Where to Find Top Remote Jobs for DesignersNovember 13, 2019
Evolution of the Workplace
According to one study, the percentage of the US workforce employed in ‘White Collar’ roles grew from less than 20% in 1900, to 60% in 2000. That trend has continued. But, no trend continues indefinitely.
Although the White Collar sector continues to be the largest sector, White Collar workers aren’t as tied to ‘The Office’ as they once were. More and more companies offer remote work, and more and more workers request it. One leading independent job board in the UK reported that the number of remote working positions advertised has more than doubled in the last 4 years. That’s striking enough, but it’s even more impressive when you consider the fact that, often, it costs companies more to employ remote workers. This is reflected in the salaries on offer. The same study found that, in almost every industry, the average salary for remote work was higher than the industry standard. Remote design jobs covered in the study paid 67.4% more than their equivalent office-based jobs. These companies know something. They understand the value of employing happy people and putting them in an environment in which they feel comfortable and creative.
On UIGiants we’re going to pay a significant attention to remote design jobs with an aim to become a top destination for digital designers to seek and employers to list full-time, part-time and freelance remote opportunities.
Why a Remote Design Job Could Be Right for You
Do you die a little on the daily commute? Would you like to move your ‘office’ to your living room? Or that cosy café down the street that does the best lattes? Or that bench that looks out over the sea?
Or, would you like the flexibility to spend more time with your family? Maybe spend the day with the kids, then catch up with work after they’ve gone to bed? Do you have health issues that make commuting a challenge?
Do you want to set your own schedule, working in the location of your choosing, while potentially earning more money? If so, then you might just be in luck. Some roles naturally lend themselves to remote work better than others, and graphic design, UX design, and other design roles are perfect. Whether you’re looking for part-time or full-time work, freelance commissions or salaried employment, there is likely a job out there for you.
Where to Find Remote Design Jobs
Obviously, there are the usual candidates. Search on indeed for UX design remote jobs, and you’ll be presented with several pages of results. Maybe you’ll immediately stumble across your dream job. Or maybe not. Not all of the results will necessarily be exactly what you’re after, and not all will actually be offering remote work. But a little bit of patience, a little bit of filtering, a little bit of digging, and you begin to get a picture of what opportunities are out there. The same is true of Upwork, CareerBuilder, WeWorkRemotely, Monster, and all the other major players.
Of course, these sites are where everyone will be looking. They serve their purpose and they’re useful for getting the lie of the land. If, however, you want a more focused, curated search, then there are plenty of sites catering specifically to the remote work market.
One of the best of these is FlexJobs. As the name implies, they focus on jobs that offer flexibility, in terms of location and hours. The jobs are helpfully sorted into a wide range of categories, including ‘Graphic Design’. This category is basically a catch-all, encompassing UX Design, Illustration, Experience Design, and every other design role you could expect. They also pride themselves on their screening process, so they essentially do the filtering and digging for you. As a result, you can be reasonably confident that every listing you see is, in their words, ‘legitimate, professional-level, and high-quality.’ It also means that most postings are pretty clear in laying out what you can expect from employers, and what employers expect from you. For example, do they provide you with hardware? Or reimburse you for software purchases? Or are you expected to be responsible for all purchases yourself? Every employer will have their own policy, and ideally, it should work out fairly for all parties, but it’s important that you know what you’re signing up for.
JustRemote is similar, but even more focused. The screening process might not be quite as rigorous as FlexJobs, but the positions offered are sorted into just four categories: Developer, Marketing, Design, and Manager/Exec. Under ‘Design’, we’re again presented with the full range of remote design jobs, all labeled as ‘fully remote’. Although the number of listings might not be as high as FlexJobs, there’s still plenty to whet the appetite.
