One of the biggest trends to watch in the future of work is all about flexibility around how, when and where people work. According to a report from the Society for Human Resources Management, 27% of companies offered telecommuting on a full-time basis in 2019, up from 20% of organizations who allowed the flexible arrangement in 2016.
FlexJobs, a job board for remote positions, acknowledges that roughly 95% of its listings still have a location requirement, whether it's a specific city, state or region of the country. These requirements could be in place so the worker can visit the employer's office for in-person meetings, to facilitate timely communication within a certain time zone, or to abide by employment tax law requirements.
For workers who want a truly location-agnostic job, that means the remaining 5% of remote opportunities don't have a location requirement.
Competition for these positions can be stiff, says Brie Weiler Reynolds, career development manager and coach at FlexJobs. She tells CNBC Make It that job seekers should highlight their strong teamwork skills in order to stand out.
Reynolds's advice: "When submitting your application for a work-from-anywhere job, be sure to include on your resume and in your cover letter any previous experience you have working remotely, your strong communication and collaboration skills, and your comfort with technology — specifically, remote collaboration tools like online chat, document sharing, project management programs and others."
Here are the most common jobs that can be done from anywhere in the world according to FlexJobs, plus how much they pay, according to PayScale data.
Average salary: $82,916 per year
Product managers are responsible for the strategy, development and launch of products within their organization. They often manage teams, oversee budgets and stay on top of deadlines. These workers tend to work across several departments, such as engineering, marketing and design.
Considering this type of job is heavily involved in working with others, a work-from-anywhere product manager is more likely to exist at an organization that's already fully remote.
"A common theme among companies that hire for work-from-anywhere jobs is that they are built this way," Reynolds says, adding that these organizations function without a physical office or headquarters altogether.
For remote product managers, that could be good news. Companies built with the infrastructure to support a fully remote workforce are likely to have a robust suite of collaboration tools, such as project management apps or videoconferencing systems. Furthermore, workers are hired to a fully remote company with the expectation that they'll need to have strong communication skills, which could mean an easier time for managers working with employees around the world.
Average salary: $71,968 per year
Business development managers are another team-based job. These workers create business plans, manage client accounts and improve customer satisfaction, all of which require strong communication and relational skills.
People in these roles tend to come in with several years of marketing and sales experience. This is ideal for remote companies who want to know employees are coming in with industry knowledge and are able to work well without constant management.
Reynolds notes these jobs tend to be full-time employee roles, too, rather than junior or contract positions.
"It's a common assumption that this type of job must be a freelance or contract role, but the vast majority of work-from-anywhere jobs on our site, over 75%, are employee roles," Reynolds says. "Remote work has come a long way in terms of focusing on the vital areas of teamwork and collaboration. Companies, especially those that operate mostly or completely remote, take great care to build companies with collaboration, communication and teamwork at the forefront of their operations."
Average salary: $71,145 per year
Front-end developers code websites. Information technology workers have high earning power, whether they're in an office or working remotely. In some of the most competitive markets for tech, software engineers of varying specialties easily earn upwards of $150,000, according to data from Hired, a tech recruitment platform.
The online nature of this line of work makes it particularly good for a work-from-anywhere arrangement. There's also a nationwide tech talent shortage where there are more open IT jobs than people with the right skills to fill them, which can give software developers more leverage to negotiate a flexible work arrangement.
Rishon Blumberg is co-founder of of 10x Ascend, a company that negotiates job offers on behalf of senior tech leaders. He says he's seen more professionals take jobs that pay less in favor of ones that offer remote arrangements.
"We're beginning to see a lot more of an understanding of work-life balance being more important than salary," Blumberg tells CNBC Make It.
Average salary: $64,500 per year
U.S. News & World Report identified marketing managers — who create marketing campaigns across ad copy, social media and SEO strategy — as one of the best-paying jobs of 2020. This sales and marketing job requires a bachelor's degree and several years of industry experience; some organizations may also prefer to hire a professional with a master's degree in the field.
Because work-from-anywhere jobs are harder to find, Reynolds suggests job seekers look for fully remote companies first, then see what openings they have available, rather than starting a search by job title first.
"Even if the company doesn't have something open in your field, you might consider reaching out to their HR team or even the CEO if it's a smaller company, and introducing yourself," Reynolds adds. "Tell them how you can help their company in particular, and ask them to keep you in mind for future hiring needs in your line of work."
Average salary: $61,389 per year
Curriculum designers create academic training and course materials, which can include writing syllabi, creating online course content and using feedback to update course offerings. This role is especially in demand, given that the e-learning industry reached $107 billion in 2015, and forecasts project the market will grow to $325 billion by 2025.
Employers in today's tight labor market are increasingly turning to online learning platforms to retain existing workers rather than hire new ones, which can be costly. Companies that invest in workers' professional development, whether it's the latest technology skills or even soft skills like adaptability or time management, can maintain their workforce and encourage innovation from within.
Furthermore, education companies also grew their remote workforce in the past year: Two e-learning companies, VIPKid and EF Education First, were the biggest employers of remote workers on FlexJobs in 2019.
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