July 17, 2015
More and more companies are allowing employees to work remotely. Studies show that these employees are more productive, less stressed, and happier overall with their work-life balance. Most companies, however, only offer the option for couple of days per month, if they even allow working from home at all.
Because it is taking many companies so long to catch on to the benefits of remote work, many experts are choosing to go into freelance work that allows them to work their own hours, set their schedules, and work from wherever they want. If this sounds appealing to you, the following industries are worth exploring.
Whether you are interested in working remotely for a specific company or you want to freelance by using job sites, this post is for you. Companies with the label “job match” exist to help you find remote work with other companies, while those labeled “internal team” allow their own employees to work remotely. Some companies do both.
1. Software Development
Toptal – Job match or internal team
Toptal is a site for the top 3% of software developers. If your programming skills are good enough to pass the company’s screening process, you can expect constant, well-paid work that will set you up to make a living while working remotely. The company believes in remote work so much that they are completely distributed themselves. That’s right, you’ll be hard pressed to find a Toptal office — they don’t exist.
Basecamp – Internal team
If you’re not familiar, Basecamp is the web-based project management and collaboration tool that came out of web design firm 37signals. The company is so confident in their product that they use it to manage projects among their completely distributed team. Basecamp has one office location in Chicago, but everyone on their team is free to work from wherever, and many choose to do just that. Currently, the team is spread out among 26 cities around the world.
Automattic – Internal team
You can find the geniuses behind wordpress spread out all over the world as well. The team loves its geographic variance, since it’s almost guaranteed that at least one person at the company will be available at any time of the day. Automattic makes their distributed nature work by tracking about 70% of our projects on P2-themed WordPress.com blogs, 25% in private chat rooms, and the rest on Slack.
Being a software developer is arguably the best profession to have if you want to turn working remotely into a full-time job. Even if teams are not completely distributed, many companies will allow software developers to work remotely. You can use sites like Toptal to find such jobs, or you can discuss remote work opportunities with your current supervisor.
Behance – Job match
Behance isn’t a site exclusively for freelance jobs, but you will be able to find some selection if you look through the job boards. You also have the option to simply update your own portfolio, and companies will explore that work and contact you if interested in your services.
99designs – Job match
On 99designs, projects are listed as design contests in a community marketplace of over 1,059,000 designers. From Berlin to Bombay, professional creatives will read your brief and begin to brainstorm ideas just for you. After 7 days, the client will pick the designer with the best result for their project.
Content Runner – Job match
If you’re looking for an open marketplace that allows you to set your own rates, Content Runner is a great site to look into. The site advertises transparency in the process and flexible working arrangements. However, it is important to keep in mind that the site advertises the price of the project before taking out the 15% fee on the transaction.
Guru – Job match
Guru is a freelancing site that isn’t necessarily limited to writers, but it’s a great platform for writers nonetheless. The site also offers a tool called Work Room to help you manage and keep track of all the projects you have going on. You can use Work Room to define milestones, set tasks, communicate with employers, share files, and agree upon payment schedules.
Zerys – Job match
The Zerys platform is good for marketers and agencies, as well as writers. It’s a great tool if you’re looking to do some writing on the side. There are no monthly fees for writers, you get unlimited access to writing jobs, and you can develop long-term relationships with clients. The site will also notify you with jobs that match your profile, and you won’t get locked in bidding wars like on other sites.
Scripted – Job match
Scripted is another great place to find writing gigs, mostly for blogs and other shorter articles. The site vets writers with an English test and writing sample from a choice of prompts, so those who post jobs know they will get a quality piece of writing that is free of spelling and grammatical errors.
4. Customer Service
FlexJobs – Job match or internal team
FlexJobs has built an entire website around helping people find remote work, so it is no surprise that the company is completely distributed itself. You can browse job boards on their site, which is separated into over 50 different work categories. These categories include event planning jobs, customer service, administrative jobs, and many more. All advertised jobs have some degree of work flexibility, whether it’s flexible hours or the option to work remotely.
Apple – Internal team
Apple has its own At Home Advisor position, where employees work as customer support agents right from their own homes. To succeed in this role, you must be able to explain Apple’s technology into a language customers can understand.
In addition to allowing remote work, the position offers other benefits like employee discounts, the opportunity to grow with Apple, and a free iMac to use on the job. Apple also supports college students in this role by allowing them to schedule work around their classes.
Amazon – Internal team
Amazon offers a number of virtual positions, but unfortunately you must live in certain areas for many of them. One such opportunity is the Virtual Contact Center. Employees that work in the Virtual Contact Center can work from the comfort of their homes, as long as they have high speed internet connection, a landline telephone for work purposes, and a PC.
Right now, VCC positions are only available in Arizona, Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia, Delaware, Minnesota, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Virginia.
If you’re not involved in software development, design, writing, or customer service, keep checking back! More options for remote work are opening up all the time, and your specific skill set might come in handy.
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