Close your eyes for a moment. Let the fickle and fragile imagination that you once under-cherished as a child wisp over you once again. Image, for a second, a worker sitting in their car, forced into a standstill at the back of a long line of unmoving traffic. The worker, sweating and raw with irritation, is running late for their office job 5 miles from their current standing location. In that pulsating-red moment, the worker thinks of the possibility of remote jobs and just how wonderful it would be. Just how peaceful it would be to have a longstanding commute from bedroom to home office. A walk, or dance, to their chair in a matter of 3-to-4 steps. That’s the dream.
Let’s say that this worker, upset and late, works as a social media manager. Their job consists entirely of clicking around the internet. In what world would they need to be present in the office? Especially on a day when traffic has met a record-breaking lull in unproductivity, constipated and rooted.
Though our once-seeded taboo around work only being real work if met in person has withstood the test of time, things have suddenly changed.
A disaster situation (the worldwide pandemic) has caused us to rethink the necessity of handshakes and water cooler conversations. We have seen that remote jobs are both possible and productive, if not more productive than before. 32.2% of hiring managers surveyed by Upwork said productivity has increased since their employees started working from home in 2020.
So, yes. Remote work is here to stay, even after all of the ruffling and shifting of the 2020 world. The aforementioned UpWork study hypothesized that 22% of Americans will be working remotely by 2025.
But currently, we sit within a strange balance. Some jobs are going back to the office and some jobs are staying remote. While it’s impossible to say which ones will last forever, there are a few that seem likely. Therefore, we will hedge our bets. Here are the remote jobs that will probably never return to the office:
- Are Remote Jobs Still Happening?
- Which Companies Are Committed to Remote Jobs?
- Which Remote Jobs Will Stay Remote?
Are Remote Jobs Still Happening?
If you are reading this from your cubicle, clicking the day away, you may be wondering, “remote jobs still exist?” And that’s a valid question.
Though higher-ups may be striving to squash the remote work trend, the results are contradicting. Not only are remote jobs still at their peak, but employees seem to prefer the new ways of going about their daily lives.
Remote jobs now make up more than 15% of the total opportunities in the U.S., a strong difference from the 4% in 2020. With just a quick glance on job boards like Indeed, you will find an overwhelming amount of jobs calling for remote or hybrid workers. So much so, you are unlikely to believe that companies believe the at-home work is gleamingly negative.
This 15% is technically a decrease. At remote work’s peak in April of 2022, remote jobs took up 20% of the total opportunities. It’s dropping slightly, sure, but the attention toward it is still high. While only 15% of job posts are remote, LinkedIn’s data showed that these posts received more than half of the total applications as of September.
Truly, there is no reason to reduce remote work. If employees enjoy it and it keeps productivity at around the same rate, why drop it? Furthermore, it reduces office costs, carbon footprints, and absences. If a job can afford to be remote, it shall stay remote, unless the employer is archaic in their ways of employment thought.
What’s the Deal With Hybrid Work?
Therein lies a middle ground in which companies and employers have met, shaking hands and smiling brightly. Hybrid work is the new future, giving workers the freedom of remote days and employers the restrictions of requiring in-person activities for necessary acts.
A survey by Slack found that 72% of workers in six different countries prefer a hybrid remote-office model with only 12% preferring to always work in an office setting. 13% of surveyed workers would like to always work from home and never return to the office.
Generation Z (who are set to make up 27% of the world workforce by 2025) believes that remote work is necessary due to the increasing dread and health situations that the COVID-19 pandemic brought about.
Zippia found that 26% of employees in the U.S. now work remotely (as of 2022). Furthermore, according to a study from GOBankingRates, 29% of Gen Z say they prefer to work remotely (the lowest of all generations), and 27% say remote working is a necessity (the highest of all generations). Though conflicting information on paper, the idea is clear: Gen Z doesn’t like to work from home, but they understand the importance of it for both mental and physical health.
Simply put, the future of the working world believes that hybrid workplaces are the future. They understand that a return to the office is necessary for productivity, but they have seen the fear and danger that an in-person world can bring in the midst of a life-altering pandemic. Furthermore, they have seen the possibility of a hybrid workplace and know it’s a workable concept
So, there’s the question. What are we speaking of when we say remote jobs? Because, if we were to define and break down the possibilities of an at-home/in-person split, we would be here all day.
For example, if a job is remote every day except for important meetings, it’s technically considered hybrid. We wouldn’t really consider that hybrid, though. In fact, most remote jobs should have an in-office element for important meetings, presentations, and other events. That should still be considered mobile.
