. When I decided to go back to work full-time, I knew that I would be happiest working remotely. Even though my kids are in daycare and school, working at home gives me the flexibility to be a more active part of their lives. Rather than commuting four hours a day (like I used to!), I’m able to do things like eat breakfast with them, go to their doctor’s appointments, and in general, be there for them in a way that I wasn’t able to before. I found my current position at GitHub through FlexJobs and am grateful every day for the life I have because of it.
I am an onsite employee with an office, but started taking the option to work remotely about 10 years ago. In this day and age, where we all have laptops and cell phones, adding a couple of apps makes it pretty simple and makes business sense. I have meetings throughout my day with global teams. Some days I start very early; some I go very late to accommodate projects and different time zones. I often feel more productive and engaged if I work remotely because I avoid commutes and have more flexibility in balancing my workday and personal needs.
It was sort of an accident! I had moved to Waco to get married (my husband and I own a restaurant there that we had opened before I moved away to grad school). Long story short, I didn’t really fit into my local economy. I had a graduate degree in English but didn’t want to work as an adjunct teacher or pursue a PhD at the local university; I had worked as a chef but didn’t want to work in a steakhouse (Waco’s a smaller town); and I didn’t want to work in the restaurant with my husband day-to-day. I started learning to code online via Skillcrush, really clicked with Adda, the CEO, and a few months later was hired to kick the blog into shape and take over the newsletter. From there I quickly took on more hours and went full-time building the content marketing team…. After two years of working remotely, I decided to take full advantage of the work flexibility.
Life is too short to be sitting in the same office with the same people every day, and I really wanted the option to live more nomadically and experience new things in my day-to-day life. A remote career was just the ticket. This year I’m going on a “winter workcation” to Austin, Texas, for a few months and last year I rented a little beach cottage in North Carolina. Often, the cost of a monthly Airbnb rental is only a little more than if you’d stay for a week, so this kind of longer-term traveling gives me more bang for my travel buck, which allows me to really get to know a new city. And instead of taking tons of time off, I get to experience the new location in the evenings and on weekends. Bonus!
I’ve always loved traveling, and I could never come to terms with only being able to travel four or five weeks a year—which was all I was able to do back when I had a “real” job in a “real” office. I basically wanted to explore the world more, not just in terms of traveling and seeing the world, but experiencing what it is like to live in and immerse myself in different cultures and so on. Besides that, I’ve always seen myself as a bit of an outsider—not really wanting (or even being able) to really fit in as far as my own culture goes. The thought of living a “normal” 9-to-5 life always seemed a bit, well, dreadful to me, to be honest. I don’t think I’d be happy living that way. For years I tried to, and it always felt like a bit of a lie.
Ready to start working remotely? Check out these tips:
- Stay abreast of remote work trends. Remote work predictions for 2018 look ahead to rising trends, including the increasing number of companies without borders; the growth of the freelancer and “free agent” movements that are transforming the workplace; and changes in company policies, thanks to the #MeToo movement and efforts to make workplaces safe for everyone.
- Understand what remote professionals should know in 2018. Start by scoping out the fastest-growing remote jobs as a way to determine where you stand. It also helps to know the specific skills and technological set-up you need to work remotely, as well as the fact that, more and more, employers are embracing remote work as a business strategy, rather than a “perk.”
- Plug in to how remote work can broaden your career horizons. Pondering retirement? Why retire if you can re-think your plans, with remote work as an option that can keep you active, in the loop, and moving into a new career phase, rather than ending your work life altogether. Even if you’re nowhere near retirement, exploring ways to work remotely can be an eye-opening means of expanding your career options.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
By Adrianne Bibby | Categories: Work Remotely