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Avatar by Jan Hendrik von Ahlen
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9 Reasons Remote Work Can Broaden Your Career Horizons

On the (virtual) fence about remote work?

Are you looking for a new job, and you’ve noticed a huge number of remote opportunities out there? Are you tempted to apply, but you’re unsure about the benefits of remote work?

Then read on!

Thanks to the recent global pandemic, remote working went from a relatively uncommon arrangement to very much the norm for many types of job.

Although many businesses assumed it would just be a temporary trend, remote working has become incredibly popular with both companies and employees.

According to The New York Times, a study by researchers at Stanford, Harvard and others analyzing more than 50 million online jobs found that around 12.2% of postings explicitly mentioned remote work — a fourfold increase since before the pandemic.

Why? For businesses, the increased productivity, reduced office expenses, and access to a broader talent pool make remote work a fantastic win-win. For workers, the ability to balance work and home commitments, cut down on commuting time and expenses, and gain access to opportunities in different locations is equally appealing.

But for those testing the job market waters for the first time since the pandemic, remote work can come with a lot of “what ifs?”.

You’re not alone. Here at JobLeads, we’ve coached thousands of clients in the same (remote) boat as you. Not only that, we’ve switched our own organisational framework from almost entirely office-based to a fully remote model. We’re all for job seekers finding the type of job that suits their needs best. So, we’re well versed in the pros and cons of remote working (mostly pros!).

Our career coaches have gathered a bunch of remote work insights from the job seekers’ perspective. We’ve broken these down into 9 highly compelling reasons to consider remote opportunities for your next career move.

How can remote work supercharge my career?

#1 Expand your job prospects

With remote work eliminating geographical constraints, more than ever before job seekers can tap into a global job market. Remote positions open up opportunities with companies located in different countries, industries, and markets, increasing the chances of finding a better-fit job. Depending on the company’s office locations and specific employment laws, it’s entirely possible to carry out work for one branch while being paid through your local one. International workers can even be hired via legal entities abroad or as independent contractors. This can remove the need to pay foreign tax and having to secure a visa or work permit.

#2 Facilitate workplace diversity

Through pursuing international or intra-country roles, remote work can provide you with stimulating opportunities to collaborate with professionals from diverse backgrounds. A greater exposure to different perspectives, work styles, and cultures can foster personal and professional growth, broaden your skill sets, and enhance your adaptability.

#3 Break down language barriers

In a global business environment, remote work can truly promote the value of multilingualism. If you speak a foreign language, or even another variation of your own language, you can leverage your linguistic skills to communicate and collaborate better with international teams, which in turn will improve your career prospects.

#4 A catalyst for networking

Remote workplaces enable employees to connect with other professionals in different cities, states, and countries, as well as across diverse industries and sectors. Not only does this help you to expand your global network, it can also facilitate future job prospects or project collaborations. Bonus: expanding your network increases your odds of engaging with potential mentors who can provide unique advice and guidance to help you develop professionally.

#5 Gain better global collaboration skills

Remote work — particularly international — boosts your cross-cultural competence, an increasingly valuable skill in today’s highly interconnected digital world. You can gain more experience in navigating cultural and linguistic differences, and in building inclusive and diverse teams, all of which contributes to your career advancement and makes for great interview stories.

#6 Increase flexibility for upskilling and continuous Learning

Remote workplaces offer people the flexibility to pursue a huge variety of upskilling and professional development opportunities. Firstly, tapping into the knowledge of colleagues in different locations can expose you to new ways of thinking. Secondly, you can take advantage of training and other learning provided by the remote location you work for, which may not be available locally. Thirdly, remote work can even facilitate your pursuit of extracurricular online learning (e.g. virtual workshops, digital courses, or self-paced learning), which may have seemed daunting in the past. This will help you to stay updated with current professional trends and practices, acquire new skills, and advance your career.

#7 Embrace remote work for entrepreneurial ventures and start-ups

With fewer physical constraints (such as the need for office space or workplace supplies), remote work can empower experienced professionals to launch their own businesses and create their own career paths. Remote ventures offer plenty of cost-saving benefits, as well as access to global virtual talent pools. The online world enhances the potential for innovative business ideas that may be harder to take off in a traditional format.

#8 Gain a better work-life balance

Remote work allows many professionals to achieve a better work-life balance thanks to the flexibility to manage personal commitments and reduce commuting time. Without doubt, this will positively impact your career growth and long-term success, as well as improve job satisfaction and overall well-being.

#9 A stepping stone to an international move

Remote work experience can serve as a valuable stepping stone to relocating abroad. By building up remote international experience with a particular company, you increase your chances of being hired for an on-site job in future. The work permit process can be onerous for many employers, but they are more willing to go the extra mile for someone they already know and value. Having experience with that particular company also makes it more likely for immigration authorities to approve your work permit or intra-company transfer visa.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Remote work expands job prospects by eliminating geographical constraints, allowing job seekers to tap into a global job market and explore opportunities with companies in different countries and markets
  2. Pursuing remote work can facilitate workplace diversity, providing opportunities to collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds and broaden your skill sets
  3. Multilingual skills can be leveraged in remote work to break down language barriers and improve collaborations with international teams, which can enhance career prospects
  4. Remote work enables networking across different locations and industries, increasing global connections, fostering potential job prospects, and facilitating mentorship opportunities
  5. Engaging in remote work, particularly international, enhances cross-cultural competence, an increasingly valuable skill in today’s interconnected digital world
  6. Remote workplaces offer flexibility for upskilling and continuous learning through exposure to diverse knowledge and access to broader training options
  7. Remote work empowers professionals to venture into digital entrepreneurships and start-ups thanks to lower costs and access to a global talent pool
  8. Achieving a better work-life balance is a huge benefit of remote work, as it allows you to manage personal commitments, reduce commuting time, and improve overall well-being
  9. Remote work can serve as a launching pad to an international move: building experience with a particular company increases the likelihood of being hired for an on-site job with them in the future and can simplify the work permit process
  10. JobLeads aggregates global job opportunities, including thousands of remote roles, making it convenient for job seekers to find remote positions and broaden their career horizons

How does working remotely affect productivity?

Remote work can significantly impact productivity by providing a flexible environment that reduces distractions and eliminates commute time. It allows for a customized work setup that can cater to personal comfort and efficiency. Additionally, the flexibility to work during peak productivity hours can lead to higher quality and more efficient work output.

What are the essential tools to work remotely?

Essential tools for remote work include communication platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams for meetings, project management software such as Trello or Asana for task tracking, and cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox for file sharing. Reliable internet, a comfortable workstation, and cybersecurity measures are also crucial for a productive remote work setup.

How do you collaborate effectively when your team is remote?

Remote work affects team collaboration by necessitating the use of digital communication tools like video conferencing, instant messaging, and collaborative software. While it can lead to fewer in-person interactions, it also encourages more structured and documented communication. Regular virtual meetings and clear communication channels can help maintain strong team collaboration and ensure everyone stays aligned on goals and projects.

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