Pangian styles itself as ‘The fastest-growing remote work community in the world.’ And they may well be correct. Many employers offering remote work still specify that they would like someone in a certain geographic area, or maybe just a certain time-zone. Sometimes, this makes sense. But Pangian is truly a world-wide operation. Yes, there are still some listings that might require you to be in a particular country, but there are lots more that will accept
applications from anywhere in the world. And isn’t that part of the beauty of remote work? Realistically, if you’re crossing time-zones, then you might need to be a bit more flexible occasionally. But, the odd conference call at an inconvenient hour is a small price to pay for the freedom of working from home.
Although Outsourcely doesn’t have the same number of job postings as some of the other sites we’ve looked at, it does have a good number of part-time roles. Part-time hours might not be for everyone, but if you’re looking to work remotely to give yourself more flexibility and more family time, then working part-time might be a useful option.
Other sites, such as Dribbble and Behance, do more than simply offer to link up employers with employees. They foster a true community of designers. They allow you to showcase your work. You can display projects that you are proud of, projects you’re working on. They help you to show any potential employers your skills, abilities and background. You can even see what everyone else is up to, so everyone can draw inspiration from one another. They
put your profile out there, so there’s always the chance that a potential client could see something they like in your work, and reach out.
There are lots of differences between the two sites. They both achieve some similar things, but in different ways, and it would pay to have a presence on both platforms. One thing they share, however, is a page of job listings with very easy-to-use search options. Dribbble tends to have more listings than Behance and even clearly labels each job which is ‘Remote Friendly’. Check them both regularly, as both sites post high-quality jobs, and are regularly updated.
Where to Find Freelance Design Jobs Remotely
We’ve looked at salaried jobs working for an employer. What if you want even more flexibility? What about remote freelance design jobs? Maybe you’ve always been employed, or maybe you’ve got some freelance experience? It’s likely you’ve generally been pretty near your clients, but that’s not always necessary. Remote freelance jobs are advertised in many places.
Fiverr appeared in 2010, linking clients with providers offering a huge range of services (or ‘gigs’). It grew quickly, and by 2013 it had amended its system to allow designers to charge more than the basic $5 per job. In fact, despite the site’s origins, it’s now possible to charge enough to make a comfortable wage, as long as you can attract the clients.
Naturally, it was followed by copycat sites. The imaginatively titled Fourerr is all but abandoned, but Zeerk has a busy graphic design community. People Per Hour does a similar thing, but with a focus on the UK.
Freelancer is a very busy board, with an almost-constant stream of projects being posted. Users are able to bid on projects ranging from ‘paraphrasing a technical report’ for a few dollars, to designing new interfaces for apps for several thousand dollars. Creating a profile doesn’t take long, then you can start bidding on as many jobs as you like. There are plenty of freelance UX design jobs and graphic design jobs, but also plenty of other data-entry work if you just want to earn a few extra dollars from home.
Further Advice for Finding Remote Design Jobs
The lists above have just scratched the surface. There are lots of other reputable sites, each offering something slightly different. Use these suggestions as a starting point, and explore. Find out which ones suit you best. But, also, be wary; there are a number of identikit sites making big promises, but with little to back them up. One site boldly claims that ‘We are given the newest and best remote job opportunities to give to our email subscribers.’ Clearly an unrealistic promise, when it’s plain to see just how many brilliant opportunities are available openly on all those other sites.
This last piece of advice is seemingly counterintuitive. Don’t get hung up on the word ‘remote’ being in a job description. Look for the job you want first, then see if the employer might be flexible enough to allow remote work. Like we said at the start; this is the direction the world is heading in. Any forward-thinking employer should be aware of that, and might be willing to compromise. They might not have planned to hire a remote worker, but maybe you
can give them a compelling reason to re-think.
Remote work is out there. You might be already looking for it, or you might be just starting to look for it. You might think you’re quite happy traveling to an office five days a week. If so, that’s obviously fine. But, still, check out these boards. Look at these sites regularly. The job of your dreams might just appear out of the blue.
Picture what you want out of your work. Picture what you want to achieve, how you want to achieve it, and how you want to balance it with your personal life. Whatever you’re picturing, that job almost certainly exists. And, if it’s going to be advertised anywhere, it’s likely to be on one of these sites.