Even before Covid-19 reared its ugly head and crippled the planet, remote work, either full-time or part-time, had gone from a rare privilege to a very common practise.
According to a recent report by a leading specialist recruitment firm in Singapore, 8 out of 10 employers have no problem with their staff working from home.
Benefits of Working from Home
The benefits of working from home are pretty obvious. After many years of commuting to work, many 9-to-5 employees are looking forward to a healthy change where they can earn their living at the comfort of their home.
Let’s zone into some of these benefits:
For an Employee
The most obvious benefit of working from home is the work-life balance. Work-life balance has so many interpretations, but basically, it’s about doing less work and having more time for yourself.
Ever thought about the amount of time you waste on the road going to work? On average, 9 to 5 employees waste about 26 minutes going to work (and that’s for one direction only).
You’re more likely to embrace a healthy living when you work from home. You can cook your lunch instead of relying on junk food or a nearby cafeteria. You’ll also have enough time to enforce a daily workout routine.
Flexible Work hours
Flexible work schedules are becoming a common trend in Singapore. Almost every industry has a remote work option with a flexible work schedule.
Another common reason some people choose to work remotely is to cut off any form of contact with annoying co-workers. Working from home also allows you to take in a second job as a side hustle or to try out a new job.
The Financial Benefits
The financial benefits of working from home are rife. The first one is the reduction in tax deductions. You can also call up the company and claim the expenses you’d have saved the company from incurring. Lastly is the amount of money you’ll end up saving on public transport or fuel.
Employees aren’t the only ones to benefit from this arrangement. Here are a few ways employers are also likely to benefit:
Bigger Talent Pool
As an employer, you’re not just limited to a work staff that’s within walking distance to where your company or business is located. You can pick candidates who are hundreds or thousands of miles away, without making them relocate or anything. All you have to do instead is allow them to work remotely.
With remote workers, you don’t have to set up an office. Nor will you be sorting out rent, internet, taxes, stationery, and so forth. You’ll have an easy time understanding this if you’ve ever run a functional office. There are monthly expenses to be incurred, and nothing about it is cheap.
The biggest misconception many employers have is that employees will slack off when you make them work remotely. But research seems to suggest otherwise. According to a recent study finding, employees are likely to be more productive when they’re working on their own terms and schedule.
The Downside of Working from Home
Of course, there are a few downsides to this whole idea. We’ll list a few here:
You won’t be Taken Seriously
That’s the reality on the ground. People won’t take you seriously if you’re always at home claiming to work. So, expect them to think you have more time on your hands to perform other errands, do house chores, and take care of a long -list of other non-work-related tasks.
Dealing with Distractions
This is perhaps the biggest problem with working remotely. It’s even worse when you have children at home or when you aren’t much of a disciplined person. You have to deal with people who show up at your place unannounced. Not to mention, the usual culprits – internet, television, and social media.
Working from an office means you have other co-workers to talk to and seek their assistance in case you get stuck. You have the benefit of social interaction. One common effect of this is people neglecting their health. Learn to take regular breaks, instead of working all through.
Essential Tools You Might Need While Working from Home
You don’t necessarily need these tools. But they may come in handy at some point as you begin working from home.
Here are the tools:
You want to work on a slide deck, and then you remember that you didn’t bring your visual assets from the office. What do you do? Well, with a remote desktop app, you don’t have to worry about going back to the office. Your computer can be accessed remotely, no matter the distance.
The best thing about Teamviewer is that it’s free. It also runs on almost any operating system you can think of, including OS X, Linux, Windows, and Android. It’s a great tool for file transfers, clipboard transfers, and wake-on-LAN. No need for port forwarding. Nor do you require firewall futzing to get it up and running.
Splashtop can make a good alternative to Teamviewer. It supports low-latency transfers, and it’s the closest thing to operating a computer when you’re many miles away. Its personal version is also free. Also, like Teamviewer, it supports screen-sharing, which may come in handy where you need to walk someone through anything technical.
