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What is being a remote worker like?

For those you of doing remote work, what is is like overall?

1. What kind of work do you do? (contractor, employee, etc.)
2. In regards to work hours, is it more flexible compared to working on site?
3. How are you compensated? (salary, commission, etc.)
4. What is the earning potential of your work?
5. Do you enjoy it?

Feel free to add more beyond the questions I've posted. Thank you.
#career #money #online #job #jobs #remotework #internet #experience #technology #professional

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Alexandra’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

Hi Julie!

This is a really great question. I see you have several great answers already, but I’m adding my perspective as somebody who has ALWAYS been remote (not forced remote by COVID.) I’ve been remote in various capacities ranging from volunteer to part-time employee, but for about 6 years now!

1. I’m a part-time employee, though have been here several years, so my projects are similar to full-timers but on a more flexible hourly basis. I get to do a lot of different things since we’re a startup, so there’s always something interesting for me to do. Remote HAS NOT meant boring or repetitive!

2. Inherently yes it is. However, those who used to be on-site had flexibility as well (for example, had remote days or control over when they were in the office.) It was not a strict “9 AM must be in seat” situation. 😊

3. Being part-time, I’m paid hourly (generously, though!) Being remote also eliminates expenses and lost time from transportation. I lived in a city for a while and this could REALLY add up. Plus, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect people to be productive on public transit. So that’s a huge weight off my shoulders and I’m fortunate because many people are at the mercy of transit systems that are expensive, never on time, and sometimes even unsafe.

4. This is hard to say since part-time employment is legally capped in some ways (once you hit a certain # of hours, there are additional requirements for employers like offering more benefits and such.) However, even if I worked just under that cap, hourly earnings would still be more than enough for my current situation. For the full-timers here, I’ve always gotten the impression everyone was well accommodated — CareerVillage is a very supportive team of staff and things like FMLA & parental leave are not things you have to fight for (nor should you!) Notable that a nonprofit by nature is not a place where earning potential is infinite, regardless of remote/in-office. It’s definitely a sector for those motivated by the work they do, not so much for those motivated by attaining higher earnings over time (which, to be fair, still mobilizes people to do amazing work. It’s just different.)

5. I absolutely enjoy it, and always have! There’s some extra effort on my part to remain disciplined (and I don’t always succeed at that), because I’ve otherwise always had watchful eyes nearby or a boss who could breathe down my neck if they felt they needed to. It’s taken time to find the right resources to help me stay organized, find a cadence for my lifestyle that works for the position, and stay abreast of important information without overwhelming myself with notifications during my off-hours. Remote workers should budget time early on to establish routines and self-organize, and if you aren’t your own worst critic, remote work is going to be hard in general. It’s hard to compete with the benefits of being remote, though. In COVID times, I can see it being more challenging for some people than it is helpful — especially those without a choice but to be remote. So the temptation to work remote is something to consider, I think. It’s not a good fit for everyone, but it really works for me!

Another thing I’ll add that goes beyond your questions: I underestimated how beneficial remote work would be for my quality of life as someone with a disability. That’s a huge part of what makes remote work overall suited for me. It’s hard for me to believe that I spent so long as a student with such a rigid structure and still remained sane (barely, some days!) Being remote has helped me learn a lot about myself and what my needs are, and has helped me “reset” in some ways. Knowing how much more productive I’m capable of being working remote has been a shock, because I used to struggle so much to do much less. It’s 4 AM right now and not unusual for me to be working at this hour — my disability means that I’m naturally a bit nocturnal and also sleep periodically during the typical workday. If I was working in the vast majority of non-remote situations, I’d be trapped in the typical 9-5 (and really no reasonable way I’d expect my employer to accommodate me differently.) For me, being awake & productive might be moments from falling into deep sleep. So too is being “at work” versus “out of office”, and that’s why remoting is a good fit for me. It’s not a good fit for everyone, though, and will depend dramatically on both the requirements of the job & the person performing it. If you are considering a remote position, it’s a good time to make sure you know yourself well enough to make an educated decision. I would not advise someone to take a chance on remote work thinking that it will just be “easier” or “more lax.” Your social compass is also important to consider: in the wake of COVID, I realized I had very few social connections with people I could see in person. Since I live with family, I’m still around others on a normal day, but loneliness is something that is a really serious hindrance for some, both for work performance and for wellbeing overall. Many full-timers here at CareerVillage take advantage of public locations with internet access (coffee shops, common spaces in apartments, etc.) to do their work, which I highly recommend. The workplace is a social hub we take for granted, so realize this will be something you risk losing in a remote position.

