Applying for a Fully Remote Job? 3 Things to Know

A person working at a desk at home and waving on a video call.

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Remote work has really taken off, but there are pitfalls to taking a job that you do fully from home.

In the course of the pandemic, many people have had no choice but to work remotely due to health-related concerns. In the wake of the success of remote work, many companies are now offering new job opportunities that don't require employees to come into the office at all.

You may be tempted by the idea of a fully remote job. For one thing, not having to report to an office means not having to spend money on commuting costs. It could also mean less expensive childcare costs, fewer incidental expenses (like having to maintain a professional wardrobe), and a better work-life balance.

But taking a fully remote job could come with certain drawbacks. Here are a few to keep in mind before pursuing a job you do solely from home.

1. You may not get the salary you expect with a remote job

These days, many companies offering remote jobs are also giving out salaries based on employees' geographical locations. That system makes a decent amount of sense. It costs a lot more money to live in a major city like New York or San Francisco than it does to live in a smaller one. If you apply for a fully remote position at a New York–based company but live in a small city, you may not automatically be in line for a New York salary.

2. You could face a difficult adjustment working from home

Many people who were forced to work remotely during the pandemic were pushed into that arrangement after having worked in an office. If you start working remotely and stick to that setup indefinitely, you might struggle to get acclimated, build relationships with your colleagues, and feel secure in your role. Of course, there's always the option to get trained over video calls, dial in for meetings, and join coworkers for virtual happy hours. But that's not the same thing as actual in-person interaction.

3. You might struggle to get promoted with a fully remote job

Getting promoted could be your ticket to meeting your financial goals, whether it's growing your savings, buying a home, or just being more fiscally secure. If you sign up for a fully remote job, you might put yourself at a disadvantage. That's because your colleagues who report to the office every day (or some days) will have more of an opportunity to network internally and mingle with people who can help them advance their careers. While you can always try building those relationships from afar, it could be a challenge.

There's much to be gained by signing up for a fully remote job. But before you dive in and apply for a remote position, consider the pitfalls you might encounter and make sure you're completely on board. There's certainly something to be said for a job that's flexible and doesn't come with a daily commute. You may decide that a hybrid arrangement, where you report to an office part of the week and work from home the rest of it, is a better compromise for you.

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