Remote Work Tips: How Employees & Employers Can Thrive From Anywhere


The traditional office grind is giving way to a new era: remote work

Whether you're a seasoned freelancer or a curious cube dweller, the freedom and flexibility of remote work are undeniably appealing. But ditching the commute doesn't mean ditching productivity. This guide equips you with the tools and strategies to thrive in your remote work haven.

Remote Work Tips For Employees


How To Get A Remote Job

Skill up! Having in-demand skills is vital to landing any job, remote or otherwise. Have a clear career in mind that you’re shooting for, and do some research to determine what skills are most sought-after. Once you have a firm idea on skills required, head to Coursera or Udemy to get started.

Where To Find Remote Jobs

If you want to find a remote-friendly job, Once you’ve skilled up to be a viable candidate, there are loads of online resources to help you find your dream remote job. Here are some popular remote work boards;

Full-Time Remote Jobs Boards;

Determine Self-Employed Vs. Employed

There are two main paths to consider in the remote work world: self-employment and employment. Here's a quick guide to help you decide which is right for you:
  • Self-Employed: Ideal if you have an area of expertise you can monetize, some savings to get you started, and enjoy the hustle of finding your own work. This is certainly the path of uncertainty, but can also potentially be more rewarding in the long run.
  • Employed: A good fit if you prefer a regular paycheck, a set schedule, and nights and weekends off. Many companies now offer full-time remote positions with benefits, and many are offering hybrid positions as well.

How To Create A Productive Remote Work Setup

Your workspace can make or break your remote work experience. Here are some key elements to consider:

Create A Mobile Setup Or Dedicated Workspace

  • Create A Dedicated Space: If you plan to work from home, designate a workspace that minimizes distractions and promotes focus. Even a well-lit corner with a couple succulents can work wonders!
  • Ergonomic Essentials: Invest in a comfortable chair and a monitor that’s going to make you more comfortable while you work. If you’re on the go, a 2-in-1 laptop case works wonders for your posture.
  • Reliable Computer & OS: Choose a computer with the processing power for your workload. This may also mean strategically updating your laptop so it doesn’t “mysteriously” lose battery after an update (here’s lookin at you, Apple). 
  • Remote Work Essentials: Make sure you grab an external keyboard, reliable wifi, noise-cancelling headphones, a bluetooth mouse, backpack, and think about adding a ring light and an external webcam to your remote work arsenal.

Remote Work Etiquette

You don’t want to be “that guy” - the one who shows up with bedhead, a messy room, bad lighting, and who makes your manager reconsider remote work altogether. Maintaining professionalism is essential, even when working remotely. Here are some basic remote work etiquette tips:
  • Blurred Background Or Tidy Background: Keep your video call background professional and free from distractions. A background of you on the moon? Definitely, quite distracting. But a clean room? Quite profesh.
  • Mute Your Mic: Mute your microphone when you're not speaking to avoid background noise.
  • Test Tech Before Calls: If you haven’t opened Zoom or Teams for a few days, proactively avoid technical difficulties by testing your microphone and camera a few minutes before meetings. Calendar Availability: Keep your availability updated on your calendar so colleagues can easily schedule meetings with you. Gcal is fantastic for this.
  • Clarify Hard Stops: When scheduling meetings, ask if there can be a "hard stop" a few minutes before the end time to allow everyone to transition smoothly to their next task.

Time Management & Staying Productive For Remote Workers

Staying focused and productive can be challenging for remote workers. Here are some tips to help you master your time:

Daily Routine Is Critical: How To Create One

  • Structure is Key: Establish regular work hours and stick to them as much as possible. This will help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  • Develop A Morning Ritual: Develop a morning routine that sets you up for a focused day. This could include exercise, meditation, or simply enjoying a healthy breakfast. Omitting social media does wonders for productive mornings.

Prioritize & Execute

  • Nightly To-Do List: Create a daily to-do list and prioritize your next day’s tasks based on urgency and importance. You can use an app, or even just Notes to do this.
  • Time Blocking Techniques: Break down your day into time blocks for specific tasks (in the mornings I’m heads-down working, in the afternoons I’m answering email). Whatever works best for you.
  • The Power of Breaks: Schedule short breaks throughout the day to prevent burnout, and get some fresh air or do some light exercise!

Tools To Help You Stay Focused

  • Silence Those Distractions: Apps like Opal are highly effective at blocking your access to distracting social media.
  • Noise-Cancelling Headphones: Grab yourself a solid pair of headphones for remote work so you can focus.
  • The Power of Music: Upbeat music can be a great motivator for some, while others prefer silence or white noise to focus. Experiment and find what works best for you!

