FAQ: What Is a Remote Position and What Does It Entail?

Updated February 16, 2023

Employers offering remote positions is an increasingly common occurrence in many industries due to the flexibility and convenience of these roles. Positions in which professionals work from locations other than a physical office can help people foster a healthy work-life balance and become more productive. If you're interested in seeking a remote position, it may be beneficial to learn more about what these roles entail. In this article, we define the meaning of remote positions, explain why people and organizations choose this type of employment and answer other frequently asked questions regarding remote roles.

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What is the meaning of a remote position?

A remote position is a job that allows an employee to work without being present in an office or another physical location an employer owns. Remote employees can either be:

  • Fully remote: Employees work the entirety of their shifts from a location of their choosing.

  • Partially remote: Employees typically work remotely for a few days a week and spend the rest of their work hours at their employer's office.

Why do people pursue remote positions?

Some of the main reasons why professionals choose to work in remote positions include:

  • They provide flexibility. Remote workers typically work from anywhere they want, meaning that they can be more flexible with their time. Many remote workers also have flexibility with their schedules, which allows them to manage their time in a way that's convenient to them.

  • They can reduce stress. Remote workers often avoid common workplace stresses that arise while working in physical offices. This allows them to prioritize their mental health and remain productive.

  • They eliminate daily commutes. Remote work eliminates the need to commute to and from a physical office, while also allowing employees to choose a working space that makes them feel comfortable.

  • They allow you to apply to jobs in other locations. Unlike traditional employment, which requires you to live reasonably close to your workplace, remote workers can apply for jobs from many different geographical locations. This usually results in greater access to job opportunities.

Related: Benefits of Working Remotely

Why do companies create remote positions?

Aside from benefiting you as an employee, offering remote positions can also benefit employers. Some of the ways it benefits companies include:

  • Boosting employee productivity: People who choose to work remotely are generally more comfortable working outside of a traditional workspace, such as an office, so these positions may boost their productivity.

  • Saving costs: A remote employee doesn't require a physical desk, or at least one that an employer would provide, and a fully equipped office, which can greatly reduce a company's costs.

  • Increasing the talent pool: Just as professionals can choose remote positions to increase the scope of their job search, companies also benefit from receiving more talented applicants for each vacant position they list.

Related: 9 Tips for Onboarding Remote Employees

How do people work remotely?

There are many ways to work remotely, and it often depends on the nature of your role and the type of employer you have. Although remote work is often either fully or partially remote, there are many ways to combine the two. For example, one such way to do this is to work from home but physically attend company meetings.

There are also several types of remote workplaces from which you can choose. While any place with an internet connection can be a potential workplace, most remote employees choose to work from a home office, local coffee shops or other spaces such as libraries. However, professionals may also choose to work in a coworking space, where multiple remote workers from different industries work in an office setting. These spaces often charge professionals a monthly fee for renting an office space, so for those who like working in an office but want to pursue remote opportunities, these spaces are beneficial.

Related: 15 Remote Retirement Jobs

What are some skills required for effective remote working?

Some of the main skills that can help remote workers perform their tasks successfully include:

Time management

Although the flexibility of remote work can improve your mental health and lifestyle, it also requires you to practice self-discipline. Although you often don't have the strict working hours of a traditional workplace, the number of hours you work typically remains the same.

Avoiding distractions

Unlike traditional workplaces, which are tailored environments for professionals to perform their tasks, remote working locations usually include more distractions. This requires a remote employee to motivate themselves to avoid distractions and develop innovative solutions for remaining focused. These might include ensuring that their workspace is tidy or avoiding personal phone use.

Creating boundaries

Traditional workplaces create a boundary between your professional and personal lives, but remote work environments require you to develop this separation independently. For example, it may be beneficial to have a space that's solely dedicated to working so you don't associate the same location with both work and leisure.

Related: 15 Tips for Working Remotely

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What are the main qualities that companies seek in remote employees?

Besides hard skills specific to individual positions, employers often search for candidates who have experience working independently in any capacity. This highlights to employers that a candidate has previously succeeded in remote roles and should be able to successfully perform their tasks for a new company. Other important qualities companies search for in remote candidates include:

  • Communication skills: Remote communication can be challenging to manage successfully, so effective candidates often possess exceptional verbal and written communication skills on platforms such as email, chat rooms, messaging apps, dedicated office software and others.

  • Trustworthiness: Remote employees often have more independence than traditional employees, so it's important for a candidate to emphasize that they can be trusted with the responsibilities of a remote position.

  • Self-motivation: Successful remote employees often are adept at avoiding distractions and motivating themselves to deliver quality work, even without the constant supervision of a manager.

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