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Got remote work questions? We’ve got answers

Is working from home the same thing as remote work? Not quite. Learn the lingo of remote work with these answers to frequently asked questions.
A person looking for answers to remote work questions on a mobile device

What does working remotely mean?

Companies that follow a remote work model rarely, if ever, require their employees to come into a central work location, like an office. As long as you have a good internet connection you can work full-time from home, a coffee shop, the library—anywhere. Really, with a mobile hotspot you can even put in the hours from the foot of El Capitan, or on the beach in Maui. 

*Don’t have any signal at all? With offline sync and access, you can easily choose to make files in your Dropbox available when you’re away from Wi-fi. Simply deselect ‘Online Only’ for the files you need offline to access where and when you need them.

Is remote work the same as working from home?

No. If the boss said you could work from home every Friday, you’d still be on the hook to come into the office the rest of the week. Or maybe you get to pick a couple of days to work from home a week. You’ll still spend most of your work week in the office—that’s the reality of working from home. Remote workers, on the other hand, are never required to report into an office and their norm is to work offsite.

*Want a remote job? Trying to hire a remote worker? Keep this in mind: the term “work from home” is five times as likely to be searched for than “remote work.” Be sure the job description clearly states the expectations for coming into the office.

A person working at home

So, what are the perks of remote work?

There are many. Think about it this way, how long is your round trip commute? One hour? Three hours? Instead of sitting in traffic or cramming into a train, you could eat a healthy breakfast and do a 30-minute workout. Remote workers are able to carve out better work-life balance, a more flexible schedule, and greater freedom to determine where and how they will spend their free time. 

But, is it good for business? Well-managed remote workers are more productive and happier than traditional office workers. Also, fewer people coming into the office means employers require less office space—or none at all—and no more expensive commuter benefits.

What are distributed teams?

Organizations with distributed teams have groups of employees who do not work from a central office. Essentially, everyone is a remote worker, and may be reporting to work from home or several satellite offices. International news and travel publications have always been working with this model. Think, correspondents abroad collecting stories and remotely sending them to editors. Recently, more and more companies are realizing the benefits of not having their talent tied down to a specific location.

With this type of business structure, it is crucial to have all of your ducks in a row. Managing employees across time zones can be a nightmare. Dropbox has solutions to the problems of distributed teams. It’s your single source for team files so everyone knows where to find the latest info—no one has to wait on a reply from a coworker who’s in another timezone.

What jobs are moving to remote work?

Companies of all kinds are embracing remote work, even in industries that you might not expect:

  • Manufacturing: 1622% increase in remote roles
  • Healthcare: 640% increase in remote roles
  • IT: 60% increase in remote roles

A person on a phone discusses remote work while working on a laptop
Will this trend continue post-pandemic? No one knows for sure, but all signs point to yes. 25-30% of remote workers don’t want to return to the office. And 60% of employees see the option to work remotely as a deciding factor in accepting a position.
The statistics and quotes featured in this article are compiled from several years of research conducted by Dropbox, Totaljobs, Remoters, Appcast, and Brandata. Learn more about the methodology and sources here.

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