What is Remote Work? A Digital Nomad's Guide to Freedom
With the UK being reported as the ‘work-from-home capital of Europe’, it seems that remote work is here to stay.
No longer confined to the constraints of a traditional office, remote work offers individuals the freedom to pursue their careers while exploring the world. It’s a lifestyle that beckons to those who yearn for adventure, flexibility, and a break from the nine-to-five grind.
But what exactly is remote work, and how can it provide the ultimate sense of freedom for digital nomads? Here’s a great guide for remote working tools as well!
Remote Work – What is it?
Remote work is any job that you can do from anywhere, without having to go to a physical office or specific location. This means that you can work from home, from a coffee shop, from a beach resort in Thailand like me, or from pretty much anywhere else in the world with a good internet connection.
Sounds pretty great, right?
But what does this actually mean?
In reality, remote work is a little more complicated and depends on your relationship with your employer or clients.
There are many different types of remote workers.
Some remote workers have a set schedule and work the same hours every day taking their 9-5 job with them wherever is convenient. Others, like contract workers and freelancers, have a lot more flexibility to manage their own schedules.
Some remote workers communicate with their team members primarily through email and video calls, but many still have to travel regularly to meet with their team in person.
What is The Difference Between Digital Nomads And Other Remote Workers
All digital nomads are remote workers but not all remote workers are digital nomads – this is because many remote jobs are hybrid and still require workers to be in specific locations with the ability to meet colleagues or clients in person.
Digital nomads are remote workers who travel the world while working. Some work for themselves as freelancers and some are entrepreneurs or investors that are also location independent.
We typically use technology to stay connected with our teams and clients, and work places like coffee shops, coworking spaces, or really anywhere with a decent WIFI signal!
Remote workers such as hybrid workers, or those working-from-home, on the other hand, typically are on payroll for a company but base themselves at home or a coworking space. They typically stay in the same location for a longer period of time.
You can learn how to become a digital nomad in our guide here.
Pros and Cons of Remote Work
Obviously this lifestyle might not be for everyone, and there are some serious considerations that you should take into account before committing to remote work and digital nomadism.
These are some of the most common pros and cons of remote work that I have found, from my own experience as a digital nomad and from the other remote workers in my network.
Advantages of working remotely
Flexibility: The freedom to work from any location and at any time – this is a MUST for a digital nomad. If you are chained to a desk, job site, or even just a commutable location, your travel opportunities will be severely limited.
Work-life balance: The ability to choose your own hours is invaluable as you can fill the rest of your time with whatever travel adventures you can, ticking off your bucket list. According to the Office of National Statistics, 78% of remote workers report an improved work-life balance, allowing them to channel their own priorities and focus on what matters most to them.
Productivity: Studies have shown that remote workers can be just as productive, if not more productive, than their office-based counterparts. With the freedom to manage your own time, you can fit your work hours around what works best for you – working when you feel most productive, rather than being forced into a fixed window.
Disadvantages of remote work
Burnout: Without a designated schedule, it can be all too easy to push yourself and begin to overwork, leading to stress and burnout.
Self-motivation: On the flip side, having the self-discipline to regulate and manage your own time can be a real problem for some remote workers, especially when there are so many new and exciting experiences to distract you.
Relationships: social, romantic, and even professional relationships can be difficult to manage and maintain without regular in-person contact. Isolation and loneliness can be a very real problem for remote workers.
If you are serious about committing to remote work, we have some great advice on how you can combat some of these issues.
What Experience Do I Need to Become a Remote Worker?
None at all! Seriously.
Many remote jobs require only basic skills and training, and you can learn more along the way as you build your experience and network. However, no matter what remote job option you choose it is important to have strong organisational skills, time management skills, and communication skills.
Some general technical ability is also helpful as you will be spending most of your time working online with various software and tools, such as video conferencing software, project management tools, and cloud-based storage systems.
An average ability is perfectly fine with these though, you don’t have to be an expert in coding languages, UX or front-end development unless you are aiming to be a tech specialist!
How To Start Working Remotely And Become A Digital Nomad
For me, remote working began by asking permission to take my existing job travelling with me.
I was already working from my own laptop and managing my own tasks, plus meeting remotely with my colleagues through Zoom so what did it matter if I worked from an office in London, or from an island in Indonesia, as long as I fulfilled my tasks and my contract.
In fact, I was even able to argue that I was saving the company money as they would no longer need to provide me with a workspace.
This approach might not work for everyone but if you are interested in working remotely, there are a few things you can do to get started:
Identify your skills and interests
What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Once you have a good understanding of your skills and interests, you can start to look for remote jobs that match them.
Research remote companies
There are several websites and online resources that list remote jobs. You can also search for remote jobs directly on company websites.
Network with other remote workers
Networking with other remote workers can be a great way to learn about remote jobs and get advice on how to work remotely successfully. There are many online and offline communities for remote workers. You can join our DNA Facebook group for example and take advantage of our existing network.
Remote work can be a great way to achieve a better work-life balance and have more flexibility in your life, it is also vital if you want to pursue the life of a digital nomad.
With a little planning and effort, you can find a remote job that allows you to work from anywhere in the world. To learn more about this, check out our previous blog post ‘How to Become a Digital Nomad ’.
You can also look at our Instagram and our featured digital nomads as they share the details of their own journeys into remote work.
Ready to jump into the life of a digital nomad and begin your journey? Download our free guide today and let us show you how easy it can be to start living your dream life from anywhere in the world!