How to Offer Truly Remote Work

How to Offer Truly Remote Work

If it seems like more people are working from home these days, they are.

Every year the organization I work for, FlexJobs, researches the state of remote work. Our 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce report shows that remote work exceeds public transportation as the commute option of choice in more than half of the top U.S. metro areas. And remote work has grown far faster than any other commute mode.

As of 2017, 43 percent of U.S. workers work remotely at least occasionally, up from 9 percent of workers in 2007. And in a survey of over 5,000 professionals, 81 percent said remote work is their most-wanted type of work flexibility, ahead of flexible scheduling, part-time schedules, and freelancing.

If you’re interested in moving your organization toward more remote work, keep reading.

Taking Remote Work to the Next Level: Anywhere

Along with the rise in the remote workforce has come a rise in a small subset of remote work opportunities: work-from-anywhere jobs.

At FlexJobs, we review thousands of remote job listings each month. Only about five percent of remote jobs can truly be done from anywhere, provided the worker has a reliable Internet connection and the equipment they need to do the job. That means 95 percent of remote jobs have specific location requirements.

For a variety of reasons, many that you’re probably familiar with, companies often require remote workers to be in a specific location. Often, it has to do with collecting employment taxes, being available for in-person meetings, or being near clients or specific airports for work-related travel.

As more professionals show interest in remote work, and the benefits of hiring remote workers become more apparent, companies should also start thinking about which of their roles can be done not just remotely, but from anywhere.

Companies Offering Work-from-Anywhere Jobs

If you’re just starting this process, there’s good news: a new list of the top 25 companies with the most work-from-anywhere remote jobs gives insight into which companies are hiring this way and what types of work-from-anywhere jobs they’re offering.

“We place the emphasis on outcomes, not physical presence,” says Andrew Cullen, lead product designer with company number 19 on our list, InvisionApp, a workflow platform for design professionals. “Being remote also lets us tap into talent that isn’t limited by physical location. We’re able to bring on team members who are great at what they do regardless of where they’re located.”

Breanden Beneschott, co-founder and COO of the software solutions company Toptal, number 16 on the list, agrees. “Being a remote company means that I can open up LinkedIn or any platform and hire just about anybody there. If you’re limiting your hiring search by location, you almost certainly won’t be hiring the best people because you’ll only be considering a tiny subset of all potential candidates.”

How to Offer Truly Remote Work

If you’re interested in moving your organization toward true work-from-anywhere hiring practices, there are a few things you should know.

Define your “anywhere.” If you’re not quite ready to hire remote workers anywhere in the world, start with baby steps — the borders of your country. Many of the companies on our list hire for “U.S. National” jobs, which are jobs that can be done from anywhere within the United States.

Think about employees vs. freelancers. Just as with traditional jobs, remote jobs can be classified as employee or freelance roles. Use the same guidelines as traditional roles to determine which designation fits what job. If you’re open to hiring remote workers in another country, learn their rules surrounding employee and freelance designations, too.

Get specific. Job seekers want to know the “level” of remote work you’re offering. If you’ve listed a true work-from-anywhere job, make sure your job description states that. Otherwise, be specific about where applicants need to be based, or how often they’ll be able to work remotely.

Start with jobs that are a good fit for remote work. Some of the most common work-from-anywhere job titles include writer, translator, customer service professional, tutor, researcher and editor.

Don’t forget about your company culture. Remote workers should be included in the company culture. You’ll need to make a concerted effort to extend the company culture into your remote workforce.

Set expectations about communication. Communication is the critical factor in a successful remote workforce. Set up communication methods ahead of time and be clear during the onboarding process. Let remote workers know when, by what means, and how often they should be communicating with coworkers and managers.

Train managers. Equip managers with the training they need to successfully manage remote workers, especially if they’re new to managing a remote team.