5 different types of remote jobs
4 min read

5 different types of remote jobs

Looking through thousands of job descriptions within a few days made me learn about different types of remote jobs you should be aware of. The edge cases are especially sketchy, and I did learn that many job descriptions are low quality copy/paste with missing or contradicting information.

Hey,

I'm Sergio Pereira, and this is the Remote Work newsletter 👋

Last week I told you about the portfolio of fractional remote careers I'm having at the moment. I didn't see it coming, and it's a lot of work, but I've learned a lot from doing different things.

Now I've done most of the work for the major UI overhaul, and data overhaul coming to JobsCopilot.ai. The bulky work is done, and now the lengthy batched backend processes are running. That's why these changes will only go live over the weekend.

Anyway, I've spent a long time looking at job descriptions, and figuring out how to label jobs for Jobs Copilot. This was one area of intense feedback, with many people complaining that jobs labelled as "Fully remote" were actually "Only for US citizens".

This sucks, and I tweeted about the technical work to overcome these issues. It's one of those cases where I spend 99% of the time identifying the root cause of the problem and experimenting solutions. And only 1% of time actually fixing the production code.

While I'm glad that the issues are fixed and will be live shortly, I've also learned a lot. And I'm not talking about the technical learnings about LLMs, prompt engineering, and data clustering.

Way beyond that. Looking through thousands of job descriptions within a few days made me learn about different types of remote jobs you should be aware of. The edge cases are especially sketchy, and I did learn that many job descriptions are low quality copy/paste with missing or contradicting information.

Anyway, "Remote Job" means different things for different people, and I clustered all remote jobs into these 5 types (with examples from the Jobs Copilot DB):

1/ Fully remote jobs

This means that jobs aren't tied to specific physical locations. In fact, most of the companies offering these are fully remote and don't have a physical office at all.

These jobs don't pose time zone constraints either. There's no fixed working hours, and in many cases work is mostly async, which leaves it up to each employee to define their working hours, as long as they deliver on their commitments.

These are the jobs that most people want, because of the freedom they grant. I understand that, I want it too. And I respect the frustration that Jobs Copilot MVP created, by mistakenly labelling as "Fully remote" jobs that actually had some of the constraints described below.

Example: Senior Frontend Developer @ Smart (See that it even mentions "location-independent", employees can live anywhere and even move around)

 

2/ Remote within timezones

This means that a job is remote, but only available for candidates within a range of timezones. Eg: "European timezones", or "4 hours overlap with Pacific time", etc.

The common reason for this is because those companies operate with sync processes, such as meetings or expectation of immediate reply on Slack during some hourly intervals. In these companies it's common that there are fixed working hours during which everyone needs to be responsive and available for meetings.

Example: Senior PHP Engineer @ Hostaway (It's remote, but all team members must be within EMEA timezones for sync collaboration)

 

3/ Remote within country

The most prominent case of this is those "US-only" remote jobs. They are remote (as in: you can work from home), but you must live inside a specific country.

In most cases, the constraints here aren't so much related to the working hours, the meetings or the company's processes. Country-specific restrictions usually come from regulatory requirements.

A prominent example is when companies operate in an industry that requires employees to be in a certain country, or data protection laws make it hard to have people working abroad. In many other cases it's down to the company's employment contracts that are tied to the country where the company is incorporated.

Example: Solutions Engineer @ Normalyze (a common JD for a Remote-US job)

4/ Remote within city

The case for this one is to have all employees nearby, and it certainly presumes some need for in-person gathering, even if infrequent. 

These jobs are actually remote, and often described as "work from home" or "telecommute", and the job description doesn't mention any fixed number of days to visit the office.

Example: Tableau Developer @ Encora (Remote job in Bangalore)

 

5/ Hybrid

These jobs are basically "Remote within city", except that they mention the need to work from the office at least 1 day per week.

Surprisingly or not, many people refer to these as remote jobs, since in many cases most of the days you're allowed to work from home.

For other people these are just office jobs with a nice perk to wfh a few days. Thus my decision to label remote statuses properly, because there's subjectivity based on each person context and preferences.

Example: Java Developer @ 1&1 (3 days work from the Munich office, 2 days work from home)

 

I can't wrap this newsletter without sharing some positive feedback, even at this MVP stage. The Remote Jobs Braintrust community is an amazing place!

Thanks for reading this newsletter until the end. You can read all past editions here. Make sure to share it with your friends and colleagues so they can read it too.

If you're interested in sponsoring this newsletter, send me an email or DM.

See you next Friday,

Sergio Pereira, 
Startup CTO & Remote Work Lover

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