The COVID-19 pandemic led to many shuttered offices, forcing companies to adapt to working remotely. Even as shutdowns have lifted, the effect has lingered. Far more companies now allow employees to work from home.
Adapting to change is tough, but some careers are better suited to this new shift than others. We’ve compiled a list of the best work-from-home jobs if you’re looking for inspiration.
Remote work before and now
While some people have always worked from home, it wasn’t very common. Working from home was reserved for a certain type of employee, often part-time or freelance. Many who worked from home did it for childcare or accessibility reasons.
During the pandemic, going into the office wasn’t an option — or a desire — for many. But now that working from home is viable, many people are drawn to remote job opportunities.
According to a survey by Gallup, 8 in 10 Americans are working part-time or fully remote. The same survey found that 56% of American jobs are remote-capable — they could be done remotely and likely will be in the near future.
What are the benefits of working remotely?
Like any situation, online jobs have their perks and drawbacks. Let’s start with the benefits:
- Financial savings. Both employees and employers save money with work-from-home setups. No commute means employees don’t have to spend on gas, transit passes, or vehicle maintenance — all of which add up over time. Companies can also save money on real estate, utilities, and office equipment.
- Improved health. Workers’ physical well-being can also improve. Less time commuting means more time for physical activity, less exposure to illness, and more opportunities to eat healthier food.
- Work-life balance. Clocking out at the right time can be difficult at first. But managing your own schedule allows you to create a routine that suits your lifestyle.
- Boosted productivity. You might think working from home exposes you to all manner of distractions. But a FlexJob survey found that half of the respondents were more productive at home than at the office. Some employees also report greater creativity working remotely.
- Work from anywhere. Remote work gives you access to a wider range of jobs. Your company doesn’t even have to be in the same time zone — just sign on at the right time, and you’re off to the races.
But working from home is not all roses and butterflies. Here are some of the drawbacks:
- Meaningful social interaction decreases. Cultivating relationships via video conferencing platforms or chat groups isn’t the same as in-person interactions. Over time, this can put you at risk of loneliness and isolation — two significant factors that can harm one’s mental well-being.
- Company culture can be lacking. Donuts in the break room, birthday parties, impromptu lunch gatherings — these interactions help build rapport between you and your colleagues. But it’s more difficult to feel part of the company culture if you don’t see them daily.
- Boundaries are harder to set when working from home. Unless you set rigid boundaries for yourself, disconnecting is difficult. You might be tempted to work during leisure time or a bit extra at the end of the day. This makes finding a healthy work-life balance that much more challenging.
This new era has seen many career categories grow. Remote jobs skyrocketed for IT, health-centric roles, sales, accounting, and marketing. Together, this is reshaping the workplace.
13 best remote jobs to consider
Listed below are 13 of the best work-from-home jobs for job seekers looking to make this transition. Wage estimates were taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and recruitment sites.
1. Web developer or software engineer
As a web or software developer, you can work on anything from website design to search engine algorithms. But becoming any kind of programmer will require extensive training. That means you’ll need more than a high school diploma — developers typically have a post-secondary degree in computer science.
People with these skills are hired to consult or join companies full-time in many industries. The median wage for this career in 2020 was $77,200.
Translating documents from one language to another is a wonderful work-from-home opportunity. This work doesn’t require any in-person contact, and you can work with various organizations, including schools, courts, and hospitals.
All translators must be fluent in at least two languages and should possess a degree in language studies. The median wage in 2021 was about $49,000.
Teaching students digitally is easier than ever. Platforms like Google Classroom and Zoom, or messaging apps like Slack and WhatsApp, allow students, teachers, and parents to keep in contact.
Tutoring can be your full-time job or a side hustle. Your rate can vary widely depending on what subject you’re teaching and your experience. The average wage is around $25 an hour, with a median annual salary of just under $51,000.
4. Social media manager
Having an online presence is vital for all organizations. Nonprofits and private companies alike rely on social media content to promote their brands.
Despite many being tech-savvy these days, candidates with a degree in communications or public relations, marketing, or journalism, stand out amongst the rest when hiring. Having a strong portfolio is also a great advantage.
You can make approximately $65,000 per year in this position.
