When I started working virtually in 2015 as a virtual assistant supporting small businesses, I instantly fell in love, especially with the flexibility it offered me as a mother helping to support our family.
Today, while I’m still serving many of my original clients, I’m also on the core team as a Community Manager at MadSkills, working remotely to support their effort to help military spouses and veterans find sustainable, remote work. But will you love remote work as much as I do?
I’m the boss…well, kind of.
While many companies do classify their remote workers as employees, most of the time, I have been hired as an independent contractor. While I’m generally afforded most of the same freedoms either way, there are still some differences because as an independent contractor, taxes are not withheld for you and you’re providing a service set on terms that are generally more favorable to you – since you’re technically running your own business.
Generally, I set my own working hours, can negotiate deadlines based on my needs, and though I pay more in taxes, I am also typically paid more as an independent contractor to offset those additional costs – and in many cases, I set my own hourly rate.
Just be sure to file your taxes correctly at the end of the year, and visit a tax professional, as there are differences in tax laws regarding whether you’re classified as an employee or independent contractor.
I don’t have to take as many sick days.
Of course, if I’m truly miserable, I’m going to take a day off. But if I just have the minor sniffles, or my kids need to stay home from school because they’re sick, I have flexibility. Typically, when either occur, I work through my day, taking frequent breaks for snuggles and/or naps.
I don’t have to pay for childcare – unless I want to.
This is perhaps the one thing I love about working remotely the most. I don’t need to pay for childcare. As a mother of four children, with two children that would require all-day care in the summertime, the price I’d be paying for daycare makes my stomach hurt thinking about it.
While some positions do require childcare, such as customer service roles that support via phone, the only time that I arrange for someone to help with my kids are when I must attend meetings or work trips. Being able to provide daily care for my children helps save me thousands of dollars in childcare costs monthly.
There is no dress code.
I’ve seen plenty of videos and read plenty of blogs from remote workers that boast about getting up and getting “dressed” for their day – as in, they wake up, put on makeup, do their hair, and wear nice dress clothes to work from their home office. But me? You can find me in my pajamas or yoga pants, hair pulled back in a high ponytail or messy bun, a blanket wrapped around me, while I’m sitting on the couch streaming Netflix with my work spread out across the coffee table.
I’m never late to work and my commute is five seconds.
While some of my remote counterparts do have a set schedule where they’re supposed to be working, for the most part, I don’t. But on the days that I must “attend” meetings via Skype, I’m still never late because while I’m changing into a nicer shirt and making sure that my hair isn’t a bird’s nest, I only have to walk down the stairs or across the house to get to our meeting.
There’s no waking up early, praying for light traffic, driving across town, and looking for a parking spot all before I start my day. My car stays parked right in my driveway, and I stay right here in the comfort of my own home.
Visiting home? Need to PCS? Just want to take your lunch whenever you want? Not a problem.
The people I’ve worked with have never cared where I do my work, just as long as my work gets done correctly and I meet my deadlines. So, if I want to take a trip and visit home, or our family needs to move to a new duty station, I can easily do either by working remotely from coffee shops and homes of my friends and family along the way.
I don’t have to worry about having to leave before I can advance, or if I’ll be able to find a new job with similar benefits in my field. Another perk is that I can eat whenever I want too – and no one will get angry if I eat at my workspace or if I decide that I want to work from the cute bistro that overlooks the bay.
If you’ve been wondering if remote work is for you, there are plenty of opportunities out there, but due to increasing popularity, remote positions are highly competitive. But with many companies offering remote positions, such as Humana, Dell, Kaplan, Amazon, and Apple, and as agencies like MadSkills assisting job seekers in finding remote work, the possibility of remote work is not only expanding, but becoming a mainstream and popular choice for employers to offer.