Working from home (or around the world!) used to be a privilege that seemed to only be available to tech experts. Before global connectivity made physical offices redundant, professional freedom and flexibility felt out of reach for the majority of the population.
Now here we are, in the “future”, where working remotely is the new normal for certain industries. According to a Gallup survey, 43 percent of employed people reported working remotely at least some of the time in the U.S. alone. The remote work trend is on the rise as talented employees seek a more balanced lifestyle as well as a competitive salary.
Here’s what we know: remote employees aren’t all working in the tech industry, though technology is an integral aspect of remote work. People from nearly any field, in any corner of the world, find ways in which their skills can translate into a remote work experience because of technological advancements.
Ready for some shock and awe? Here are 9 (surprising!) location independent careers that can be done remotely:
Architects don’t have to regularly report to construction sites anymore - many of their duties can be done remotely. Lily Cooper, a corporate architect who traveled the world for a year with Remote Year Meraki, successfully transitioned into a fully-remote role by taking on smaller projects within her company that she could manage entirely on her own. As a remote employee, she was able to pursue her passion for architecture and bring a global perspective back to to her company.
When you’re staring at spreadsheets and balancing checkbooks all day, you at least deserve to do it in an inspiring environment. That’s why so many financial advisors are hitting the road and going remote. Whether you’re interested in continuing to work for the same company that you’re already invested in, or want to start your own financial advising business, remote work is an option for you.
Talent has gone global, which means that organizations need to look outside of their geographic region in order to attract the best candidates for their open positions. Recruiters don’t need to be in the same area as their clients anymore because their candidates aren’t either!
Another reason that recruiting works so well as a remote position is that it’s not a typical 9-5 job. By giving recruiters the opportunity to work outside of the office, like Meghan Boone on Remote Year Magellan, in the hours when they are most productive or when potential employees are available to talk, the pool of applicants for the positions they are working to fill can be blown wide open.
With most communication taking place over a digital platform these days, there is no reason for an event planner to work from an office every day. Booking venues, renting decorations, hiring caterers, and managing a team of on-the-ground coordinators can be done using a phone or a computer from anywhere around the world.
Take Sasha Sook’s from Remote Year Kublai word for it. She is a shining example of how being able to work from remote locations allows you to develop new relationships with vendors in new markets, scope out upcoming trends, and pursue clients that you actually want to work with.
There are many different kinds of psychologists (clinical, business, family, criminal, health, correctional, etc.), and nearly all of them can do their job remotely. Laura Gallaher, an organizational psychologist who is travelling with Remote Year Kanyini, is a perfect example. She has been able to transition her client sessions into digital communication, either through voice or video calls, and has even been able to bring her employee along with her for the ride!
Okay, so chemical engineers typically need to work in a lab or on the floor of manufacturing facility, but specific fields like civil engineering and software engineering are becoming more remote-friendly - just ask Martin and Gor. If you’re spending most of your time working behind a computer right now, there’s a good chance that you could do your job outside of an office.
Copy editors spend a lot of time behind a computer screen with the advent of user-friendly editing software. Imagine being a working nomad and editing articles from the heart of Mexico City or from the beach in Split. That could be your life as a remote copy editor! Switching up your location from time to time could also act as an inspirational jumpstart to your work. A great view could only help make your job a little more exciting and give you a positive perspective on your work.
Nurse or Doctor - seriously!
Introducing: telehealth. There are a variety of positions available that will let you pursue your passion for helping people - from anywhere you want to be. You could be in charge of managing patient charts, organizing medical records, developing care plans, creating educational programs, or monitoring patient progress as a remote medical professional.
Virtual assistants have exploded onto the scene with the advent of online businesses and digital entrepreneurs. By their very nature virtual assistants are remote, working virtually from locations around the world. They help entrepreneurs with everything from making sure that every email in their client’s inbox is answered in a timely fashion, to creating graphics to setting up webinars and writing and editing blog posts.
As technology continues to evolve, workers will only seek out even more opportunities to work remotely - and they will find them in more and more industries. Business owners and HR leaders within traditional corporations should keep an eye on this trend and look for ways that they could allow their own employees to become location independent. If a remote work policy isn’t taken into consideration by a company, there is a chance that they will be left behind, destined to only evolve within their local market and unable to expand as the rest of the world turns toward globalization.