GETTING HIRED AS A REMOTE WORKER
Last summer, furniture manufacturer Herman Miller told Working Mother that about 17 percent of its 57 open jobs were designated for full-time remote workers. The positions included talent recruiter, workplace-knowledge consultant, helpdesk technician and sales-operations manager. But Ann Noe, the company’s inclusiveness and corporate diversity senior program manager, says these jobs aren’t labeled as “remote” in the listings. So how can you tell if a job you’re interested in can be done remotely?
Noe points out that her company’s remote job listings often mention a home-office requirement. It’s also possible that although a job might not be listed as remote, it could be negotiated with an employer that already has such arrangements. Still, a director of human resources for one of the 100 Best Companies advises against broaching the matter right away during a first meeting. “I would do well in the interview first,” she says. Then, if you move far enough along in the process to meet with human resources, you can ask if the role could be eligible for a remote arrangement, either after you’ve gone through training or after you’ve proved yourself to your manager. (The caveat: If the job’s location is a deal breaker, you need to be upfront about that.)
Employers will be more open to a work-from-home scenario for someone with a unique specialty, says Zoetis’ Roxanne Lagano. Remote employees at her company include scientists, research and development staff, sales representatives and an employee in its tax division. Zoetis doesn’t recruit for specific remote positions, but “we look for the right talent for our organization, and sometimes that means people work from a distance,” says Lagano. She estimates that happens about 5 to 10 percent of the time.