7 Things to Research Before Taking a Work-At-Home Job

Work from Home Job | lady boss

Less than a decade ago, working from home wasn’t an option for most people. Although the internet was just as prevalent, employers didn’t see the positives of a hybrid or completely remote workplace. Now, remote jobs are popping up everywhere, leading to more opportunities.

Global work has tossed the due diligence over to the employee side to ask questions about what their remote work entails. Here are 6 things everyone should ask before accepting the job.

1. Is this a full-time, contract, or freelance position?

Sometimes a job posting won’t clarify whether the position constitutes a contract, freelance or full-time. You’ll need to know what you’ll be hired for, so you can settle up your taxes with Uncle Sam and understand how long you’ll be with the company.

  • Freelance roles are typically permanent, but you won’t receive benefits or perks.
  • Contract roles are designated to fixed projects. However, you may be hired again.
  • Full-time roles are standard employee roles, except you’ll work from home.

Freelancers and contract workers use the same tax form (1099-NEC); employees use the W-2.

2. What is my tax burden?

When asking the question “what taxes do independent contractors have to pay,” especially compared to income tax, you first have to know if you need to pay them in the first place. 

If you’re hired as a full-time employee, you’ll use a W-2 tax form and typically pay 7-10% of your medicare and social security tax burden while your employers handle the rest. Independent contractors (freelance or contract workers) take on the entire burden and pay 15.3% annually.

To lower your burden, take advantage of deductions and retirement contributions.

3. How is remote communication handled?

While you’ll likely be told which program the company uses for communication, you need to ask what they expect from you. Do they have a cut-off time, or are you expected to be on-call? Do they expect weekly or daily check-ins? Will you be working with a supervisor or a team?

4. Will equipment be supplied?

It’s possible to find companies who are willing to provide physical equipment to workers, like computers or printers, but more than likely, you’ll be supplied with technology. You’ll probably be using video conferencing software for meetings and content management software.

To ensure your computer can handle these programs, make sure it has:

  • A solid-state drive (SSD)
  • At least 16 GB of RAM
  • Proper fan ventilation

It’s cheaper to achieve this when using a desktop computer, as a laptop with similar specs will be way too expensive. Plus, you can hook up two monitors to a desktop, making your job easier.

5. What challenges are you facing with remote work?

Knowing a company’s remote work history can determine if they’ve found their flooring when it comes to international employees. Be careful when asking this question because you might come off as judgemental. Try to come across as helpful and state you’re willing to offer advice.

6. What are my hours?

Working in a different time zone than your employer can be tough because you’re never sure when your workday begins and ends. It’s essential to ask your supervisor or team when they want you to handwork in, preferably in your time zone, to avoid deadline confusion.

However, it’s much easier to find companies that offer flexible hours. With a flexible work schedule, you can work whenever you like as long as you complete the project on time.

7. How is payment handled?

Unless you want to wait weeks for a paycheck that may get lost in the mail, it’s better to set up a payment schedule using an e-wallet or an international money transfer service. Setting this up will take a bit of work, but it will ensure you’re only paying taxes in your own country.

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