What should I look for in a remote job?

Remote work, or 'work from home' has been around for a long time, but now with the changes brought about by COVID, many more companies are opening up to this model. Here are some things to consider when looking at a remote job position:

  1. Does the company have a history of remote working arrangements?
  2. Does the company have employees currently working remotely?
  3. Does the company have standard contracts and procedures for remote work?

In general, you want to know if the company really takes remote work seriously or not, and if they are committed enough that the role will be permanent, rather than eliminated once COVID restrictions are lifted. The worst case scenario is that you join a company that had no idea what to do, you struggle to get paid on time, and eventually they give up and let you go with no recourse.

You should be asking the above questions and getting tangible answers when you interview. As an example, my company has a number of active remote workers and has used them since the company was created. We have daily virtual stand-ups and remote workers are treated exactly the same as on-site workers. The work is software development, which lends itself well to remote work, due to everything being cloud-based. We have a standard contract for working with either individuals or sole proprietorships, and prior to COVID we had quarterly on-site meetups, where we flew in our remote workers to join us for a week-long hackathon.

The answers you get should be very tangible and make you comfortable about what you are getting into.

If you are also interested in a long term relationship with the company and advancing into management, you should also inquire about if eventually working as a remote manager is possible, and if such employees exist today. In many cases you will find that only non-management employees work remote and all managers are on site. Before putting years of your life into a company hoping for something that will never happen, you should at least ask the question!