Finding the Perfect Remote Job Opportunity

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Finding the Perfect Remote Job Opportunity

So, you’re considering making the switch to remote work, either because you’d like to work from home or maybe you’d like to lead a digital nomad lifestyle. But you’re wondering: “What should I be looking for in a remote job?” Or, if you’re “remote” already: “Is remote work overhyped, or do I just have a bad employer?”

If this sounds like you, keep reading as we take a deep dive into what remote workers should look for in a remote employer.

Wait, what’s a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is anybody who’s referred to as “location-independent” as a result of them being able to work remotely, and leverages this unique opportunity to travel continuously.

Considering the current of things (hello, COVID-19 👋), it’s worth noting that being a digital nomad doesn’t mean you need to travel between countries. Many digital nomads travel within their own countries, sometimes even via their own camper vans.

It’s a thing; look it up. It’s really interesting!

Why are you (or why do you want to be) remote?

First of all, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to work remotely (nomad or otherwise) simply because it’s the hot new thing and it sounds exciting. We only live once, so why not?

This is especially true if you learn best by doing. If it turns out that it’s not for you, there’s no harm done really.

Who says you can’t go home? — Bon Jovi

However, the most likely scenario is that you’ve considered working remotely because your current lifestyle isn’t allowing you to be your best self. Perhaps you’d like to learn more about other cultures (or even yourself — that is, soul-searching), or maybe you’re looking to reinvent your lifestyle by embracing flexible hours or switching up your routine in the hope that it might improve your mental health or boost your level of work output.

Also, there’s nothing wrong with craving a little wanderlust if international digital nomadism is what you’re thinking about.

Some digital nomads simply enjoy the cheaper cost of living (which benefits them) while boosting the GDP (gross domestic product) of their host city/country (which benefits the city/country, assuming of course they’re contributing responsibly).

However, with that being said, employers don’t always enable remote work as well as they could (even when they’re supposed to be a fully-remote company), so what exactly should one look for when searching for a digital nomad–friendly remote job?

Let’s take a look.

1. Flexible Hours

One thing that’s very synonymous with remote work is flexible hours, especially when team members are distributed (because of the multiple timezones). This appeals to digital nomads a lot because they typically would like to explore the city/country that they’re visiting.

But “flexible hours” can be misleading. Sometimes, it means “as long as the work is completed” — which, in translation, actually means “we’ll keep sending you more work while trying to convince you that you’re mismanaging your time”.

Many remote workers say that, although they technically have the freedom to work whenever they want, there’s so much work to do that they have literally no life in their work-life balance.

A remote work contract must include the following:

  • the amount of forced vacation
  • the number of hours you must work
  • a crystal-clear overtime agreement

Hopefully, all of this should be evident from the job description, but if it isn’t, then enter the remote job interview with a bucket of questions. Trust your instincts.

Speak to other remote employees if you can.

2. Productivity/Mental Health

As much as your remote employer should care about your work life, they should also care about your life life. Besides, how you feel outside of work deeply impacts the way you work anyway.

Now, a remote job description isn’t necessarily an accurate representation of the job itself (or the company that’s hiring), so make sure to ask these questions during the remote interview:

  • Generally, is the whole company remote?
  • Does the company have a wellness policy?
  • Does the company invest in wellness and education?
  • Does the company actually help you to work remotely?
  • Can you talk to other employees before accepting the job?
  • Again, is there forced holiday and how flexible is flexible?
  • Overall, does the company allow you to be your best self?

There’s a huge difference between a company that allows you to work remotely because you’ve requested it (or because it somehow benefits them — through smaller overheads, for example) and a company that truly believes in and advocates for remote work and its benefits.

Again, ask the right questions.

3. Cheaper Cost of Living

Gentrification certainly isn’t made better by over-tourism and wealthy expat communities (in this respect, I suppose(?), digital nomads lie somewhere in-between tourist and expat). However, if you live a somewhat modest lifestyle, you can benefit from a cheaper cost of living without negatively impacting the local communities.

And yes, this does apply to those simply moving to a new city.

Here’s what you can do:

  • support local, independent businesses
  • rent modest apartments at reasonable costs
  • give back in other ways (mentoring, volunteering, etc.)

Being a remote worker from one city can help to spread the wealth to less developed cities, but this only works if you spend this wealth wisely. With that in mind, I’d argue that it doesn’t really matter how high your salary is as long as your remote employer is paying a salary that’s relative to their revenue and that you can actually live on, and if there happens to be anything left over (because you live in a city or country with a cheaper cost of living), spread it responsibly.

