Working from home or working remotely is, no doubt, a giant part of your life right now. Maybe you’re working for a remote-first company, or maybe you’re running a freelance business from a tropical island.

Because remote work is a fact of life for a large percentage of professionals worldwide, we have to look at the trends that keep popping up within this world of work.

You can now network with professionals across the country and it’s not considered ‘weird.’ You can take your job on the road for four weeks, and enjoy fresh mountain air or a foreign country, without taking an entire month off from work.

Which other remote work trends will be improving our lives in 2023? Let’s jump into the future of remote work and the popular ideas that will make working from home great, and even better.

Choosing your own remote work tech and equipment

One of the most liberating parts of working from home, and one of the hottest trends, is personalizing your curated set of work-from-home tech and remote work products.

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.

For example, when I started my new job, I was given a “remote work equipment stipend” to use however I wanted, no questions asked. I bought this 27-inch monitor and it has allowed me to have a dual-monitor setup in my home office!

Want to know some of our favorite products? Our home office wouldn’t be complete without:

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.

Company retreats to unite remote employees

A big trend surfacing is the annual or quarterly company retreat. This is a time when either completely distributed teams can meet in person, or when hybrid teams (some who go into the office, and some who are remote) can get together to have working sessions or team-building time.

Company retreats may include only a few employees, as in, maybe a team or department. Or, company retreats may be company-wide, held at a resort or convention center, with lots of more robust events that round out company culture.

Based on Dan’s experience, here’s what you can expect at a company retreat nowadays!

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 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.

Helpful Tip

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 fitness 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 have had to figure out how to stay healthy while working from home. It’s continually been a pretty big WFH and remote work trend, mostly because it has opened up opportunities for a lot of professionals.

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).

Helpful Tip

Have you chosen to add a standing desk to your home office? See our set of tips for using a standing desk at home.

If you’re choosing to work from anywhere, you’ll see that a new pair of running shoes and yoga mat for travel will take you far.

Focus on remote work life-balance and wellbeing

In talking about work-life balance for remote workers and those who work from home, companies are now taking intiative to offer opportunities for mental health and wellness.

This excellent emphasis on well-being includes therapy, meditation and other types of mental wellness initiatives. I’ve recently seen companies offering Ginger, Headspace, Calm, Talkspace and BetterHelp. These represent a breakdown of supporting mental health and tackling burnout. It’s great to see the trend in employers offering these wellness methods as parts of employee benefits packages.

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.

Interested in Instagram engagement? See our guide to growing your Instagram audience and driving engagement in our behind-the-scenes guides.

Remote work and 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, with distributed teams becoming the norm, 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.

Working from a lower-cost-of-living place is especially beneficial if you have landed a high-paying remote job.

Virtual coffee sessions and informational interviews

Zoom can be used for friend gatherings, baby showers, family reunions, birthday parties and more. From the professional side, Zoom is used for webinars, productive team meetings, lectures and now, ‘going out for coffee.’

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.

Helpful Tip

You can also download one of our free Zoom backgrounds! Check them out.

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.

Professional Slack communities are those that are not tied to any specific place of work. I’m part of Slack workspaces for Remote Year and my Morning Brew business class.

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

It’s possible to kick the isolation of working from home if you learn how to network and continually meet people virtually.

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.

Online webinars as a way for remote workers to gain skills

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 am a part of, like the alumni from the Morning Brew Business Essentials Accelerator course.

Helpful Tip

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.

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.

Helpful Tip

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.

Digital slowmad-ing

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.

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.

More hybrid working opportunities.

This year, I’m caught between working from home and an office that is available to me (but with no pressure). For me, working from home means access to my fridge, sleeping right up until I “really” need to get out of bed, wearing pajama pants and no commute.

The office, though, means better focus, human interaction, networking with colleagues outside my department and joining in on company social events or water cooler chit-chat.

Of course, the choice is totally preferential for remote workers. This trend is widespread, nationwide and worldwide and will continue to be the case for the forseeable future for professionals who live “within commuting distance” of a company office.

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.

Maybe you figured out you had an ideal ‘Zoom shirt’ the first time you took a video interview, or maybe it’s your secret to staying productive all day.

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. They’re even becoming remote-first.

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 while 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-canceling headphones? Any of these tools will help you block out excess and focus on what you have to accomplish.

Helpful Tip

Do you sit in meetings all day? Browse our guide to productive meetings when you work from home.

Better tech in office for remote employee participation

One time recently when I went into the office, I went to a team meeting in which five employees were in the conference room in person. Two remote employees attended by video, on a large screen. No one thought twice about it because of how seamless the experience was.

This is commonplace nowadays as a trend in remote work acceptance and norms. Because it’s atypical that only one employee out of many will be remote, it’s less alienating to be the only remote employee.

Plus, companies have invested in equipment that allows this to be possible. Many organizations have revamped their offices since “times changed” in 2020, and remote employees can now feel more included in what’s going on within the office.

Better webcams for meetings

The Continuity Camera (being able to use your iPhone as your webcam) will become more widely adapted and something more people do in 2023.

Why would you want to do this? Using your iPhone (especially a new iPhone) can let you use things like portrait mode and “Studio Light” (dimming your background and illuminating your face) during meetings.

Better webcams will also start to hit the market as time goes on. Webcams on laptops will continue to get better as well, which means more clarity, better lighting, less fuzziness and more realistic views of your coworkers.

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Last updated on December 4th, 2022