What do you look for when you apply for a job? The ability to develop reports from the comfort of your bed, or cutting commute costs and arriving at work early each day?
These are just a few of the benefits of having a full-time virtual job. In other words, a job that rarely (or ever) requires you to step foot inside a real office. This pre-pandemic concept of virtual working really took flight when offices were forced to shut during the pandemic. The flexibility offered as a result of home-working gives employees the opportunity to be productive without ever leaving the house. This switch has even been found to boost productivity levels, with 81% of workers noticing an increase and more employers than ever now offering remote working jobs as standard.
While more and more companies are offering full-time remote employment, not all virtual jobs are created equal. With benefits like an improved work, life balance and cost savings on the daily commute becoming commonplace it's important to look beyond just the ability to work from home and further understand all that is on offer to you. To find remote employment that advances your career, we recommend searching for the following four things in a virtual - or remote - job ad:
1. Company-provided equipment. In order to work effectively from home, you need high-quality tech which will let you do everything that the role requires from you. It also needs to have robust security software. Doing your virtual job successfully relies on having good equipment that supports the platforms and software your employer uses. At the very minimum, this should include a laptop and smartphone, as well as pre-installed cybersecurity software.
2. Technical support. Though you’re working from home, it’s important to know that you have support, should you require it. Even the best equipment can develop issues, and as a virtual worker, you don’t want to be left high and dry if your laptop crashes. Always make sure the company offers dedicated technical support: it’ll save you a headache later on, and give you peace of mind that will let you tackle your job effectively.
3. A supportive manager who’s focused on team building. Having a virtual job has the potential to be lonely: some virtual workers can feel isolated because they never interact with coworkers. However, many employers looking to support remote workers will use programs that allow you to communicate with your team in a virtual space. In addition, your manager should include you in team events, for example by holding weekly face-time meetings, and cultivating a great team spirit and company culture. Pick somewhere that hosts regular nights out (in person or virtually); apart from getting out of the house, it’s an excellent chance to build relationships with your co-workers that you may find difficult to do online.
4. Clear career paths. Many remote workers are afraid they’ll miss out on promotions and other opportunities as they don’t have the chance to build face-to-face relationships with their superiors. Fortunately, many employers do provide career paths for virtual workers. If there’s no mention of this in the job advert, ask your recruiter or the employer directly what room there is for progression.
Virtual work can be rewarding, and with the right employer, it can offer you a bright future in a world where more than 50% of people want to increase their remote hours. Make sure that you have the tools and support you need to do your job well, and there will be nothing stopping you from being an efficient, productive employee who will be able to advance quickly within the company.