There are more home-based workers than ever in the United States, and the number will only increase. According to census data, the rate has increased 35 percent between 1992 and 2010 -- which means 13.4 million out of 142 million workers total are telecommuting at least one day a week.
The data shows they’re most likely to work in the private sector, and usually have managerial roles. But the tech field is slowly but surely adding more “flexible” workers as well. Plus, people are more likely to work from home on Monday or Friday.
But besides slightly extending that weekend feeling, a 2010 study shows that these kinds of working arrangements can be healthier than regular ones. After surveying more than 16,000 people in various work situations, researchers concluded that “flexible working interventions that increase workers control and choice are likely to have a positive effect on health outcomes." Those who spent at least a day working from home had better blood pressure, better sleep quality and mental health than those who didn't.
Workers looking to change their routine can use Flexjobs -- a job search site specifically geared toward positions for “anyone who wants a job with some kind of flexibility” which includes part-time, telecommuting or freelance positions.
They recently compiled a list of the top companies that offer such positions. Below are the top 10 employers.
Also in the website’s top 100 list: the U.S. Department of Transportation, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE:CRM) Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and Thomson Reuters Corporation (NYSE:TRI).
1. Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX)
The document technology company is headquartered in Norwalk and employs more than 140,000 people around the world. In the past, Xerox has offered telecommute positions for project managers, graphic designers and social media developers, among others.
2. UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH)
This network includes a variety of businesses that provide health care through programs and services to different communities. Telecommuters for UnitedHealth can apply for positions as varied as a registered nurse -- that answers questions over the phone -- or community outreach specialist.
3. Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)
This computer maker has offered flexible jobs around the world. Options range from a position as a networking sales specialist in Brazil to a bilingual account executive in Canada. Other opportunities in software development and consultant positions that are full-time telecommute are global.
This health insurance and benefits provider is based in Connecticut but has a network of employees in 5,400 hospitals. In the past, Aetna offered full-time telecommuting positions for pharmacy directors that develop and evaluate “pharmacy utilization programs,” and data analysts who work from home to help with “supporting consulting activities and the discount process,” according to their postings.
5. American Express Company (NYSE:AXP)
The financial goods provider has to keep tabs on the nearly 102 million American Express cards used by customers in more than 130 countries. The New York-based company has offered paralegals, travel advisers and business development managers positions that allow them to work from home.
6. First Data Corporation
This electronic payments operator is in 28 countries and serves more than five million merchants. Telecommuters at First Data can hold positions that include account executive, project manager or even a government consultant for American healthcare exchanges.
7. Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM)
Another health company, Humana provides insurance and other services to millions of people. This Fortune 100 company offers work-at-home positions for pharmacy auditors, social workers and talent recruiters, among others.
8. Westat Inc.
Westat collects data for various government agencies and private companies through phone surveys and other types of data collection. According to Flexjobs, they offer positions for employees who can conduct phone interviews, analyze health data and assess children’s education levels.
9. K12 Inc. (NYSE:LRN)
This company provides Web-based classes for home-schooled elementary and high school students. There are telecommute positions available for teachers of all subjects who can create and plan lessons, and later assess students’ progress.
10. Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP)
This company has made its name as an outsourcer of payroll, tax management and benefits administration service. Its employees operate in more than 40 countries, including the United States where they help clients comply with big changes such as the Affordable Care Act. Telecommuting ADP employee positions include human resources experts, software trainers and sales mangers, among other possibilities.
(Note: Full-furnished home-office photo by Shutterstock.com.)