I’ll admit it: I really like to work remotely. It’s by far my favorite way to work.
A remote worker is someone who works outside of a traditional office. Instead, they work from home or another location with internet access.
Below we explore different remote work setups and companies that encourage a remote work lifestyle. You should consider which of these suits you best the next time you’re searching for a remote-friendly job.
Forms of remote work:
- Work from home
- Hybrid work
- Distributed team
- Digital nomad
Work from home
Telecommuting from home to a physical main office is the most common and straightforward form of remote work. Some companies will allow a particular role or roles to be performed remotely for a variety of reasons. However, the company itself is not necessarily a remote-first company and the majority of employees may work from the main office.
For example, the role requires a specific skill set but can be performed over the internet so they make it remote to cast a wider hiring net. Or, a hard-working employee asks for a work from home accommodation due to a disability, caregiving needs, or other special circumstances. Instead of losing the employee, the company allows them to work from home. These employees who work from home and telecommute to a physical main office may be expected to come into the office from time to time so they usually live in the same area as the office location.
Hybrid work has become way more popular since the COVID pandemic in 2020. Companies with a hybrid work policy allow their employees to work from home at least a few days a week and expect them to spend the rest of their working time in the office.
These companies can take a remote-first or office-first approach, and this can drastically change your working experience. Companies with an office-first approach to hybrid work view work from home as an accessory, as another benefit they can offer employees like health insurance and a pension. Employees are expected to do the majority of their work in the office, attend regular in-person meetings, and communicate in the traditional office way, mainly via email and poking your head into your coworker's cubicle.
In the worst-case scenario, you end up commuting 2 hours to the office just to spend your day in back-to-back Zoom meetings. 😿
On the other hand, companies with a remote-first approach will let you spend the majority of your time working from home (or a local cafe), or give you the option of working from the office if you want to. In this scenario, the majority of the communication and work takes place online through Slack, Zoom, etc., and the office is a tool for collaboration, team building, or a source of novelty when you get sick of looking at your own wallpaper 24/7. Both forms of hybrid work require their workers to be based in the same general region where the office is located.
A prime example of a hybrid company with a remote-first approach is…Pennylane.
A distributed team has workers who are located in different geographical locations. Workers can be found throughout a country like the United States, a region like Europe, or far and wide around the world. Some of these companies pay remote workers equally regardless of their location, while others factor geographic location into their salary offerings.
A company with a distributed team may have one or more offices that employees are invited to use in order to work with other team members. This can become a semi-hybrid situation where some team members regularly work from their local office and others are fully remote. That kind of situation works best with a remote-first approach that encourages a cohesive company culture.
In other cases, companies with distributed team members can be fully remote with no main office (like Remotive!), in which case everyone works from their own home base, and the communication is streamlined in a true remote work fashion.
A prime example of a fully distributed team is...Gitbook.
A style of remote work that's becoming more popular with the advent of Airbnb, Google Translate, and online communities is Digital Nomading.
While most remote work styles make frequent travel easier, a true digital nomad has no home base. A lot of digital nomads are freelancers or entrepreneurs with online businesses. It’s also possible to work for a fully remote distributed company and spend your life traveling to a new destination every few months like Airbnb's CEO Brain Chesky. The sky is truly the limit as long as you have reliable internet access.
A prime example of a fully remote–work from anywhere–company is...TestGorilla.
What is your favorite remote work style? Are you a travel bunny who loves hopping from place to place, or a homebody who likes to pop into the office every Friday for happy hour?
The ability to choose how you wish to work remotely is just a small part of the remote working experience that makes it so enticing (among other things). Whether you love being your own boss, you like variety in your work schedule, or you're just trying to save money on living expenses by moving to a cheaper city, there's probably a good remote solution for you. Consider your options, and pick the one that best fits your needs!
If you like this article, you'll love How to Find and Land a Remote Job.
Join the Remotive newsletter
Subscribe to get our latest content by email.