Requiring, say, one in-office workday a week is still considered hybrid, but it’s kind of remote. There’s really no defining. With the absence of a COVID-19 shutdown, all remote jobs have become hybrid in some way.
What are you on about?
Let’s say, for the sake of simplicity, that all of the remote jobs we believe will stay remote (this list), have at least a 70/30 split of at-home/in-office. Anything weighing more toward in-office would be considered fully hybrid.
Which Companies Are Committed to Remote Jobs?
Before we delve into the overall jobs that will likely remain remote, we must note that there are companies that have fully dedicated their resources to remote work. There are companies, mostly in the tech sector, that have decided to stay remote for the future (with no plan of ending their hybrid models). Therefore, if you are truly jived and convinced about a remote future, you can be sure that most roles at these companies will fit the bill.
Therefore, even if you don’t work in one of the jobs we list,
there is still hope for your at-home office to remain useful.
Though we will name some big companies, FlexJobs broke down 100 remote companies here.
The creators of WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Longreads, Gravatar, and Tumblr, Automattic has gone fully remote in 2023. They claim to have over 2,000 employees in a plethora of countries speaking and covering over 90 different languages.
The e-commerce company has a plethora of different roles and positions across its 7,000-employee workforce. Founded in 2006, Shopify has worked to stay at the cutting edge of technology and technology-based work. Therefore, they have become fully remote.
Since its inception in 2007, the job board has been entirely remote. Their mission is to offer remote jobs to professionals searching, so it’s only natural that they, too, are a remote company. Furthermore, they support remote work by offering their employees stipends for professional development, technology, and office furniture.
Founded in 2012, Hubstaff is a time-tracking, project management, and workforce software that is used by 34,000 businesses and 8,000 remote teams. Much like FlexJobs, Hubstaff’s mission is to provide and create tools to help other companies work remotely. Therefore, they are also a remote company, hiring workers in over 28 countries.
Which Remote Jobs Will Stay Remote?
I have the tendency to ramble on. Have you noticed? Maybe it’s time to actually get to the promoted content. Yeah, yeah.
The point still stands: what jobs will remain remote in the future? And, though we can make a fair guess based on responsibilities and needs, we need to note that we are not soothsayers. We cannot truly predict the future, for another world-changing event could always be looming around the corner (possible recession, anyone?). It’s entirely possible that something changes, forcing all jobs to be remote or back to the office.
If you would have told us 5 years ago that 26% of American employees would be remote, or that a pandemic would scar the world for the foreseeable future, we would have laughed the premonition off. There’s just no way!
Yet, here we stand.
Anyway, here are the jobs we believe will stay remote forever, and ever, and ever:
Content Creation and Journalism
If you could take a guess as to where I am writing this article, what would you say? A drab office in the center of a metropolitan area? A damp workstation in the basement of a rural office building? An industrial park?
Aha, silly. I am writing this article from the comfort of my own home.
Here’s the thing: the need for content creation and journalism will never secede. Though the horror of AI newsrooms does pull tightly around the necks of us writers, the need for wordsmiths will never truly go away. The need for wordsmiths to write in-office seems fairly redundant, though. It’s not as if a writer has to go to meetings every day to discuss their topics. They are usually given a prompt or topic and let loose.
This goes even more so for journalism. In 2021, roughly a third (34%) of news organizations had already adopted hybrid modules, with the numbers climbing since. Other than meetings, there’s no need for journalists to work in an office. Oftentimes their day is already spent in other locations.
Anecdote: my journalism work before the pandemic was still mostly remote. I would report to the office for weekly meetings. The rest of the week I would report to my story destination and write from home, communicating with the editor entirely through email. So, there’s that.
Web Development and SEO
Much like content creation, there’s no need for web developers to work from the office. Overall, the developer works to maintain a website (or multiple websites), making sure that everything remains up-to-speed, no errors occur, and that the server can handle the incoming traffic. Not a single one of those responsibilities does, or should, require being at an office.
While the beginning of the web development cycle may require in-person communication to make the creation and idea phases run smoother, it’s not entirely unnecessary. In fact, a plethora of web developers worked remotely before the pandemic. Like a majority of jobs on this list, web development started as a mostly client-based or freelance industry. If someone wanted a website, they would reach out to a specialist and allow them to work. It was never something often in-house.
SEO work goes the same way. If the SEO specialist’s job is to oversee the on-page development of a site, they don’t necessarily need to be in the office. It’s only for specific meetings and moments that a company truly needs an SEO worker in-house.