Microsoft Remote Desktop or Apple Remote Desktop
These two sister applications allow you to manage another computer remotely. You can use them to transfer files and even update software. The only difference is that Microsoft Remote Desktop has a slightly limited remote access. Also, while the RDC is free, ARD goes for $80.
Telepresence is more of a trend that’s fast picking up shape than it’s a tool. It’s a technology that uses table-top devices and robots to embody employees. A few telepresence machines are about to revolutionise the telepresence landscape. They include:
Double is a telepresence Segway for iPads, currently going for about $2500. Being physically embodied encourages a more authentic interpersonal connection. It also generates random interactions that try to simulate in-office workforce interactions.
Meeting Owl is a video conferencing tool that automatically focuses on the person speaking during a conference. It offers a 360 degrees camera view to give a panoramic view of a meeting and all of its attendants to remote viewers.
Slack: good for real-time group chat. Not every conversation or request has to be made via email or phone. You can DM individual members of your team and converse in real-time. It’s even better with this tool because it can integrate with Google docs and DropBox.
Mattermost: Mattermost is one of the closest alternatives to Slack. The tool emulates many of Slack’s functionalities. Rocket Chat also offers similar functionalities, but with a leaning towards video conferencing.
Microsoft Teams: Teams is a full-service communication and collaboration suite for Windows. It’s part of the premium Office 365 subscription. You can direct message users, send group messages, make VOIP and video calls, and share work with other 365 apps, including Excel and PowerPoint.
If you don’t feel like using Slack, here are a few examples of slack alternatives you can use: Glip, Fleep, Flock, Twist, and Ryver.
VIDEO CHAT TOOLS
Great tool for organising team meetings with lots of remote workers. The free version caps at 40 minutes, which makes it a great idea to upgrade to Zoom Professional for $14.99. Google hangout makes a great alternative, especially since it’s free.
Skype for Business
Skype is another great slack alternative, especially with their slack clone teams. Both skype and Teams are included in the Office 365 Premium bundle, which goes for $12.50 per month.
No app. No plugin or anything. Join.me is cloud-based and thrives on simplicity. They have a cool whiteboarding feature that you can use to write down your ideas and share them around during chats. It’s a great tool for brainstorming and jotting down your ideas.
Basecamp’s core functions include messaging, collaboration, task management, file sharing, reporting, scheduling, and universal search function. It goes for about $99 per year for unlimited users.
Monday is a fast-rising project management tool, the closest alternative to Basecamp. This visually stunning, Kanban-based project management tool is targeted for both small and medium-sized teams and has labels to determine which member of the team is working on a particular part of a project and when.
Asana is a workflow and task management tool. It also doubles as a project management tool, thanks to its new timeline feature. Essentially, it allows different members of a team to assign sub-tasks and tasks while also tracking projects.
Trello is one of the simplest and easy-to-figure out project management tools you’ll ever come across. It’s built to simulate the functionality of bulletin boards, with each board representing a project you’re working on.
Timely goes beyond helping you track time. You can use it to schedule tasks and track the time you spent on projects in real-time.
Great tool for tracking every minute of your time. What have you been doing the whole day? It’s a great tool for tracking your productivity.
Everhour is a great tool for tracking team members. It can also sync with a long list of other productivity tools you’re already using. It also has a timer function that you can use to track billable hours or the amount of time it takes to complete a particular project.
Important Tips on How to Search for Work-from-Home Job Opportunities in Singapore
Finding legitimate work-from-home job opportunities isn’t a matter of chance. You have to research everything and take necessary precautions to avoid falling victim to some of the scams out there.
Here’s how you find legitimate remote work opportunities, while protecting yourself from getting scammed:
Trust Your Gut, especially when the Deal Sounds so Good
All manner of scoundrels swamps the internet. But the most common ones are the strangers that send you an email or pop-up on your social media timeline with promises of giving you a job that pays a large salary. It’s always best to leave these emails unanswered.