I hope this is all informative to you & others! Definitely take the advice you get together as one — all of these different perspectives offer something different and give you a broader view of remote work in general.

Alexandra, CareerVillage.org Team recommends the following next steps:

As you read the advice you receive, ask yourself which Professionals you feel you align with the most. Remote work is very individual, and you might find people like yourself having a better/worse experience.
Assess your wants and needs, and how remote work will affect them.
Know thyself! Do some soul-searching and be honest with yourself about the kind of worker you are. What motivates you? What hinders you? What will these things mean for you if you are remoting?
If you start remote work, prioritize self-organizing and building a schedule that works for everyone. If you feel you are strained, even with small things, ask others for advice or talk to your employer. They might get you into habits or introduce you to tools that you may not have found yourself.
You already have independent contractor experience, which is fantastic! For those who don’t, this is a safer way to explore remoting if you’re not sure it will work for you. Don’t commit to a position on a hunch that it will be low-stakes.
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Sajal’s Answer

Hello,
I feel I am a suitable candidate to answer this. I have worked in an office, in the field, and remotely from home. All in computer-related jobs. For the last 5 years, I am working remotely as I am part of a global team for which location does not matter. I am a full-time employee of VMware Inc. and I work regular hours. Beyond my regular 8 am to 5 pm, I am not expected to be available. Though exceptions occur when handling urgent matters. But, overall, in general, I work 40 hour weeks. In terms of compensation, there is no change for me. I get paid as much as someone in the office (actually all my team members work from home :) ). So, that is not a problem.
Now comes the experience. I always worked from home but not the customers. Since the pandemic, the majority of us work from home, leading to more zoom meetings than ever. Not necessarily all of them are useful meetings.
In terms of getting work done, I get more work done working from home than being in the office. I have more time for study or personal betterment as well.
The best part for me though I can see my daughter (coincidently she is five and half years old) grow up in front of my eyes. While going to the office we spend the entire day outside and we hardly get to see them. While working from home, I can spend more time with her. I see her grow up. That is something I value a lot.
So, do I spend more time at work? Yes and no. Yes, because my relaxation and passion both are related to computers. So, if I am not working, I am working on my personal projects or reading something. Screen time increased a lot. Work time is reduced, as I do not spend time with "socializing", "traveling to and fro from office" etc. I spend that time at work and hence finish my work way early. This frees up time for other things and I am more flexible now. I do not mind working a bit odd hours as I am still at home.
Overall, also, it depends on what type of person you are. If you like socializing, you will miss physical office attendance. I will feel isolated and lonely (workforce-wise). But if you are somewhat reserved, then it is absolutely fine. I do have an amazing relationship with co-workers. Still, sometimes wish I can visit the office though.
All in all, it has positives and negatives. But for me, it has more positives than negatives. I am accustomed to working this way and enjoy it.
At the end of the day, I can spend more time with family and that matters.
Hope this is helpful.
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Stacia’s Answer

1. What kind of work do you do? I lead a team responsible for providing technical support for video, data and voice. My job is to create strategy on how this team resolves the issue and provide the best possible customer service.
2. In regards to work hours, is it more flexible compared to working on site? The flexibility comes in to play because there is no commute which provides me additional time in the morning and evening to do things like exercise, family functions, errands etc.
3. How are you compensated? (salary, commission, etc.) Salaried
4. What is the earning potential of your work? It varies depending on the level - entry, mid, executive
5. Do you enjoy it? Absoutely. I love working on large teams.
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Chirayu’s Answer