5. Writer or editor
If you fancy yourself a wordsmith, a writing job could be a good fit. Here you can flex your research, proofreading, and communication skills. You could find work in online publications or company blogs, journalism, literature, technical writing, or grant writing.
This job is well-suited to remote work because writing is a solitary activity, anyway — no meetings or hallway team huddles required. You can make an average of $68,000, depending on your pricing and writing specialty.
6. Graphic designer
A graphic designer is a great option for detail-oriented creatives. In this career, you may create logos, brochures, advertisements, or book covers.
A certificate or four-year degree in visual arts or graphic design is usually needed to acquire graphic design skills. A strong portfolio of previous work will also help you land a job.
But this is a fun and creative job. If you can swing it, your yearly salary will hover around $50,000.
7. Event planner
This role may require traveling to assess locations and be on hand at events. It likely isn’t completely remote. But if you have an internet connection and a phone line, you can fulfill many responsibilities at home.
There aren’t set education requirements for event planners. You may have an advantage with a degree or training in business, public relations, communications, or hospitality.
The median income is just over $49,000.
Many accounting and data entry jobs are digital, not paper-based. And most bookkeepers have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in math, writing, or communications.
Detail-oriented individuals who have experience with numbers or commerce will excel in this role and earn about $45,000 a year.
9. Registered nurse
Advancements in healthcare practices are continually occurring due to demand. Registered nurses can provide care from home, including consulting, dealing with insurance claims, being an educator, case management, and emergency and mental health support through call centers.
A four-year undergraduate degree in nursing is required to practice this type of medicine. Nurses earn $77,600 per year on average.
10. Customer service representative
Many customer support representatives work from home now. Responsibilities include answering customer phone calls, troubleshooting problems, and responding to emails.
Usually, all you need to get started is a phone line and CRM software. Some jobs require more advanced training, especially if you provide technical support. Many companies will provide paid training to entry-level candidates.
The average salary for a remote customer service rep is around $34,000 per year, but it can be much higher if you have specialized knowledge.
11. Virtual assistant
Among other duties, virtual assistants schedule meetings, maintain contact lists and respond to emails for their clients. They act like secretaries but without the front office desk. They also do more behind-the-scenes work than the average secretary.
This is a useful service for large and small businesses that don’t have a storefront. Virtual assistants support important executives or provide administrative aid to an entire team.
The average salary for this role hovers around $58,000 per year.
12. Travel agent
Travelers are used to booking their own tickets online, but organizing trips to multiple destinations is tricky. And for corporations that require regular business travel, flight booking is a full-time job.
As a virtual travel agent, you’ll help book flights, hotels, and vehicles for busy jet setters. You’ll work primarily over the phone and through email, so you can easily work from a home office.
Remote corporate travel agents have an average salary of almost $57,000 per year.
There’s more content needed than ever before, which bodes well for freelance animators. In this job, you’ll animate clips for web videos, commercials, educational content, video games, and more.
This complex profession requires years of training. Diplomas or degrees in design will help you break into the industry. But because all animation tools are computer-based, you could work from your couch if you really wanted to.
You could earn an average of $64,000 in this creative employment opportunity.
Where to find work-at-home jobs
Depending on your field, you could ask your current employer about working from home. They may be willing to accommodate. Alternatively, recruiters will post remote jobs on any of these job boards:
Not all remote job listings are worth pursuing. Here are some green flags to find legitimate work during your job search:
- The hiring company is an established organization
- The ad doesn’t ask you to reply to a blind email address
- The ad is clear and organized
- HR reps are available if you have questions
- The job description mentions company benefits and vacation policies
- There’s a robust application and interview process
- The employer clearly outlines duties and expectations
- They care about whether you have work samples or references
Start working with your PJs on
Events of the last two years have led to a significant restructuring of our personal and professional lives. When abrupt and long-lasting change occurs, we can feel lost and struggle to find meaning in what we do. Looking for a more flexible and fulfilling position can help us regain some of that meaning.
If you’re looking to shake things up, it may mean a career shift — or transitioning from an in-person role to one that’s remote.
Our work-from-home job suggestions are here to steer you through your options and help you determine the best step for you. Our goal is for you to live passionately and reach your full potential.