Table of contents
- Choosing your own remote work tech and equipment
- Shared home offices
- Focus on health and wellness for working from home
- Social media for professional use
- Remote work & travel
- Working from anywhere (and how to do it)
- Virtual coffee sessions and informational interviews
- Professional and industry-based Slack communities
- Remote networking opportunities
- Webinars for everything
- Having a remote side hustle
- Digital slowmad-ing
- Shared empathy for working from home
- Having a ‘Zoom shirt’
- Remote-friendly employers and remote hiring
- Remote work productivity tools
Would you ever have imagined that working from home, or working remotely, would be a HUGE part of your life?
Picture yourself a year ago: maybe you were in an office, or a coworking space, or your client site – whichever type of environment outside of your home you called ‘work’. Could you have ever pictured yourself sitting at home doing your daily list of work tasks, and connecting virtually with everyone?
Times are always changing, but because remote work is surely here to stay, there is a whole slew of trends that came with it.
Take, just for example, the fact that you can now network with professionals across the country and it’s not considered ‘weird.’ Consider that you can take your job on the road for four weeks, and enjoy fresh mountain air or your friend’s summer home, without taking an entire month off from work?
Which other remote work trends have improved our lives in 2021? Let’s take a look at the ones you may be engaging in, and the ones you could add to your work-from-home lifestyle.
Choosing your own remote work tech and equipment
One of the most liberating parts of working from home, comprising one of the hottest trends, is personalizing your curated set of work from home tech and remote work products.
Have you seen our favorite home office products in our home office guide, here?
Unless your company gave you a laptop, a set of speakers, a mouse, a keyboard and a whole crate of other gear, you probably have a whole set of decisions to make!
Remote employees have enjoyed choosing their own ergonomic home office equipment as one of this year’s hottest remote work trends.
Want to know some of our favorites? Our home office wouldn’t be complete without
- Dan’s new standing desk - we recommend this standing desk for home
- Becca’s small writing desk (good for use in a small room)
- an iPad to use as a second external monitor at a home office desk
- An adjustable desk riser if you don’t have the space for a standing desk
We’ve made our shared home office mesh with the rest of our home and have enjoyed personalizing it to make it feel like it’s ours.
Shared home offices
While the simple home office, whether built into a small apartment or a sprawling house, was maybe a part of your life if you were working from home one day a week or one day per month already, you likely did not picture the shared home office.
Our shared home office became a part of our home and a part of our lives this year when we both started working from home. What we realized we needed was a lot of ergonomic office equipment in order to feel good and work well.
Our list of essentials for setting up a home office, even somewhere small is a great start for finding the best products for working at home.
We also had to learn to cowork together as a couple in our shared home office. This comes with its own set of challenges, as you may have experienced if you share office space at home with a roommate, family member or romantic partner.
For example, we take lots into consideration with our work-from-home schedules, and then if a meeting pops up and it’s a video call, it means I have to be careful where I walk as to not be in the background of a video conference.
What’s your shared home office like? You can see our shared home office design idea guide if you need additional inspiration.
Focus on health and wellness for working from home
Did you start off your remote work experience by working from home for the first time? If you did, you’re not alone.
Many people who found themselves thrust into situations of working from home and figuring out everything wellness-related from scratch have had to determine how to stay healthy while working from home. This has become one of the biggest work-from-home trends.
Working from home gives you the chance to use your kitchen, your fridge and your oven and stove to create healthy meals and to take time from your work day to relieve some stress in the kitchen. This has been a blessing for us, as we truly enjoy taking care of our health, and cooking for ourselves and for each other.
In terms of trends, there’s also how to stay fit when working from home, which had so many trends that we had to write an entire guide about it.
If you’re working from home and call your home office your base, you’ll find that maybe you’ve started purchasing equipment to start your own home gym. (We recommend a pair of free weights, a set of resistance bands and a doorway pull-up bar).
Have you chosen to add a standing desk to your home office? See our set of tips for using a standing desk at home.
Social media for professional use
Social media use skyrocketed. That is because we all have used social platforms to stay involved, stay informed and to stay connected, especially while working remotely.
Instagram live, when used professionally, has provided a way for figures with groundbreaking ideas to share them with the world and with their audiences, while creating hype toward an online event.
Pinterest has proven to be a way that we can promote our businesses through visuals, and through getting clicks to our business websites through attractive pins that provide value.
Many companies are trying to gain followers, break into new spaces, pivot their lines of business and express their missions and goals, and you’re probably already following companies that interest you or ones whose successes you want to observe.
The sky’s the limit with social media, and as our world becomes more intertwined globally, as social media reaches all corners of every continent, you won’t want to miss out.
Interested in Instagram engagement? See our guide to growing your Instagram audience and driving engagement in our behind-the-scenes guides.
