The Rise of Remote Workers
Five years ago, when Hacker News asked people to contribute open job positions to its “Who Is Hiring?” thread, some 10 percent of the jobs were tagged as remote. This year, that number has risen to 20 percent. While a single thread on a tech-aggregator site isn’t exactly a scientifically rigorous source, it may offer some rough insight into broader industry trends. As noted by a blog post on whoishiring.io, there are a number of “plausible reasons” for the rise of remote work, including the increasing prevalence of high-speed internet, a “drain of local STEM talents in popular Engineering hubs,” and the English language becoming globally popular. “With unsolved U.S. VISA problems for STEM workers, IT companies might have to get creative to hire potential employees,” the blog added. “Going remote could be a part of the solution.” While working remotely offers the chance at a better work-life balance, it’s not always an easy thing for either employers or tech pros to carry out. Working in an actual office, face-to-face with colleagues on a day-to-day basis, has a way of streamlining communications and building rapport. If you’re working five hundred miles away, it can prove exponentially more difficult to forge those same sorts of connections. Despite those challenges, it’s easier than ever to stay connected in our era of instant messaging, email, and phones. Tightening the communications loop depends on the remote worker adopting a proactive mindset, and reaching out often—even just to firm up a relationship with a coworker or client. If you’re interested in landing a job that’s primarily remote, you’ll have to convince your potential employer that you have the capability to succeed in the role. Previous experience in working remotely is a huge help in this regard; if you can demonstrate that you’ve helped complete big, complex projects from home, you’ll have an advantage over any competition. Without that sort of background, you can still convince the company that you’re suitable for remote work by explaining how you’ve successfully completed tasks without close supervision. As with any job interview, focusing on your results in another good way to make inroads with the interviewer or hiring manager. Demonstrating that you’ve succeeded under a variety of circumstances will help prove that you can succeed in a future role.