When deciding if a job should remain remote, the question is whether or not you would ever need the employee in an immediate situation. Would you need to be able to reach them in person at a moment’s notice? Oftentimes these jobs are set-and-forget, allowing the worker to go off on their own until it’s time to report back. It’s not a job that requires much communication or collaboration.
Digital Marketing and Social Media
As alluded to, the questions surrounding whether jobs should remain remote are as follows: can the work be done all digitally? Will you ever need the employee for an emergency situation? How much collaboration is involved?
If the worker can work entirely online, doesn’t really need to be around at a moment’s notice, and doesn’t require much collaboration with other departments, it’s highly possible they can remain productive remotely. Therefore, while we won’t say for certain that digital marketing workers can stay remote, there’s a likelihood that their day-to-day doesn’t need to be in-person.
I suppose there is a time when the digital marketer may need to be in the office, especially if they are meeting, creating advertising content with a team, or overseeing a production, but the majority of their job will require editing and posting already-made content. In fact, if they aren’t the ones creating the content, just overseeing it and posting it (as well as analytics), they probably never need to be in the office.
Long story short: digital marketing and social media management are often jobs done entirely online. The nature of their purpose requires being perpetually online. Therefore, they are high candidates for remaining remote.
Two things here to note. One, graphic design is often an outsourced, freelance scenario (unless the company is significantly large). Two, graphic design is often a job that is, as we coined, set and forget. You discuss what the designer is going to do and they go off to do it, not communicating until a proof is ready to show.
Therefore, graphic design makes sense to remain entirely remote. You express your ideas with the designer, they work on it, they show you the product, you discuss the changes needed, so on and so forth.
As we noted, freelance gigs are the most likely to become permanently remote jobs. According to ColorLib, 90% of graphic designers are freelance.
Recruiting and Staffing
Hey, that’s us!
As a staffing agency, we have been remote since before the pandemic struck. Ultimately, the majority of job searching is done online. As of 2022, 80% of all job searches are done online. Furthermore, with the advancement of online meeting technology like Zoom, the entire interview and vetting process can be done online.
Henceforth, if you are a recruiter or staffing agent, your work was probably mobile before the drastic changes. Unless you work for a company that hires locally and requires in-person interviews, the majority of your work can be done directly at home. This will probably never change unless some alien invasion knocks out our internet abilities (don’t count anything out).
Help Desk and Customer Service
Most of the time, companies decide to outsource their customer service and call center departments. Therefore, through the basis of the job itself, help desk and customer service jobs have been remote for quite some time. The difference is whether the outsourced call center offers mobile work for their agents.
Ultimately, if a customer service department can be done entirely over the phone and/or chat client, then there is no reason to keep the workers in the office. Having them work remotely makes the most sense of any hybrid job, really. In fact, online customer service gigs have been over the phone forever. Even before the internet, some companies hired customer service and sales reps through remote work.
Obviously, this is customer service work that can be done over the phone. If the work pertains to retail, physical items, or other tangible situations, it must be in person.
Last, but certainly not least, is online teaching gigs.
Now, this is sort of a cheap answer. Online teaching is… Well. Online. It has always been done over the computer, for that’s the whole point. So, the teachers have always worked remotely. As long as online teaching remains a thing, online teachers will remain remote. It’s as simple as that.
Our point here is that online teaching has grown in popularity due to the aforementioned (and well-known) lockdown. Understandably so, some people are still hesitant to have in-person meetings, especially when not necessary. Once noticing that online teaching was both possible and productive, they gravitated toward the idea permanently. Whether higher education, tutoring, or extracurricular, online teaching is at an all-time high.
Even before the pandemic, online teaching was on the rise. According to Syngene’s research in 2019, the national remote teaching market was expected to reach $336.98 billion by 2026, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% from 2018 to 2026.
Not only is online teaching permanently remote, but it may also be becoming consistently lucrative. In our most recent article regarding side gigs, we noted just how profitable online teaching jobs can be.
And that’s it! Those are the remote jobs that we believe will stay remote in the near future. Through either necessity or efficiency, the aforementioned jobs make sense remotely. With the majority of workers deciding they prefer remote or hybrid work and the majority of businesses agreeing, there’s no reason to believe the trend is just a trend. If you enjoy remote work, you are in luck. It seems to have become the new normal, even post-pandemic.
Are you looking for a remote gig? Looking for your dream job that can be done from home? Tier2Tek Staffing is here for you. Not only do we have available jobs (mostly remote), but we also provide resume and application help. At the end of the day, we want to help you find your future.