Remote work & travel
Has the time come to try going on a trip and attempt working remotely while you’re away from home?
If you think this is possible for you, you’ll want to see our tips for working remotely while traveling to get an idea of how this could work out for you.
Remote work and travel was formerly only something the general professional public considered possible when a person was on a business trip. It looked something like this:
- Take business trip to far-away location
- Have in-person meetings with clients, vendors or colleagues
- Work remotely from a hotel room or hotel business center
- Or, attend a conference at a conference center, while logging into a remote desktop environment via your work laptop in between sessions and events
This was remote work when paired with travel. But now, it doesn’t have to look like this at all.
Want to take a long weekend away with your significant other, best friend, or sibling, and spend one or two of the days doing work? It’s a great way to not ‘spend’ all your vacation days or sacrifice unpaid leave, because you can still get some work in while you’re away from home.
All you have to do is believe in the possibility. And wait til you see the next trend in our list.
Working from anywhere (and how to do it)
If you can work from home, can you work from anywhere?
Think about this one for a minute.
In terms of trends, we’re seeing people choose to change locations for a month and try out a new city. Or, when travel permits, try out a new country altogether – we have had friends working remotely in Mexico, Costa Rica, Croatia, Georgia and Portugal.
“Working from anywhere” doesn’t have to mean working from abroad at all. It can be somewhere a few miles away like a rented house, or a long-term hotel stay, or even a friend’s house in another state or across a border.
How can you work remotely from anywhere?
There are a few things to keep in mind, like WiFi connections, the cost of living in your chosen ‘anywhere’ locale and if you’ll have a social life there, but when it comes down to it, changing location to experience a change in lifestyle while keeping your job is a great thing to try out.
Virtual coffee sessions and informational interviews
We’re all familiar with Zoom calls by now, and there are lots of ways to use Zoom.
We’re seeing Zoom used for friend gatherings, baby showers, family reunions, birthday parties and more, and from the professional side, Zoom is used for webinars, productive team meetings, lectures and ‘going out for coffee’?
Yes, sure – why not? The other week I was invited to a ‘virtual coffee date’ by someone who wanted to pick my brain over content creation topics. While there was no buying coffee going on, it was nice to meet someone I had never met before for a one-on-one session of idea sharing and professional advice.
In former times, this may have seemed off-putting or contrived, but nowadays it’s perfectly normal and it’s even trending as a way to network remotely as a professional.
Professional and industry-based Slack communities
You’ve seen Slack as one of our favorite ways to stay connected while working from home, but to get into depth about it, we have to do a bit more explaining.
Dan and I are part of various Slack communities, which we were really only introduced to via beginning to work remotely and seeing professional life extend beyond our city and our jobs.
One of the most ‘important’ Slack communities in my life is “Ladies Get Paid” Slack, which I explain much more in this guide of ways to grow your network when you work from home.
Professional Slack communities are those that are not tied to any specific place of work; in fact, I’m part of a Slack workspace for marketing professionals where people tend to share marketing techniques, upcoming webinars and remote work opportunities and job boards.
The trend of Slack communities outside one’s place of work will continue to be a huge part of remote work, as it will keep professionals feeling connected no matter where in the world they are located.
Remote networking opportunities
Working from home can initially feel isolating until you figure out how to network and continually meet people virtually while working remotely.
This has been one of the more eye-opening trends for professionals while working at home for the first time.
Networking will continue to be a way to connect regarding jobs, opportunities and collaborations for people who work remotely, and now that connecting virtually is the norm, it won’t seem as odd to receive an invitation to connect on video with someone you’ve never spoken to before.
There are heaps of ways to network, whether you want to meet like-minded individuals, change careers, learn a new skill or find a business partner. As mentioned above, one of the biggest benefits of working from home is that you’re actually pushing yourself to network and connect with others, rather than getting lost in your daily commute and being burned out.
Webinars for everything
During the first few weeks of working from home as a couple and starting this indefinite lifestyle of working remotely alongside much of the country and the world, I started filling my time with webinars.
I attended webinars I found on Eventbrite, webinars posted in the Ladies Get Paid Slack, and webinars posted by organizations I follow.
I started learning about finance, the stock market, marketing, ayurveda healing and wellness, all in my pajamas from my home office in our little city apartment and some friends even noticed, as I posted on social media that I was engaging in these types of learning opportunities.
Webinars are a remote work trend because they’re readily available at your fingertips and people are feeling more open to learning these days because of the constant change around us.
Previously, while working in an office, I never would have signed up for a ‘random’ webinar to learn a new skill. I was too lost in the 8 or 9-hour workday, the commute that came with it, the post-work activities I’d engage in to take my mind OFF the workday and the packed weekends of social events.
