Work From Home

The Types of Remote Workers: Which One Are You?

May 10, 2023

Working remotely has become increasingly popular in recent years and for good reason! The freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere in the world while still earning a steady income is a dream come true for many. I’ve been working remotely full-time since 2017 and have found there are 5 main types of remote workers. […]

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Working remotely has become increasingly popular in recent years and for good reason! The freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere in the world while still earning a steady income is a dream come true for many. I’ve been working remotely full-time since 2017 and have found there are 5 main types of remote workers. Don’t worry! I’ve been there, done that, and got the virtual t-shirt in each category, so you can trust me to give you the inside scoop.

The Virtual Employee

The first type of remote worker is the Virtual Employee. These virtual unicorns are the ones who can simultaneously attend a meeting, walk their dog, and brew a fresh pot of coffee, all while making bank from the comfort of their own home. The virtual employee’s job expectations and responsibilities are very similar to the in-office employees, except you don’t have to go into the office. While you have the flexibility to work from mostly* anywhere, your hours are typically not flexible. *Employers can restrict you from working outside of the state or even the country.

The virtual employee gets the same type of benefits as an in-office employee, like stable pay, consistent hours, vacation time, and sick leave, and your employer pays taxes on your behalf.

A woman sits at a desk in her home office with two computer monitors displaying work-related content: representing the virtual employee, one of the 5 types of remote workers.

Examples of virtual employees:

  • Virtual Assistant
  • Human Resources
  • Customer Support
  • Project Manager
  • Account Manager
  • Marketing Support
  • Creative Director
  • Legal Professionals
  • Software Developer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Content Writer
  • Teacher or Tutor
  • Data Entry Specialist
  • Event Planner
  • Sales Representative
  • Medical Professionals

The Freelancers/ Independent Contractors

Next up, we have the freelancers. Freelancers are like superheroes of the working world, using their unique abilities to create awesome things for clients and get paid for them. Freelancers are not employees. They are independent contractors who work for themselves. You have the freedom to choose your own clients, projects, and working hours. You can set your own rates, work with multiple clients, and choose to work from wherever you want. You can choose to work hourly or per project.

Freelancers do not get company benefits like vacation time, sick leave, or salary pay, and the client does not submit taxes on your behalf.

An image of a girl freelancer sitting on a rock by the sea at sunset, typing on her laptop. This image represents five types of remote workers: a freelancer or independent contractor, who works for themselves and can work from anywhere; a virtual employee, who can work from home or any remote location with stable pay and benefits; a content creator, who can use their creativity to make digital content for an online audience; a virtual coach or consultant, who can work with clients from anywhere to help them reach their goals; and a virtual entrepreneur, who can turn an idea into a thriving online business while living life on their own terms.

Examples of freelancers:

  • Designer or Developer
  • Bookkeeping
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Copywriter
  • Journalist
  • Social Media Manager
  • Podcast Manager
  • Online Tutor
  • Digital Marketing
  • Creative Director
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Transcriber
  • SEO Specialist
  • Digital Ads Specialist
  • Online Business Manager

Digital Content Creators

Content creators are like modern-day magicians, conjuring up words, images, and videos that captivate audiences and keep them coming back for more. They have the power to turn their creativity into cash, using their unique talents to build a loyal audience and make a living doing what they love.

Content creators get paid to be creative and make digital content for an audience online. It can be for a specific brand or for an audience you create on social media. You are typically paid per project.

Content creators are independent contractors so they set their own rates, have flexible hours, and can work from anywhere in the world.

A photographer sets up a jewelry photoshoot on the beach. This photo showcases a content creator, who is one of the five types of remote workers. Content creators make a living by producing digital content, including photography, videos, and written material, to build an audience online. They can work with specific brands or build their own following on social media.

Examples of content creators:

  • Blogger
  • Youtuber
  • Podcaster
  • Videographer
  • Affiliate Marketer
  • Influencer
  • UGC Creator

Virtual Coaches or Consultants

Virtual coaches and consultants are like your own personal cheerleaders and guides rolled into one! They’re the ones who can help you unlock your full potential, reach your goals, and make your dreams a reality. With their expert advice and support, they can help you overcome obstacles, develop new skills, and take your career or business to the next level.

Coaches and consultants help their clients achieve a goal, but they are a little different.

Coaches typically work with individuals to help them achieve their goals, and consultants typically work with larger companies and teams.

Examples of coaches & consultants

  • Career
  • Health/Wellness
  • Fitness
  • Life/Lifestyle
  • Money
  • Public Speaking
  • Relationships
  • Social Media
  • Business
  • IT/Technology
  • Human Resources
  • Operations
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Legal
  • Compliance

Virtual Entrepreneurs

Finally, we have the Virtual Entrepreneurs who are like the rock stars of the business world – they’re bold, innovative, and not afraid to take risks. They’re the ones who can turn a simple idea into a thriving online business, using their creativity and business savvy to create something truly special. They can make a great living doing what they love, all while living life on their own terms. You have a passion for entrepreneurship and enjoy the challenge of building a business online. Honestly, this is probably one of the most demanding types of remote workers, because you are essentially responsible for everything.

As a virtual entrepreneur, you can choose to work as a solopreneur or lead a team.

As a solopreneur, you manage and run your business independently, or you can lead a team of employees or contractors who work on your behalf.

Examples of virtual entrepreneurs:

  • Social Media Manager
  • Graphic Designer
  • Website Designer
  • E-Commerce Storefront
  • Marketing Agency
  • Online Courses
  • Online Memberships
  • HR& Recruitment
  • Online Coach or Consultant
  • Virtual Assistant
  • SEO Expert
  • Real-estate agent/ broker
  • Online Business Manager
  • Photographer or Videographer
  • Attorney
  • Accountant

If you’re considering remote work as a career path, it’s important to understand the different types of remote workers and what each category entails. As someone who has worked in each category, I can attest to the pros and cons of each. Whether you’re a virtual employee, a freelancer, a content creator, a coach/consultant, or a virtual entrepreneur, remote work can offer you the flexibility and freedom to create the life you want.

However, remote work also has its challenges, such as isolation, self-discipline, managing your own finances, and understanding the legal side. That’s why I’ve created the Virtual Career Accelerator, a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the remote working space and build a successful career. With the right mindset, skills, and support, you can thrive as a remote worker and achieve your dreams. So, take the first step and check out the Virtual Career Accelerator today!

A girl sitting at a desk, writing the types of remote workers in a notebook next to a stack of money and her laptop. She thinks about being a content creator, writing blog posts or social media content, or a digital artist, creating graphics or illustrations for clients. She could also be a freelance writer, crafting articles for publications, or a virtual assistant, managing social media accounts for clients. Finally, she could be a virtual coach, developing course material or coaching plans for clients.
Tiffany Coyle
Author: Tiffany Coyle

Tiffany Coyle is an online marketing expert and CEO of Twinning Pros, an organic marketing company. She is also the founder of Virtual Career Girl. She teaches women how to swap their day job for their dream job by starting an online business.

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Im a 3x entrepreneur with a passion for helping big dreamers like you turn your ideas into profitable businesses and side-hustles.

Back in 2017, I was just like you - grinding away in corporate America, longing for a life of freedom and passion. That's when I took the leap and started my first online business.

Now, I am lucky enough to help women from all over the globe turn their dreams into reality from my home in Bergen, Norway.

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