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6 January 2024 - 6 minutes

Remote Work and Tech: How it Affects Salaries and Career Progression

Remote work has many benefits and may impact your career overall. 

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When our parents think of the traditional office job, the following scene comes to their minds: Monday to Friday you wake up at 8 am, arrive at the office at 9 am, sit at your desk until 5 pm, and head home. Day after day, it’s the same monotonous schedule. 

This may have been their reality, but thanks to tech’s evolution and changes over the past few years, a new world has emerged: one in which no longer are all workers chained to a desk five days a week. The remote work revolution has arrived and as it continues to garner more support, let’s take a look at how this came to be.

The Evolution of Work

The invention of the personal computer had a huge impact on technology since companies could have their employers carry out even more functions and responsibilities, and as time passed, computers became smaller and more mobile, providing the opportunity for workers to bring their computers with them and work from wherever they wanted. 

Work could be done from anywhere, but companies weren’t so willing to let their employees fully take advantage of the situation. In addition to the personal computer, cell phones, internet connection, and cloud computing were important factors in making this leap from the office to remote work. Let’s see how they were able to revolutionize the workforce:

  • Cell phones: having a phone prior to data gave bosses and coworkers the ability to call you whenever they needed; however, the true power is now in the applications and internet connection that has turned cell phones into your own wallet-sized computer. Essentially, even without a laptop, a cell phone enables you to complete any task that your employer needs you to carry out. 

  • Internet connection: the power and importance of the internet cannot go unnamed when talking about technology that has revolutionized our lives. In terms of work, the internet allows people to communicate, share, and access any information that they need and having internet connectivity allows employees to move freely and complete work anywhere they desire.

  • Cloud computing: as long as you have internet connectivity, cloud computing is a tool that ensures access to a variety of useful software and data. You may believe that it only has the major feature of data access and storage from anywhere; however, cloud computing also allows members to use online software and infrastructure as code to create new applications. The features of cloud computing have changed the corporate landscape for how employees work. 

These innovative technologies have been paramount in creating the possibility of remote work for several types of jobs that don’t require in-person interaction, and although it was somewhat popular for people working in tech to work from home, one event truly changed how we all saw remote work: the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, many employees were forced to work from home to avoid spreading the virus, and to complete their tasks, everyone had to adapt to a remote work framework, which included:

  • Online meetings

  • Communication through email and other messenger services

  • Cloud computing storage and software

  • Project management software

  • Schedule adjustments

Working under these conditions for several months proved that a remote work model for many companies could function as effectively as when employees go to the office. And now living in a post-pandemic world, the remnants of remote work for many employees are still in place, such as working one or two days from home. Nevertheless, there are many positions on the job market that are 100% remote, especially in the tech world. 

Remote work

You wake up, brush your teeth, sit at your desk, open your laptop, and arrive at work; remote work is all about efficiency and comfort. The idea of always working from home or even from a cafe or coworking space is quite alluring for many given all the benefits and in the tech world, remote work is more widespread, given that employees use their own devices to complete their work. 

In fact, the number of employees that decided to work remotely rose by 24% since 2021, while those who wanted to have a hybrid framework increased by 16%. Remote work has become a reality for many, but how does it affect remote work and career progression? Let’s dive in.

Remote Job Salaries

Since remote work applies to so many different jobs, there are a lot of factors that go into deciding the salary of each role. Keep the following variables in mind when evaluating your potential salary for a remote position:

  • Industry and position: each sector has its own standard wage and along with that, the position itself has its own limiting factors. An entry level position provides a lower base salary than a higher position and a web developer generally earns more than a cybersecurity professional. 

  • Experience: generally entering the workforce fresh out of school entails lower pay; on the other hand, more experience in the field proves to recruiters that you have mastery over prerequisite skills. Nevertheless, if you’re just starting a new career, there’s always room to grow and accumulate more experience, and as a result, your remote work salary can increase over time.

  • Location-based pay: although remote work allows employees to work from anywhere, the base pay of the country where the employee is located enters as a factor for the position. This is referred to as location-based pay and is quite common. 

  • Company policies: every company is unique and their policies generally vary in terms of how they pay their remote work positions–check out their policies to better understand what they’re offering. 

  • Negotiation: who says that the money on the first offer page is the only option? When you apply for a job, there’s always the option to negotiate with the company; sometimes they’re flexible and willing to increase the wage. 

  • Fixed or freelance contract: the contract defines a lot of how you will be paid; fixed positions generally give more stability across the board and include payment while freelance contracts entail a payment on submittal basis, which often provides more freedom but lower pay and no benefits. 

Although these factors affect your salary in a variety of ways, remote work does not always entail a lower wage, like some assume. In fact, it really depends on how you negotiate with the company and if you make working remotely a strict necessity. Some people will even take pay cuts from a salary to ensure that the job doesn’t require commuting to the office. Make the decision that is best for you and remember the power of negotiation. 

Your Career Progression

You may also believe that remote work will affect your career trajectory and we get it–there’s no clear indication if remote work hinders your career.  So how does remote work impact your career path? Consider the following:

  • Efficiency and performance: Thanks to remote work, some employees thrive beyond what the typical office worker will achieve, but it truly depends on the employee’s work ethic and efficiency. High efficiency and performance levels proves to higher-ups that they do deserve to be promoted, so they can both happen as long as you can show your worth to the company.

  • Collaboration and communication: since remote work doesn’t allow for people to meet in person, remote workers need to ensure that they’re coordinating with the team and have strong and consistent communication skills. Having strong connections with peers makes a huge difference; not only does it boost your productivity as a team, it also shows that you are dedicated to the job. It’s also essential that you communicate with your bosses, reminding them that you are present in your job though not physically. Informing them that you want to move up the ladder at the company is also crucial to receiving a promotion. 

  • Company culture: companies vary greatly and to know how to increase your chances of career progression, you need to familiarize yourself with the mission statement, management style, promotion requirements, and hierarchy. 

  • Ambition: remote workers need ambition and determination to be seen by their higher-ups because if you prove your worth to your bosses, they will have you in mind for the next promotion that pops up. Ambition is the quality that unites performance, collaboration, and knowledge of company culture into the energy to reach new heights.

Career progression is more than possible, it’s certain when you put these factors at the forefront; it doesn’t matter if you work remotely, go to the office daily, or maintain a hybrid schedule, you can make it happen. 

Remote work is by no means a limiting factor for landing and keeping your dream job with the salary and conditions you want and as a remote employee, you can still move up the ladder of success. It’s important to remember that it mostly depends on your work ethic, connections, skills, and company, which means you exert a large amount of control in the situation. 

If remote work entices you, the tech field is full of opportunities that can make that desire a reality. The first step is checking out Ironhack’s Bootcamps below and seeing which one most catches your attention. Take the first step in making remote work your future and explore your career prospects.

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