4 Ways to Start Working Remotely

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Remote Work

The benefits of remote work have become apparent to many, thanks to the pandemic. More and more people are turning to the gig economy in an attempt to acquire the jobs that suit their preferences and skill sets.

Needless to say, the opportunity to work at one’s own schedule is one huge advantage, and even traditional businesses are beginning to realize that. Numerous studies show that one is more likely to hire a talent for remote work than for office work, and companies are increasingly contemplating hybrid work models.

There is more than one successful hybrid work model. McKinsey & Company distinguishes six different variables, as follows:

  • Almost entirely off premises — predominantly remote work with no office space
  • Almost entirely on premises — limited remote work, large office space hosting the majority of managers and workers
  • Partially remote work, large office space — the majority of managers and workers spend most of their time at the office (but not all of their time)
  • Partially remote work, multiple hubs — multiple offices with the employees dispersed among them
  • Multiple microhubs — management and employees are located at small microhubs in different geographies
  • Partially remote work, flexible office space — no permanent offices. Rented flex space is used for periodic collaboration

So, if you are having second thoughts about your office work, you should know that there are different options available, and you shouldn’t be hesitant to inquire if the arrangement doesn’t suit you. Maybe there are alternatives.

1. Find a Remote Job

Although it may seem unexpected, not many people know how to get a remote job. Fortunately, online marketplaces are many, and the number keeps increasing to fit the rising demand.

Popular general choices include Upwork , Freelancer and Remote Hub, to name a few. If you have a specific offer of products or services, there are platforms for that, too (eBay, Fiverr, etc.). And, if you’re an expert in your field, you can sell online courses (MasterClass, Coursera, etc.).

Finally, there are highly specialized marketplaces for specific callings, so make sure to look them up for better rates.

If you’re a teacher, look up online language schools, which are a booming trend.

Overall, no matter your expertise, you will be able to start somewhere and, what’s more, pick among various offers from around the globe.

2. Brush Up on Your Tools and Apps

There’s one important thing to keep in mind. No matter your expertise, if you’re not versed in online tools and apps, you won’t get far. What remote workers must be is tech-savvy, so make sure to learn the ropes of at least the most popular employee apps.

The apps you are certain to need are:

  • Email management apps
  • Project management apps
  • Communication apps
  • Other apps specific to your expertise

Start with the basics: Gmail, Skype Asana, Trello, Zoom, and similar, and go from there.

3. Consider eLearning

The greatest thing about our digital lives is that everything can be found online, courses included. Much has been said about the benefits of eLearning but the true scope of the trend is that you can achieve any kind of qualification from home, including but not limited to:

  • Certification
  • BAs
  • Licenses
  • Diplomas

Many universities offer online degrees — the practice that was unthinkable only a decade ago — so if you’re looking to deepen your knowledge, you can pick from a rich offer.

4. Take Note of Your Taxes and Finances

If you decide to go freelance, keep in mind that you’ll be responsible for your own tax and Social Security withholdings. It gets a little more complicated if you opt to be a digital nomad, as there are taxes of each visiting country to consider as well. Always keep detailed records and, when it comes to taxes, know which forms to file.

If you decide to become a digital nomad, things get even more complicated. Basically, if you’re a resident of the state for tax purposes while abroad, you’ll have to pay the taxes. You’re considered a resident if:

  • You lived in the state for any duration during the tax year
  • Your immediate family lives in the state while you’re abroad
  • You have a permanent place of residence in the state
  • You keep your voting rights, ID card, or driver’s license in the state

Also, keep in mind that income earned while working in the state is taxable in the state. If you have state residency, other income is also taxable (pension, retirement income and other government benefits).

State income taxes aren’t levied by Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington State and Wyoming, while New Hampshire and Tennessee only assess income tax on dividend and interest income.

If you come from the so-called “sticky” states — California, South Carolina, New Mexico and Virginia — you’ll have to pay taxes even if you didn’t live in the state during the year if:

  • You own a property
  • You hold an ID card, a driving license and a voter registration
  • You own a bank or investments account
  • You have a mailing address in the state (including relatives)
  • You have dependents in the state

As you can see, there are lots of things to consider when it comes to taxes, so be sure to consult a professional.

Remote Work Shapes the Future of Work  

As you can see, remote work has brought forth a revolution of sorts, offering great benefits to anyone anywhere willing to learn a bit about innovative technologies. Even traveling the world without taking days off is now possible, so give the trend a shot. You may be surprised at your luck!