Types Of Remote Jobs

There’s a lot of discussion currently (I wonder why) about “remote working”. As someone who has been doing it for 11+ years at this point I’ve noticed that people mean pretty radically different things when they talk about “remote jobs”.

Here’s the categories as I currently see them:

  1. You are usually expected in the office but, if you get permission, you can work from home (sometimes). I don’t think this qualifies as a “remote job” at all. Ironically, many large tech companies who have spent the entire COVID-19 pandemic working from home are still in this camp. Companies in this category: Apple, Facebook.
  2. You work remotely but you live near enough to be able to commute into the office for a single day and are expected to do this sometimes. You’re expected to work roughly the same hours as people in the office.
  3. You work remotely and you’re expected to be roughly in the same timezones as the/ office. You are expected to come to the office sometimes but will e.g. stay in a hotel and it be planned in advance. You work roughly the same hours as people in the office.
  4. You work remotely, you’re not expected to be in the same timezone but you’ll have some sync meetings with people in other timezones. You’ll be expected to fly to the office a few times a year. You’re not expected to work the same hours as people in other timezones. Companies in this category: GitHub, Canonical, Red Hat.
  5. You work remotely and you can be 100% async. You never need to fly to meet coworkers to do your job. You never need to have sync meetings to do your job.

I’ve only ever worked for 4. (KDAB, AllTrails, GitHub). Very early days at GitHub felt like some individuals were in 5. (but it was rare).