Avoid “Clickbait-y” Ads
Be wary of the get-rich-quick schemes that promise you heaven when all they’re after is your hard-earned sweat. Ads that promise to turn you into a millionaire overnight, without being clear on what they want from you are definitely a scam.
Never Enter Your Personal Payment Information, anywhere
Be careful with whom you disclose your credit card information to. No employer should ask you to disclose this information. Take it as a red flag whenever a potential employer pushes you to reveal your bank information.
Research the Company or Organisation You’re Trying to Secure a Job with
Before you apply with any organisation or company, take your time to research them and make sure they’re legitimate enough to be trusted with your time. Check their website and employee-written reviews and make sure the company is legitimate before you can go ahead and submit your application.
Use Reliable Job Seeking Sites
Always go with a well-established website you already know off, such as LinkedIn, Upwork, Freelancer, Glassdoor, Seek, and Jora. This comes with no guarantees, either. But there are reduced chances of getting scammed since most of these job boards require payments to list jobs, which many scammers are never willing to do.
How to Create a Conducive Work from Home Environment
You need a dedicated workspace in your home, and here are a few tips on how to set it up:
Have a dedicated Room or Space
You can’t work from your living room, bedroom, or kitchen. You need office space, something that generates a feeling of physical separation from your personal life. The space you choose should give you a sense of going to work. The best idea would be to choose a separate room and set it up like an office.
Clear all the Clutter
Part of repurposing the room is eliminating all the non-work-related stuff in the room. Get rid of unnecessary furniture, decoration, stationery, or any other item that affects your productivity or makes the room less conducive for work.
Get Proper Equipment
Make sure you have all the equipment you’ll need to do your job. You can start by getting stationary, including a chair and a desk. Remember to also invest in a good PC, scanner, headset, and so on. Essentially, come up with a list of all the things your job needs and be sure to acquire them before you start working.
Jazz it Up
Your workspace shouldn’t be all dull and boring. You want to make sure everything is all fun and jazzed up. Get some nice photos, houseplants, and anything else you suspect may make your work environment more appealing. The point is to steer clear of anything distractive.
You don’t really have to Work from Home
Working from home doesn’t necessarily mean working within the confines of your home compound. You can pick up your laptop and visit a local coffee shop, coworking space, or library and work from there.
Qualities of a Successful Remote Worker
Here are a few defining character traits of a successful remote worker:
Introverts: Working from home arrangement is more attractive to introverts. Seeing how the bulk of the day is spent sitting in front of your computer, with no real human connection means extroverts will have a hard time coping up with this work arrangement.
Highly Disciplined: You can’t succeed in this line of work if you’re not self-driven and disciplined. Remember: there’ll be no one to micromanage you or external pressure to keep you motivated. It all has to come from within you.
Communication: You don’t just present your results and keep your mouth shut. You have to sell your work and convince the client that you did follow their instructions and put in the right amount of work. The same goes when sourcing in for new clients.
Go-getter: Working from home isn’t a matter of being born with a particular characteristic trait. You have to know what you want and be prepared to put in the hours. Look beyond the boredom and loneliness and think about the perks that come from working from home.
List of Jobs that You Can Do from Home
Average Pay: $20 per hour
A customer assistant represents a company. They’re responsible for responding to customer concerns and answering their questions. There are plenty of customer service jobs that don’t necessarily require you to report to work physically.
Average Pay: $25 per hour
Sales representatives are tasked with the role of selling products and services to customers. To be a sales representative for any company, you must first understand their product or service offering to a tee to the point that you’ll have no trouble responding to any of the questions that customers ask.
Average Pay: $27 per hour
Virtual assistants perform administrative duties and clerical work. With the development in technologies, these jobs don’t necessarily have to be performed in the office, which makes them perfect for a work-at-home arrangement. Regular tasks performed by a virtual assistant include digital copying, scheduling meetings, and phone calls.
Average Pay: $21 per hour
Data entry jobs entail entering data into a spreadsheet or database manually. While most of these activities can be automated, some can only be performed manually. As a work-from-home data entry operator, your job will be to enter data and maintain accurate records.
