The workplace climate of the last two years doesn’t appear poised to change in 2022. As new variants of COVID-19 gain prominence, we’re still learning how to cope with the pandemic in our day-to-day lives. Thanks to adapting technology, remote work, in particular, has not only become a valuable tool to keep workplaces running, but it has become a new norm.
While discussing workplace trends for 2022, IDG Connect theorized that remote work will become the standard for most workers. They speculate the Great Resignation will slow down in 2022, and companies that haven’t adapted to remote work will struggle.
“For those that invested early in supporting remote work, they will see the problems settle down earlier compared to those that either have not invested or did so half-heartedly.” -IDG Connect
If you’re starting a new job search this year, chances are you’ll either consider or fully seek out a remote job. To help you land that new position, we’ll discuss the different styles of remote work and the subtle challenges you need to be aware of when applying for remote positions.
What are the types of remote work?
The concept of working remotely is intuitive; you complete your work off-site. But remote work is actually an umbrella of different forms of working away from the office. There is fully work from home (WFH), hybrid, and flexible work. As a job seeker, you’ll need to be aware of the subtle differences of each type and figure out what form is best for your needs.
The blanket term ‘remote work’ generally refers to WFH. Simply, the employee will be able to do their entire job from their home (or other remote location). Meanwhile, ZDNet’s Owen Hughes excellently defines the difference between hybrid and flexible approaches.
“Hybrid working refers to the idea of splitting time between working in an office and working from home or another remote location, whereas flexible working tends to incorporate models of work that offer more freedom around how and when employees work. This can include flexible start and finish times, split shifts and non-traditional working weeks.” -Hughes
Some positions may require you to be available at certain times to work with team members or customers. In addition, some organizations will still need team members to come into the office for meetings or group tasks. It all depends on the company, the industry, and your potential position. As such, you need to be aware of what the organization is offering and what will work well with your needs.
The additional challenge is when companies themselves aren’t clear on or aware of these differences. With remote opportunities and culture a bigger focal point than salary, companies that understand these differences will attract more talent. After all, advertising a ‘flexible’ job that requires a strict 9-to-5 schedule would be a major faux pas. Job Hunt suggests doing additional research, including reaching out to employees and reviewing sites like Glassdoor to confirm what a company means when they say ‘remote’ or ‘flexible’.
How to apply for remote work
Once you’ve identified the type of remote work you yearn for, be aware the application process can be slightly different as well. While you’ll still want to practice classic job search etiquette (keeping your resume action-oriented, using keywords to get your resume into the hands of a real person), remote work requires additional soft skills, and you’ll have more competition due to the wider search area.
Kevin Kirkpatrick, CEO of We Work Remotely! told Buzzfeed that communication skills (especially writing ability), resourcefulness, and the ability to work independently are some of the most crucial soft skills employers will seek in remote workers. When you’ll be mostly communicating digitally, knowing how to clearly express yourself is key while being remote requires independent solution making. Finding ways to showcase these types of skills on your resume and in interviews is necessary.
“Resourcefulness is another attribute remote companies look for. Teams need people that are able to come up with creative solutions no matter the context. People that are able to solve problems on their own and take ownership of what they do are always attractive for remote companies.” -Kirkpatrick
Meanwhile, Yoh’s blog offers excellent tips to achieve the best remote positions, and it should be no surprise that many of these tips involved technological literacy. If you’re applying for a remote position, it stands to reason your interview may be remote as well. Having a working camera, a stable internet connection, and strong video interview etiquette will show employers you’re ready to use technology on a day-to-day basis.
No matter which form it takes, remote work is the new norm, but both employers and employees are still adjusting to what this means. Understanding the options available to you is vital to finding the right position, as is being able to show off the right types of skills. This knowledge should not only assist you in landing a great remote position but also to recognize which organizations truly ‘get’ remote work.