Working from home is still a thing thanks to FlexJobs.com

For the past seven years, Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs.com has helped techies, and others, work flexible jobs. Work from home isn't just for stay-at-home moms or socially inept nerds; it's for everyone who has the discipline to do it.
Written by Ken Hess, Contributor

I had the pleasure of speaking with Sara Sutton Fell of FlexJobs.com a few days ago and I was shocked at the amount of growth in flexible jobs and work from home opportunities. Now, these aren't the "work from home" opportunities that you see in SPAM emails, advertised on questionable websites, or in the classifieds; these are real jobs. If you doubt it, sign up for a free account at flexjobs.com and see for yourself. The free account allows you to search for jobs but to apply, you have to sign up for a subscription. It's very inexpensive and you can see the jobs before you pay.

If you're in the technology field, you've probably worked from home, at least part of the time, in the past ten years since the widespread availability of broadband internet connectivity. Personally, I've worked at home for the better part of the past ten years. I've been part of various virtual teams that span the globe. I love working from home. It gives me the ability to avoid an often dangerous commute (seriously) and it gives me the freedom to take my kids to school and pick them up in the afternoon and avoid expensive daycare costs. Working from home has been the most valuable benefit, besides comprehensive healthcare, that I've ever had.

But "flexible" doesn't necessarily mean work from home. It could mean that the hours and days are flexible or that you only have to commute to a physical office two to three days per week. It can mean so many things that flexible is almost too restrictive a term for all the possibilities that exist.

For me, flexible means remote, work from home. I prefer to work from home. Some people would rather be around other people. However, cubicle farms and no windows don't really excite me. Sure, often I work longer hours from home but the benefits far outweigh the downsides — for me anyway.

During our podcast, Sara Fell and I discuss various aspects of flexible jobs such as her experiences with remote work, my personal experience with remote work, job markets, and trends. We also briefly touch on the fact that some companies are pulling their employees back into offices — started by Yahoo's current CEO, Marissa Mayer.

Podcast info:

Format: MP3. Length: 30:23 minutes. Rating: G.

Sara Sutton Fell CEO of FlexJobs.com

I also told her about a former co-worker of mine who said that "Working from home is 21st century slavery." His statement arose from a conversation we had when talking about how many hours we were working. The strange expectation is that even if you work all night long, which is often the case in IT, that you should "show up" at work the next day, fresh and ready to engage in meetings and take on "action items" before the next all-nighter rolls around.

I think that high expectation possibly is an offshoot of working remotely. Because you're at home, you don't need as much rest or that you're more rested because you're at home. I'm not sure that the hour-long daily commutes of our office-bound counterparts fully offsets the extra work that we have to do.

There are so many distractions at work: loud talking, people walking by, interesting ringtones going off, housekeeping, the weird vibrations from people walking around, and the noise from the HVAC system. It's all a little maddening. People seem edgier in the office. Possibly because of the noise or perhaps it's just that IT people can't function in social settings. In any case, I'm far more efficient at home. Others have reported similar results as well.

Remote jobs for professionals grew 118 percent last year, according to new analysis by FlexJobs, a company that specializes in remote job listings and the online job market. The data analyzed by FlexJobs compared the number of professional-level jobs that allow people to work from home posted in 2012 versus 2013.

"The growth in remote jobs since 2007, when I founded FlexJobs, is amazing," shared Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs. "I strongly believed that we were tapping into a promising market back then, but it’s thrilling to see the increase in both volume and variety of top companies integrating telecommuting options as part of their workplace culture. This year is looking to be another big growth year in terms of remote job opportunities."

Several career fields stood out in terms of the growth of remote job opportunities over the last year, according to FlexJobs' data. The career fields with the highest increase in at-home job listings include:

  • Retail increased 85.04%
  • Travel & Hospitality increased 68.18%
  • Medical & Health increased 64.16%
  • Insurance increased 51.78%
  • Bilingual increased 49.43%

Global Workplace Analytics' studies find that on average, a telecommuter is college-educated, 49 years old, and earns an annual salary of $58,000 while working for a company with more than 100 employees. By that same measure, the consulting and research firm, which focuses on the business case for emerging workplace strategies, reports that 75 percent of employees who work from home earn over $65,000 per year, putting them in the upper 80th percentile of all employees, home or office-based.

“Not only has technology made it possible to work outside of a traditional office building, but now there are so many tools available that help increase effective communication,” added Sutton Fell. “Smart companies are embracing remote work because of its productivity and cost benefits, and because it’s truly possible to have a cohesive, collaborative, and successful remote team.”

In fact, Gallup recently conducted an extensive employee engagement study and found that employees who have a remote component to their job arrangements are more engaged than those who spend no time working remotely. Employees who spent 20-50 percent of their time working remotely were both the most engaged and among the lowest level of “actively disengaged” employees.

To learn more, visit: http://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/work-from-anywhere-jobs-increase-118/

About FlexJobs
FlexJobs is the leading online service for professionals seeking telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs. With job listings in over 50 career categories and opportunities ranging from entry-level to executive, freelance to full-time, FlexJobs offers job seekers a safe, easy, and efficient way to find professional and legitimate flexible job listings. Having helped over a half million people in their job searches, FlexJobs has been featured on CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Good Morning America, among hundreds of other trusted media outlets and is a proud partner in the 1 Million for Work Flexibility initiative.

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One of the things I find interesting from searching the FlexJobs.com site is that there are hundreds of well-paying jobs that fall into the category of flexible, work from home, and freelance. I'm impressed that the industry has evolved such that people can enjoy their jobs more, work more efficiently, and put in a good day's work — from their homes or in some flexible configuration that suits them and their employers.

It's no secret that I like to help people find jobs. I've helped a lot of people over the years find jobs or find better jobs. That's what this post is about: helping people find jobs that work for them. Best of luck to you in your efforts.

Do you work from home or have a flexible job that you like? Have you used FlexJobs.com? What are your thoughts on flexible jobs and remote work? Talk back and let me know.

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