Considering remote freelance work? Before diving in and finding a work-at-home gig, consider the challenges and benefits of remote working.
Remote work is more than just a trend — it's changing how we do our jobs. No longer limited to the office, many of us have embraced the freedom of working from our favorite spots, be it home or a cozy cafe.
Remote work is here to stay, so it’s important to understand how it reshapes the workday experience — both positively and negatively.
In this guide, we dive into the challenges and benefits of remote working. Whether you're a freelancer or business leader, we've got insights for you. And we’ve even included some handy tips to make your remote work journey better. Let’s get started.
What does remote work mean? 🤔
Remote work is any job that an employee or Independent completes outside a designated workplace — be that a construction yard or office space. In this context, “remote” means off-site, so whether you’re working from home or a beach in Mexico, you’re technically working remotely (unless that beach is your company’s official office).
Common examples of remote working jobs include copywriting, graphic design, and customer service — anything you can easily complete with at-home tools like a laptop and conferencing software. You might even start an online business from home before eventually renting a physical office space for your quickly-scaling team.
10 benefits of remote working for freelancers 🙌
You might worry that your productivity levels will dip as a remote worker — but studies show that they tend to increase. Here’s more on that and nine other benefits of working remotely:
- Save time: Ditch the commute and office prep. Remote work lets you start the day on your terms, plus you can align tasks with your energy peaks.
- Save money: No more splurging on work attire or daily coffees — when you work from home, your wallet gets a well-deserved break.
- Boost productivity: With fewer distractions and the freedom to set your own rhythm, you'll find your productive groove in no time.
- Work anywhere: For many remote jobs, all you need is WiFi. Whether it's your local cafe or a cozy nook at home, the world is your workspace.
- Enjoy global opportunities: Remote work connects you with top-notch companies and diverse teams worldwide, so you can go global from your living room.
- Balance life and work: Set your schedule, chase your passions, and enjoy more personal and family time.
- Prioritize your well-being: Working on your terms fosters a healthier mind and body. It's all about comfort and a stress-free work life.
- Chill with deadlines: No office pressure here. Tackle projects and deadlines in the relaxed setting of your choice.
- Personalize your space: A personalized corner sparks joy and can boost your efficiency, so jazz up your home workspace.
- Create your ideal schedule: Full-time, part-time, or in-between? You call the shots, helping you achieve both life and career goals.
9 benefits of remote working for clients 🤓
Sure, remote work seems increasingly appealing as you consider the benefits. But will client satisfaction suffer? No way — here are nine pros for clients hiring remotely:
- Cost savings: No more stressing over rent, utilities, or office snacks. When you hire remote freelancers, those overheads go way down.
- Access to a global talent pool: Hiring from every corner of the globe means diverse talent at your fingertips.
- Fewer days off: Remote workers know how to juggle various clients and projects. They’ll fit in that dentist appointment without missing a day's work.
- Happier vibes: Flexibility is the new office perk. The result? A thrilled, loyal team that sticks around.
- A productivity boost: It's all about the results. Remote workers stay laser-focused to meet those deadlines.
- Smooth chatting: With top-notch communication tools, everyone's on the same page, making collaboration a breeze.
- A stronger tech game: Remote work means leveraging cutting-edge tools, keeping work processes slick and up-to-date.
- An eco-friendly win: Less office use equals a greener footprint. Remote work isn't just smart — it's sustainable.
- A flexible squad: Need a project done yesterday? You can scale a flexible remote team up or down to get things moving, onboarding remote part-time work from Independents as needed.
Remote work challenges for Independents ☝️
While appealing, every work method has its challenges — but do notice that the pros outweigh the cons. Here are a few common hurdles when accommodating to remote work:
- Communication gaps: Especially at the start, adjusting to exclusively virtual communication methods can cause miscommunications.
- Higher workloads: Because you’re more productive from home, you might not know when to stop accepting and working on projects.
- Longer hours: Your workplace is now in your home — or wherever you and your laptop are. You’ll have to manage your work hours, designating a strict “clock out” time to ensure you’re respecting a healthy work-life balance.
- Isolation: With remote work comes less face time with coworkers and clients, which might feel isolating. Schedule regular meetings and in-person chats to mitigate this consequence.
Remote work challenges for clients 💦
You’re not the only one who might find the transition to remove work challenging. Here are a few hurdles clients could face when hiring remote freelancers:
- More meetings: To avoid misunderstandings and clarify deliverables, clients will have to host regular virtual chats, which takes time and effort — especially when trying to accommodate various time zones.
- Increased cybersecurity concerns: Remote workers often join random WiFi networks and VPNs, causing cybersecurity concerns for clients. Independents must ease these concerns by taking actions like investing in antivirus software, firewalls, and VPN configurations for WFH internet connections.
- Troublesome technology issues: A bad internet connection can be the difference between having productive virtual meetings and extending a project’s deadline because you can’t attend a meeting.
- Confidentiality concerns: Many remote workers use personal laptops for their work, and clients might worry about their confidential information’s safety.
Final tips for working remotely 💪
While it’s not without challenges, the benefits of remote working make it an attractive choice for freelancers wanting independence and diverse workloads. Here are a few final tips to help you get this transition right on the first go:
- Invest in the right technology: Get the gear that'll keep up with you. Research the best laptop for remote work, adding in dual monitors or wireless headphones if necessary — these are game changers.
- Set your rhythm: Nail down a daily groove that's all about balance. Know when to hustle, when to chill, and when to grab that coffee break.
- Practice effective communication: Don’t be shy — touch base with your clients regularly. An answered question today saves a headache tomorrow, so check in often and ensure they know you’re available if they have any concerns.
Make the most of remote work with Contra 🗺️
Ready to dive into remote work? Join Contra — an Independent-forward community focused on helping you find the right client work, commission-free. Chat with remote-work aficionados and find your first client all in one place. And if you’re looking to hire the best remote talent, we've got you covered. Find productive and passionate workers with the click of a button.