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It is not unusual for companies to allow their programmers to work remotely. Remote work is gaining in popularity among both workers and employers for several reasons. Employees enjoy the flexibility and convenience of being able to work from the comfort of their homes, while employers like that it cuts down on their overhead costs and keeps employees happy. Programming is an occupation that lends itself very well to remote work, so it is not usually difficult to negotiate the ability to work from home at least some of the time.

Programmers Work In Every Industry

Before addressing the question of whether many companies allow their programmers to work remotely, it is important to note the various capacities in which programmers provide their services. Programmers create computer code and can work in any industry, each largely with its attitudes regarding remote work. Because every industry uses computer software, programmers can work at companies in any field from finance to entertainment. They typically work alone, although team communication might be needed when collaborating on a project. Most programmers create software of various sorts, but diversity is substantial. Some create productivity software for businesses while others create video games or mobile applications. Creating the operating systems devices use to function is also the job of programmers. Typically, industries with more traditional attitudes are less likely to offer remote work opportunities than newer industries or smaller firms.

How Common Is Remote Work For This Occupation?

The ability to work from home is fairly common among programmers because all they need to do their work is a computer, the right software and an Internet connection. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many programmers work from home. Even companies that don’t currently allow employees to work remotely may be convinced to do so now or in the future. Some companies will hire programmers to work on-site with the possibility of working remotely once established. Other companies, particularly online-based businesses, hire remote programmer positions all the time. It mostly depends on the individual company. Small hip startups are more likely to allow remote work than larger, established firms. The fact that programming is a tech position works in the favor of programmers who want to work remotely because technology firms understand the need for innovation even more than most industries. Remote work is a popular idea that is catching on.

How Programmers Can Convince Their Employers To Let Them Work Remotely

Programmers who hold a traditional office job have the option of approaching their managers and asking to work remotely. In positions like this, it is unlikely employees will be able to transition to working remotely 100 percent of the time, although it’s not impossible. What is more likely is to gain permission to work from home a few days out of the week, an arrangement many employers are open to.

Programmers who want to convince their employers to let them work remotely need to frame the argument from the employer. Be prepared to explain how it benefits them. Key benefits include saving money on office supplies, overhead costs and helping to support a healthier work-life balance for their employees. Programmers can also introduce their employers to technology that makes remote work possible, which can include team messaging apps, cloud software and time tracking tools.

How To Get A Remote Job

Programmers who are still on the job hunt or who want to change jobs can specifically target a remote role. The most effective way to do this is to frequent online job boards dedicated to listing remote jobs such as FlexJobs, Remote.co or We Work Remotely. There are job boards that specifically focus on tech jobs as well. This way, programmers are only looking at jobs that are entirely remote or allow for remote work. The process of applying for a remote job is very similar to applying for a traditional job. Candidates are usually required to send in their resume and a cover letter. Programmers may be required to take a test to prove their knowledge or provide samples of previous work. Candidates who make it to the next stage are usually given a phone interview, a video interview or both. If the company likes what they see, they will then extend an offer. Because an unfortunate number of work from home opportunities are scams, The Balance advises remote job seekers to look out for red flags such as upfront payments, companies without much of a web presence or if the opportunity sounds too good to be true.

Working As A Freelance Programmer Is An Option

Many programmers work for themselves as freelancers. This is a viable option for anyone whose goal is to own and manage their own business, which is easier to do now than ever before due to the Internet and various low-cost technological solutions for small business owners. Most freelance programmers work out of home offices. It can be easier to work as a freelance programmer remotely because according to Fast Company many companies are looking to outsource coding and programming tasks to save money. Programmers can take advantage of that trend to work for themselves and take jobs from many clients to make a living. Freelancers can use bidding sites such as Upwork and Freelancer to find jobs as well as build their businesses off their websites and pitch to potential clients. Know that programmers who want to go into business for themselves need skills besides coding. They need to have an excellent work ethic, a will to succeed, the ability to handle administrative tasks, good financial sense and some basic, solid marketing skills.

Remote work and, relatedly, the gig economy, seem to be where the future of business is headed, at least for large swaths of people. Programmers and other tech professionals are leading the charge thanks to their ability to work from anywhere and their strong understanding of technological tools. Many companies allow their programmers to work remotely, and those numbers are only likely to grow in the coming years.

Related Resources:

What’s the Difference Between Coding and Programming?

Will a Math Degree Help Me Get Into a Computer Science Master’s Program?

Should I Get a Master’s Degree to Be a Programmer?

Are There Any Good Blogs About Programming?

How Should I Prepare for a Job Interview as a Programmer?