Dreaming of the remote work life? You’re not the only one. More and more of the workforce is going remote every year as employers and workers alike discover the benefits. Remote employees are less stressed, more productive, and generate a lower impact on the environment. What’s not to like?
One of the biggest hurdles for workers who want to go remote is the question of financial stability. For many, going remote means leaving the comfort of the current office job and pursuing shorter-term gigs or freelance work. This is a terrifying thought for the majority of people who have regular financial responsibilities. Thankfully, in this day and age, there are plenty of ways to stay just as stable with remote work, if not more so. Here are a few of them.
The first step to achieving financial stability with remote work is to determine what your financial needs are to meet your current obligations. There are several ways to evaluate this.
If you’re currently working on an annual salary, you’ll need to calculate how much you need to earn on average to maintain the same income. If you’re planning to bill work by the hour, decide how many billable hours you can comfortably work each week.
Many remote workers aim for 20 to 30 billable hours per week. The rest of the time goes to non-billable tasks such as answering emails and doing outreach for new business leads.
Full-time salaried employees who currently receive healthcare benefits from an employer should thoroughly research the cost of purchasing health insurance. If you’re in the United States, costs and availability vary depending on the state, so a good place to start is HealthCare.gov. This cost should be factored into calculations when determining your target income.
Once you’ve broken down what you’ll need to earn per hour as a remote worker to match your current full-time salary, consider a few factors that could affect your ability to earn income. Decide how many weeks per year you want to set aside for unpaid vacation.Factor in additional sick time in case you’re unwell and need to take a few days off. It’s better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario than to find yourself falling short of expectations.
As a remote worker, you’ll soon find that an established network is crucial to professional success. You’ll rely on this virtual network for everything from work opportunities to industry-specific advice.
Social media is a great tool to use as a remote worker. It’s the most efficient way to keep track of your network and build your own personal brand. You can also use social media platforms to join groups related to your industry and grow your network. Experiment with platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to see what is most useful for you.
Every time you make a new professional acquaintance, add them to your network! Engaging in remote work means that you won’t bump into them at the office, so you’ll have to make a conscious effort to keep the relationship active. Stay connected virtually by adding them to your social media platforms and set reminders in your calendar to follow up periodically with a personal message.
One of the main advantages of becoming a remote worker is that you can work from anywhere. Many remote workers choose to relocate, either to save on living expenses by moving somewhere cheaper or to use the opportunity to see more of the world.
Some decide to take the co-living path and surround themselves with people who share the same passion. Others opt for finding a cosigner to ensure that their rent will always be paid on time. Naturally, whichever lifestyle you choose will affect your living expenses and financial needs.
Those who choose to travel while pursuing remote work are called “digital nomads”. They move from city to city, or even from country to country, while working entirely from their computer. The digital nomad lifestyle isn’t for everyone but when done right, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
If you do choose to pursue this type of remote work life, identify a few key routines that you can carry with you to make each place feel like home. For example, find a company that offers furnished apartments around the world like Blueground. Every apartment is move-in ready from day one, so you’re extended stay can get started without a hitch. Blueground apartments also come serviced via an app. Any issues, requests or feedback can all be communicated with just a few taps on your smartphone.
Achieving financial stability with remote work is an easy reality if you’re willing to plan ahead. Before you make the leap and quit your current job, make sure you have several months’ worth of expenses saved up. Start slowly by picking up side gigs for a few hours each week, and slowly build up projects until you have enough work to support yourself full time. When you do finally go 100% remote, plan your jobs as far in advance as possible, and always keep a list of potential opportunities ready. With a bit of preparation, you’ll never have to stress over where your next paycheck is coming from.