Average Pay: $24 Per Hour
Freelance content developers are tasked with the role of creating content. They’re paid to write content for websites, blogs, social media, emails, and so forth. If you’re really good with words, you can experiment with this line of work. Usually, you’re given a topic and instructions on what direction to take. You’re then paid depending on the number of words you wrote or the amount of time it took you to write the article.
Average Pay: $20 Per Hour
It’s a perfect job for dog groomers who want to start a business that they’ll be doing at home. As a dog groomer, you’re responsible for looking after other people’s dogs. That includes washing, brushing, and trimming their fur to ensure they’re healthy and fluffy.
Average Pay: $20 Per Hour
Makeup artistry is a great example of a job that can be done at home. You don’t need to set up a salon, but have your clients visit you at home. Your clientele consists of professionals, brides, music artists, actors, and so on.
Average Pay: $25 per Hour
You don’t have to be a digital wizard to become a social media manager. Big companies such as QLD, NSW, and Victoria are looking to hire people who understand social media and can write captivating content for their social media followers. It’s a skill that can you can also learn if you’re already not good at it.
Average Pay: $29 per hour
Companies want to target customers from different countries. It’s only natural that they would want to hire someone who knows how to translate some of their product details and information to different languages. If you speak another language other than English, this is a great opportunity to earn a living through nothing else but translation.
Average Pay: $29 Per Hour
Online Tutors get paid to teach. From students to academic professionals, you can make a decent living out of tutoring. All you have to do is come up with a learning plan and then sign up with a tutoring platform that resonates with you best.
Average Pay: $25 Per Hour
Get paid to design urban logos, flyers, or posters from home. It’s an option to consider if you find it hard to work in an agency. Plus, it’s also a good way to improve on your graphic design skills and establish a solid graphic design client base.
Average Pay: $25 Per Hour
Get paid to code and design software. All you need is some fundamental programming skills, and you’re good to go. You can also help web owners troubleshoot the problems they encounter and make a quick buck straight out of your bedroom or living room.
Average Pay: $25 per hour
Transcription is where you translate audio or video files into texts. You need lighting fast fingers to excel at this. All you’ll be doing is listen to someone talk on video or audio file at type everything they say, as is.
Average Pay: $27 per hour
You can position yourself as a corporate consultant offering bookkeeping services. However, this skill is more advanced than simple data entry. You have to learn how to track key business arteries, such as invoices and cash flow. It’s a great job opportunity for accountants that are interested in working from home.
Looking forward to Start Working from Home? Here’s What You should do:
The most important skill you need to possess when working from home is staying focused, managing your time, and working independently.
The good thing with these skills is that they can all be learned and perfected with time. Skillshare and Udemy should help you out with this.
You can start by checking out the following two classes:
Productivity Masterclass: Learn about productivity, what it means, and how to perfect it.
Personal Branding: Learn about personal branding. Why is it important, and how to get it right.
Your Job Profile and Hard Skills
You have options aplenty when choosing your job profile or hard skills. Popular options include digital marketing, programming, video graphing, photo editing, and so on.
By now, you should have figured out what services you can offer. What remains is for you to track down potential clients and figure out how to best sell it to them.
Choose Your Career Path
Deciding on which skill to pursue and which one to shelf is not easy. You have to do some deep soul searching and weigh down your options to find out which career path suits you best.
How to Get Work-from-home Jobs in Singapore
After you’ve identified a skill, the next thing you want to do is scour around for jobs. Here are a few recommendations on how to find jobs that you can do at home.
Inquire from Your Current Employer
This is the easiest way to go about it. Yet it’s the most neglected option on the list.
Come to think about: no other employer understands you best than your current. They know your capabilities, dedication, and the value you bring to the company.
If you spot a new position or role for a job, you can always talk to your employer and let them know that you’re interested in taking a remote role for the job.
