The number of American workers who telecommute at least part of the time has been on the rise for years, thanks to advances in technology and a growing demand from workers who see it as key to work-life balance.
Although some high profile companies have reversed course, more businesses are embracing telecommuting as a key to recruitment and retention efforts and disaster continuity strategies. A recent study by the Society of Humane Resource Managers found that more than a third of organizations allow workers to telecommute at part time and 22 percent offer full-time telecommuting to some workers.
Today’s telecommuters are not the stereotypical millennials or working moms. They’re most likely to be men and they’re just as likely to have children as to not have them, according to a report last year by the Flex+Strategy Group. That study found that 36 percent of men do most of their work at home, versus 23 percent of women.
Part of the reason for the disparity could be that women are worried that asking for flexible arrangements could relegate them to the “mommy track.” Managers are more likely to grant flexible time to grant flextime to high-status men seeking flexible schedules in order to advance their careers, according to a 2012 study in the Journal of Social Issues. Requests by women were unlikely to be granted, regardless of their job status or reason.
To find the best jobs for telecommuting, we started with CareerCast’s list of the top-rated jobs of 2015, which ranks jobs based on dozens of factors related to income, environment, and stress. Then we pulled out the top-ranked jobs that paid a mid-level income of at least $70,000; had advertised, open telecommuting positions; and employed at least 10,000 people in 2012, the last time the Bureau of Labor Statistics updated its job-level data.
One thing stands out from our list: To do really well working from home, you need specialized skills. But with the right skill set, earning decent money while working from home is an increasingly viable option.
- Actuary or Risk Analyst
Number of jobs: 24,000
Sample job listing: Senior Actuarial Analyst at United Health Group
Number of jobs: 27,600
Sample job listing: Principal biostatistician at Pharmaceutical Product Development
- Data Scientist
Number of jobs:
Sample job listing: Senior Data Analyst at Starr & Associates
- Software Engineer
Number of jobs: 1 million
Sample job listing: Software Engineer – Product Development at Etail Solutions
- Computer Systems Analyst --
Number of jobs: 520,600
Sample job listing: AMSEC Computer Systems Security Analyst at Huntington Ingalls Industries
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator
Number of jobs: 366,400
Sample job listing: Specialist Systems Engineer at Symantec
- HR manager
Number of jobs: 102,700
Sample job listing: HR Shared Services Employee Relations Advisor at AIG
- Computer programmer
Number of jobs: 343,000
Sample job listing: Junior Support Programmer at HelpSpot
- Civil Engineer
Number of jobs: 272,900
Sample job listing: Civil Engineer (Highway) Construction at the U.S. Department of Transportation
- Management Consultant
Number of jobs: 718,700
Sample job listing: Workforce Solution Consultant III at Kronos