Work used to be so mechanical. You wake up at 5:00am, prepare breakfast, pack lunch, take a quick shower then head out the door to what most certainly would be the morning rush hour. But as expected, technology found a way to shake things up. Work and lifestyle have become flexible. In fact, technology has merged them by creating the means to work anywhere in the world. Today, there are startups that allow you to work remotely.

If you’ve freelanced before, then you know what it means to work remotely. You can wake up at 5:00am, prepare breakfast, take a quick shower, go back for another cup of coffee then head out to your home office to start working. There is no morning rush hour to contend with. Unless you head downtown and have your morning brew at your favorite coffee shop.

And while you’re there, you can work too.

Remote work at your favorite coffee shop.

Remote work is similar to freelance work in that you get to choose where you work. The only difference is that with remote work, you work directly with a company and are part of its remote team.

Since 2014, more companies particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom have been integrating remote teams in their work force. Back then, remote workers or telecommuters comprised 10% to 15% of the work force.

Today it is estimated that 30% to 45% of most US companies are composed of telecommuters. A study by Virgin Media Business Report estimates that by 2020 more than 60% of the workforce will be telecommuters.

For these companies, remote work provides several advantages:

  • Streamlines cost
  • Improves productivity
  • Lowers employee turnover
  • Enhances business flexibility
  • Acquire global talent

For the remote worker, you have greater job security and stability that comes with working with a team. Many of these companies do not require you to punch in and out at required hours, allowing more flexibility with your work times. All you need to do is to turn in your work at the required deadline.

Occasionally, you have to meet with the rest of the team which is great because you expand your network, learn on the job and potentially move yourself higher in the virtual hierarchy.

Many of the companies are that hire remote workers are startups. They do not localize their search for talent. They will scour the world for talent from Asia, Europe and other regions.

This way, they can take advantage of comparative cost advantages and economies of scale. Remote work is a consequence of becoming a global economy.

But where do you find startups that allow you to work remotely? You can start your search in your own work environment; the Internet.

Here are the best websites to find startups for remote work:

  1. Toptal. This company is on a mission to bring the culture of remote work directly to the rest of the world. Toptal’s own team of 110 employees are distributed all over the world. The company endeavors to connect the top 3% of the world’s software developers with the best tech companies for remote work.
  2. Buffer. Buffer is a company that provides its clients the tools to build an online audience. Their team of 85 people is spread all over the world, across 7 time zones from Hawaii to Paris. Buffer uses time zone differential to have their business run 24 hours.
  3. Upworthy. Do you want to work in a company that allows you to share what is on your mind? Upworthy is a popular content distribution company that tackles prevailing issues in society. The entire staff of the company is distributed worldwide and are encouraged to take vacations.
  4. GitHub. This is a community where developers can access more than 24 million projects. GitHub encourages people to work wherever and however they want to produce the needed results.
  5. Basecamp. Basecamp is a Chicago-based company that provides project management tools. But its work force are distributed across 26 cities worldwide.
  6. FlexJobs. There are over 50 career categories to choose from; freelance, full time, executive or entry level. The best part of FlexJobs is they qualify all job openings to make sure there are no risks in applying. There are more than 20,000 job openings to choose from.
  7. Skip The Drive. With a name that summarizes why it’s great to work remotely, Skip The Drive provides a good listing of remote jobs to choose from.
  8. Elance. One of the most popular sites for finding freelance and remote work continues to chart new territories for companies and service providers. Elance merged with O-Desk in 2013 creating one of the largest communities for online work.
  9. Guru. Another fast-growing work community that allows you to create an online portfolio with your profile.
  10. Indeed. An innovator in the search for remote work; Indeed pulls in data and information on all available remote jobs around the world. Indeed boasts of a robust community board. There are more than 2,000 remote jobs to choose from.
  11. Monster. Despite its tedious approach to creating your online profile, Monster can help you find your dream remote job. Once you sign up, the site will regularly e-mail you of notifications if there is a company that is interested in hiring your services.
  12. Freelancer.com. Contrary to claims by Elance, freelancer.com boldly states it is the world’s largest community for freelancers and remote workers. Freelancer has an interesting approach where you have to place a bid for the job you like. You can improve your chances by taking paid tests to enhance your online profile.

There are other online sites that you can visit to search for the best career opportunities for remote work. The proliferation of these online sites is further proof that the business community has become truly global.

This trend is expected to continue well into the next 5 to 10 years. With globalization come the challenges of uncertainty, ambiguity and potential volatility. The approach is no longer to find fixed, mechanical solutions but adapt flexibility and mobility strategies into business development.

An increasing number of companies are acknowledging the power of digital technology and the influence of the Internet to bridge oceans and find the best talent in the world.