Remote Work: Embracing Flexibility, Embracing Success.

Sunday Abegunde
9 min readJun 29, 2023

In this era of digital transformation. Those who understand the times like the sons of Issachar know it’s Remote Job O’ Clock. Today, we will delve into the world of remote work, exploring its benefits (and why employers should embrace and accommodate this growing trend), strategies to position yourself to secure remote jobs, and valuable resources to find such opportunities.

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

So, let’s dive into the exciting world of remote work!

To set the stage, let’s take a look at some compelling statistics that highlight the rise of remote work and its impact on the global workforce:

1. The Trend: Remote work has emerged as a dominant trend due to the COVID pandemic. As of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% work in a hybrid model. By 2025, an estimated 32.6 million Americans will be working remotely, which equates to about 22% of the workforceKathy Haan

I had worked with a construction firm in the USA and a pharmaceutical company in Canada, 101% remotely, and I had worked with organizations in Nigeria on-site and also remotely. I have also hired Nigerians and global talents remotely.

Before we consider the eponym of remote work, what is work, and why do we work?

Work is the effort people make to complete tasks and achieve goals. It involves both mental and physical labor, creative activities, decision-making, and problem-solving.

Why do you want to work?

  1. Financial Stability
  2. Career advancement
  3. Personal fulfillment
  4. Sense of purpose
  5. Skill development
  6. Social interaction
  7. Contribution to society
  8. Recognition and validation
  9. Networking opportunities
  10. Supporting family and dependents

For the purpose of this discussion, let’s classify work types into two thus:
1. Traditional Employment: Full-time employment, Part-time employment, Shift work.

2. Independent Work: Freelancing/ contract work (e.g. Upwork, Fiverr), Gig economy work (Task Rabbit, OneForma) , Self-employment or entrepreneurship

Can someone tell me under which of these categories Remote Work falls?

Answer: Both.
Remote work can fall under both the categories of Traditional Employment and Independent Work, depending on the specific context. Traditional work as well as independent work can be on-site, remote, or hybrid.

The origin of remote work can be traced back to the early 1970s, when the concept was introduced by NASA and popularized by advancements in technology. It gained significant momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic as a necessity for business continuity.

Remote work refers to a work arrangement where employees or contractors perform their duties outside of a traditional office setting, often from their homes or other remote locations.

Benefits of Remote Work:
Now that we’ve established the basics of what remote work is, let’s explore its benefits for both talents and employers:

1. Access to a global talent pool: By adopting remote work policies, employers gain access to a wider talent pool, not limited by geographical constraints. This allows them to hire the best candidates, regardless of their location. This provides organizations with a competitive edge in accessing specialized skills and expertise. (Workplaces with perks like attractive workspaces or benefits like napping pods are less important compared to the ability to work from home and have flexibility.)

2. Increased productivity: 62% of workers feel more productive when working remotely. Remote workers are not distracted by co-workers, leading to enhanced focus and productivity. Workers screens can be tracked remotely. Furthermore, they can design their work environment to suit their preferences, optimizing their performance.

3. Talent Attraction: Remote work can attract future leaders who thrive in a remote environment and require minimal supervision.

4. Talent Retention: If the ability to work from home was taken away, two-thirds (66%) of workers would immediately start looking for a job that offered flexibility, and 39% would simply quit. (Owl Labs).

Most people prefer to live in desirable locations rather than dealing with urban congestion and high living costs.

5. Cost savings: For both employees and employers, remote work can result in substantial cost savings. Employees save on commuting expenses, professional attire, and dining out, while companies can reduce office space and related overhead costs, resulting in substantial savings for the organization. By embracing remote work, companies can save an average of $11,000 per year per employee (Global Workplace Analytics).

6. Work-life balance: Remote work allows professionals to have more control over their schedules, enabling them to achieve a better work-life balance and reduce stress levels. This enhances employer brand, employee satisfaction, and reduces presenteeism (being physically present but unproductive). This leads to a more engaged and loyal workforce.

Positioning Yourself for Remote Jobs as a talent:

Now that we understand the benefits, let’s discuss how professionals can position themselves to secure remote job opportunities:

  1. Develop in-demand remote skills: Identify the skills that are in high demand in remote work settings, such as digital literacy, effective communication, project management, time management, self-motivation, and proficiency in remote collaboration tools. Showcasing these skills will make you an attractive candidate for remote positions.
  2. Have a home office or workstation: Equip yourself with remote work essentials like the internet, a computer, a work-conducive environment, and a steady power supply. You can post your workstation online to signal to prospective recruiters that your space is equipped for working remotely.
  3. Highlight your remote work experience: Showcase any previous remote work experience or successful remote projects on your resume and during job interviews. Emphasize your ability to work independently, meet deadlines, and effectively contribute to virtual teams.
  4. Build a strong online presence: Establishing a professional online presence through platforms like LinkedIn or CorpeRate can help you network with potential employers and showcase your expertise. Actively engage in relevant online communities and share valuable insights to demonstrate your knowledge and commitment.
  5. Network with remote professionals: Connect with professionals already working remotely through networking events, online communities, or social media groups. Engage in discussions, seek advice, and expand your professional network in the remote work industry.
  6. Demonstrate your remote work readiness: During interviews, showcase your ability to work independently, manage time effectively, and communicate clearly in virtual environments. Provide examples of your remote work success and articulate your enthusiasm for remote work opportunities.
  7. Continuously learn and upskill: Stay updated with the latest remote work trends and technologies. Consider investing in online courses or certifications relevant to remote work to enhance your skill set and demonstrate your commitment to professional growth in remote settings.
  8. Be flexible and adaptable: Remote work often requires flexibility and adaptability. Show your willingness to adjust to different time zones, work schedules, and communication styles. Highlight your ability to be self-directed and to navigate different work environments successfully.

