Working remotely is a dream that’s become a reality for an increasing number of employees.
In 2016, 43% of American employees worked remotely at least some of the time, according to Gallup.
When looking for remote jobs, however, you may be surprised to find many companies that allow remote work still require you live in a particular location. In fact, according to FlexJobs, about 95% of telecommuting jobs listed on its site are restricted to specific areas.
The restrictions may be broad, such as requiring applicants to live in the U.S., or more narrow, such as limiting applicants to a particular city, state, or region.
A recent FlexJobs survey identified the top 15 states with the most work-from-home jobs. If you live in one of these locales — or can move to one — your odds of finding remote work could improve.
15 states with the most remote jobs
FlexJobs reviewed tens of thousands of job listings for remote work posted in 2017 to discover which state had the highest number of telecommuting positions. The states that offered the most remote work opportunities include:
- California: Publishing company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Ulta, a beauty and cosmetics company, were among the big-name companies offering remote jobs in California.
- Texas: Work-from-home jobs were available in Texas at national brands such as Wells Fargo and home store Williams Sonoma.
- Virginia: Companies offering telecommuting jobs in Virginia included American Red Cross and CVS Health.
- New York: Those who live in New York saw opportunities from American Express and Teach For America, a nonprofit organization that trains and places teachers in underprivileged schools.
- Florida: Health insurers Humana and UnitedHealth Group were among the companies offering work-from-home jobs in Florida.
- Illinois: Goodway Group, a digital media services company, offered jobs to Illinois residents looking to work from home.
- Pennsylvania: Medical supply and pharmaceutical company McKesson and PNC were among the companies offering work-from-home opportunities in the Keystone State.
- Georgia: Georgia offered many opportunities for telecommuting work, including jobs with First Data, a credit card processor, and Robert Half, a human resources consulting firm.
- North Carolina: Lowe’s, the home improvement giant, offered telecommuting opportunities restricted to North Carolina residents.
- Arizona: For those looking for work-from-home jobs in Arizona, opportunities included positions with Equifax and Grand Canyon University.
- Massachusetts: Kaplan, an educational services company, and Salesforce, a large cloud-computing company that expanded its Boston operations, offered work-from-home jobs in Massachusetts.
- Minnesota: Remote work opportunities in Minnesota included jobs with Abbott, a health care company, and Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a business travel management company.
- New Jersey: Amazon and Citizens Bank both had work-from-home opportunities available in New Jersey.
- Washington: The state of Washington had government jobs available for telecommuters. Also on the list was GreatAuPair, an organization that helps families find caregivers.
- Ohio: JLL, a commercial real estate company, and Xerox both offered work-from-home jobs in Ohio.
How to find a job where you can work from home
No matter where you live, looking for remote jobs can be a challenge. You want to ensure you are applying for legitimate companies that offer real opportunities, not work-from-home scams. To find your dream position, try the following:
- Use job search websites targeted toward telecommuters. Websites such as SkipTheDrive and We Work Remotely allow you to target your search toward companies that allow you to work from home. Some sites, such as FlexJobs and VirtualVocations, offer paid subscriptions to access their full database of open positions. These sites typically do more vetting to make sure the jobs are legitimate, saving you valuable time.
- Review job listings carefully. Not all telecommute jobs offer the same level of flexibility or autonomy. Some jobs allow you the freedom to work any hours you want, while others require a traditional 9-to-5 schedule. Some jobs require your presence on a regular basis — such as once a week — and others involve no face time at all.
- Watch for scams. If a job sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Avoid applying for jobs that promise free money for little work, require you to pay an application fee or buy equipment, or ask for personal identifying information such as your Social Security number.
By browsing job ads carefully, you can find awesome work-from-home jobs, especially if you live in one of the geographic regions FlexJobs has identified as having ample opportunities.
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