Working remotely is becoming easier and more economic.

Christine is a journalist from South Africa, who has lived and worked in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, covering everything from hard news to art to business & tech. Having been bitten by the travel bug as an infant, Christine finds it fairly easy to uproot herself in search of new adventures and stories. With degrees in both fine arts and journalism, she’s equally interested in visual storytelling as well as the written word. Having been part of three launch teams of three different media startups in her lifetime, she’s intimately familiar with what it takes to get a publication off the ground.
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With technology now allowing us to stay connected almost 24/7, working remotely is becoming more and more appealing. Even Saudi Arabian companies are adopting this idea.

This week, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development revealed that they’ve found over 500 companies in 70 cities around the Kingdom now offering new business practices that allow individuals to work remotely or from home.

These include freelancing or remote contract work; and are offered to those who have special skills needed by companies on a regular but not full-time basis. TSuch jobs are attractive to Saudi women who have to stay at home, people with special needs and those who cannot travel to business headquarters.

A Saudi IT expert, Adel Al-Qahtani, said that because there are numerous websites that keep track of qualified personnel and specialists, and provide economic consultancy and analysis from home, paid employee could be monitored and salaries could be shared and updated.

“Thanks to technology there is no need for personal interviews anymore to convince the employer [of] one’s abilities and skills,” a Saudi designer, Abdullah Al-Husseini, told Saudi Gazette. “Once the applicant sends a cover letter to the employer with documents to support education and work experience, it is enough to convince the company to accept or reject the person,” he said.

Of course, working from home isn’t for everyone.

“It requires three remarkable qualities — enthusiasm to finish the required work, respect for schedules and lack of lethargy that leads to accumulation of work,” says Saudi social researcher, Amani Al-Olayan.

Recent reports from websites like E-lance and UpWork revealed that in the US, up to 34% of those using the sites rely on self-employment online as a major source of income.