I enjoy the flexibility and able to complete more work than I was accomplishing when I was in the office. I am able to log in early and work late rather than spend hours in traffic going to work and coming back. I am way more productive working from home. I am a Data Analyst and a full time exempt employee which means you are suppose to work at least 40 hours a week and more if necessary. Very flexible work hours as long as you finish your projects and work assigned to you and no micro managing. Compensation is an annual salary and depends on your experience.
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Ryan’s Answer

Hi Paajcha Julie,

I've been a remote worker for several years now (prior to the pandemic) and I've seen it change quite a bit. There's a lot more attention to work/life balance now that remote work is more common but it comes with a new set of challenges compared to onsite work. But the life of a remote worker can vary greatly depending on the individual and the nature of their job.

Flexibility is the most obvious benefit of remote work. Remote workers can typically choose their work hours to some extent, as long as they meet deadlines and attend necessary meetings. This flexibility can lead to a better work-life balance and allow for greater autonomy over one's schedule.

Remote work compensation may be different from traditional onsite work. In some cases, remote workers might earn similar salaries to their onsite counterparts, while in other cases, they might earn more or less depending on the company's policies and the cost of living in their location. Some companies offer location-based salaries, which means remote workers living in areas with lower living costs might receive lower compensation than those living in more expensive areas.

The earning potential for remote work can be comparable to or even higher than onsite work, especially for skilled professionals or those in high-demand fields. Remote work allows access to a wider range of job opportunities and companies, as workers are not limited by their geographic location. This can result in increased earning potential, as remote workers can apply for higher-paying jobs in other cities or countries.

The level of satisfaction and joy experienced by remote workers compared to onsite workers is subjective and depends on individual preferences and work styles.

On the other hand, some people may find remote work isolating or miss the social interactions and camaraderie that comes with working in a physical office. The level of satisfaction in remote work can also depend on factors such as the company culture, communication tools, and the worker's ability to manage their time effectively and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

I found that I need a mixture of the two. I love the flexibility and autonomy but I also crave human interaction and the process of getting to the office and being there charging the mission forward.
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Gregory’s Answer

There are pros and cons to being a remote worker and it really comes down to the individual. I have been in the workforce for the last 25 years and have never been remote until the pandemic. However the last 2 years we have been remote and I have really enjoyed the experience and find the quality of my life has improved in many ways. I have spent more time with my family, found it easier to exercise and gotten much more sleep as a result of being home. The personal connection with my peers and employees is something I do miss though. Zoom and other forms of live meetings have helped but that is not quite the same.

1. What kind of work do you do? (contractor, employee, etc.) management employee
2. In regards to work hours, is it more flexible compared to working on site? Absolutely
3. How are you compensated? (salary, commission, etc.) Salary
4. What is the earning potential of your work? Excellent and has not changed since moving to remote.
5. Do you enjoy it? I really do enjoy it. I have been able to be much more involved with family activities and doing things outside. I miss the personal connection with my collogues and that is the one thing I dislike about being fully remote. For me personally a hybrid model would work best. However the flexibility of being home has been great for me and I would not want to go back to the office fulltime.
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Jacqueline’s Answer

1. I work full-time in Business Operations Support, which is project based working on iniatives to support the field organizations. The position is hybrid meaning I am in the office a couple of days a week.
2. Yes, I would say it is flexible however being a remote working means having a distinctive work space in your home. It is important to have an office and carve out space and time for working that is separate from your personal space/family. Sometimes remote workers can work longer hours because it is convenient to continue to work or to go back to your desk after dinner. Work/Life balance is important to maintain when working remotely.
3. We are compensated the same as those working in the office doing similar work. I am salaried but we do have hourly employees that are working remotely and they are paid for the work that they do.
4. I have been with my company for almost 30 years and am compensated fairly. Earning potential is based on education and experience. Continued learning will increase your earning potential in any position you seek in the business field.
5. I do enjoy my work very much, although a lot of my team building is done on video conferencing I still feel I have had the opportunity to get the know the people on my team well. However, I do also enjoy the times we are able to be face-to-face.
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Susan’s Answer

