Idaho among leaders in working remotely

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Top 10 states for remote jobs:

Percent of total workforce

1. Colorado: 7

2. Vermont: 6.7

3. Oregon: 6.4

4. Montana: 6.3

5. New Hampshire: 6.1

6. IDAHO 5.9

7. Arizona: 5.7

8. Washington: 5.6

9. Maine: 5.5

10. South Dakota: 5.5

A six-figure salary and slippers?

Yes, please.

While working from home still isn’t for everybody, it’s an increasingly popular proposition for employers and employees alike. According to FlexJobs (flexjobs.com), 24 percent of U.S. workers perform some or all of their work remotely. The data comes from a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

The thing is, some of these jobs are outstanding.

“Remote jobs are definitely not confined to entry-level jobs or even mid-career positions,” said Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “Seasoned professionals looking for remote work are oftentimes surprised by the variety of remote jobs that match their experience and career-level. Making a great salary when you’re at the top of your career doesn’t have to be done from an office, especially as more and more companies integrate remote workers into their standard business model.”

Idaho’s catching on. According to FlexJobs and 2016 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the national average of all U.S. workers who work from home is 4.6 percent. Idaho ranks sixth in the nation, at 5.9 percent. Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai County both do even better, at 6.3 percent each, said FlexJobs’ Kathy Gardner.

Samuel Wolkenhauer, North Idaho regional economist for the Idaho Department of Labor, said his agency doesn’t track remote workers specifically, but he does see some intriguing pluses and minuses with the increasing popularity of working from home — pros and cons for both the payer and the payee.

“The advantage from the employer’s perspective is mainly that it would be less expensive because you don’t have to provide a formal office space,” he said. “It obviously would reduce the need for overhead, for space and infrastructure, etc. But you would trade that off for less control over the working hours. That puts you in a position of more indirect management.

“From the employee perspective, I think the main advantage would be the flexibility of working from home or a home office. You’re trading flexibility for structure, and flexibility can reduce costs. But for some employers, that’s probably not a tradeoff they like if the structure is more important to them.”

What the future holds, however, might be shifting, Wolkenhauer acknowledged.

“I would presume it’s younger workers who are overwhelmingly more likely to prefer that sort of arrangement,” he said. “It’s pretty well established that millennial workers place a higher value on flexibility, work-life balance, things of that nature, and they have less of an expectation of conventional 8 to 5, clock in and clock out sort of arrangement. I would expect remote work to increase as younger people become a larger and larger share of the employment base.”

While most remote jobs aren’t quite as rewarding as these, Gardner provided some real-life examples of work-from-home jobs with six-figure salaries and executive slippers:

Chief Marketing Officer

Median Salary: $170,521

Description: Provide support and work directly with an executive team and the CEO. Will facilitate sales, growth, and strategies for marketing; reduce costs; and perform the mitigation of risks. Seven or more years of experience is needed. Option for remote position.

Director of Digital,

Online Marketing

Median Salary: $100,447

Description: Analyze digital programs, lead the paid program management activities, and define digital needs. Must have 10+ years’ B2B marketing experience, paid search experience, and knowledge of Tech Stack. All telecommuting position.

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Median Salary: $130,260

Description: Be accountable for recruiting and prospecting companies and managing pipeline partnerships via strong relationship building. Will coordinate employer opportunities, attend networking events, and handle mentoring activities. Work remotely.

Regional Vice President

Median Salary: $138,101

Description: Regional VP sought for a remote option position requiring 12+ years’ similar experience, relevant MA/MS, and leadership skills. Will develop leads, support teams, implement plans, resolve issues, and provide leadership and motivation.

And for those with really special skill sets?

Vice President of Engineering

Median Salary: $200K-$235K

Description: VP of engineering sought for a full-time, flexible hour, partially remote position requiring leadership skills and three or more years of experience in management. Will support teams, build business partnerships, resolve issues, and implement plans.

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