Want to Work From Home? This Site Tells You Which Companies Will Let You
So you’re looking for a job and you’d prefer to work from home — at least as much as possible. That used to be a pipe dream, but in the wake of the pandemic it’s become standard practice in many industries.
But when you look through job ads, they’re frustratingly vague when it comes to how much you’d actually be able to work from home. It’s like trying to read tea leaves.
When an employer touts a “hybrid work-from-home policy,” how many days in the office are you in for? And what does “flexible WFH policy” mean? How flexible are we talking about?
Now a new online database called the Flex Index is trying to cut through the fog and give job seekers more specific answers about what employers really expect. Hey, it’s all about maintaining your work-life balance and not being a slave to the office.
Sure, there are good lists of remote jobs out there, like The Penny Hoarder’s continually updated list of dozens of work-from-home companies, which you should definitely check out.
But the Flex Index is a searchable database of 4,000 employers and what their work-from-home policies are. It’s publicly available, and it’s free. And one thing its creators found is that different companies rarely share the same definition of “remote work.”
‘I Don’t Think We’re Ever Going Back’
The Flex Index is the brainchild of Scoop, a startup that helps co-workers coordinate their hybrid work schedules.
“It seems that some degree of work location flexibility is increasingly becoming an expectation for today’s workforce,” Scoop CEO Rob Sadow told The Penny Hoarder. “I don’t think we’re ever going back to a reality where the vast majority of corporate employees are working five days a week in the office.”
Job seekers can search the index by industry, by location, by company size and by companies’ remote work requirements.
The data comes from online employee surveys and from collecting publicly available information from job postings and career websites and such. Once a company is posted to the index, Scoop reaches out and gives it a chance to add or edit the information.
The site just launched in early 2023, so relatively few employers have verified their information on the Flex Index so far. “Since the launch in February, we’ve seen hundreds of companies either verify or start working through the verification process,” Sadow said.
Looking for a remote job? The Penny Hoarder’s work-from-home jobs portal is updated daily. And we vet the jobs, too.
How Each Employer Is Categorized
The index has a number of categories for what you as an employee can expect from each company. Here are its definitions:
Fully Remote: Companies with no physical office space. Everyone works remotely.
Employee’s Choice: You choose when or if you work from an office. This is also known as “fully flexible.”
Structured Hybrid: Companies that have specific expectations on when you work in the office. The different models are:
Minimum Days: Companies that require a minimum number of office days per week — typically two or three.
Specific Days: Companies that want you to work in the office on specific days of the week. (Tuesday is the most common one.)
Minimum & Specific Days: Companies that do a combination of both.
Minimum Percentage of Time: Companies that set a minimum percentage of time you must work from the office (like 40%, for example).
Full Time in Office: Companies that require you to work on-site all the time.
Employers Are Split Down the Middle
Why did Scoop create the Flex Index? Because it’s good for marketing, and it serves as a lead generator for Scoop’s remote work management business.
In creating the index, Scoop found a few key trends:
- The U.S. is split down the middle on work location flexibility, with 49% of companies requiring full-time on-site work and 51% offering some flexibility.
- Hybrid WFH employees should plan on commuting midweek, with companies most commonly requiring workers to come into the office two or three times a week. Tuesday is the most common required day, with Tuesday to Thursday being the most popular combination.
- The bigger they are, the more structure they have: Companies with under 500 employees are more than twice as likely to be “fully flexible” on remote work compared to companies with more than 1,000 workers.
Ultimately, the Flex Index is just one more tool to help keep yourself informed about your options.
Remember, you don’t have to be chained to the office.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He’s on a hybrid work schedule.