Risks of Remote Jobs in Web3 and Crypto

  • Career Advice
  • Published on February 13, 2023

Remote work has become a popular trend recently, especially after Covid swept the world. Companies today are offering employees the flexibility and convenience of working from anywhere in the world. Remote work is nothing new in the Web3 & Crypto space, which was remote-friendly before Covid struck, and companies in our industry have embraced fully remote, anonymous and hybrid work setups since 2015. 

However, working for a remote company in the crypto & web3 space presents unique risks and challenges. From unexpected travel and home office expenses to the potential for isolation and miscommunication, remote workers must carefully evaluate the potential risks associated with a remote job in this field. This segment will explore the most important factors to consider when evaluating remote work opportunities in the crypto & web3 space, including the company's stability, its processes and communication systems, and the risks associated with contractor agreements. By taking the time to carefully evaluate the risks associated with a remote job in the crypto & web3 space, employees can make informed decisions about their work opportunities and ensure a positive work experience.

Unrealistic working hours expectations in remote work

One of the significant risks of remote work in the Web3 and Crypto space is the expectation of round-the-clock availability. Some companies might demand that their remote workers be available at all times, regardless of the time zone, which can lead to significant stress and burnout. This expectation can put immense pressure on remote employees, who must be on call 24/7, compromising their work-life balance. Moreover, the lack of clear boundaries between work and personal time can blur the lines, leading to overwork and disregarding the need for relaxation. Companies must have a clear understanding of their employees' availability. On the other hand, you have to set realistic expectations regarding work hours and availability. Make sure that you agree to this before signing any contracts. 

High cost to set up your home office:

Another risk of remote work in the Web3 and Crypto space is the cost of setting up a home office environment. If the company is not providing the necessary hardware and equipment, remote workers may have to pay for purchasing and maintaining it themselves. These costs can include a high-speed internet connection, a computer, a printer, a scanner, and other office equipment, among others. The costs can add up quickly, and remote workers must know these expenses before signing a contract. It is imperative to clarify the company's policy on providing hardware and the reimbursement process before starting work. Failure to do so can result in unexpected expenses and financial strain, affecting the remote worker's mental and financial health. Make sure you clarify this before signing a contract. Most companies today provide hardware and can even offer a budget for a standup desk and a good chair, so make sure you negotiate this upfront. If you work remotely as a contractor, all of these costs can be claimed in your tax report so that you can reduce the tax you have to pay at the end of the year. 

High travel requirements

Another consideration for remote work in the Web3 and Crypto space is the expectation of frequent travel. Some remote companies require workers to frequently travel to a headquarters or attend team events, which can burden those who do not enjoy or cannot afford extensive travel. While these events are essential for fostering communication and building team relationships, they can also disrupt the work-life balance of remote employees. The cost of travel and accommodations can add up, and the time spent traveling can take away from time you can spend on work or personal pursuits. It is crucial for remote workers to clearly understand the travel expectations before accepting a remote position and to ensure they are comfortable with the amount of travel required and which costs are covered by the company during trips. In most countries, you can also get travel expenses daily, besides the price of hotels, transport and flights. 

Risk of isolation

Another risk of remote work and the home office is the issue of isolation. Working from home can be lonely, and remote workers may miss the social interaction and camaraderie of working in a traditional office setting. This isolation can lead to feelings of boredom, lack of motivation, and burnout, affecting their mental and emotional well-being. To mitigate the effects of isolation, remote workers can consider finding a shared working space, such as a co-working space, where they can interact with other professionals and feel a sense of community. Co-working spaces provide an opportunity to network and collaborate, helping remote workers to stay motivated, productive, and engaged. By working in a shared environment, remote workers can overcome the isolation that often comes with working from home, improving their mental and emotional well-being. Many crypto companies offer a monthly budget for a co-working space or might have contracts with some of the typical providers (WeWork and Mindspace, to name a few). Make sure to clarify this before signing a contract if this is an essential topic for you. You can also deduct shared office spaces from your annual tax report in many countries, provided that you paid for them (and not your employer) 

Contract risk and lack of employment benefits

Another risk associated with remote work in the Web3 and Crypto space is the type of contract often offered to remote workers. Many companies want to refrain from registering local subsidiaries, so they prefer to employ remote candidates as contractors rather than employees on the payroll. Remote workers need to understand the implications of working as contractors and ensure that their contracts adequately protect their rights and interests. While this may seem convenient, contractors face different risks than employees on the payroll. Contractors are usually not eligible for health insurance, paid time off, or unemployment benefits. They also have limited job security and are often the first to be laid off during economic downturns. Additionally, labor laws usually do not protect contractors, making it more challenging to negotiate contracts and resolve disputes with their employers. 

Tax complications

Moreover, remote workers in all industries who are contractors receiving payment from a foreign entity should also be mindful of the additional effort required in their annual tax reports. Contractors are responsible for paying their taxes, and receiving payment from a foreign entity can make the tax reporting process more complex. Remote workers may need to navigate different tax laws, exchange rates, and currency conversions, which can be time-consuming and potentially costly. It is essential for remote workers to understand the tax implications of their contracts and to seek the guidance of a tax professional to ensure that they comply with the relevant tax laws. Hiring a tax consultant is another additional cost you must consider. Failing to report and pay taxes properly can result in fines, penalties, and legal consequences. 

Increase in your monthly bills.

It is also important to note that remote work and working from home can cause an increase in a worker's cost of living. The expenses of running a home office, such as electricity, heat, and a better internet connection, can increase over time. Additionally, remote workers who spend more time at home may incur increased costs for food, home maintenance, and other household expenses. These additional costs should be considered when evaluating the benefits of remote work and the overall financial impact of working from home. Remote workers need to understand the potential financial implications of working from home and budget accordingly.

Inadequate communication and inefficient remote policies

Last but not least, when considering remote work opportunities in the Web3 and Crypto space, it is vital to be mindful of the potential risks and challenges that can arise in a remote work environment. We find many remote companies in this field started by young founders who may need more experience setting up efficient processes and communication systems, which can increase the risk of challenges such as miscommunication, missed deadlines, and lack of accountability. Remote workers must carefully evaluate the remote company's experience, processes, and stability before accepting a job offer to ensure it is a good fit for their needs and goals. Some ways to find this out involve asking about the company's policies and procedures, reviewing their communication platforms, and speaking with current or former employees.

Summary: risks of remote jobs in Web3 and Crypto

In summary, working remotely in a Web3 and Crypto company is a great thing and a huge first step in modelling your life according to your needs. Still, remote workers should consider the cost of setting up a home office environment, the possibility of required travel, and the potential for isolation in a remote work setting. Finally, remote workers must be aware of the potential risks associated with contractor agreements, including the added effort and cost of preparing annual tax reports and potentially hiring a tax advisor. By being mindful of these potential risks, remote workers can make informed decisions about their remote work opportunities and reduce the risks associated with working for a remote company in the Web3 and Crypto space.