Why you should absolutely hire a remote UX writer

Why you should absolutely hire a remote UX writer

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Bobbie Wood
November 12, 2019


Hiring? Consider a remote UX writer!

If you’re having trouble finding qualified candidates, consider hiring a remote UX writer.

If you’re like many UX managers, the UX writer role might be new to your design team. 

How do you choose the right person for the job? Especially if the role is your first UX writer, you’ll need someone who knows how to get the job done without asking you what to do. You’ll need someone who:

  • Can confidently provide guidance to your whole design team
  • Understands how to integrate their work into your current UX process
  • Is able to juggle projects and can prioritize their own workload
  • Deeply understands how the writing impacts the business outcomes

In the past, one major criteria for selecting candidates was easy and obvious—proximity to the office.

But, hello, what? That doesn’t guarantee any of the above hiring criteria are met. If your pool of local candidates is slim, hire someone who can get the job done right. Hire a remote writer who’s prepared to do the job.

With the rise of remote work culture, and the ease of conducting business from anywhere in the world, you’ve got the option to hire a remote employee who can be (virtually) present and effective, just like an in-house employee.

Of course, with anything new there’s bound to be some pushback. While there might be legitimate reasons for your team to stick with an “in-office only” policy, think about why you’d stick to it. If the only reason you’re following that path is, “That’s the way it’s always been done,” or, “We tried that once,” it might be time to consider a shift.

So, what are the reasons hiring a remote UX writer might be your best option?  Here are some things we’d love for you to consider:

The most talented writer might be a remote UX writer

UX writing is a very specialized field. Most UX writers come to this line of work from another writing specialty, such as journalism or copywriting. Of course, there are many skills unique to UX writing (which we teach in our UX Writers Fundamentals Course).

If your needs include finding a candidate who can hit the ground running, it may not be possible to find someone with the necessary skillset in your local area. Sure, if you’re in the Bay Area or New York, there are plenty of writers to be found, but what about in areas where there’s not an abundance of UX writing talent? Hiring a remote writer is a great way to get the benefit of an experienced and skilled UX writer without having to rely on someone living close by or needing to relocate.

Save money—and the planet!

Not having to pay for office space for a UX writer is one way to save money on your overhead costs, but think about the great things you’ll also be doing for the planet! When a worker skips the morning and evening commute, just keeping that one car off the road can add up over time. Also, when people are working remotely, less paper gets printed and passed around at meetings, saving trees. It might seem like a little thing, but over time these little things can add up to a big boost for our planet and a boost to your bottom line.

Trust the tech and easily stay connected 

Let’s face it—even when we’re working in-office on large campuses, many of the meetings happen remotely via video conferencing and virtual communication with tools like Zoom, Hangouts, and Slack. If you’re already talking to members of your team by video call who are 200 feet away from you, why should it matter if they’re 200 miles away?

Again, it goes back to doing things the way we’ve always done them. Sometimes companies have a no remote policy simply because that’s how it’s always worked. Of course, sometimes it’s due to bad experiences with remote employees who don’t get their job done, which leads us to our next point.

Set healthy guidelines and expectations 

Most writers working remotely already know how to set up guidelines to make sure their work gets done in a timely manner and how to stay connected to their team.

But, to ensure a remote employee works out, there’s nothing wrong with setting very specific guidelines and expectations when hiring. Some ideas about expectations that work well for remote relationships:

  • Being consistently available during normal business hours for your location
  • Setting concrete deadlines for specific deliverables
  • Making attendance mandatory for meetings via video conferencing (and expecting full participation in those meetings as though they were in the room)
  • Remaining easy to get in touch with at a moment’s notice whether that’s by phone, Slack, text message, or other channels

In the interview process you should feel free to ask a potential hire whether they’ve worked remotely before, and if so, have them speak to their experience.

It’s true that remote work won’t be a fit for everyone, but if someone has done it successfully in the past, that’s a good indicator they’d do fine in the future. By setting up some guidelines from the start, you’ll ensure a good, productive working relationship with your writer, and avoid awkward hiccups along the way.

A remote UX writer can make a more diverse team!

This reason alone should be compelling enough to get you to consider choosing a remote worker. When it comes to diversifying staff, one great way to do so is geographically.

When you’re working for a company for a long time it can be easy to hire the same type of people, living in the same area, who think similarly. Choosing someone from outside your local area can help breathe new life into your team by bringing in fresh ideas and perspectives. It’s also a great way for teams located in one of the “tech bubbles” to get out and experience working with people who have different points of view. This is critical for UX teams because we serve diverse audiences. Let’s design for everyone by hiring diverse teams.

Ready to go remote? 

When you’re looking for your next (or first!) UX writer, consider hiring one of our certified course graduates. They’re prepared to fully support your team. Hiring remote might be the path to hiring that brilliant writer you’ve been hoping for. Give it a try!

Additional thanks to Melissa Williams who co-authored this post (and is available for remote work).


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