Remote work is a flexible working arrangement that allows employees to work outside of a traditional office location.

Employees who work remotely often utilize technology to work from their homes, coworking spaces, coffee shops, or other locations outside of their company-owned office.

Employers offering remote work allow their workforce to have more flexibility with the understanding and expectation that their employees complete their work and perform to company standards. 

Types of remote work arrangements

There are several types of remote work, which depend on the company’s resources, the employer’s preference, and the nature of the job. The different types of remote work arrangements include the following:

Temporarily remote

Temporarily remote work is when a company is wholly or partially remote for some time, with the understanding that it is not permanent and employees will return to the office later.

For example, many employees temporarily worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic for health and safety and then returned to the office once it was safe.

Hybrid remote

A hybrid remote arrangement is when a company allows employees to split their time between working remotely and working in person at the office. A hybrid remote policy may allow teleworking employees to choose when they come to the workplace or require employees to come in on certain days of the week or for specific activities. 


Companies with remote-first policies treat remote work as the default working option. Remote-first companies still typically have a centralized office location that employees can visit or use for meeting space, but the employer does not expect employees to work in person.


A remote-friendly company permits occasional days when employees can work remotely but expects them to come into the office most of the time. The employer specifies specific remote days the employees can work from home or remotely on flex days when they have an appointment or particular circumstance.

Fully remote

Fully remote employees work outside of a traditional office setting 100% of the time. Companies with fully remote policies typically do not have an office location. Fully remote employees usually work on virtual platforms at a home office or coworking space.

Read more: How to Propose a Remote Work Policy and Work from Anywhere

What is an example of remote work?

For example, a software sales company hires a software developer. The developer has a remote job position because they live in a different city than the company's location.

The developer works remotely at a home office and uses company-provided equipment, including a laptop, computer monitors, and a work phone. The developer regularly communicates with their manager and team members through Slack and Zoom and can access the company server, files, and other necessary documents to perform their job.

The developer may visit the company headquarters a few times yearly to meet with the team, answer questions, and collaborate on specific projects. 

Advantages of remote work

Remote work offers many advantages for both employees and employers. Some common benefits include the following:

For employees

  • Work-life balance. Remote work allows employees more control over their schedules by cutting long commutes and fitting work around essential commitments, such as childcare or doctor appointments. 
  • Flexibility. Remote employees have more flexibility to choose where they live and work. 
  • Reduced expenses. Remote workers save money on various expenses, such as gas, transportation, and meals.
  • Fewer distractions. Remote employees experience fewer interruptions from colleagues, office noise, and general distractions of an office environment.

For employers

  • Access to a broader talent pool. Companies don’t have to limit their candidate search to their local area and can target the best talent worldwide for niche or critical positions. 
  • Retain talent. Employees allowed to work remotely feel valued and trusted by their employer, improving their engagement and satisfaction with their job and company. 
  • Reduced expenses. Remote work policies save companies money on costs they would otherwise spend on office space, utilities, maintenance, and office equipment and supplies.
  • Increased productivity. Because employees can design their schedule around what fits best with their workflow, remote work increases employee productivity and, therefore, increases results, higher profits, and happy clients and customers.

Challenges of remote work

While there are many benefits, there are numerous challenges. Some potential downsides to remote work include the following:

  • Employee burnout. Burnout often occurs when an employee’s personal and work life overlap, and they may feel drained, overwhelmed, and always “on the clock.” To ensure burnout doesn’t lead to employee turnover, employers should clearly outline their workforce’s work hours and encourage time off and breaks. 
  • Employee loneliness. Employees may struggle with feelings of isolation and a lower sense of belonging when working from home and no reason to see colleagues and teams in person. Employers should utilize virtual coworking platforms and synchronous and asynchronous communication methods that allow employees to communicate casually and share ideas and best practices. 
  • Communication troubles. Remote workers may have difficulty communicating virtually or less frequently with their teams when they don’t see them in person or work in different time zones. Companies should ensure their employees know how to use collaboration tools such as Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams and set standards for communication etiquette. 
  • Technology issues. Remote work requires more technology, which may result in employees experiencing more tech issues and troubleshooting, such as slow internet speeds, broken devices, and viruses. Employers should ensure their employees have appropriate technical support, equipment, and resources to do their jobs efficiently and effectively in a remote work environment. 
  • Distractions. Remote employees may face distractions like family members, roommates, and pets. Employees should set boundaries with their work schedule and ensure a quiet and productive workspace.

Tools and technologies in remote work

Most companies offering remote work policies also utilize technology and asynchronous tools that help distributed teams communicate and collaborate across multiple locations and time zones.

Some of these technologies include the following:

  • Communication platforms. These platforms allow teams to communicate and collaborate through real-time messaging and videoconferencing. Examples of these applications include platforms such as Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.
  • Project management tools. These platforms keep teams organized and allow them to work as if they were all in one location. The applications include virtual collaboration software such as Asana, file sharing, and calendar sharing. 
  • HR management systems. These are software applications to manage human resources and related processes. These systems help HR departments streamline all distributed employee hiring, payroll, benefits, and compliance. 
  • Cybersecurity considerations. Because remote work increases the risk of data being lost or stolen, companies should utilize tools that help detect and prevent cyberattacks. Security methods include using secure servers, connecting employees to a VPN, and encouraging strong passwords.