Hi, I am a remote worker due to COVID. Before that I had been an 'in office worker' for 33 years so this has been a change. I beleive you need to be self disciplined and organized to be a successful remote worker. You need to make sure to communicate effectively with people on your team and others in your organization. In addition, you need to make sure your leadership knows you are available and completing your work. I beleive it also helps to have a good at home set up (desk, good chair, quite space).

I am a full time salary employee as a Project Manager. I love this work! It is fast paced and there is always somthing new so I am never board. Earning potential as a Project Manager can vary depending on industry, responsibilites and education. Getting a PMP Certification will help.

My company has flexible start hours but we have core hours we need to be available (9AM - 4PM) and need to work 8 hrs per day. I still feel like remote work does provide more flexiblity. I can talk a walk around my neighborhood when I have a break and when I am done working I don't have to commute! But I also find myself working more hours at times because my 'office' is in my home.

Hope this information helps!
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Kelly’s Answer

Great question!

1. What kind of work do you do? (contractor, employee, etc.) - I am a full time employee in the insurance industry.
2. In regards to work hours, is it more flexible compared to working on site? - I find it to be comparable - and if anything, we work more hours. There is no commute time, no need to make/go pick up lunch. One has to set good personal boundaries to ensure that work does not consume all of their time. Our core work hours have not and will not change as a result of remote work.
3. How are you compensated? (salary, commission, etc.) - Salary
4. What is the earning potential of your work? - Great earning potential for those who have clear performance goals and achieve them.
5. Do you enjoy it? - Yes! Why? I have the ability to work from different locations (assuming I ensure proper internet connection; a quiet/private environment in which to conduct virtual meetings).
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Robert’s Answer

I am an employee. I had worked from home for over 10 years. The company had decided to reduce cost by closing some real estate (offices and call centers). Working from home has its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:
No commute - In the morning - wake up, shower, get dressed, breakfast and you're set for work. After work - lock up and walk away.
Greener earth - because of no driving; saves gas too.
Conveniences of home - comforts of home and items you need are within your home.
Quieter environment - I am an empty-nester, wife works; so I am all alone during working hours. No office noise, no office chatter, no distraction.
More productive - as the environment is quieter, it is more conducive for work, ramping up productivity.
Lower vehicle insurance - as one doesnt need to commute for work 5x a week, insurance would drop by a bit -- make sure to inform your insurance agent of this arrangement/change.
Continuity of work - as one need not power down the computer, work continuity the following day is much smoother. When on-call, one can quickly react to pages/alerts.
A bit of flexibility in working hours

Disadvantages:
Tend to eat more - as it offers convenience of home, food and snack is readily available
Harder to walk away after work - "just have to finish this work before I walk away" - more often, one works a bit longer because one need not worry about the commute back home.
Easier to skip lunch on busy days - too preoccupied with work, tend to skip lunch - because it is within easy reach - need not commute to eat lunch
Occasional interruptions - though not as bad as office noise and as often as office distractions (when a colleague drops in for a friendly chat); on rare occasion, door-to-door salesmen or solicitors come knocking.
A bit extra on the cooling and heating bills - but it far better than commuting and cost of gas.
Social skills suffer a bit - as there is virtually no person-to-person interactions. Compensate this with meeting friends or co-workers out of office hours (eg lunch out)

Pre-pandemic, most remote work are done by IT employees - programmers, architects, etc. These are mostly salaried positions - for hourly positions, over time pay is paid - else compensatory leaves maybe granted. Earning potential can be quite varied depending on length of experience, skill level, and scope of work.

