Around one out of every four American workers spends at least some of their working hours telecommuting, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Work-from-home jobs have become so common, some companies now only operate remotely, and have few or even no on-site workers.
Work-from-home arrangements offer benefits to both employers and employees. Global Workforce Analytics reports two-thirds of people indicate they want to work-from-home, and 80 percent of workers say they consider it a job perk. Employers generally find telecommuting increases retention, reduces unscheduled absences, improves productivity, and saves money on costs like relocation, overhead, and equipment.
FlexJobs is an award winning job search platform that’s tailored towards telecommuters, part-time workers, freelancers, or those seeking a flexible work arrangement. To gain more insight on work-from-home and flexible work trends, we asked FlexJobs‘ CEO Sara Sutton Fell.
Sometimes people associate work-from-home jobs with single parents, those in the IT field, or those who live in rural areas where there are few job opportunities available. However, Fell explains that, “Our job seekers really do come from all walks of life. We see parents and people without kids, entry-level employees and seniors, military spouses, people with disabilities, career changers and on-rampers, city dwellers and people in rural areas, and people with career interests across the spectrum.”
What type of job can you find? “While we have job listings in over 50 career categories, ranging from entry-level to executive, the most common industries that consistently have work-from-home jobs include medical and health, customer service, sales, administrative, computer and IT, writing and editing, web design and development, accounting, and finance,” she explains.
These days, you can find a work-from-home or flexible work opportunities in most fields. During our Q&A with Fell, we found out some truly surprising work-from-home jobs that are hiring right now on FlexJobs. These are jobs you wouldn’t expect someone to perform from a home office as they would traditionally require a worker’s physical presence, or they’re jobs that are at a higher level and one would generally assume these positions simply couldn’t be performed from home. Check out some of these positions on the following pages. You’ll also find some information on the application and interview processes.
1. Registered Nurse
This position is for a registered nurse telephonic case manager. If hired for this position, you assess patients’ health statuses through outbound calls, by taking incoming calls, and by identifying any gaps in treatment plans for OB patients who are at high risk.
This is a full-time position, and applicants must have an RN license, Delaware residency, and three or more years of care experience in the field of OB and maternity. The nurse or nurses who obtain this position telecommute each day and the hiring company has received various accolades.
The salary for this type of position varies by location, company size, education, experience, and other factors. However, the BLS reports the national median salary for a registered nurse at around $66,000.
“We’ve found that the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ salary estimates are fairly in-line with work-from-home jobs — another surprising thing is that they pay relatively the same as their in-office counterparts,” explains Fell. The hiring company for this position also offers health insurance benefits.
2. Vice President
If you are hired for this position, you are accountable for the revenue cycle and for optimizing cash-flow in a healthcare system. This is an executive level position, and although it’s a work-from-home career, some travel is required.
To get this job, you need at least five to eight years of experience managing doctor’s offices at a senior level. BLS estimates indicates the national median pay for this type of position at around $101,000. But, of course this median salary includes vice presidents and executives of companies both large and small, so this salary estimate may or may not be the pay for this position. This position generally offers benefits as well.
This is a full-time, entirely home-based position for a contracts attorney. If you are hired for this position, your job is to draft and negotiate detailed and sophisticated agreements within the information technology field.
Applicants need at least three to five years of experience in technology transactions, and also experience dealing in privacy and data security. A legal degree is also generally a requirement. The BLS reports the national median pay for lawyers at around $113,000. Your exact salary, however, depends on a number of factors like your level of experience, your location, and the current market. The position also offers benefits like health insurance, life insurance, vision coverage, holiday pay, paid vacation, and retirement planning.
4. Executive Director
This position is also completely home-based and the company is hiring on a contract-to-permanent basis. This means the employer and employee test the waters with the employee working as a freelancer first, then if everything works out well, the company hires the employee on full-time.
The executive managing director of operations plans, implements, and promotes campaigns for a non-profit company. If hired for this position, you’d run online campaigns where you’d organize large groups of people and initiate fundraising activities. The ideal applicant has experience running such campaigns.
5. K-12 Teachers
Technological advances have made it possible for not only adult college students, but now K-12 students to attend and complete schooling in a virtual environment. As a result, there’s now an increasing need for virtual teachers, generally across all of the subject areas. Right now, FlexJobs has a posting for a secondary math teacher. Applicants for these positions must have teaching experience, just as they would if there were applying for a teaching position at a physical school.
Virtual high school art teacher, Spanish substitute teacher, and high school science teacher are also positions hiring right now on FlexJobs. These positions are entirely work-from-home and part-time as well. Some employers seek out applicants who have at least a master’s degree level education, while others state a bachelor’s degree is sufficient. All of these positions, however, generally require a teaching certification.
Perhaps the most surprising teaching position on the site right now is that of a physical education teacher. He or she performs their job by facilitating virtual physical education courses online. He or she provides orientation, monitors achievements, and discusses progress with parents. The students’ physical activity regiments are more individualized, and the teacher is there to help students design these physical activity plans and to meet their individual goals.
Qualifications and Application
What types of qualifications and skills do you need to work-from-home as a teacher, vice president, or contract attorney? “The job descriptions for work-from-home jobs are very similar to those for regular in-office jobs, in terms of qualifications and requirements. The biggest difference is that employers usually include information about home office set-up requirements like equipment, Internet speed, etc. for the at-home positions,” Fell says.
When you go onto a site like FlexJobs and apply for a work-from-home position, employers are seeking out candidates with whom they can feel confident. “If you have previous experience working from home, make sure you say that in your cover letter and note it on your resume. Employers are really interested in people with a proven track record of self-management and self-motivation, because working from home is largely an independent activity. Also, treat your application just as seriously as you would for an in-office job … hiring managers expect nothing less than complete professionalism and to see your passion for the job,” she adds.
The Work-From-Home Interview
So, let’s say you submit your application, cover letter, and references and you receive a response. Now it’s time to prepare for your interview, which may be a bit different from a traditional interview where you dress nicely and meet face-to-face with a hiring manager.
“As you might guess, when you’re interviewing for a work-from-home job, you’ll probably have a phone or video interview (or both, depending on the employer’s preferences.) These are definitely a different experience from an in-person interview and one you should prepare for,” says Fell who also provided us with preparation tips.
- “First, practice interviewing over the phone or on camera. Enlist your friends and family. The more you practice, the better you’re [going to] be.”
- “For phone interviews, smile when speaking. The positive attitude actually comes through in your voice and will make you less nervous and stiff.”
- “For video interviews, pay attention to the lighting, the position of your camera, and where your computer’s microphone is. If necessary, wear a headset or get a stand-alone microphone (they’re not expensive) to improve the sound quality.”
- “For video interviews, look at the camera while speaking, not the screen. It’ll make your eye contact direct with the interviewer.”
- For both [phone and video interviews], pick a very quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. And make sure the space doesn’t echo too much when you talk, which can sound awkward on the phone.”
Job searching platforms like FlexJobs, Career Builder, and Monster have job seeker services that aid in the application and interview process. According to Fell, we should “take advantage of everything the site has to offer. [On FlexJobs], you can have the site create a resume for you, or upload your own. Take the skills tests to see how you stack up and where you need to improve. Read our comprehensive job search library of job search tips and helpful articles to be a better job seeker. And if you ever have any questions, our client services team is amazing.”