Working from home is becoming a perk as more and more employees are adding it to their wish list however it doesn’t appear to be an option for many employers, or is it? There might be opportunities to work remotely but it’s a matter of discovering if an organization is capable and willing. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that typically determine whether or not your job can become a virtual one.
Infrastructure – Working from home requires that the employer have the infrastructure and hardware to allow you to do so. Is your company or prospective employer willing to issue or reimburse for home office equipment? If so, are you able to connect with the intranet/VPN from home? These are typical requirements for remote roles; if the company doesn’t have this set up then working remotely is less likely a possibility.
Sensitivity – Are you working with highly sensitive information? If so, for security reasons you might find that is more difficult to find remote work although not impossible. The company would have to take extra steps to secure your at-home work station which could drive up costs for the employer. If applying to roles that deal with highly sensitive information, ask if anyone else in the role works from home which should be a solid indicator if the framework is in place to do so.
Skills – What skills do you possess and are they mobile? Data entry specialists are much more likely to be able to find an employer who will consider remote work as opposed to a welder. Also, if you are the “face” of the company such as a receptionist, then chances are you are going to be required to physically be in the office during business hours. Take the time to evaluate the mobility of your skills and whether or not physical presence is necessary to perform the job before perusing remote work.
Company Culture – This is a big one and yet very subjective so make sure you talk it out with the employer. If a company is in growth mode and working to build a solid culture, then working from home might not be a possibility as each member would play an intricate role in creating the culture. On the flip side, if the company is well established and the culture is fluid, then working from home is a more likely possibility. When interviewing or looking at making a change to your current situation, make sure to do your due diligence in researching the intricacies of the existing culture.
Collaboration – Is your role collaborative or more independent? The latter of the two might afford you more opportunities to work remotely as opposed to those roles which rely heavily on the collaboration of others. However, it’s also important to consider the manner in which the team typically interacts and communicates with each other. If your team is already spread across physical offices and meetings are by web or phone conferences, working remotely might still be possible in a highly collaborative role. When applying or asking to work remotely, make sure to assess the scope of the team you’re working with and its synergy.
If your current job does not meet the criteria listed above and your heart is still set on working from home, there’s several job boards out there that specialize in remote work, or you can use the keywords “remote” , “work from home”, or “work from anywhere” when searching for new opportunities on job posting sites. Just make sure you are clear about the employment terms, as it is common for remote workers be paid as independent contractors or by other non-traditional pay setups. Also, remote job postings can sometimes be the target of scams, so make sure to do your research on a company before sending any of your information.
Are you an IT or Accounting & Finance professional looking for a change of scenery? VincentBenjamin is a Phoenix-based staffing firm with a large, diverse set of clientele throughout the Valley. Contact us to learn more about our current permanent and contract opportunities.
Written by: Samantha Arce
Samantha Arce is an accomplished corporate recruiter and LinkedIn influencer. Samantha thrives in her ability to network through understanding people’s perspective and truly engaging her people’s passions and interests. She has most recently been an integral part of the internal growth for VincentBenjamin, one of the fastest growing privately held staffing firms in the US.