remote worker at her desk during video call


Table Of Contents
The Future Of Work Is Remote
The ole 9-5 has gotten a facelift recently. Employers around the world are embracing the flexibility and freedom that remote work and hybrid work offer. 

 And we have a hunch that, once the commercial leases expire on those prime office spaces, a lot more businesses will embrace a fully remote work model as well. 

 This comprehensive guide is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about remote work. Whether you're an employee considering a switch, an employer looking to build a remote team, or just wondering where this trend is going, here's what you need to know about remote work.
What Is Remote Work?
Remote work is working and conducting business operations online. Remote work can be done in any location that provides an internet connection and a suitable work environment, whether that’s home, a cafe, or a beach bungalow.
remote worker with laptop and beautiful view over lake
There are three different types of remote work; 

  1. Fully Remote: Fully remote workers are usually employees who work entirely outside of a physical office space. However, many times fully remote workers are required to spend most of their time within a certain country or bloc due to tax implications.
  2. Hybrid Model: Hybrid employees split their time between working remotely and working in an office. Some larger companies even give hybrid employees the ability to “work from anywhere” for several months a year, and many employees use this as an opportunity to work and travel abroad.
  3. Location-Independent: Location independent remote workers are completely unrestricted by location. These are usually employees, entrepreneurs or freelancers, and they can work from home or literally any other country in the world. These remote workers typically need to prepare a bit more beforehand, like keeping their US number abroad.
5 Common Remote Work Myths
  • Remote work myth #1: Remote workers are less productive
  • Remote work myth #2: Remote work causes poor communication
  • Remote work myth #3: Remote workers earn less
  • Remote work myth #4: Remote work is lonely
  • Remote work myth #5: Remote work leads to a worse work-life balance
There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about remote work from both the pro-remote work and anti-remote work camps. The reality is, the success of remote work is dependant on an individual, the individual’s role, organizational leadership and the organization itself. With that said - here are some of the most common myths surrounding remote work.
Remote Work Myth #1: Remote workers are less productive
The idea that “remote workers are less productive” can’t be applied as a blanket statement to every organization, every position, or even every individual.
It turns out much of the studies that argue for or against remote work productivity are either biased or focus on narrow data sets to draw their conclusions. The bottom line is, organizations need to determine whether remote or hybrid work policies are right for them from an organizational, role, or individual perspective.
Remote Work Myth #2: Remote work causes poor communication
While remote work changes communication structure and flow within a company, this change does not need to be bad. 

Leadership’s role in fostering effective communication through things like weekly all-hands and weekly or bi-weekly check ins with employees has a tremendous impact on whether or not remote work negatively impacts organizational communication.
Remote Work Myth #3: Remote workers earn less
Remote workers do not earn less than their in-office counterparts; this is entirely dependent on the position and the firm. 

Some employees take a pay cut to go fully remote, because they prioritize remote work over extra pay, but this isn’t a blanket statement. As of 2024 we’re seeing some companies incentivizing a hybrid-work model by excluding fully remote workers from things like promotion opportunities, which means smaller pay raises. 

 However, this is a company-by-company basis, and many fields, such as developers, actually pay more for fully remote workers in order to attract top-tier talent.
Remote Work Myth #4: Remote work is lonely
Remote work doesn’t need to be lonely; organizations and their leadership can ensure daily and/or weekly team touchpoints to ensure employees don’t feel isolated or “on an island”.

