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Flex Jobs Are The Norm Now And This Is How You Keep Them

Good news for those of you looking for a more flexible job. You won’t have to look very hard. According to FlexJobs, work-from-anywhere jobs have increased by 118 percent since 2012.

Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs, said 2014 is looking to be another big year in remote job opportunities. “The growth in remote job availability since I founded FlexJobs in 2007 is amazing. It is thrilling to see the increase in both volume and variety of top companies integrating telecommuting options as part of their workplace culture.”

FlexJobs looked at data that showed that 75 percent of employees who work from home earn over $65,000 per year, putting them in the upper 80th percentile of all employees, home or office-based. Not too shabby.

The career fields that have had the highest increase of work-from-anywhere job listings include:

  • Retail Jobs: 85 percent increase
  • Travel & Hospitality Jobs: 68 percent increase
  • Medical & Health Jobs: 64 percent increase
  • Insurance Jobs: 52 percent increase
  • Bilingual Jobs: 49 percent increase

And flex jobs can be awesome, but you need to prove to your manager and teammates that you are accountable and won’t be slacking off just because you don’t have to wear pants all day. Here are a few tips:

Be reachable at all times

It often seems that when you are not in an office you actually have to be more connected. Your team won’t know if you are in the bathroom or if you  took a day trip to Atlantic City. If you are not going to be near a computer or have access to your phone for an extended period of time you need to inform people.

Invest in good internet

You do not want to be the one slowing down Google Hangout meetings because you picked the cheap internet plan. Your company may even be willing to help you with the costs if it means easier access to you.

Look for the traditional cable Internet providers, fiber optic providers like Google Fiber or Verizon FiOs in select areas of the country or satellite internet if you’re more rural. And then there are mobile hotspot devices like Karma allow you to connect virtually anywhere. You could also try FreedomPop. The initial investment is a little pricy at $99 but then users get up to 500 megabytes of data a month.

Try to have water cooler conversations

When you aren’t in an office you miss out on that natural culture that develops. You know the kind: inside jokes, eating meals together, talking about the last episode of “Game of Thrones”. As a telecommuter you should try to have a few casual conversations with your team. Just see how they are doing and what is going on with them.

Visit the office

Stop by the office frequently if it is easy for you to do so. Some arrangements actually require you to be there a few days per month. Definitely go for really big meetings or presentations.

Be clear about what you need

It is easy when you aren’t in the office to not tell people exactly what you need. But if you ignore this then eventually you will find yourself in big trouble.

Stick to a schedule

Sticking to a schedule as if you were in an office will just help your work ethic. Plus, you shouldn’t boast about the fact that maybe you can sleep later or go outside more or watch television at lunch. It will just cause resentment amongst your team.