Not everyone wants full-time remote work as a digital nomad. Many digital nomads are pursuing their own entrepreneurial projects or working freelance, but they’d like a little extra cash and some security in their lives too which leads them to wonder; “can you find part-time remote work?”
The good news is that yes, you can find part-time remote work and, in fact, in some ways, it may be easier to find than full-time work. In addition to helping entrepreneurs and freelancers out, working part-time can also be a good way to gain remote work experience to convince employers to take a full-time chance on you.
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What’s Good About Part-Time Remote Work?
There are some clear benefits of working part-time remotely:
- It’s a good way for digital nomads to test the water. If you could persuade your boss to let you work remotely for some of the week, you might not be able to live in Thailand but you could certainly start working from a café or a co-working space and see how working, and traveling around, feels for size.
- There’s no commute. A part-time job is a pain when you’ve got other work on because most part-time work requires that you turn up somewhere. This is absolutely no use to a digital nomad and it’s exhausting to everyone else. It’s better to work remotely and save the time, the money and effort you put in commuting for working, instead.
- It’s often very flexible. We’ve found that part-time remote work rarely has tight schedules to work to. In fact, quite the opposite. Most employers will let you set (within reason) the hours you’re available each day and will let you move them around at a whim too. This is ideal for digital nomads who want to fit work around travel and we’ve never heard anyone find this to be a problem in any walk of life. Flexibility is usually a good thing.
- It lets you gain remote-work experience. This can’t be overstated as a benefit. Employers have begun to realize that not everyone is suited to remote work. The loss of face-to-face contact can really upset the working relationship for some people and thus, employers are more willing to take a chance on those with remote-work experience for full-time work.
- You can put a bit more money in the bank. Remote workers don’t need to wear a suit and tie or formal business-wear. They don’t need to buy expensive lunches from a sandwich shop because they can’t eat at their desks. And so on… working remotely can help you save money, though we would note that employers know this too and tend to pay a little less for remote workers than office workers.
How Do You Find Remote Work?
We’re not going to go into this in detail here, but you can start with our article on How to Find Remote Work with No Experience which is relevant even if you have some experience.
One thing we’d say for part-time remote work is that if you can shake your own network of friends and family to identify opportunities, it’s a lot better than trawling job boards and writing endless applications destined for the trashcan.
Then when you get an interview we’d recommend studying the 15 Most Common Remote Work Interview Questions and How To Handle Them.
And once you get the job, we’d also check out How To Create The Ideal Digital Nomad Work Routine which can help you keep that job too.
Other Than Digital Nomads, Are There Any Other People Who Can Benefit From Part-Time Remote Work?
Yes, of course, there are. If you’re looking to change career, for example, it can help to get some part-time work experience in the field that you’re looking to move into before making the leap – not only will this get you some experience to sell employers but it lets you decide whether the move is really right before you leap.
If you’re currently studying, then you could probably use some spare cash. Part-time remote work, in many ways, is a better option than working in a bar or restaurant. You’re more likely to learn useful skills that you can sell to employers when you finish and if you want to digital nomad, this is an essential step on the road to your freedom.
Also, if you have other (unpaid) commitments like caring for someone, or you have independent income (such as a pension or savings’ interest) and just need a little more cash, then part-time remote work could be the right way to get that money flowing.
What Kind Of Work Is Commonly Available As Part-Time Remote Work
In truth, you can get part-time remote work in nearly any field as long as it can be done remotely. So, you can’t get remote work as a dentist as it’s kind of important that you’re in the same room as the patient but there’s still a fairly wide variety of roles out there.
The most common of which include:
- No surprises, the most common form of remote work, programming/development, also offers the most common part-time opportunities. You’ll need some coding experience to take this on though, it’s a rare employer that will take a trainee on part-time and working remotely.
- Web design and development. This is also very common. It’s easy to find work maintaining and supporting websites, in particular, part-time. Most companies recognize that once their website is built, it’s not a full-time technical job to keep them up to date.
- Yes, my own humble profession can easily be done part-time. Though it’s more common to freelance part-time there are plenty of writing contracts out there for a few hours a week.
- Scheduling assistants. Making bookings and managing diaries is not usually a full-time job either. As long as you can be around to take some calls at some point and respond to e-mails, etc. then this could suit you down to the ground.
- Virtual assistants. Lots of admin can be done at any time, employers of VAs are looking for you to take on their work and get it back to them in a sensible amount of time. Most VAs work every day but not for all that many hours.
- Data-entry. Data-entry is an ideal part-time remote work job. It’s not very interesting and part-timers are often more motivated than full-time workers. The downside is that data-entry experience doesn’t lead to better work by itself.
- Customer care. Care operations around the world need out of hours cover, late nights, early mornings and sometimes even daytime operations (think a Thai company serving the United States – they want reps in your daytime while they’re all asleep). That’s the perfect recipe for part-time remote work.
- You need to be careful of transcription jobs. They’re often no better than slave labor, paying “$10 per audio hour” while neglecting to mention that even a transcriber with a proper transcription setup would take 3-4 hours to transcribe an audio hour and most of these jobs won’t provide the right equipment. But if you can get decent transcription work, it can easily be done remotely at any hour of the day.
- Life coaching appears to be a popular career among digital nomads. We’re not convinced there’s any money in it (and this is my area of professional expertise – I was one of the first qualified life coaches in the UK and I’m telling you that it’s the least useful skill that I have) but it can certainly be done remotely and part-time. It’s better, however, to develop other coaching skills (I am also a business coach, and this is way more valuable to me and to others) that people will pay for. Nobody needs life advice from a 24-year-old. Fact.
- Personal trainer. This is hard to do if you move every month, but we know quite a few people carving out niches by slow traveling and offering personal training services on Facebook expat groups. It’s not completely “digital” but it’s worth mentioning if you know how to help someone get the perfect abs.
Don’t forget that remote work tends to be paid a little less than office-based work, but the advantages usually outweigh the financial loss.
You should also keep an eye on benefits. In particular, many remote work roles should offer some (or ideally, all) of the money for any equipment or software you need. They may offer paid leave, health insurance, etc.
You can find part-time remote work and it’s not that hard to find. It’s the perfect way to start preparing for digital nomad life or to supplement freelance or entrepreneurial income and it offers more job security than working for yourself.
It won’t be as well paid, but it ought to come with some benefits and it will look good on your resume if you ever decide to pack up, go home and get an office job.
So, if you’re looking for part-time remote work, we wish you all the success in your job hunting. You can do it.