Remote work best practices

While offering remote work can increase employee satisfaction and company productivity, employers must create a global employment strategy that clarifies remote work expectations, establishes effective communication, and mitigates risks to ensure long-term success with a remote workforce.

Some best practices for employers implementing a remote work policy include:

Utilize technology

Set up your distributed team with communication platforms like Slack, Asana, and Zoom, allowing teams and multiple departments to communicate in real-time via videoconference and track projects. Take the time to select the right technology tools for your company’s needs.

Set up your workforce for success by helping them understand how to navigate each platform. Ensuring they have all the training and resources they need to perform their work and provide access to IT support to troubleshoot technology issues.

Also, use digital tools as a creative way for group bonding and connect your distributed workforce, utilizing video platforms to host virtual celebrations, happy hours, or holiday events. 

Set clear communication 

Ensure that employees understand when and how communication occurs daily, and establish clear guidelines for how colleagues contact each other when questions arise and through which channels.

Regularly update employees on critical business plans and initiatives through channels everyone can access, and encourage team and one-on-one video calls for exchanging feedback and ideas.

Set expectations and frameworks for how employees across different time zones and work schedules should communicate and interact. Consider time zone differences between team members when scheduling work hours and meetings, and remember to accommodate varying communication styles between cultures to ensure everyone feels supported. 

Establish routines and performance expectations

Foster effective communication, consistency, and productivity by helping employees establish their daily routines through regular team meetings, one-on-ones, daily activities, and deadlines. These regular routines help maintain team relationships and promote accountability, keeping employees on track, engaged, and motivated to succeed.

Communicate that the quality of work done remotely must remain the same as in-office work. Establish realistic performance expectations and ensure employees understand their responsibilities, priorities, and goals.

Prioritize empathy and trust

Foster trust by allowing your team to work on a schedule that fits their lives outside of work. Avoid making requests to employees outside of their set working hours. This support encourages work-life balance that can result in increased employee engagement, productivity, and satisfaction.

Maintain communication with employees and ensure they always have what they need to do their job. Encourage employees to practice empathy and understanding with their colleagues, team members, and management.  

Help establish remote workspaces

Support your remote workforce by helping them create a functional at-home workspace. Invest in remote work equipment and tools for your employees, such as laptops, phones, monitors, desks, or stipends for the internet or coworking space fees.  

Providing these tools and services will ensure your employees have a stable and healthy work environment to perform quality and productive work.

Also, consider work-from-home allowances that allow employees to purchase extra equipment to make their remote work environment more comfortable, such as standing desks and ergonomic chairs.

Ensure data security

Protect sensitive company data by coordinating with IT experts to install a company-wide data security policy.

Implement security measures that help employees protect sensitive data, such as antivirus software, active firewalls, multi-factor authentication, password protections, and VPNs for secure site connections. Ensure employees have the training and understanding of the data security policy.

Comply with international laws

Labor laws and regulations vary worldwide, and employers must ensure compliance with the local requirements in the countries where their workforce lives and works.

Consider partnering with a global employment expert like an employer of record (EOR) to help you easily hire international employees, manage your team, and ensure compliance.

Learn more: How to Successfully Build and Manage a Remote International Workforce

The future of remote work

Remote work continues to grow for many industries and job positions worldwide. Some top sectors for remote work include computer and IT, marketing, accounting and finance, project management, medical and health, HR and recruiting, and customer service.

In the U.S. alone, an estimated 32.6 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025, accounting for about 22% of the workforce. Remote work offers the flexibility, autonomy, and work-life balance that talent seeks in today’s world of work — in fact, 98% of workers express the desire to work remotely, at least part of the time.

More companies offer remote work opportunities to remain competitive in today’s hiring market and to attract and retain top talent. Employers continue to incorporate remote work as part of their global expansion strategy to broaden their talent pool across international borders, expand into new markets, and reach new customers.

As businesses worldwide realize the benefits of hiring, managing, and supporting employees from anywhere, remote work continues to trend into the future.

Interested in building a distributed remote workforce? Download our free guide to learn how an EOR partner like Velocity Global makes it easy to hire and support remote talent anywhere.

Learn how to hire anywhere with an employer of record. Click to download the free guide.

Easily hire remote workers around the globe with Velocity Global

Building a remote team is an excellent opportunity for global growth. Velocity Global makes it simple and easy to hire, pay, and manage remote talent anywhere compliantly.

Velocity Global simplifies the employer and talent experience in 185+ countries. Our Employer of Record (EOR) solution combines a robust, self-serve platform and an expert services team to simplify global workforce management. Our EOR solution helps you compliantly onboard, pay, manage, and support your employees from anywhere in the world on your behalf so you can focus on expanding your business.

Ready to start building your global remote workforce? Contact Velocity Global today.



Related resources

Hello Yellow case study
Case Study

Hello Yellow: Quickly and Compliantly Expanding Into New Markets

Discover how we helped Hello Yellow streamline global hiring and onboarding.
Read this Case Study
An HR team sitting and standing around a table happily watching a presentation

Upskilling Employees: A Complete Guide

As companies increasingly go online for essential tasks like sales, customer support, and
Read this Blog
HR leaders at a conference room table collaborating on a strategic workforce plan

What Is Strategic Workforce Planning? Examples + Best Practices

To ensure sustainability in today’s evolving business environment, companies must incorporate
Read this Blog