After years of long commutes and bad office coffee, last year I was finally able to achieve my dream of working from home full time. Despite the warnings some people tried to give me, it’s been as great as - no, greater than - I had even imagined it would be back in my cube-dwelling days. I have more time to get work done, more time to spend with my family and generally less needless stress in my life (goodbye Boston commute!).
While telecommuting certainly isn’t for everybody, or feasible for every job (sorry, bartenders and forklift operators), for those who write code for a living (as I used to do) it’s usually an appealing and viable possibility. If you’re determined to work from home, but can’t convince your current boss to let you work remotely, even after quoting studies that have shown that it will increase your productivity, you may have to look for a new job. While it can be hard to find jobs open to telecommuters, it is getting easier.
Earlier this month, the folks at 37signals - developers of, among other things, Basecamp - launched a new job board devoted solely to jobs open to remote workers, called WeWorkRemotely.com. It comes shortly after the release of the book REMOTE: Office Not Required, written by 37signals honchos Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, which talks about the benefits, to both employer and employee, of hiring remote workers. Here’s a video they made to accompany the book extolling the virtues of remote working.
Being so new, WeWorkRemotely.com currently features only a couple of hundred jobs. Most of the listings are for programmers and designers, though there are others for jobs like system admins, executives and copywriters. I would expect it to be good resource for those looking for telecommuting jobs in the near future as the number of listings grow.
Of course, you can find jobs open to remote workers on other job boards as well, though it can take a little more poking around. Some of the big, well known boards are making it easier to find such jobs by offering explicit telecommuting filters for search results. Here are some job sites that feature explicit filters for remote working jobs.
When searching on other big job sites, you’ll have to rely on keywords like “telecommuting” to find the remote jobs, like so and so and so. Problem there, though, is you may also find jobs that say “NO telecommuting” so be careful.
The number of telecommuting jobs listed is still relatively small. For example, a search of Dice for engineer/programmer/developer positions in the U.S. yielded a grand total of 35,703 jobs, only 237 of which (0.66%) are open to telecommuting. But, that percentage should be going up; according to Global Workplace Analytics, telecommuting grew by almost 80% in the U.S. between 2005 and 2012.
So, if you dream of writing code in your sweat pants every day - or without pants at all (no judging here) - don’t give up! There jobs are out there if know where to look for them. Take it from me, it’s worth the effort. Good luck!
Read more of Phil Johnson's #Tech blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Phil on Twitter at @itwphiljohnson. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.