I’ve worked in strict corporate environments, modern flexible startups, and my own home office. I’ve spent my days in traditional cubicles and bustling co-working spaces, as well as on trains, planes, and my couch. And while every experience has been valuable, I’d be lying if I said working from home wasn’t my absolute favorite.
I’m 100 percent on the remote work bandwagon, and I can see why 2.9 percent of the workforce (about 3.9 million people) are working remotely at least on a part-time basis. Percentage-wise it may not seem like much, but I know plenty of people who would love to be part of that 2.9 percent — which is why I did some digging and found the top industries, companies, and roles for remote work.
I wanted to learn more about this new remote world we’re living in, so I consulted a report from FlexJobs that shed some major light on the state of telecommuting in the U.S. Let’s dive into my findings so you can say goodbye to that frigid office air conditioning and hello to casual Friday 24/7.
Start at Your Current Job
Before you launch into a job search with the intent of finding remote work, speak with your current company about your options. I once worked in a corporate environment that was so strict that we were assigned times we could go to lunch. No one ever imagined they would have allowed an employee to work remotely. But when an employee of many years who was in good standing explained he needed to move to a less expensive locale so he could afford to have more children, they allowed him to work remotely.
Every office has different policies and every employee has different life circumstances. So start by being honest with your manager and see if any compromises may be made. Working remotely two days a week might help you cut back on your commute and stress while keeping your employers feeling comfortable by being able to touch base with you in person. If you aren’t able to find a remote working solution that works for both parties, it may be time to look for a new job.
I thought I could predict which industries were most accepting of remote work, and some were obvious, like the tech field, but others came as a bit of a surprise. The biggest career fields with remote jobs were:
- medical and health
- computer and IT
- education and training
- customer service
- accounting and finance
- travel and hospitality
If you’ve forged a career in an industry not on this list, have no fear! The following industries’ remote opportunities are growing:
- virtual administration
- client services
- state and local government
If you’re flexible on which industry you’re working in, why not consider a company that is already encouraging of remote work? According to FlexJobs, these 30 companies are very remote-friendly. Lists like this are extremely helpful because it can help you target your job search to companies you know will be supportive of remote work. This list from Forbes is even more expansive and features big names like CVS Health, HD Supply, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, JPMorgan Chase, American Express, Adobe, Toyota, Nielsen, Wells Fargo, SalesForce, and Dell.
Tech companies seem to reign supreme when it comes to remote work, but Williams-Sonoma made the list too, and who could say no to an employee discount there?
Like the top industries, the top roles for remote work surprised me. Some roles were obvious, like writers, but I never thought teachers or nurses would make the list (I guess we really are living in a digital world!). Other top roles for remote work include everything from accountants to engineers to medical coders, so check out the list for all your possible opportunities!
Your Job Search
Of course, if none of these companies, industries, or roles appeal to you, you can always search job sites for remote work specifically. Just add “remote” to the location field of your search and some good options should appear. Creative industries and startups are also great places to target your search. Working for yourself is another option and we have some great resources for you on working as a freelancer. Or if starting your own business has more of an appeal, check out some of these articles.