Virginia attorney Maria C. Simon started her career at a traditional law office, but found she needed more flexibility in her life than commuting to a Washington, D.C., workplace would allow.
Working from home was her solution, and it could be yours, too, if you job-hunt wisely, and avoid falling prey to ripoffs.
“After I had my son, I wanted to make a switch to a job that would permit me more work-life balance,” Simon recently told Remote.co, a remote-work organization that compiled the best practices of 122 companies representing 24,000 workers.
Simon joined The Geller Law Group, a Fairfax, Virginia-based firm specializing in estate planning, small businesses and family law, and described by The New York Times as a “woman-led law firm that lets partners be parents.”
The law firm’s remote work structure, allows Simon “the ability to be at home with my son during breakfast and dinner, catch up on work after normal work hours as needed, and not have to endure a painful commute wasting precious minutes in the car,” she said in her Remote.co interview.
And her team benefits too, she said. Working remotely encourages them to be self-starters and manage their time effectively while also providing them flexibility.
Sound like an ideal solution for you, too? Companies are also finding it suits them.
Already 3.9 million U.S. employees — 2.9 percent of the total U.S. workforce — work from home at least half the time, says a new study by FlexJobs, a subscription-based website that screens job postings for legitimacy. That’s up from 1.8 million in 2005. (See FlexJobs’ Top 100 companies with remote jobs below.)
“Telecommuting in the U.S. increased 115 percent between 2005 and 2015, and it shows no signs of slowing down,” said Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of Remote.co and FlexJobs. “With the continued growth of mobile and cloud technologies, globalization, and competition for skilled job candidates, remote work is only going to become a more mainstream way to work.”
Telecommuting jobs are available in a variety of career levels and industries, as can be seen in this Remote.co list of 15 recent postings of fully remote opportunities available to people living anywhere:
- Client Services Director at R.R. Donnelley
- Senior Cloud Architect at Terradata
- Contract Listing Photographer at Airbnb
- Creative Director, Design Lead at Great Minds
- Credentialed Tax Expert at Intuit
- Info Security Consultant at Wells Fargo
- Field Recruiter at Nielsen
- Account Operations Manager II at Xerox
- Principal Biostatistician at Chiltern
- Recipe Writer at Wide Open Media Group
- Registered Dietician at Fit4D
- RN Care Manager at Humana
- Spanish Interpreters at LanguageLine Solutions
- Virtual Teaching Assistant at StudySoup
- Voice Over Artist at Study.com
How to avoid scams
You have to be careful in your job hunt, warns Stacy Johnson, Money Talks News financial expert.
“You can’t just jump online, because there’s so many ripoffs out there,” Johnson said.
These are among the top tips from Johnson, FlexJobs, the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to help you avoid ripoffs:
- Avoid any opportunity that requires you to pay big money upfront: the more they want, the more suspicious you should be.
- Look for an established company, with specific contact information, not just a blind ad. Its email should include the company name, not just a Yahoo, Gmail or other generic address.
- Check every company with the Better Business Bureau, and do a web search for reviews and complaints.
- Ask questions: work expectations, records you’ll keep, how you’ll be paid and how your performance will be measured.
- Even if a company looks legit online — perhaps its logo is familiar — double-check the URL to make sure it’s not fake.
- Beware of package-processing jobs, in which you’re asked to review a package’s contents before sending it on, often to a foreign address. The goods are often stolen or paid for with stolen credit cards, postal officials say.
- Ignore recruiters initially contacting you via text message; it’s not a legitimate technique.
- Research a recruiter and company before responding to an opportunity that comes through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or other social media. Legitimate companies use these sites, but so do scammers.
- Don’t click an email link asking for detailed personal and financial information. It’s phishing, trying to collect sensitive information to rip you off.
Where to look
Use trusted websites to look for work and avoid pop-up ads, Johnson said. Also, check your local employment office for telecommuting opportunities.
You could also register with a website specializing in special skills such as language translation or audio transcription.
FlexJobs recently released its list of 100 top companies for remote jobs in 2017. Here are the top 15:
- LanguageLine Solutions
- Working Solutions
- Kelly Services
- Sutherland Global Services
- UnitedHealth Group
- Hilton Worldwide
- Cactus Communications
You can see FlexJobs’ full list of 100 top companies for remote jobs here.
What’s your experience getting work-from-home jobs? Share with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.