Although I’m now past my major webinar binge, I still attend events here and there through organizations I follow on Eventbrite like Ladies Get Paid and Kettlespace. I’ve joined groups of professionals in my city and around the country for ‘desk yoga,’ finance for freelancers and marketing trends. I think the remote webinar trend has become one of my favorites.
I was lucky enough to lead a webinar for Ladies Get Paid all about working from home for the first time. My webinar covered the long-term benefits of working from home and a bit about how I have defined the difference between remote work and working from home](/remote-work/work-from-home-and-remote-work-differences.html).
Having a remote side hustle
Having a side hustle, as many call it, has always been valuable in terms of making money from a hobby-turned-business.
There are so many ways to freelance remotely. If you’re looking for additional income, or simply, a way to turn a passion into a business, the sky’s the limit.
If you are looking for a way to transition into a freelance role, read our guide!
Here are a few of the ways we have both monetized our freelance skills and offerings over the years:
- Photography (it can be done remotely if you take photos in your own home or wherever you are located)
- Writing blog articles or web content
- Social media management
- Web development and website creation
- Proofreading, copywriting and editing
- Teaching or coaching remotely via Zoom
If you typically offer a skill or some type of consulting in person, determine if offering it remotely could be a way to expand business. You may have to get creative, as many businesses have, and this may mean using the mail, using an e-version of something or being super patient while details and logistics get figured out.
What we mean to say here with mentioning this trend is that when you work from home, or when you work remotely from anywhere, having a freelance side hustle can sometimes mean a significant way to add income and value to your work life.
Want to learn a new skill? You can learn EVERY type of skill on YouTube, just like how Dan continues to learn about photography and photo editing on this list of the best photography YouTube channels for learning new skills.
Have you seen our guide to the best cities for working remotely? They’re located around the world and we developed this list for a variety of factors, from WiFi speed, to nomad community, to safety and availability of coworking locations.
Digital nomading, as it’s called, means traveling around from place to place with a remote job, calling a place home for as long as you like. Many nomads move fast, to see ‘as much as possible’ if they know they have a year or six months to take their remote work trip.
You can see what that was like when we spent a month in Lima with Remote Year in 2018.
Digital slowmading is the same idea, but moving more slowly. Now that the world has come to several different periods of pausing, as global travel came to a halt in waves, it pays to move more slowly and take it easy. This has also proven trend-worthy because as we’ve seen, borders can close without much notice and visa requirements have changed, along with the limits on specific passport holders who can enter a country.
So, the trend here is that if you wish to travel and work remotely, expect to take the slow boat (maybe literally) and stop the typical mile-a-minute speed you may have formerly been used to. After all, there’s no point in rushing life.
Taking a remote work trip? Don’t miss our list of what to pack for working remotely and traveling.
Shared empathy for working from home
A big trend that many may not have noticed completely is a shared empathy for working from home, whether it’s from someone you just met on a virtual coffee date, or your boss.
People working from home, whether seasoned remote professionals or work-from-home newbies, can relate to the sound your brand new coffee grinder during a meeting (oops) or the cat that walks across your desk, uninvited, when it’s your turn to present your latest project (meow).
What we all share, as professionals working remotely, is this detailed list of the long-term benefits of working from home and we can all relate to them.
This, after all, is the trend we’re seeing.
Having a ‘Zoom shirt’
Ha! It wasn’t until a few months into the work-from-home revolution that I heard the term ‘Zoom shirt,’ but boy do I have a few of those.
Either way, keep that Zoom shirt around, because it’ll probably be the most decent thing you get to wear during the work-from-home lifestyle. There’s nothing wrong with this trend – quite the contrary, for those who love loungewear!
Remote-friendly employers and remote hiring
The notion of hiring remote talent has been trending for years now, but many companies have not had the courage to take the jump.
What we’re seeing now is a complete twist: companies are making roles remote-flexible and hiring all around the country. It has been refreshing to see this trend of recognizing that talent exists everywhere and that hires should not be limited to people ‘within commuting distance of the office.’
Looking for your next remote job? See our job board guide for remote job postings.
Remote work productivity tools
Working in an office feels productive, but is it really so efficient with all the distractions that an office creates?
This brings us to the remote work trend of remote work productivity tools so that you can stay productive when you’re working from home every day.
Working from home has come with a new set of distractions, naturally, like your cat, your kids, your significant other or a noisy neighbor. So what’s trending is, ways to get back on track.
Have you heard of tools like TomatoTimer, or Airtable? Have you considered a white noise app or simply, noise-cancelling headphones? Any of these tools will help you block out excess and focus on what you have to accomplish.
Do you sit in meetings all day? Browse our guide to productive meetings when you work from home.
Last updated on December 28th, 2020