Want to WFH? Companies Offering High-Pay, Remote Jobs
Double your spending money by saving on taxes, housing and commuting
The coronavirus crisis has proved that millions of former cubicle and office occupants can work effectively from home. If you’re a new WFH-er, or are envying those who are, now’s a good time to consider its benefits in terms of personal finances and lifestyle.
You can be certain employers are thinking about increased reliance on remote workers, too, as a cost-cutting tool (less office space, for instance) and to attract and retain the most valued workers. According to data compiled by LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team, remote job postings increased by 28% over the month of March.
Landing the right remote job can boost your quality of life and save you thousands of dollars a year, especially if you move from a higher-cost area to a lower-cost one. Here’s an example of how those numbers might play out.
In San Francisco, an experienced director of communications might make $120,00 a year, which turns into about $80,400 cash in hand after state, local and federal taxes are factored in. The office is 15 miles away and an hour commute each way. That’s another $4,380 per year, using a cost-of-commuting calculator, and roughly 21 days spent each year driving to and from work. Housing for a couple, according to the Economic Policy Institute’s budget calculator, runs about $28,700.
So, after taxes, housing and commuting, you’re left with about $47,000 for other expenses — healthcare, food, etc. Adjust for the high cost of living in San Francisco, and that amounts to just under $37,000 when compared to average spending power nationally.
Now, take that same job but make it remote. Our communications director instantly gains more than $4,000 back from not commuting. That same job in Santa Fe, New Mexico, nets $74,000 after factoring in the lower tax burden, lower cost of housing and living. And with two extra hours per day, that’s plenty of time to take up a new hobby to boost quality of life in a small and vibrant city known for good food and unique architecture.
To learn more about calculating your tax and cost of living savings, read my column on how to boost your work from home salary just by moving.
If you’re eager to find a quality remote position soon, the not-as-great news is that a lot of the job growth is in lower-paying positions, like for customer support representatives. But don’t panic. As I wrote about recently, a study by the University of Chicago estimates that 37% of U.S. jobs can be performed at home, and most of these jobs tend to be higher-skilled and professional.
I recommend keeping an eye on companies that have already been doing a lot of remote hiring. They are more likely to have a smoother onboarding process because they’ve worked out the kinks and have a system in place. Job sites like Flexjobs and We Work Remotely produce their own lists of companies that post the most remote jobs on their platforms. I’ve gone through lists produced by these sites and others and am listing the companies that show up most often, sorted by industry:
Software: Dell, TaxJar, SAP, ReCharge Payments, Salesforce, Jack Henry & Associates
Health: UnitedHealth Group, PRA Health Sciences, Humana, Philips, Anthem, Stryker, CVS Health, Aetna
Consulting: Clevertech, Appen
Education: Kaplan, K12, Pearson
Human resources/staffing: Robert Half International, Toptal, Kelly Services
Customer service: SYKES
Check out these companies and read up on their culture. If you like what you see, visit their careers page weekly so you don’t miss an opening.
Of course, you can cast a wider net using job search engines. Those tend to be loaded with tech and IT jobs, so if you are looking for a quality non-tech job, go to a website that exclusively lists remote openings. Remotive and We Work Remotely list quality jobs and have filters for non-tech positions. I also recommend LinkedIn because it’s tuned in to your existing network and also offers a remote job filter. FlexJobs costs $50 a year but has a big database of skilled, remote positions. NoDesk also has a list of remote-first company openings, but it’s heavy on tech jobs.
Think about your goals when you’re looking at a job. Remote work holds the promise of better work-life balance, so consider how you’d like to spend that extra free time and whether that would fit with the job you’re looking at.
For example, is the company based in Europe and would you have to keep off-peak hours? If you have kids and want to be available for after school activities, an early shift might work for you. But not so much if you want to spend more time on your music and playing late-night gigs.
Last, just because you know you’ll be saving money by working from home, that doesn’t mean you should get paid less than your commuting cohorts or get less paid annual leave. Compare the position with similar ones listed on Glassdoor. Remotive is also maintaining an extensive salary-sharing spreadsheet for remote-only jobs that are sorted by experience level and company size.