Working from home can be tough for others to adjust after the initial thrill wears off. But with time, one can learn to enjoy it. It is important to take breaks to stretch, do relaxation exercises, eat lunch, hydrate -- all these are easier said than done, but depends on one's will-power.

I hope I have given you my unbiased insights. Good luck.
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dave’s Answer

Personally I have been working remotely for more than 12 years and Love the flexibility

If you are Lucky enough to have a boss that does NOT micromanage you!

Commissions are obviously also a big plus-I have worked on straight salary and salary plus commissions....

Also now remote is more the Norm so there should be many more job opportunities

good luck!
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Zahid’s Answer

1. What kind of work do you do? (contractor, employee, etc.)
Full time employee, office/computer based job.

2. In regards to work hours, is it more flexible compared to working on site?
In this field, it's usually pretty flexible regardless of being onsite or remote.

3. How are you compensated? (salary, commission, etc.)
The pay is the same, it's usually not affected by the where you work. Some companies do offer compensation to off set the expense of working from home, such as paying your internet.

4. What is the earning potential of your work?
The earning potential depends on the industry and field you are in more so then where you are working from. This software development has a pretty good earning potential.

5. Do you enjoy it?
Yes. Remote work is possibly the best work arrangement if you want to manage your personal life better while staying productive at your work

What is is like overall?

Most people you will find to be quiet happy with working remotely. They are able to concentrate/focus better on their jobs, don't have to worry about traveling, getting up early to get ready, or rushing home to make dinner. It's also lot better for mental health.

People who are working remotely tend to be more productive as compared to their in-office counterparts. Several reasons account for the enhanced productivity of remote workers. One such reason is lesser distractions. Moreover, many remote jobs allow you to work outside the regular 9-5 office hours. You can work at different times of the day when you are more productive. Even employers won’t mind your flexible work schedule as long as you are completing your tasks on time.

It offers better work-life balance. Not commuting to work means that you can save a significant amount of time. Thus, you can utilize these saved hours to have some quality time with your family. Also, by getting some extra time daily to manage personal life, remote workers can be more happy and satisfied with their jobs.

It helps lead a healthier lifestyle. Since you are not commuting back and forth, with all the extra time you can cook and eat nutritious food and even involve yourself in multiple exercise sessions throughout the day.

Another key advantage of working remotely is that you can save more money each year. Just imagine, all the bills that you pay for your transportation, parking tickets, vehicle maintenance, eating lunch in a fancy restaurant, etc. cease to exist. All these savings become a reality when you are working remotely. Some of my co-workers are spending $200-$500 on transportation alone with gas prices and taking the toll road coming from so far away.

So over all it's a pretty good, especially for introverts. Extroverts may have a harder time as they feel there is a communication gap without that in person communication. They also find it hard to stay motivated and the lack of social interaction makes them feel lonely. It can also be difficult for those who do not know how to manage their time, who get distracted easily and those who do not have a home environment and space that allows them to work remote peacefully.
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Doc’s Answer

Julie lot of the work that can be done remotely nowadays can also be done on a flexible schedule. For example, if content creator, you can most likely do your writing whenever it suits you as long as you meet your deadlines. So, night owls, rejoice! You can still put in your eight hours without starting at 8 AM. If you do need to work specific hours, you’re sure to still have some break time—time you can use however you’d like! Even if you have just 10 minutes, you can do something that just wouldn’t be possible in a traditional office: take a refreshing power nap. You’re guaranteed to come back feeling more refreshed than you would after 10 minutes at your desk surfing Facebook. With some willpower and a steady routine, you’ll soon learn to avoid being distracted by the TV or your next load of laundry. And, in fact, you should find yourself getting more done when you work remotely. That’s because you can control your working situation much more—you don’t have to worry about co-workers stopping by to “just ask a quick question” (and 20 minutes later...), obligatory socializing when you grab more coffee, or offending someone by shutting the door to your office. Being able to set your own hours is the most obvious benefit of working from home. As mentioned, it can be tricky finding that healthy balance between your home life and your work responsibilities. Once you do find a good balance, however, the flexibility and freedom that comes with working remotely can be liberating and empowering.

