Woman working remotely from her desk at home. She has a laptop, ipad and phone open.

Are you looking for the opportunity to work a remote or flexible job? A tech career could be just what you’re looking for.

The rapid move to remote work

Since the pandemic became a reality in 2020, remote working has become a part of our everyday existence. With companies having had to make a quick shift to working online, we have seen how viable remote work can be for all sorts of industries. However, the concept of remote working has been around for much longer within the tech industry, with companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Google leading the way and now allowing their employees to work remotely long-term.

Many companies are looking to make flexible and remote working more permanent, especially within the tech industry. Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian says, “Remote work is the future of work.” To keep up with the times, employers and employees need to take note: remote work is here to stay.

We collaborated with the remote and flexible working experts at RecruitMyMom to create a helpful guide to remote working in the tech industry.

Remote working and tech: a match made in heaven

Remote work and technology go hand-in-hand. The tech industry is very comfortable with remote work, and it is very common for developers to have the flexibility to work remotely from time to time. Some companies are fully remote, but most are flexible, allowing employees to balance remote and in-office work.

Around 12% of developers work completely remotely. Tech jobs in a field like coding are some of the best to do remotely. With just a laptop and an internet connection, a world of opportunity opens for you. There are major tech companies that are launching as fully remote. GitLab, a web-based dev-ops company, is the self-proclaimed biggest all-remote company globally, with almost 1300 remote workers based in 67 countries. Automattic, the company responsible for creating WordPress, has just under 1200 remote workers after abandoning their massive office space. Those numbers show just how many remote working roles are available within the tech industry.

Many new tech jobs are popping up as a result of remote working, according to remote work experts, RecruitMyMom. For example, work in EdTech support is growing because of the sheer amount of online learning that has taken place since the pandemic began. So there is a need for people with skills in computers and coding to meet the demands of these new job roles.

Flexible job options in the tech industry

Many roles within the tech industry are some of the best-suited jobs for people who want to work flexibly or remotely. These include:

  • Software Engineer
  • Cloud Solutions Architect
  • App Developer
  • Database Administrator
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Security Engineer
  • Systems Administrator
  • Web/Graphic Designer
  • UX Designer
  • Customer Support
  • Leaning Designer
  • IT Support

Tips to excel at remote work

If you’re starting on your remote work journey or need some advice on how to excel, here are some of our favourite tips:

  • Maintain regular work hours.
  • Set up a dedicated home office space.
  • Minimise online distractions.
  • Use your time saved on commuting to upskill.
  • Communicate and stay connected with your colleagues so you don’t feel isolated.

How to get remote/flexible employment

Get skills

There are many remote and flexible jobs within the tech industry. So if you want to land more flexible work, it may be worth investing in learning new tech skills to make yourself more employable.

With CodeSpace, you can do a course in coding to add extra expertise to your existing skillset. This will allow you to succeed in your current job or transition to a new role where an understanding of technology is beneficial. For example, if you are a project manager and learn to code, you’ll be able to manage a web development project with understanding and excellence.

Something else to note is that many traditional jobs, like marketing or teaching, now have online elements, and new skills, like coding, are required. Upskilling by learning to code enables you to bridge the gap between your industry-specific skills and technology-based skills, which your existing role now requires.

Find a recruitment agency that specialises in remote and flexible work

When you’re looking for a remote or flexible job, find a recruitment agency specialising in remote and flexible work opportunities.

Sites like RecruitMyMom are an excellent place to begin. They advocate for flexible working and have been placing skilled people into flexible office positions and remote working jobs since 2012.

They are the perfect recruitment agency for momsgraduates, or anyone looking for flexible or remote positions.

The best tools for remote work:

Technology is an enabler for remote working. Tools like time tracking, cloud collaboration, and video meeting software make remote working possible. Here are some tools we suggest you use to help you on your remote working journey:

The benefits of remote work:

Remote work can be mutually beneficial for both employer and employee.

Benefits for the employee:

  • Geographic flexibility: you can work from anywhere with a laptop and a good internet connection. Remote work positions also broaden your career opportunities because you can work for an international company from your home halfway across the globe. Etsy’s Senior Software Developer, Nicole McCabe says, “If you are not limited by a specific office location, you can look anywhere in the country or anywhere on the globe.”
  • Flexible working hours and heightened productivity: you can manage your own schedule and workload. You decide when you are most productive. As business and productivity author Tim Ferriss says, “Focus on being productive instead of busy.”
  • Better work-life balance: “People today really value workplace flexibility and remote work because it allows them to focus their energies on work and life as opposed to commuting,” according to Ken Matos, a workforce strategy consultant. You no longer need to commute, which means more time at home with your family. You no longer have to leave early and come home late, feeling exhausted after spending time in traffic.

 Benefits for the employer/company:

  • Increased productivity: according to a Stanford study, employees who work remotely are 13% more productive, work longer hours, and take fewer breaks. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says, “People are more productive working at home than people would have expected. Some people thought that everything was just going to fall apart, and it hasn’t.”
  • A wider pool of talent to choose from: “Do you want to access talent everywhere, or just in specific markets? If the answer is everywhere, you need to be at least open to the possibility of remote work,” says Katie Burke, Chief People Officer at HubSpot. Since remote workers are located all over the world, companies have a wider pool of talent from which they can recruit. They can find the best candidate for the job without being limited by geographic borders.
  • Increased cost savings: Companies save money on office rental costs because they need fewer workspaces in the office for their remote employees. They also save money on equipment because remote workers, especially independent contractors and freelancers, use their personal computers and internet connection.
  • Improved gender diversity: Women often leave work to become the primary caregiver for their children. However, remote work allows women to maintain their careers while still caring for their children and helps mitigate the gender leak happening at childbearing age. 
  • Lower quit rates and increased employee loyalty: The State of Remote Work report said remote work improves retention and employee loyalty. When companies acknowledge that employees have lives outside of work and require work flexibility, employees feel more supported and thus remain more loyal to the company.
  • Less stressed employees: According to a Gallup survey, remote workers had stress levels 82% lower than their office counterparts, as flexible work hours allow employees to have a better work-life balance.

Remote work opportunities in the South African tech industry

Over 90% of South African developers work remotely or in a hybrid work environment, proving that there is ample opportunity for flexible work in South Africa’s tech industry. 

Check out OfferZen and LinkedIn to find remote and hybrid tech openings.

So is remote or flexible work right for you?

Before taking the leap into remote work, take a long look at your career goals and personality. 

Do you want to climb the corporate ladder and become a CEO in the next five years? Maybe you need more in-person face time to achieve that. An in-office job will probably work better for you. 

Are you an introvert who thrives in a quiet environment where you can plan your own schedule? Remote work should be right up your alley. 

Do you enjoy brainstorming with colleagues to get ideas rolling and then actioning those ideas alone? Perhaps a hybrid work environment is for you. 

Remember that everybody is different, so find what works best for YOU.