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Survey of the 100 Top Companies for Remote Jobs in 2018 Shows Better Jobs Are Farther From the Office Businesses that fully integrate telecommuters in their operations find creative ways to get the most value from this unstoppable workplace trend.

By Sara Sutton

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For the fifth straight year, my team at FlexJobs has analyzed the job-posting histories of more than 49,000 companies to determine which 100 offered the most remote job postings over the last year. These 100 companies represent the best in class for the large and wide-ranging remote work programs they create, manage and grow. They provide interesting insights into how and why companies use remote work. And these organizations dispel the notion that this option is just a perk for employees.

For example, more than half of the 75,000 staff members at Convergys (No. 16 on the Top 100 list) work remotely, which means off-site employees are fully integrated into operations at this global customer-solutions management company. In fact, remote work is a key way for Convergys to find "extraordinary talent," says Jillene Jensen, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition. "Offering remote work options is so important to us. We realize that extraordinary talent exists in all corners, so it is important that we extend our reach and open doors through remote work."

Related: 3 Onboarding Tips That Close the Gap for Remote Workers

Diving deeper into the data from these 100 companies, we find some noteworthy details that dispel common stereotypes. Among them: Remote work is only for certain professions, remote jobs are all lower-level positions and remote work actually is declining.

Instead, in these three noteworthy findings, we see a much more an accurate of remote work.

'Medical and health' is the top career field for remote work.

People often picture jobs such as data entry and web design when they think of remote work. What's less likely to pop into minds? Remote nurses, occupational therapists and social workers.

In reality, medical and health offers the most job opportunities of the 50 career fields we analyzed. In the top seven career fields for remote work, some fit our conventional ideas of remote work (computer and IT, customer service, sales, accounting and finance), while others have not traditionally been associated with home-based work (medical and health, education and training, travel and hospitality).

Jeff Christofis is the Vice President for KellyConnect at the talent supply-chain-management company Kelly Services, which ranks 12 on the Top 100 list. The company regularly posts remote jobs in the top fields, including medical and health, sales and education and training. Among these are such interesting titles as Talent Agent and GVP Pharmacovigilance Auditor.

But is remote work just a perk for employees? Not at all, Christofis says. "Embracing the remote work environment has proven to be a highly effective approach to not only attracting talent, but allowing companies to achieve higher levels of productivity and gain efficiencies."

Related: 50 Work-From-Home Jobs Paying as Much or a Lot More Than the Average American Salary

Remote work is used in creative ways.

While some of the remote jobs offered by these companies are a clear match for remote work, many companies implement the strategy more creatively -- and in less obvious fields.

Sixth on our list is TTEC, a business-process outsourcing company with 50,000 associates -- 20,000 of whom work remotely. This enables the company to get creative in terms of whom it hires and for which jobs.

"By offering work-at-home opportunities, TTEC hires candidates including veterans transitioning back to civilian life, displaced workers, and students or parents who require a flexible schedule," says Michael Wellman, TTEC's Chief People Officer.

In the last few months, TTEC has hired for remote opportunities including senior project management, compliance, instructional media design, cybersecurity engineering and government risk management.

Related: 3 Companies Putting Remote Workers in Surprising Roles

Companies are committed to remote work for the long haul.

Remote work clearly has hit its stride over the past decade, despite the headlines that tell a different story during the same time period:

  • "Some Companies Rethink the Telecommuting Trend" (Wall Street Journal, 2008).

  • "Is Working Remotely on the Way Out?" (Chicago Tribune, 2013).

  • "Why Are Big Companies Calling Their Remote Workers Back to the Office?" (NBC News, 2017).

Each time a well-known company ends its remote work programs, mainstream coverage misses this important fact: Remote work grew 115 percent among U.S. employees during the past 10 years. This trend goes even further in the Top 100 companies. Some businesses on the list adopted remote work as far back as the 1970s.

Nearly 30 of the companies have been on our Top 100 list for all five years of the survey. These include Dell, UnitedHealth Group, Salesforce, ADP, Humana, VMware, American Express and Adobe. The technology-services company Appen (No. 2 this year) counts approximately 400,000 remote professionals in 130 countries. Kerri Reynolds, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Crowdsourcing at Appen, says this commitment to remote work is directly tied to the company's business strategy.

"At Appen, our client base includes eight of 10 of largest technology companies in the world," Reynolds says. "To consistently meet the needs of our clients, we offer flexible hours and home-based work."

Related: How to Make Your Business Fully Remote in 7 Steps

This year's Top 100 companies offer the most remote work opportunities because adhering to traditional hiring and business strategies simply doesn't work for their models. Remote work has become a vital part of their operations, and combining brick-and-mortar offices with remote work could provide a well-balanced strategy for the future.

Sara Sutton

CEO & Founder of FlexJobs

Sara Sutton is the CEO and founder of FlexJobs, an award-winning, innovative career website for telecommuting, flexible, freelance and part-time job listings, and founder of Remote.co, a one-stop resource for remote teams and companies, and the 1 Million for Work Flexibility initiative. She was named as a Young Global Leader (class of 2014) by the World Economic Forum for her work in technology and the employment fields. Sutton is a graduate of UC Berkeley and currently lives in Boulder, Colo. Sutton is also the creator of The TRaD Works Conference, dedicated to helping companies leverage the benefits of telecommuting, remote and distributed teams.

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