The first thing that comes to mind when you think of remote work is freelancing; going out alone and selling your services to clients. But remote work is not just for soloists wanting to build their own business.
This is just one of the common misconceptions surrounding the remote work movement – and there are several. We cover off the top 4 below.
#1 You need to be a freelancer to work remotely
Ok, so we do see a lot of remote jobs where companies hire you on a freelance basis, but we’re seeing more and more remote job vacancies for permanent employees as well – whether full-time or part-time – and this is where the difference lies with regards to the remote work movement.
Companies are realising the many benefits associated with moving away from offices and they’re taking the call for work flexibility more seriously. This means employees can benefit from a regular pay cheque and enjoy the usual perks that come with being a permanent employee, versus the rollercoaster ride that is often the case with the traditional freelance business model. It’s a great option for those less-entrepreneurial types who aren’t keen on starting their own business.
#2 Remote jobs are only for those in the Tech industry
Let’s just be clear on one thing … tech has essentially moved from being a subsector of the economy to becoming ‘the economy’. Every industry is somewhere along the continuum of this transition and so to the jobs in those industries.
While the majority of remote job vacancies are tech related, we’re seeing remote roles open up across a variety of industries as companies adopt technology and automate processes. But they’re not all highly technical roles – you only need to look at the job vacancies on Remote Work Hub to see that. You’ll find positions in Accounting, Legal, Medical & Health and other industries where people have traditionally worked in an office environment.
Regardless of the role, it pays to be tech savvy – meaning you have to be comfortable using technology and not afraid to learn new tools and applications on the job. Nowadays, this really is the case for any job, not just a remote job.
#3 Remote jobs don’t pay well
If you’re thinking of transitioning into remote work, earning a competitive salary is likely as important to you as it is to a traditional office-based worker. Even though you may save money by working from home, you’re still doing the same work as someone in an office – it’s just minus the commute.
Many people think that employers take advantage of workers who want to work from home by offering them less pay.
Yes, there are several freelance marketplaces out there where you find people prepared to work for very low rates – charging their services out for $2 or $3 an hour, sometimes less. But it really depends on where the person is living. While it might be considered low in developed western countries, it could be perfectly acceptable for someone based in the Philippines or India for example, where the cost of living is a lot less.
Sometimes you’ll see lower rates set for those small, one-off ‘gigs’ – short term projects like writing 10 blog articles for a startup, or doing an SEO audit for a website. And it can be a great way to get your foot in the door with an employer. However, a company needs a remote worker on a long term basis, usually the pay is comparable to that of an in-office worker, and sometimes better.
Those companies looking to find team members who are the right fit for their culture are often prepared to pay more to attract the right talent and entice them to they stick around. Those employers who still see remote work as a perk, and therefore reducing the salary, are missing the boat.
In fact, many companies are starting to include additional benefits for remote team members. We’re commonly seeing perks such as subsidising laptops, mobile phones and Internet costs, paying for co-working spaces, gym fees, books, vacations, and annual retreats for example.
#4 Remote jobs are better suited to millennials
It’s true that remote work is being shaped by millennials in a big way – and let’s face it, millennials now make up the majority of the workforce. Millennials have never known a world before computers or the Internet or mobile phones, so it’s understandable why they’re a tech-savvy generation constantly looking for ways to make things easier, faster, adaptable and more intuitive.
And part of that mindset is how the workplace is perceived – millennials question the very nature of the 9-5 office-based work day.
BUT, that’s not to say older workers aren’t suited to remote jobs. In fact, in the USA according to the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey, the typical remote employee is a 40-something college graduate earning nearly $60,000 a year at a company with 100+ employees.
Age is not a barrier to remote work. Employers want results-driven people who are dedicated, focused and loyal employees. Remote work is a great option for mature workers who have many years’ experience behind them.
We hope this helps to dispel some of the myths for you. What are some of the other misconceptions you’re aware of? Let’s talk about them in the comments below.