These days, more people are choosing to work remotely rather than show up every day at an office. Thanks to technological breakthroughs and the rise of cloud storage, it’s more feasible than ever for workers to leave the office behind. Women have their own reasons for choosing remote work, as well. Let’s talk about why many women are attracted to work outside the traditional office.
The Benefits of Remote Work for Women
To investigate the trend of remote work, Ultimate Software recently conducted a survey of 1,000 American workers from across the country. All respondents are employed by companies that have both remote and on-site personnel.
The results indicate that working remotely may be enabling women to advance professionally and to achieve work-life balance. Women who work at home are more able to contact their human resources (HR) department with problems and to feel that HR listens to their concerns. Women working remotely are more likely to receive a promotion than men who work on-site or remotely, as well, and they’re much more likely than women working on-site to say that they see the potential for professional growth in their positions.
These results showed that achieving work-life balance is still difficult for women working in traditional office settings. Women are also are much more likely to say they feel uncomfortable when taking personal or vacation time than women working remotely (or than men, in general).
Fast Company also reports that remote work greatly benefits women. Data indicates that women are three times more likely to attain leadership positions in companies with remote workers than in their traditional counterparts. But the most significant benefit is in work-life balance. Women are often the ones who stay home with young children, which tends to impede their professional advancement when they return to work. Working remotely removes some of the problems that interfere with women’s advancement, such as strict schedules, lengthy commutes, and long days that keep women away from their families.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that under 5% of adults get 30 minutes of exercise daily, and just one-third of adults get the recommended amount of exercise weekly. Women who work remotely make their own schedules and can, therefore, make time for physical fitness, as well as errands and childcare. Moreover, many women feel that the ability to work from home or to create their own schedules can make up for wage disparities and even other benefits.
According to Fast Company, companies with remote workers tend to focus more on results than personalities or office politics — and this favors employees who are women. Productivity is what matters to remote companies, so biases against women in the workplace aren’t as prevalent. Remote work also has the potential to reduce issues relating to sexual harassment in the workplace; although inappropriate behavior (like virtual harassment) may still occur, women who work remotely may feel more empowered to take action when it does happen.
Overall, empowerment may be a central theme for women who are able to work remotely. Remote work can still offer much of the financial security that comes along with the traditional office job but allows the employee more control over their schedule and how they prioritize their responsibilities.
Remote Job Opportunities
If you’ve determined that remote work is just one way you’d like to achieve a better work-life balance, you might be wondering about what kinds of opportunities are available to you. Should your current employer not be open to this option or you’re transitioning back into the workforce, it’s not easy to know where to begin. Here are just a few of the remote jobs you might consider:
- Email marketer: This position involves creating email ad campaigns, maintaining lists of clients or company subscribers, and reaching out to potential subscribers. If you want the security of a permanent position, you could work full or part-time for a single business. If you want greater flexibility in your workload and schedule, you could provide freelance services for multiple businesses. To obtain a position as an email marketer, you’ll need excellent writing skills and experience with graphic design and creating web content.
- Translator: This job is great for anyone who is bilingual. Payscale reports that translators typically make $25 per hour — and employers may pay more for translation of languages that are in-demand. As with many remote positions, you can operate as a freelancer or work with one company. You may need previous work experience as a translator. To get started, you can find translating jobs on large employment websites like Indeed or offer your services on a freelancing site like Upwork.
- Customer service representative: According to Payscale, you can make $27,872 annually on average as a remote customer service rep. You would provide help for customers over the phone or via email, social media, or chat. You’ll need excellent written and verbal communication skills, a willingness to solve problems, and a friendly interpersonal style. About 91% of consumers can’t recall the last time they bought a product or contacted a company without looking at online reviews beforehand. As a customer service rep, you can help people make decisions about online purchases.
- Freelance writer: There are many ways to make a living remotely through freelance writing. You can write marketing copy, website content, grant proposals, corporate speeches, and more. Once you find legitimate sources of writing assignments, you’ll begin building a portfolio of completed projects and can post your work on freelancer websites (as well as your own site).
How to Avoid Work-From-Home Scams
While remote work provides a lot of benefits, it’s important to note that your dream job shouldn’t seem too good to be true. Unfortunately, there are scammers who want to take advantage of people — many of them moms — who are eager to make money from home. You’ll need to be on the lookout for these kinds of “opportunities” and listen to your gut.
Make sure that any company you contact is a reputable employer and not a front for scammers who just want to steal your personal information. Read employee reviews of companies on websites like Glassdoor. Make sure the ad lists the name of the company and beware of email addresses that don’t include that name. If you’re contacted via email out of the blue, beware — and if you’re asked to use any of your own money for a job, run. Find out if you can contact human resources representatives with concerns or questions.
For permanent positions, make sure the job description refers to benefits and paid time off. You should have to send a formal application and there should be an interview rather than just email contact. The company should describe all job responsibilities and they should require you to provide references and work samples. An astonishing 92% of people searching the Internet select local results on the first page — and 33% opt for the first result. If you look for remote work on Google, don’t assume that the first job listings you find are for real jobs.
Remote work gives women the scheduling flexibility they need to care for their kids, spares them the biases that put women at a disadvantage, and often allows for greater professional growth. If you’re looking for an alternative to the nine-to-five grind, carefully research companies that offer remote jobs and consider which positions will allow you to both earn a solid income and thrive.