Scan the Human Resource Section of the Companies or Organisations that Have Options for Remote Jobs
If your current company has no work-from-home job arrangement, you can always check with companies that offer work-from-home jobs. Here are a few examples to check out:
Appen: technology service firm
Work from home Jobs offered: voice data collector, linguist, social media evaluator, search engine evaluator
Kelly Services: offers workforce and staffing solutions. Has a lot of slots for remote jobs
Work from Home Jobs offered: quality assurance tester, technical support representative, contracts specialist.
United Health Group: Diversified healthcare services, including insurance, technology-based health services, healthcare benefits
Work from Home Jobs offered: data science support, maid care advocate, community-based case manager.
Dell: A leading computer and software company
Work from Home Jobs Offered: Product specialist, sales compensation analyst, and senior systems engineer
Kaplan: for-profit educational company offering online higher education, K-12 programs, test preparation, professional training.
Work from Home Jobs Offered: MCAT prep instructor, ACT Prep instructor, and SAT prep instructor.
K-12: Another online educational company providing a range of learning programs for students in kindergarten to 12th grade.
Work from home jobs offered: Spanish teacher for high school students, special education paraprofessional, and PE/Health teacher.
Pearson: A global learning brand, specialised in products and services for students and educators worldwide.
Work from home jobs offered: special ed operations, elementary teacher, technology adjunct teacher.
VMWare: A subsidiary software company to dell, specialised in software services and virtualisation.
Work from home jobs offered: PSO consultant, technical project manager, senior system engineer
EXL: Provides solutions that companies may use to grow, prepare for changes, and streamline their operations.
Work from home jobs offered: Premium auditor, pivot auditor, commercial insurance inspector
Salesforce: A technology firm behind one of the leading customer relationship platforms. The company specialises in helping businesses connect with customers.
Work from home jobs offered: strategic account manager, senior-front-end software engineer, account executive
Remote Jobs Websites
If you do not have the time to browse through the human resource section of companies offering remote jobs, a better alternative would be to check out with platforms that specialise in listing jobs that you can do from home.
A simple Google search should present a long list of online jobs that you can do from home.
Examples of websites that list remote jobs:
LinkedIn Remote Jobs
Unlike many remote job platforms that require you first to set up your profile, LinkedIn already lists your profile. Meaning, you can start applying for the jobs that you qualify for right away.
There are two ways to go about it:
Searching for Jobs: Remote jobs aren’t easy to find on LinkedIn. You have to search for them specifically. You can do this by clicking on jobs on the menu section and, in the search bar that shows up, type in “online work.” Remember to set your location to “worldwide” and use the other filter options to narrow down your search further.
Job Sections: The second option is to go to the job section and type the job that you’re interested in, e.g., content writing. Use the filters to get to a specific job, remembering to also click on “Remote” in the commute section.
Join Online Freelancing or work-from-home Facebook Groups
Facebook groups and pages are a great way to meet and connect with likeminded people. There are thousands of digital nomad groups that you can join today to find job opportunities, ask the questions you have, and interact with fellow digital nomads.
How to find the right digital nomad group to Join
Go to the Explore section of Facebook and click on Groups. Also, if you’ve ever tried Googling it at some point, then rest assured the big brother is already aware of your new interests. The next time you log into Facebook, they’ll sure have a few nice suggestions for you.
Alternatively, type “Digital Nomads” into the search bar, and use the Facebook filters to narrow down your searches to groups. Choose the ones that sound nice to you and join them.
Here are a few suggestions on the Facebook groups you can join:
- Remote Work and Jobs For Digital Nomads
- Remote Jobs, Work Anywhere – Inventive Hub
- Digital Nomads Forum
- Digital Nomad Jobs
- Digital Nomads Around the World
- Remote Jobseekers
Digital Nomads Meetups and Events
You can land gigs by networking with other digital nomads. All you have to do is look for events and meetups around you and just show up. Talk to the people you meet, and most importantly, be sure to give them your business card.
Finding your first work-at-home job will be a bit of a challenge. However, if you keep exploring your options, you’ll surely come across the right job opportunity for you.