So, you’re considering making the switch to remote work, either because you’d like to work from home or maybe you’d like to lead a digital nomad lifestyle. But you’re wondering: “What should I be looking for in a remote job?” Or, if you’re “remote” already: “Is remote work overhyped, or do I just have a bad employer?”
If this sounds like you, keep reading as we take a deep dive into what remote workers should look for in a remote employer.
Wait, what’s a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is anybody who’s referred to as “location-independent” as a result of them being able to work remotely, and leverages this unique opportunity to travel continuously.
Considering the current of things (hello, COVID-19 👋), it’s worth noting that being a digital nomad doesn’t mean you need to travel between countries. Many digital nomads travel within their own countries, sometimes even via their own camper vans.
It’s a thing; look it up. It’s really interesting!
Why are you (or why do you want to be) remote?
First of all, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to work remotely (nomad or otherwise) simply because it’s the hot new thing and it sounds exciting. We only live once, so why not?
This is especially true if you learn best by doing. If it turns out that it’s not for you, there’s no harm done really.
Who says you can’t go home? — Bon Jovi
However, the most likely scenario is that you’ve considered working remotely because your current lifestyle isn’t allowing you to be your best self. Perhaps you’d like to learn more about other cultures (or even yourself — that is, soul-searching), or maybe you’re looking to reinvent your lifestyle by embracing flexible hours or switching up your routine in the hope that it might improve your mental health or boost your level of work output.
Also, there’s nothing wrong with craving a little wanderlust if international digital nomadism is what you’re thinking about.
Some digital nomads simply enjoy the cheaper cost of living (which benefits them) while boosting the GDP (gross domestic product) of their host city/country (which benefits the city/country, assuming of course they’re contributing responsibly).
However, with that being said, employers don’t always enable remote work as well as they could (even when they’re supposed to be a fully-remote company), so what exactly should one look for when searching for a digital nomad–friendly remote job?
Let’s take a look.
1. Flexible Hours
One thing that’s very synonymous with remote work is flexible hours, especially when team members are distributed (because of the multiple timezones). This appeals to digital nomads a lot because they typically would like to explore the city/country that they’re visiting.
But “flexible hours” can be misleading. Sometimes, it means “as long as the work is completed” — which, in translation, actually means “we’ll keep sending you more work while trying to convince you that you’re mismanaging your time”.
Many remote workers say that, although they technically have the freedom to work whenever they want, there’s so much work to do that they have literally no life in their work-life balance.
A remote work contract must include the following:
- the amount of forced vacation
- the number of hours you must work
- a crystal-clear overtime agreement
Hopefully, all of this should be evident from the job description, but if it isn’t, then enter the remote job interview with a bucket of questions. Trust your instincts.
Speak to other remote employees if you can.
2. Productivity/Mental Health
As much as your remote employer should care about your work life, they should also care about your life life. Besides, how you feel outside of work deeply impacts the way you work anyway.
Finding the Perfect Remote Job Opportunity