However, many individuals that rely on in-office interactions as their primary form of social interaction will certainly feel more isolated by moving to fully remote work.
Remote Work Myth #5: Remote work leads to a poor work-life balance
Remote workers who aren’t able to “shut off” can see work creep into their lives after-hours. However, this is not a purely remote work phenomenon, and it can be mitigated through planning and the ability to disconnect.
The Pros & Cons Of Remote Work For Employers & Employees
distracted remote worker looking outside
The Pros Of Remote & Hybrid Work From An Employee Perspective
  1. Remote & Hybrid Work Improves Work-Life Balance: Employees with the ability to self-manage enjoy enhanced work-life balance from remote and hybrid work. They’re able to work around things like caring for the occasional sick child and handling tasks that permit short breaks from work to attend to.
  2. Remote & Hybrid Work Reduce Commuting Stress: Daily commutes within, and to/from cities are not good for our mental health. Remote work eliminates daily commutes, which employees both time and money. This can significantly reduce stress levels and contribute to improved overall well-being.
  3. Remote & Hybrid Work Allow For Geographic Flexibility: Remote opportunities eliminate geographical barriers. Employees can choose to live where it best suits them, which usually makes them happier and more productive.
  4. Remote & Hybrid Work Can Improve Mental & Physical Well-being: Remote work and hybrid work make things like exercising at lunch and taking quick breaks for a walk much more feasible. And with the ability to set up a workspace exactly to their liking, remote workers can mitigate Office Syndrome symptoms.
The Pros Of Remote & Hybrid Work From An Employer Perspective
  1. Remote & Hybrid Work Enable Access To A Wider Talent Pool: Remote work enables employers to tap into a broader pool of qualified candidates which allows them to find the best talent for the job, regardless of geographical boundaries.
  2. Remote & Hybrid Work Reduce Costs: Downsizing or outright eliminating office space helps employers save big on their bottom line.
  3. Remote & Hybrid Work Improve Employee Retention and Morale: Employees who enjoy the flexibility of remote work are happier and more engaged at their jobs. This can play a role in employee retention - although that’s not the case for every company and every employee.
  4. Greater Diversity and Inclusion in the Workforce: Remote work is by its very nature highly inclusive; it removes traditional accessibility barriers for people with physical disabilities, and allows those working in rural or geographically isolated areas to participate in the workforce.
The Challenges Of Remote & Hybrid Work From An Employee Perspective
  1. Remote & Hybrid Work Can Feel Isolating If Not Managed Correctly: Despite the dreaded eyebrow-raise-while-passing-your-desk-acquaintance-in-the-hallway moment, the office remains a source of social fulfillment for many. For those without a strong social circle outside of work, remote work can feel isolating.
  2. Remote & Hybrid Work Can Be Distracting If Not Managed Correctly: For undisciplined employees, remote and hybrid employees can gravitate toward distractions outside the office environment. However, good management and good leadership can without question help to mitigate this.
  3. Remote & Hybrid Work Can Make Work-Life Balance More Difficult: When work and personal life happen in the same space, employees may find it difficult to shut off from work, resulting in burnout.
  4. Remote & Hybrid Work Can Make Collaboration & Communication More Difficult: Without proper management protocols and meetings in place, remote work can make it more challenging to maintain clear and consistent communication.
The Challenges Of Remote & Hybrid Work From An Employer Perspective
  1. Remote & Hybrid Work Can Complicate Managing and Measuring Employee Performance: Employers need to develop clear performance metrics and establish effective communication channels to track progress and provide feedback in a virtual environment.
  2. Remote & Hybrid Work Can Make Building Company Culture More Challenging: Building and maintaining a strong company culture can be more difficult when employees are scattered across different locations, but it is by no means impossible.
  3. Remote & Hybrid Work Teams Must Overemphasize Communication And Collaboration: It can be easy for remote teams to slip into bad communication habits. Employers should invest in the right collaboration tools and establish clear regular protocols to ensure employees feel that communication flows freely through the organization.
  4. Remote & Hybrid Work Can Complicate Cybersecurity And Data Protection: When employees work remotely, they access company and client data from various locations throughout the world. Employers need to implement robust cybersecurity measures like firewalls and VPNs, alongside strong data protection policies to safeguard internal and client data.
Tips For Employees And Employers To Make Remote And Hybrid Work Successful
Remote work absolutely works for both employees and employers. Just like getting a tour around the office on your first day, employers need to give employees a “remote work orientation”. Here are a few remote work tips on how employers and employees can make remote work work for them.
Remote & Hybrid Work Tips For Employees
  1. Create A Dedicated Workspace: Creating a dedicated workspace at home or wherever you may be is a powerful productivity tool. Utilizing natural light, plants and ergonomic tools like a laptop stand are your best weapons against distraction.
  2. Establish Daily Routines: Just like a morning ritual before heading out to the office, having a morning ritual before starting the day while working remotely is key to productivity.
  3. Leverage Time Management & Distraction Reducing Technology: Remote work is a privilege, and if you don’t manage your time correctly, you’ll likely lose that privilege. Time management tools like those below are excellent at helping you stay task-oriented and distraction free;
    • Pomodoro Timer
    • Todoist
    • Notion/Asana/Trello/Basecamp (project management tools)
    • Opal (blocks access to time-wasting apps during work hours)
  4. Set Boundaries That Maintain Work-Life Balance: Remote and hybrid workers can get burnt out quicker than their in-office counterparts because it’s easy to blur the lines between work and home when you work where you live. Remote and hybrid workers need hard boundaries against checking non-critical emails before and after work hours.
  5. Prioritize Your Mental and Physical Health: Just like setting boundaries above, remote and hybrid workers must separate work from their daily lives. That means balancing work with prioritizing physical and mental health throughout the work day, and social health outside work hours.
Remote & Hybrid Work Tips For Employers
  1. Set Clear Remote Work Policies and Guidelines: Communicate to your employees what is expected of them and make sure leadership emulates those expectations through things like video backgrounds, personal grooming, communication frequency, etc. 
  2. Invest in Communication and Collaboration Tools: Remote communication and collaboration tools, like Slack, Zoom, Notion, Trello or other remote work collaboration software are key to communication across organizations remotely.
  3. Foster A Culture of Trust and Transparency: Remote work requires more trust in employees - and employers should make that clear. And while trust should be the default, they should also develop protocols to address trust issues when they arise.
  4. Provide Opportunities Team Building and Social Interaction: While many of us were never fans of the Zoom happy hour - scheduling time for social interaction among small (max 5 people) groups during work hours is significantly more effective at enhancing social interaction among employees.
  5. Offer Training and Support for Remote Employees: Let your remote team know they’re supported by arming them with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive. Training that offers industry-recognized certification are great ways to make them feel supported.
Predictions For The Future Of Work
remote worker in highrise with view of the city
Remote work isn’t a fad; it's a fundamental shift in the way the world works. As technology advances, remote work becomes increasingly accepted and those commercial leases expire on office spaces, we’ll probably see more employees and employers embrace remote work.

