The 10 big companies with the most telecommuting options

Workplace flexibility is the new normal.
Workplace flexibility is the new normal.
Image: Reuters/Ints Kalnins
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During a week like this, with record cold temperatures across a large section of the US, telecommuting sounds almost as enticing as a trip to Fiji. Now that’s a possibility for more workers in the US (working from home, not an island vacation).

A growing number of jobs that allow remote-working situations now show up at major companies, including American Express, Humana, Xerox, and General Electric. This, according to a list from FlexJobs of 100 companies that posted the most remote jobs last year on its site. FlexJobs says the list is drawn from its database of 25,000 companies, which list around 17,000 openings.

Here are the companies that top the list for posting the most remote jobs last year:

  1. Xerox
  2. UnitedHealth Group
  3. Dell
  4. Aetna
  5. American Express
  6. First Data
  7. Humana
  8. Westat
  9. K12
  10. ADP

FlexJobs identified health care, IT, education, nonprofit, and sales and marketing as the sectors most likely to offer telecommuting jobs. The most common titles include software developer, virtual teacher, nurse case manager, sales representative, and senior analyst.

“We’re regularly surprised with the depth and variety and how many different employers” offer remote work, said Sara Sutton Fell, FlexJobs CEO. Last year, the number of flexible job postings on FlexJobs rose 25%—the jobs include freelance work, non-traditional schedules, and part-time positions too. About 13.4 million US workers do their jobs at home at least one day a week, or 9.5% of the workforce. The numbers show an 18% increase from 2005 to 2010.

As a flexibility consultant to employers, Cali Williams Yost sees gains in home-based team members, thanks to more open offices without permanent desks for most employees and downsized real estate budgets.

If you want a job with more flexibility or work from home possibilities, Yost suggests the following: “Go to a company like FlexJobs or Mom Corps or recruiting groups that are specifically recruiting for flexible jobs.” But don’t ask about workplace flexibility until the end of the interview, so you won’t seem too eager or pushy to work from home.

At one company that has workers telecommuting from 190 cities, candidates have to prove themselves in a tryout. Others use video-interviews and candidate assessments—the kind that can be completed from the comfort of your couch.