Looking for a more work-at-home friendly job? You’re not alone. But while telecommuting has long been promised as a cure to many ills — poor work-life balance, expensive child care and congested roadways, to name a few — U.S. firms have remained stubbornly lukewarm to the idea.
Yahoo famously banned teleworking in 2013, and the firm was hardly alone. A Gallup poll found last year that while four times more workers telecommute today than in 1995, growth has slowed to a trickle.
The average worker told Gallup they telecommute only two days per month, and only 9% work from home more than an office. Not surprisingly, few blue-collar workers or those without college degrees have ever worked from home.
“Telecommuting remains much more the exception than the rule,” Gallup said.
There are some small signs of change, however. Until recently, “working from home” meant putting in extra hours on nights and weekends. But Gallup’s poll found that working from home during business hours is starting to replace working at the office. “This represents a significant shift in the nature of telecommuting, from its use as a supplement to the normal workday to its use as a replacement for being in the office,” Gallup said.
Still, this slow conversion to flexible workplaces flies in the face of worker preferences, says FlexJobs, a site with job listings for professionals eyeing remote-friendly jobs. According to them, 80% to 90% of the workforce would like to telework at least part-time.
“Job seekers consistently report that telecommuting is the most desired form of flexible work, with many willing to take a pay cut, forfeit vacation time or give up matching retirement savings plans for a telecommuting work arrangement,” Sara Sutton Fell, the founder and CEO of FlexJobs, said in a press release. “In fact, millennials, who now comprise the largest generation in the workforce, placed flexible working ahead of other priorities such as professional development training, reputation of the companies’ leaders and a sense of purpose when evaluating a job prospect.”
Here are the top industries for remote-friendly jobs, according to FlexJobs.
- Medical & Health
- Customer Service
- Computer & IT
- Education & Training
And here are the employers who appeared most often in FlexJob’s listings between March 1 and May 31.
- UnitedHealth Group
- Connections Education
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Haynes & Company
- Anthem, Inc.
- University of Maryland University College
- Western Governor’s University
- Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Achieve Test Prep
- Wells Fargo
- LanguageLine Solutions
- Red Hat
Job listings from these firms include anything from full-time, work-at-home positions to occasional telework. (Note: This list doesn’t include firms which offer telework positions not listed on FlexJobs.)
Fell argues that companies who don’t advertise remote-friendly jobs are probably missing out on good workers. “Companies can attract and retain the best young talent by offering flexible work opportunities, and it benefits them as well, with studies showing teleworkers are more productive and less likely to take time off work than their office counterparts,” Fell said.
Remember, some employers check a version of your credit report as part of their application process, so if you plan on hunting for jobs in the near future, you may want to see where you stand. You can pull your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and view your free credit report summary each month on Credit.com.
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