Personally, all my money goes to independent (but reasonably-priced!) coffee shops, cafés, bars, and restaurants. I really hate working from home, so I’m generally out and about all day.

Be aware, though, that working remotely means you’ll (likely) have more expenses (whether that’s bills, co-working rental fees, or as mentioned above, an absurd amount of coffee). A lower salary isn’t automatically justified just because your cost of living is lower. Keep this in mind when negotiating.

So, what does one actually have to look out for (in terms of salary expectations) when applying for a remote job? Well, if it’s a huge company and the salary seems a little low, you might want to investigate why. Essentially, having a remote workforce means having fewer business overheads. But these overheads don’t just disappear. Instead, they become the responsibility of the remote worker. Protect yourself: always ask questions and be responsible with whatever salary you eventually end up with.

When in doubt, turn to established remote workforces like InVision, Buffer, and Toptal. Reach out, see what’s “normal”.


Remote work isn’t necessarily better. It’s just different. But that being said, a lot of remote workers wind up disappointed by the remote work lifestyle but fail to attribute this to having a remote job that’s either bad, or just not suitable for them.

Not having a job at all is obviously tough, but do make sure that you ask the right questions and look out for yourself too.

When all else fails, consider using Blind or Glassdoor to see what other employees are saying about the company anonymously.

Prepared for your remote job search? Head to SitePoint Remote to find your next role, where we handpick the best remote jobs for developers, designers, and digital professionals. Not prepared? Find out what you need to do to make a career transition into web development.

Frequently Asked Questions about Finding the Perfect Remote Job Opportunity

What are the key factors to consider when looking for a remote job opportunity?

When looking for a remote job, it’s important to consider factors such as the company’s culture and values, the level of flexibility and autonomy offered, the type of work you’ll be doing, and the tools and resources provided for remote work. It’s also crucial to consider the job’s pay structure and benefits, as well as opportunities for growth and advancement within the company.

How can I ensure a remote job is legitimate and not a scam?

To ensure a remote job is legitimate, research the company thoroughly. Check their website and social media profiles, read reviews from current and former employees, and look for any red flags such as requests for upfront payment or personal information. You can also check if the company is listed on reputable job boards or has been featured in credible media outlets.

How can I stay productive and motivated when working remotely?

Staying productive and motivated when working remotely requires discipline and good time management skills. Set a regular work schedule, create a dedicated workspace, and take regular breaks to avoid burnout. It’s also helpful to set daily and weekly goals, and to use productivity tools and apps to stay organized and focused.

What are the pros and cons of remote work?

Remote work offers many benefits, including flexibility, autonomy, and the ability to work from anywhere. However, it also has its challenges, such as isolation, distractions, and the potential for work-life imbalance. It’s important to weigh these pros and cons before deciding if remote work is right for you.

How can I build a strong remote work profile?

Building a strong remote work profile involves highlighting your skills and experiences that are relevant to remote work, such as self-motivation, communication skills, and proficiency in using digital tools and platforms. It’s also beneficial to showcase any previous remote work experience, and to provide examples of your ability to work independently and meet deadlines.

How can I prepare for a remote job interview?

Preparing for a remote job interview involves researching the company, understanding the job requirements, and preparing answers to common interview questions. It’s also important to test your technology beforehand to ensure a smooth video call, and to choose a quiet, well-lit space for the interview.

What are some reputable websites to find remote job opportunities?

There are many reputable websites to find remote job opportunities, including FlexJobs, We Work Remotely, and LinkedIn. These sites feature a wide range of remote jobs in various industries, and allow you to filter jobs by location, job type, and level of experience.

How can I negotiate salary and benefits for a remote job?

When negotiating salary and benefits for a remote job, research the average salary for the role in your location and the company’s location. Consider factors such as cost of living, your level of experience, and the benefits package. Be prepared to justify your salary expectations and to negotiate other aspects of the job, such as flexible hours or professional development opportunities.

How can I balance work and personal life when working remotely?

Balancing work and personal life when working remotely involves setting clear boundaries between work and personal time, creating a regular work schedule, and taking regular breaks. It’s also important to prioritize self-care and to make time for hobbies, exercise, and social activities.

What skills are most in demand for remote jobs?

The skills most in demand for remote jobs include self-motivation, communication skills, time management skills, and proficiency in using digital tools and platforms. Other in-demand skills depend on the specific job, but may include technical skills, project management skills, and problem-solving skills.

Daniel SchwarzDaniel Schwarz
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Previously, design blog editor at Toptal and SitePoint. Now Daniel advocates for better UX design alongside industry leaders such as Adobe, InVision, Marvel, Wix, Net Magazine, LogRocket, CSS-Tricks, and more.

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