- FlexJobs said remote jobs listings in math and economics, insurance, non-profit and philanthropy and seven other areas grew by more than 50% in just 12 months, between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 1, 2018. The job board analyzed more than 50 career classifications in its database to come up with the fastest-growing remote positions, a few of which it said aren't typically associated with remote jobs.
- The top five categories for remote job growth, from the fastest-growing to the slowest, are: math and economics (job title samples: actuarial analyst, economics faculty member, data scientist, high school math teacher); insurance (loss control specialist, nurse case manager, premium auditor, underwriting manager, etc.); nonprofit and philanthropy (senior national fundraising director, major gifts officer, partnerships manager, etc.); mortgage and real estate (senior loan officer, director of sales, district manager, etc.); and marketing (associate product manager, marketing specialist, online campaign manager, digital marketing analyst, etc.). The final five categories consist of: engineering, project management, science, legal and pharmaceutical.
- FlexJobs defines remote jobs as professional level positions that employees are permitted to perform away from the office, either entirely or part of the time.
Employees are looking for remote work opportunities in greater numbers, and employers are responding; more than half of workplaces worldwide now offer a remote work option or some hybrid form of it, a 2018 Owl Labs survey showed. And many of today's workers will only consider taking a job if it offers flexible work schedules, which often include remote work options.
The same Owl Labs survey found a shift in workers' preference for remote work from a desire for greater work-life balance to a feeling of greater productivity. In fact, workers in a previous FlexJobs survey said they felt more productive working from home because they had fewer distractions, interruptions and less stress from commuting.
Remote work does come with its own set of challenges, one of which is keeping remote workers engaged. To keep them from feeling isolated from colleagues in the workplace, employers can use several communication avenues to see that they're getting important news and notifications on organizational updates, policy changes and staff activities. With remote workers often putting in longer hours than onsite workers, burnout can threaten health and productivity. Managers can connect periodically with remote staff to find out what their needs are and to adjust workloads or recommend time off, if necessary.
Finally, employers should have remote-work policies to clarify which job categories are eligible, what the criteria are for working offsite, how often working offsite is allowed, what measures must be taken if the arrangement doesn't work out, and any other issues that might need to be covered.