Think about how many interruptions and distractions you get at work. There’s the constant operational noise of the office, co-workers dropping by your desk to chat or ask a question, water cooler conversations, and meetings to attend. Some adjustments to your work schedule may need to be made to accommodate phone or video conference calls or occasional visits to the office. But for the most part, you can dictate when your work gets done. If you’re able to work from a home office, you’ll also have a little more flexibility with where you can live. You won’t be as tied down to being located within a short commute to your office…because your office is just a few steps away from where you woke up. Designing your home office space for maximum productivity is one key part of developing and maintaining a productive home working routine. One of the great benefits of telecommuting is you can shape your own workspace design any way you want. Most shared office spaces are sterile and have lousy artificial lighting. That type of working environment can make it harder to focus and get the most out of your workday.

As attractive as working from home may seem, it’s admittedly not for everybody. There are challenges, such as maintaining a productive balance between home and work. Less social contact and not being able to network in person with co-workers may also prove to be a difficult adjustment for some. For most of us, however, the idea of working remotely from a home office is very appealing. Whether you’re working remotely or self-employed and working from home, there are definite benefits to having your workspace where you live.

Hope this is helpful Julie
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YC’s Answer

1. What kind of work do you do? (contractor, employee, etc.)
Full time employee. Work as Regulatory Engineer.

2. In regards to work hours, is it more flexible compared to working on site?
It is more flexible to work remotely. For examples if the office hour ends at 5pm, after 5pm you are immediately at home. Sound great right?

3. How are you compensated? (salary, commission, etc.)
Remain the same due to my job nature is not commission based. The company does provide a one-time stipend to help employees set up a home office.

4. What is the earning potential of your work?
Pretty good 😊

5. Do you enjoy it?
Yes, I can start and end the day as I choose, as long as the work is completed and attend necessary meetings. Another benefit is reduced commute stress and fees. Occasionally public transport might break down due to certain reasons, once might get panic due to can’t reach office in time. Transportation fees and travel time can totally be eliminated as well. And the most important thing is less exposure to illness.
There are always pros and cons depending on the individual and circumstances. Personally prefer work remotely.

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Ruquayyah’s Answer


Hello, I have worked remotely for just over 3 years as an Executive Assistant in both the insurance and IT industries. It is a very flexible as most remote employers allow you to work at your own discretion with certain timeframes. I am a salaried employee and depending on the position and the company the compensation varies. Your earning potential is similar as if you would work in the office but with less expenses (travel, gas, lunches, etc) you could end up with the potential to save more. I really enjoy working remotely and hope that more people get the option to experience it.
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Dana’s Answer

I love it. I worked remotely even before the pandemic. But there are some things to consider. Most roles will consider remote work. More business is done through conference calls than phone calls. I save money and time in getting ready/commuting, but I had to find/create office space for myself. Get a good chair and desk and ergonomic situation. It is so important. I do miss snacks in the office though and holiday parties. When working for a new company or team, if you are the only one or one of few who are remote, you may be at a disadvantage because you won't get as much of the corporate culture/networking which is important for building your network of business contacts, your career opportunities, your reputation and you're familiarity with people in order to influence them. Influencing people you don't manage is always going to be a key business skill. And if you aren't familiar with the culture and expectations, that can be difficult. But overall, now that everyone is working remotely, I really like it and it is my preference. I think I'd only go back into working in an office if I were moved into an even higher leadership position where I felt I needed to have more exposure/office presence in order to influence/create business change.

I am a fulltime employee in a leadership position, managing a team of ~10 people, all working remotely now since February 2020.
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