Find A Great Hybrid Job: The Best-Bet Industries, States And Cities
Hybrid work is arguably the best of both worlds—the opportunity to work from home sometimes and the office at other times—and the opportunity to meet both personal needs and professional demands. The last few years have provided the realization that giving people more choice and allowing multiple ways of working has tremendous benefits for people and for business.
But the competition for hybrid roles is sure to intensify. On the one hand, seemingly every company is offering more hybrid working opportunities, and jobs in the U.S. are available with unemployment remaining low (3.7% in the October jobs report). But with high-profile layoffs and more people concerned about job security—and therefore sticking with their current companies—employers will be increasingly selective in hiring and the best jobs will be tougher to get.
You’ll want to be intentional about where to look for the best hybrid options and how to find your optimal opportunities.
Hybrid Is Here
The trends toward hybrid work are striking. In fact, 95% of decision makers believe some portion of their workforce can work in a remote or partially-remote, according to a study by Atlas. In addition, companies in the study predicted one quarter of their workforce could work in a hybrid model.
According to another survey of all kinds of workers (including almost 14,000 blue-collar and white-collar employees), 58% have the opportunity to work from home one day a week and 35% of have the option to work from home five days a week. And when they’re offered the chance to work from home, 87% take advantage of it—this data according to a study by McKinsey.
Also notable is the number of employees demanding options for hybrid work. A whopping 69% of workers are considering switching jobs in order to pursue hybrid work, according to a study from Monster. And the McKinsey study found flexibility was the third-ranked motivation for seeking another job after compensation and career opportunities.
Finding the Best-Fit Hybrid Role
If you want to increase your chances of landing your best-fit hybrid role, how should you proceed? Consider the work you do, your industry, your location, how you do your best work and (surprise!) what you do when you’re not working.
Consider the Work You Do
In the last year, job listings for hybrid opportunities have increased 52%, according to a study by FlexJobs. Even more valuable, however, is the data about which career fields are most likely to offer hybrid options. These include:
- Accounting and Finance
- Computer and IT
- Project Management
- Medical and Health
- HR and Recruiting
Education was on the list in 2021 but fell off the list in 2022. In addition, HR and recruiting jobs emerged on the list in the last year. And while they were not the industries with the most opportunities, the career fields of nonprofit and philanthropy, communications and legal experienced significant growth in hybrid job listings.
According to the McKinsey survey, the jobs with the most options for remote work include computer/mathematical, business/financial operations, architecture and engineering, arts/design/entertainment, legal, community/social service and life/physical/social science and management.
Give thought to how your skills could line up with these fields. Perhaps you’re an educator and you can look for an opportunity to offer computer training or seek a learning and development role within an HR department. Target the top fields when you’re seeking hybrid work.
Consider Where to Live
Technology and the economy have made relocation a reality for many. People are choosing to relocate and select different living conditions based on the ability to work from a distance and the number of jobs available on a hybrid basis.
In particular, people are moving away from higher-cost cities to lower-cost mid-markets where their wages buy them a better quality of life. Nearly one quarter (22%) of workers say they plan to move 50 miles away from their employer’s office, and 12% have already made this move without telling their employers—this according to a study by PwC. An example of talent migration is evident in California based on research by the California Policy Lab: City populations are decreasing while suburbs are increasing based on affordability and lifestyle.
But what are the best cities for remote work? A study by Reviews.org rated cities based on criteria like tech capabilities (including download speed and number of free wifi hotspots), cost of accommodations, airport availability, climate and outdoor experiences (nearest national park and recreation areas). Based on these criteria, the top ten cities for remote work or digital nomads were:
- Seattle, WA
- Portland, OR
- Chicago, IL
- Atlanta, GA
- San Jose, CA
- Washington, DC
- San Francisco, CA
- New York City, NY
- Philadelphia, PA
- Denver, CO
Within this list, San Francisco and San Jose are notable for having 294 state recreation areas each, while Washington DC and Philadelphia have the best download speeds. There are also some cities which weren’t as desirable. Among the 100 cities analyzed in the study, Mobile, Alabama, Albany, New York and Portland, Maine scored at the bottom of the list.
Consider How You Work Best
When you’re finding a hybrid role, also reflect on your own work preferences. The narrative that all work is bad or that work is a purely negative element of life is wrong. Work can be a source of esteem and an opportunity to express your talents and provide your skills for a broader purpose. Not all work experiences are perfect, and there is room for improvement, but work is an important part of life, and all work has dignity in the contribution it makes to the broader community.
So, with hybrid work opportunities, ask questions about how much access you’ll have to an office and whether you’ll be able to choose to be face-to-face with teammates to build relationships, roll up sleeves and do meaningful work together. Find out if the office is designed for effective work which includes not only collaboration and socializing, but also areas for focus, learning and rejuvenation. Inquire about whether the employer offers choice in when, where and how you’ll work—and how they facilitate communication between teams so groups can also coordinate work effectively.
Also find out how the employer is ensuring presence equity with technology that helps people connect effectively and a culture which values workers regardless of location. Explore their programs for mentoring, development and career advancement no matter where you’ll be working. All of these will be important criteria to ensure you can do your best work both in the office and away from it.
Consider Your Life Outside of Work
When you’re thinking of hybrid work locations, you can also consider what you like to do when you’re not working. Happiness is associated with meaningful work, but interestingly, when people do satisfying activities outside of work, they tend to perceive more happiness within work itself. Exercising, spending time in nature, volunteering and pursuing education are all linked with greater levels of happiness.
For your hybrid work, it’s possible to choose places to live which are most supportive of these sources of happiness. A study by Amerisleep, judged 17 criteria including average working hours and commute times, but also the prevalence of health clubs, amount of trees, national parks and open spaces, volunteer opportunities and higher education sources, among others. According to these criteria, your best chances of happy hybrid work are in:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- Rhode Island
The least happy states according to the criteria were Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Nevada and Ohio.
Create Your Future
Things may seem like they’re inside out and upside down right now, but periods of disruption can be terrific opportunities to recreate your career and find emerging opportunities. And the time has never been better to find your best options for hybrid work.
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