Here are some of our predictions for what the future of remote work will look like;
  • The hybrid work model will explode in popularity: Companies will likely adopt hybrid work models that rely on a mix of remote work and in-office work. This allows them to maintain in-person collaboration while downsizing office space.
  • Shifting focus from hours to outcomes: Employers will place greater emphasis on measuring outcomes rather than hours.
  • Rising location independence: As technology increases access to training and collaboration, companies will hire based on talent over geographic location. This will open the doors to a truly globalized workforce.
  • Increase of geographic-based pay scales: Employers will start paying employees based on their geographic location’s cost of living, as opposed to the corporate headquarter’s cost of living.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Remote Work
Remote Work FAQ For Employees
Q: Is remote work right for me?
A: There is no one-size-fits-all approach here.Whether remote work is right for you depends entirely on you, your personality, your priorities and your role.

Q: What jobs can be done remotely?
A: There are so many remote jobs, and this list grows every day. Some of the most common fields for remote work include;
  • Software engineering
  • Marketing
  • Customer service Accounting
  • Project management
  • Virtual assistant Sales

Q: How do I find a remote job?
A: There are a huge number of sites that post remote-only job listings such as;

Q: How do I stay productive while working remotely?
A: To stay productive while working remotely, follow a daily routine, create a dedicated workspace and leverage distraction-blocking technology like Opal.

Remote Work FAQ For Employers
Q: What are the benefits of offering remote work?
A: Employers who switch to remote work have access to a wider talent pool, they often see improved employee retention, and they have lower overhead costs from ditching large office spaces.

Q: What are some of the most common challenges employers face when managing a remote team?
A: The most common challenges employers face when managing remote teams include;
  • Ensuring employee communication
  • Effectively facilitating employee collaboration
  • Maintaining employee accountability

Q: How can employers create a successful remote work policy? 
A: A successful remote work policy is anchored in trust and clear communication. Trusting your remote employees will get their work done, and clearly communicating what you expect from them are both key.

Q: How can I keep my remote team engaged and motivated?
A: One of the most effective ways employers can increase remote team engagement is to carve out times in the day for small teams (~5 people) to meet and catch up. Have a loose agenda that you’ll share with everyone beforehand, but keep it a casual. Keep remote employees motivated the same way you keep office employees motivated; financial incentives, reward and sense of purpose.

Q: What tools and technology do I need to support a remote team?
A: Employers should leverage tools like Slack, Zoom, Asana/Notion/Trello and collaborative cloud documents like Google Sheets to ensure their remote teams are communicating and collaborating effectively.

Q: Does remote work lead to less employee turnover?
A: In some cases it does, in others, it does not. It's highly dependent on the organization, leadership, the role and the individual. Employee turnover is more often dictated my the quality of management and how competitive the compensation and benefits offered to employees are.