What Is Remote Work?

Remote work is changing everything, from how we approach work-life balance to the ways we communicate and even how we measure productivity. The “great remote work experiment” ha ffulls reshaped many of the rules that once dictated the boundaries of our professional lives. 

Companies like Twitter have effectively announced a WFH “forever” policy and 53% of U.S. survey respondents say they plan to continue working from home at least part-time. It’s clear that the future of work will involve remote, co-located, distributed, and borderless workforces using digital tools to stay connected and productive. 

But what is remote work, really, and what are the benefits and challenges of long-term remote working? In our remote work guide, we’ll cover all that and more. Wrike’s guide to remote working will also offer tips on how to transition to remote working if you’re just starting out — plus ways to optimize your WFH experience. But first, let’s start with the basics.

What does it mean to work remotely?

Remote work describes a professional environment in which employees can work from home or any other location outside their company’s physical office. Oftentimes, that involves creating a workspace at home. However, working remotely can extend beyond the confines of your living space. 

For example, remote work is a popular option for “digital nomads” who spend their time working while also traveling full-time. In this case, instead of working out of a home office, they may instead work out of hotels, beach clubs, coffee shops, or even airport lounges. 

Previously, working remotely in this way would have been challenging — mainly because of technology and resource constraints. Now, collaboration tools like Slack, Zoom, and Wrike have helped bridge that technology gap, enabling more people to work remotely and collaborate on the go. 

So, what types of jobs can be done remotely?

Broadly speaking, remote working is an option for businesses across many industries. Remote work is often accessible for businesses and job roles where the bulk of the work can be done online or on a local device. Jobs where the majority of the work is done in person (e.g., sales clerk, postal worker, ER doctor, construction worker) are not typically jobs that lend themselves to remote working. 

However, some businesses can face other barriers when transitioning to remote work. Companies that handle client data may have to consider significant measures to avoid breaches and remain compliant with laws like GDPR.

Some jobs can also be modified to fit a remote work structure. For example, most HR professionals are used to carrying out their duties in an in-person capacity. However, the quick adoption of widespread virtual interviews and virtual onboarding has meant that this industry can hire remote talent while they themselves are working remotely. 

When it comes to the best work from home and remote jobs, Flexjobs has identified the following as the five most popular roles for remote workers: 

Accountant  Engineer Teacher/Tutor/Instructor Writer  Consultant (Source: Paul Hanaoka via Unsplash) What does fully remote mean?

Fully remote means an individual, team, or company that is not based out of a centralized office location. For example, a team may have a “fully remote” member who works remotely all the time while their colleagues work from an office. Conversely, an entire team or company may be fully remote,

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