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Remote work has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many believe it is here to stay in certain industries. While remote work provides greater opportunities for individuals with disabilities, it can be hard to know where to start. Galt Foundation has come up with this guide to searching for remote work.
During the pandemic, remote work (also known as telework) became an everyday reality, with around 70% of employees working from home. As the world slowly returns to normal, some workplaces are making remote work their new normal. Many employees enjoy the perks of remote work, such as flexible hours, lack of commute, and more time with loved ones.
For individuals with disabilities, remote work offers new opportunities, as it alleviates some of the barriers present in conventional working environments. If you have a disability and are not sure where to start on your remote job search, here are our four tips.
Before You Begin Your Search
While remote work can open doors to new career opportunities, it is important to consider if remote work is right for you. People who thrive in remote work environments tend to be self-directed, have good written communication skills, can balance their work and personal lives, and are able to be productive without supervision or coworkers.
You will also need to consider your remote workspace. Is it free from distractions? Is it comfortable? Does it have a reliable internet connection? Equipment you would normally receive on-site from your employer, such as a computer, ergonomic chair, and quiet boardrooms, may largely be up to you to arrange, though some employers will provide tools to remote workers. You can also use technology to make your workspace more accessible.
Figure Out Your Remote Work Preferences
There are generally two routes you can take regarding remote work: working independently (freelance or contract) or working for an employer. For freelance jobs, you can determine your rate, your schedule, and your hours. If your disability requires frequent breaks, appointments, or reduced hours, freelance may be an option that could be right for you. However, this also means that you may not receive employee health benefits, employer tax payments on your behalf, or regular pay periods like you would if you worked directly for an employer.
Whether you decide to do remote work freelance or with an employer, you will need to decide what characteristics of a job are best suited for you. This could be things like: part-time/full-time hours, weekdays/weekends, or working with/without customers. Going into a job search understanding your needs and preferences can help focus your search.
Research Remote-Friendly Jobs and Industries
The pandemic has forced many companies into remote settings. However, some have already returned or will eventually go back to in-person workplaces, while others will remain remote. According to Pew Research Center, the industries and sectors where employees say their jobs can be done remotely are information and technology, banking, finance, accounting, real estate, insurance, education, and professional, scientific and technical services.
Many companies have already permanently switched to remote work. If you have a job in mind, you can search the title, your area, and “remote” to find listings on the web. Depending on your education and job experience, some examples of job titles that often allow for remote work are Customer Service Representative, Copywriter, Administrative Assistant, Data Analyst, Graphic Designer, and Bookkeeping Clerk.
Ensure Your Experience Matches
The nature of remote work sometimes means a unique skill set is required for a job, such as data, time, and project management. Read the job description thoroughly and assess if you can perform the role effectively remotely.
If you are lacking a skill or educational component, consider taking a course or certificate program – even being enrolled or in-progress shows the employer you are serious about the role. If you have the required skills and education, ensure that you and/or the employer can accommodate any accessibility measures related to your disability. For example, closed/open captioning on videos if you are Deaf or hard-of-hearing, pre-recording your presentations if you have a speech or anxiety disorder, or getting extra time for projects if needed.
Let Galt Foundation Help
We’re here to help you with your remote or on-site job search. Galt Foundation is one of the world’s largest temporary staffing organizations for individuals with disabilities. With over 20 years of experience, we’ll match you with a job opportunity.
Feel free to get in touch with our expert team. You can reach us here or call us at 1-877-361-1277 – we’re always happy to help!