Remote Work And Taxes


Understanding Your Tax Obligations as a Remote Worker

Remote Vs. Location-Independent

Many US companies will require US employees to live in the US, regardless of the state, due to tax implications. So this would be, “remote”, but not “location-independent”.

But the US government keeps it relatively simple for US citizens who work remotely; your physical location generally doesn't impact your federal tax obligations to the US government. The IRS taxes your worldwide income, regardless of where you earn it. This means you'll likely file a federal tax return and pay federal income taxes just like any other US taxpayer with the same salary.

However, things can get a bit more complex when it comes to state and local taxes:
  • Working Remotely in the Same State: If you live and work remotely in the same state, you'll typically owe income tax to that state on your entire income.
  • Working Remotely in a Different State: This scenario can get trickier. Some states have reciprocity agreements in place to prevent double taxation of remote workers. These agreements essentially say that if you live in one state and work remotely for a company in another, you won't owe income tax to both states. However, not all states have these agreements.
  • Working Remotely from Another Country: US citizens working remotely from another country are still required to file federal tax returns, even if they don't owe any taxes. You may qualify for tax benefits like the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (for employees working in foreign countries for foreign companies) or the Foreign Tax Credit, which can reduce your US tax liability. Note that tax treaties between the US and your host country may also play a role.
Important Resources For Remote Work & Taxes
Remember, this is not tax advice! Consulting with a tax professional is highly recommended, especially if your remote work situation involves multiple states or countries. They can help you navigate the specifics of your situation and ensure you're filing your taxes correctly.

Get Set Up Before Hitting The Road

Remote work comes in all shapes and sizes; some remote workers will work from home, some will go to a local coworking space, and some just decide to hit a tropical beach to get things done. 

If you do choose to hit the road and travel the world while working remotely, make sure you plan ahead;

Remote Work Tips For Employers

Building a remote-first team means having your pick of the best talent across the globe, but it also comes with its challenges. The efficacy of remote workers largely depends on effective managers and leadership. Here’s are some tips on creating successful remote work policy for your team.


  • Onboarding: Just like you would walk someone around the office on their first day - introducing employees to your remote work culture is key to setting them up for success.
  • Set Clear Expectations: Establish clear communication channels, performance expectations, and project management tools to ensure everyone is aligned and on the same page.
  • Embrace Flexibility: Remote work thrives on flexibility. Many companies embrace flexible work schedules while ensuring overlapping core working hours to accommodate different time zones and work styles.
  • Invest in the Right Tools: Equip your team with the necessary tools for seamless collaboration. This means platforms like Zoom and Slack, project management tools like Asana, cloud scheduling solutions like Google Calendar and cloud storage solutions to enable everyone to be working on the same document, at the same time.


  • Overcommunicate: Frequent communication is critical to bridging physical distance and fostering not only a sense of connection, but a sense of responsibility. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings, team check-ins, and even virtual coffee breaks where people talk about anything but work.
  • Embrace Asynchronous Communication: Not everyone needs to be online at the same time. Maybe your developers work best at night, while your salespeople are morning people. Allowing people to work when they work best, while maintaining accountability, works wonders for your team.
  • Transparency Matters: Maintain transparency by keeping your team informed about company goals, projects, and decisions. Regular company-wide updates help remote workers feel engaged and valued.


  • Invest in Professional Development: Provide opportunities for professional development, regardless of location. Offering access to online courses, training programs, and conferences to empowers your remote team to grow their skills and deliver better work for the company.
  • Recognize and Reward: Everyone loves a pat on the back every now and then. Recognize and reward your remote employees for their achievements, perhaps via a Slack channel or a monthly awards ceremony.


  • Cybersecurity Measures: Data is sensitive - especially when it’s in the life sciences field. Robust cybersecurity measures help protect your company's data, and communicating clear guidelines for remote workers means they’ll know how to keep things secure.
  • Data Security Protocols: Establish clear data security protocols for remote access, cloud storage, and communication tools. Global VPNs and firewalls are excellent protocols for this.
  • Equipment and Resources: While some companies provide equipment for remote workers, others offer a stipend to help employees set up their home office. If you’re going to allow workers to select their own equipment, make sure you specify how often they need to update their operating system and other security protocols.
If you’re looking for more remote work tips - check out the blog pieces below. And make sure to check out remote work gear from Made For Sapiens, like the 2-in-1 laptop case that doubles as a stand.

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