Worker looking at five companies offering remote jobsIf your company is slowly warming up to the idea of implementing a flexible work policy, there’s no time like the present. FlexJobs recently released its “100 Top Companies with Remote Jobs in 2016” list. From full-time telecommuting jobs to part-time work and virtual positions, the 100 companies that were selected posted the most work-at-home positions in the previous year.

But if you think that all these companies must be the same, offering similar data entry gigs and customer service jobs, you’d be wrong. The companies that made the list span the gamut from health companies to computer giants, education to accounting. Simply put, these top 100 companies show that telecommuting is a viable way of doing business for virtually any industry! So what do these five very different companies have in common? Remote jobs. Lots of them.

Here are five successful companies offering remote jobs:

1. IBM

With over 400,000 employees worldwide, IBM is an award-winning technology and consulting company. It offers flexible work both nationally and internationally in the form of telecommuting jobs.

Flexible jobs offered by IBM:

Advanced Analytics Data Scientist; Digital Banking Ecosystem Leader; SAP BW/HANA Architect; Visual Designer; Business Development Executive

2. U.S. Department of Agriculture

With a history dating back to 1862, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is a federal agency that creates guidelines pertaining to food, natural resources, agriculture, and animal health.

Flexible jobs offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Social Service Assistant; Forestry Technician; IT Specialist; Student Trainee (Veterinary); Program Analyst (Chief of Staff); Mechanical Engineer

3. Humana

A leader in the healthcare industry, Humana is the third-largest health insurance provider in the U.S. It currently insures over 13.8 million people.

Flexible jobs offered by Humana:

Bilingual Registered Field Nurse; Clinical Formulary Strategy Pharmacist; IT Business Analyst; MRA Front Line Leader

4. American Express

As a global provider of financial goods, services, and solutions, American Express has 63,500 employees worldwide and boasts nearly $32 billion in annual revenue.

Flexible jobs offered by American Express:

Manager – Business Development; Senior Client Manager; Software Engineer – Core Mobile; Analyst – Sales

5. University of Maryland University College

The University of Maryland University College is the nation’s largest public university. It has more than 90,000 students in over 25 countries.

Flexible jobs offered by the University of Maryland University College:

History – Undergraduate School – Adjunct Faculty; East Asian Studies – Undergraduate School – Adjunct Faculty; Cybersecurity – Undergraduate School – Adjunct Faculty

If your company is slowly warming up to the idea of factoring in a flexible work policy as part of its programs and procedures, here are a few tips:

Get everyone on board.

Let’s say that a handful of your employees and a smattering of managers have worked remotely before. If you’re going to have flexible work become part-and-parcel of what your company is about, then you’ll need to get your entire team (bosses and employees alike) on board—and excited—about flexible work. Explain how flex will benefit the company, allowing you to recruit and retain top-tier talent from anywhere in the world. Explain how employees will be able to customize their schedules—and finally achieve work-life balance. Once everyone understands the reasons for a remote work policy (and the many, many benefits), they’ll accept it that much more easily.

Set them up for success.

Sure, studies have shown time and time again that remote workers are far more productive than traditional office types. But that doesn’t mean simply telling people to work from home will automatically guarantee great results. In order for your company to thrive with a remote work policy, you’ll need to set your teams up for success straight from the start. Implement multiple means of connecting with each other, from collaboration tools to a wide range of communications tools. Your organization might even want to offer office equipment, in the form of laptops and mobile devices, to be dedicated for work. All of these can help factor into the overall success of your remote workers.

Schedule check-ins.

Even if you share information with your workers and give them everything that they need to perform at their peak, you’ll still need to check in with them to ensure their success. Start by having weekly check-ins with the various teams, then break it down into more personalized individual meetings. Find out how employees are handling the transition to working remotely (if they were previously in-office), and what, if any, issues they might be facing. These mini meetings give both of you an opportunity to voice any potential concerns you might be facing—and the chance to fix them.

Although the five companies above are very different, they all share the understanding that remote work is a big benefit to their organizations. They realize that flexible work is desired by the majority of today’s workforce, and they are harnessing the power of flex to their advantage in the form of cost savings, being able to find the best talent out there, and in turn, creating a loyal, dedicated workforce. Now that’s a smart way to do business.

Readers, how do you factor flexible work policies into your programs and procedures? Do you offer remote jobs? Tell us in the comments below!

photo credit: istockphoto.com