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Frequently asked questions
What is remote work?
There isn't a one-size-fits-all definition of remote work. It takes on a variety of different forms depending on the size, stage, and philosophy of a company and will change as the company matures.
In general, remote work is a working style that lets you work outside the traditional office environment based on the idea that work doesn't need to be done from a specific place.
Under this definition, remote employees skip the daily commute to the office and work from wherever they please which gives them better work-life balance.
Remote work can also mean working from home a few days a week and working in the office the rest of the time. Even if a company doesn't support remote work, if it has multiple offices it deals with similar challenges to a remote company despite not falling into the above definition of remote work. Even a co-located office with multiple floors will adopt some remote work practices.
How do people work remotely?
There are a number of ways to work remotely but to be successful requires the right mix of culture, processes, and technology.
There is no single best way to work remotely, teams and people can choose to work in the way that suits their needs and desires. That's one of the key benefits of remote work.
For example, you may choose to work from home most of the week to reduce commuting time but go into the office on Friday to catch up with your co-workers. Generally, you work from your home office or nearby cafe and work from the company's office as needed.
Other remote employees who aren't co-located in the same city as an office may choose to work from a co-working space as it offers a better work environment than their home while allowing them to network and connect with other people throughout their workday.
Some remote workers take full advantage of the flexibility that remote working proves and choose to be digital nomads, setting their own schedule and working from wherever they want. Whether that is a remote location halfway across the world or the next town over.
The common characteristics that are needed to work remotely are:
- Reliable Internet: Remote work depends heavily on fast and reliable Internet for video conferencing, real-time collaboration, and access to SaaS products.
- Communication and collaboration tools: Remote workers need to collaborate with each other via team chat, video conferencing, file sharing, and project management software. Read our guide on remote collaboration tools and best practices to learn more.
- Strong culture: High-performing remote teams have cultures built on trust and teamwork, and are typically focused more on results than hours worked. This culture is built on the back of supportive management that understands the benefits that remote workers provide to their business.
What jobs can be done remotely?
Remote work has never been more popular, forcing companies to adapt their jobs to fit into a remote-first world. Any job where the bulk of work can be done online is fair game but below are popular remote jobs and industries.