FlexJobs: The State of Virtual (Remote) Work

By Tara Powers

If you’ve ever searched for a job with a flexible work schedule, you know that there are a lot of too-good-to-be true listings and just plain scams. Sorting through all the junk postings makes it hard for anyone to find the truly great flex jobs that are available.

Ten years ago, FlexJobs was created to solve this problem. By vetting the job opportunities, FlexJobs is now connecting thousands of people seeking flexible schedule jobs with companies seeking flexible employees. Everyone wins. Along the way, FlexJobs has become a leader in the flexible job movement. here is Brie Weiler Reynolds’s, Senior Career Specialist at FlexJobs, take on the state of flexible jobs.

  • What are the trends for flexible work? “More growth! All indications say that we will continue to see more — more people demanding flexible work schedules and more companies seeing the value to having flexible employees. Remote work has grown 115 percent in the last ten years, and it will continue to grow. For people currently working in the office, they’ll have more opportunities to try out a flexible work schedule for one to two days a week. We’ll probably also see baby boomers delaying retirement by seeking flexible work as a way to be active.”
  • What’s driving growth today? “Ten years ago the biggest single driver of remote work was technology. Employees could dial in from anywhere and everyone had mobile phones. Now you have Millennials making a statement in the workforce — they have grown up with technology and connectivity their whole lives. They want to work when and where they want to work and, most importantly, they see it as a standard way of working — not a perk to be earned. This generational shift will drive the trend in the coming years.”
  • What do remote workers need to know? “There are a lot of things first-time remote workers need to know, from how to set up your office, the best products to have, and how to set boundaries and use technology so you can work efficiently. For great advice on taxes and insurance, we work with an advocacy group called 1 Million for Work Flexibility, and they have great advice and a community of experts to help. Or check out the blog where we have a lot of great information for freelancers and contract workers.”
  • What do you say to the naysayers? “Every time a major company speaks out against the benefits of telecommuting we revisit this issue. The reality is, it’s pretty rare. Since 2013, we’ve seen six to seven major companies pull back — and in that same time, hundreds of companies have started or grown their remote programs. The success and growth of flexible work options far outweighs the impact of a few large companies who step away from it. In these cases, there is usually something else going on at the company, like a drop in overall performance, lack of product development, management turnover — it’s not that telecommuting is the problem.”