Finding Remote Job Opportunities:
Now that you’re ready to embark on your remote work journey, let’s explore some effective ways to find remote job opportunities:

  1. Adapt your job search to focus on remote jobs. Tailor your application materials to emphasize your remote work skills. Familiarize yourself with common virtual interview platforms and practices, such as video conferencing tools and remote interview etiquette.
  2. Job sites: This entails exploring remote-focused job boards, company websites, and remote job search platforms. You can use CorpeRate, Indeed.ae, FlexJobs, Remote co, We Work Remotely, Remote OK, LinkedIn Jobs and Virtual Vocations
  3. Networking: Leverage your professional network and attend virtual events, webinars, and conferences related to your field of interest. Engage with like-minded professionals and build connections that could lead to remote job opportunities.
  4. Freelancing platforms: Consider freelancing as a stepping stone to remote work. Platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr provide opportunities to work remotely on short-term projects, allowing you to gain experience and build a remote work portfolio.

Challenges of Remote Jobs in Nigeria with solutions

The Nigerian context presents unique challenges that can hinder productivity, such as

  1. Additional Skill Required: Aside from your main technical skills, you need to be skilled at leveraging tech innovations like Team, Zoom, Slack, and Asana to collaborate with your team. Solution: Watch tutorials on YouTube and ask for colleagues’ guides.
  2. Location Disadvantage: Some amazing platforms like Taskrabbit don’t accept Nigerians, and it’s incredibly more difficult for Nigerians to get jobs on some global platforms relative to talents in the US, UK, Canada, and many first-world countries.
    Solution: Leverage local platforms like CorpeRate, TeraWorks… to hunt for remote work.
  3. Power outages: Nigeria has an epileptic power supply. Real-time communication, access to electricity, and constant and reliable internet connectivity are all essential for remote work, so employers might view Nigeria’s power outage problem as a possible barrier to the effectiveness of remote work. Working efficiently and dependably can be difficult in Nigeria due to internet service interruptions and frequent power outages.
    Solution: Invest in backup power options like generators or inverters (Inverters are pretty expensive, but one can opt for smaller capacities or opt for installment payments).
  4. unreliable internet connectivity: Solution: Use mobile hotspots or consider coworking spaces with reliable internet. Have at least two internet service providers, say MTN and Starlink, so that if one is bad, you can switch to the other.
  5. Household distractions: If not well handled, spouses, kids, environmental noise, TV, Social media, and so on, can constitute huge distractions.
    Solution: Create a dedicated workspace free from distractions. Communicate boundaries with family members and establish set work hours. Set clear goals and keep notes digitally or on a pad. Create routines.
  1. You can use the Eisenhower Matrix: Do, Decide, Delegate, Delete.
Source: Luxafor.

4. Cultural dynamics such as different communication styles, work preferences, or expectations within Nigerian culture may influence how remote workers interact with colleagues, approach tasks, or navigate team dynamics. Honour weekends more. You can call clients by their first name, and excessive use of sir is unnecessary. Also, Nigerians tend to bow a lot.
Solution: Learn and adapt to cultural norms and communication styles. Foster open and transparent communication to bridge any cultural gaps.

5. Limited access to resources: The cost of some software in dollars is not sustainable for the average Nigerian, and even those who can afford it have challenges making payments.
Solution: Utilize free alternatives, for instance, Da Vinci’s Resolve instead of Premiere Pro. Seek out virtual communities and networks for support and resources.

6. Lack of work-life balance: For workaholics, there’s a tendency to overwork with eyes glued to the system all day and give minimal attention to other life aspects since there is no definite closing time.
Solution: Establish a routine with clear working hours. Set boundaries between work and your personal life. Prioritize self-care and take regular breaks.

7. Social isolation and inactivity: You can be indoors all day, all week, and this can be boring. Sitting for too long can usher in health issues.
Solution: Stay connected with colleagues through regular check-ins and virtual meetings. Do moderate exercise, use a standing desk, and get a photochromic glass. Join online communities and professional networks for support and interaction.

8. Limited professional development opportunities:
Getting physical mentorship and training now requires extra intranet costs, extra subscriptions, and more commitment.

Solution: Seek online courses, webinars, and virtual workshops to enhance skills. Engage in industry-related discussions and network with professionals in your field.

By addressing these challenges through proactive solutions, remote workers in Nigeria can overcome obstacles and create a more productive and balanced remote work experience.

Conclusion:
Remote work is advantageous for organizations with highly educated and skilled workers. Such organizations can outperform competitors focused on returning to the office due to their heavy investment in commercial real estate. Hence, as we move further into the digital age, let’s embrace the flexibility and empowerment that remote work brings, paving the way for a brighter future of work and note that remote work may not be suitable for everyone; e.g. my wife, a medical doctor, may not be able to work remotely

Thank you, and I wish you all the best in your remote work journey!

To learn how to make money remotely, subscribe to my YouTube Channel here. 👈👈👈 click here 👈👈👈👈

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Sunday Abegunde

Upwork Top Rated Plus Freelancer, YouTuber (Freelancing): www.youtube.com/@thespeakingpen ! Your Upwork Buddy! Follow me on Twitter @speakingpen