Dawn-Michelle Lewis is starting her own business so she can earn more and enjoy her job, while retaining the benefits of remote work.
Dawn Michel-Lewis

  • Dawn-Michelle Lewis likes remote work, but not her remote job.
  • He started his own business in the hope of getting a permanent job from home on his own terms.
  • As WFH-job postings dwindle, some workers are clinging to their remote roles.

If all goes according to plan, Dawn-Michel Lewis will be her own boss this October at the age of 31.

A project manager based in Pennsylvania works remotely for a company that creates podcasts for marketing purposes. While she loves the flexibility of working remotely, she told Insider that she had a “wake-up call” earlier this year on a trip with friends when she realized she wasn’t making enough to justify all her work. She earns $15 an hour, according to Paystab seen by Insider.

In January, she began looking for a higher-paying job in a completely distant field that was more aligned with her interests. But she said the job search hasn’t been successful yet, and while she plans to continue applying, she has a backup plan.

“I decided to use my free time to build my own remote-work company where I can do what I love and report only to myself,” she said. In March, he officially launched media-production company Salutations Media Co. She started. While it’s still in the “pre-revenue” phase, she said she’s optimistic and has put together a “team of experts.”

If her job search doesn’t work out, Lewis hopes her business will provide her with a way to find the best of both worlds — a remote job she enjoys.

Lewis’ story reflects the questions many Americans who work remotely are wrestling with: How much do I value my job, and how much do I value the flexibility my job affords me?

Many researchers have found a connection between remote work and happier employees. Nearly half of surveyed U.S. remote workers said they would be willing to take a pay cut of up to 5% to continue working remotely at least part-time, according to a state remote work survey conducted last September by Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics.

But as the number of remote-job postings declines, workers like Lewis may have to decide whether it’s worth staying in a job they don’t like — or a place with lower pay — to keep the benefits of remote work.

As of March, about 13% of job postings were remote, according to staffing firm Manpower Group, down from 17% in March 2022, but up from the pre-pandemic level of 4%. The share of remote postings could drop to 10% by the end of 2023, Nick Bloom, a leading work-at-home researcher and Stanford economist, previously told Insider.

And with some companies calling employees back to the office, starting a remote business may be the only way for workers like Lewis to guarantee they can work from home forever.

Not only does Louise love the flexibility of remote work, but she said maintaining a remote position is necessary for her and her husband — who also works remotely — to maintain their lifestyle, which has included taking a short trip once a month for the past year. The remote work, she said, will make it possible for her to visit her husband’s family in India for six weeks later this year and still have some vacation time when they return.

Telecommuting also saves them money on transportation — they sold one of their two vehicles — and allows them to live wherever they want.

“The ultimate goal is to work for myself,” she said. “The beauty of the company I’m building is that I have the opportunity to work with people from all over the world. I want to give people the same opportunity to work remotely that I’ve had.”

Are you a remote worker struggling to decide whether to quit your job or share your story? If so, contact this reporter [email protected].

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