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Most people want hybrid jobs —these remote work positions may surprise you

According to FlexJobs, a job finding agency for remote and flexible work, 95% of people want some sort of work from home, whether hybrid or full.

On the heels of that finding, they released their Top 100 list of top companies for remote work in 2024. Some of the primo companies may surprise you: CVS Health, Williams-Sonoma, New York Life, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Zillow, to name a few.

Companies are not shocked by the sharp increase in people wanting remote jobs. Getty Images/iStockphoto
Companies are not shocked by the sharp increase in people wanting remote jobs. Getty Images/iStockphoto

But the enduring and dramatic shift toward remote work isn’t surprising industry insiders.

“Even the most reluctant hybrid employers have now mostly accepted that some degree of remote work is here to stay, especially if you have to compete for any sort of skilled or scarce employees,” said Alexandra Samuel, Ph.D. and co-author of “Remote, Inc.: How to Thrive at Work … Wherever You Are” (Harper Business, 2021).

Jared Brown, co-founder and CEO of Hubstaff, a remote workforce management platform, echoed that sentiment.

“In the coming years, I predict that we’ll see an even greater surge in remote job opportunities, with more industries recognizing the value and feasibility of remote work,” the Atlanta entrepreneur said. “This shift will be powered by advancements in technology that make remote collaboration more seamless and by a growing workforce demand for flexibility and autonomy.”

Companies that adapt to this trend and invest in remote-friendly policies and technologies will lead the market, attracting top talent from around the globe, he predicted.

FlexJobs is seeing firsthand just how much the tide is changing.

“Historically, fields like computer and IT and accounting/finance had the most remote job openings, as the type of tasks required for these roles lend themselves really well to working from home,” said Toni Frana, M.S., lead career expert at FlexJobs, based in Niceville, Fla. “But since the pandemic, we’ve seen many other fields, such as medical and health, operations, customer service and administrative, increase the number of remote positions offered.”

Per Frana, the accessibility of remote work has also created more opportunities across various career and education levels, pointing to WFH offerings on its site across experienced (64%), manager (19%), senior (12%) and entry (5%) levels. (You can also scope out remote jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree on the site.)

FlexJobs survey data found that 63% say remote work is the most important aspect of their job, even over salary (61%) and having a good boss (48%).

Frana shares that FlexJobs research shows there are some WFH-friendly jobs most people may not think of as an immediate fit, like culinary specialist, wildfire resilience environmental project manager, veterinary technician, psychiatric nurse practitioner and speech language pathologist.

“While these types of roles haven’t always been the norm, it demonstrates the demand for and expansion of remote work across new industries,” she said.

Many jobs in IT and teach are now becoming remote positions. Shutterstock
Many jobs in IT and teach are now becoming remote positions. Shutterstock

Along those lines, Brown shares that roles like virtual health care providers, online educators, remote legal consultants and remote lab technicians are becoming increasingly common. “These positions challenge the traditional notion that certain jobs require a physical presence,” he said.

Samuel pinpoints health care as one of the most interesting remote fields to watch “because it’s one of the very few places where the ability to work remotely is limited among high-wage and high-status employees,” like doctors and physicians’ assistants.

By contrast, in many fields we see middle and upper managers with hybrid or remote flexibility, said Samuel, and frontline workers like retail, manufacturing or service workers feeling resentful they don’t get that flexibility.

Samuel believes the move toward remote health care will be sticking around for the long haul. She cites online therapy, for instance, as becoming so omnipresent that it’s transforming the way mental health services are delivered. Even in more niche applications in mental health, telehealth is becoming more commonplace: “I would never have imagined that behavioral supports for autistic kids could be delivered online, but they are,” Samuel said.

We’re only at the tip of the iceberg, per Brown. “This broadening of fields reflects a growing recognition of the efficiency and effectiveness of remote work across different sectors,” he said. “The expansion of remote work into various fields is set to continue, and accelerate, breaking more traditional barriers.”

Brown foresees a future where even more sectors, like manufacturing and science, find innovative ways to incorporate remote work into their operations.

If you’re interested in exploring more unconventional remote careers, Brown recommends resources such as Remote.co, and We Work Remotely, coupled with “upskilling” through online courses on platforms like Coursera, Udemy and LinkedIn Learning.

When considering a career in any field, Frana stressed the importance of starting by researching the requirements of the job. “For example, there may be unexpected licensing requirements for certain health care roles, like nurse practitioners or speech language pathologists, whereas the role as a culinary specialist may have more general, experience-heavy needs,” she said.

Don’t overlook having a competitive résumé and cover letter.

“If you’re someone looking to make a career change, it’s especially critical to highlight your transferable skills to the role. With remote roles specifically, highlighting your technology knowledge, strong communication, problem-solving, and organizational skills is an excellent practice,” said Frana.

Frana also states that building resilience throughout your career is a key strategy to success in any future job searches, especially remote jobs. “Always ensuring you have an updated résumé with your latest work achievements will help you hit the ground running if and when you decide to make a change,” she said.

“Upskilling and staying on top of the latest trends and advancements in your field will make you a stronger candidate when you apply to jobs, and it shows employers you aren’t afraid to take initiative.”

Finally, continuously building relationships and networking is a career strategy that Frana says will never go out of style. So go ahead, and treat that career mentor to a coffee — whether virtual or in the flesh.