Remote work has long been a coveted perk for employees looking to cut back on their commute and work from the comfort of their own home. Now, the desire to work from home combined with new, better telecommunications technology have made remote professionals the norm instead of the exception.
Today, many jobs can be done remotely, so the question isn’t which work-from-home positions are available, but rather which are right for your degree? If you have a master’s in business administration, there are a number of jobs where your expertise is needed that could be performed from home.
Here are some things you should consider when searching for work-from-home jobs, including the benefits of remote work, some positions to be on the lookout for, and tips for staying productive.
Benefits of Working from Home
Working from home is an attractive option for employees for several reasons. First and foremost, it eliminates commute time, which for many people puts at least an hour of productive time back into their day. This can also translate into getting more sleep and having a more flexible schedule.
While these perks are attractive, there are some other compelling reasons to make the switch. According to Owl Labs’ State of Remote Work 2019 report, surveys found that full-time remote workers say they’re happy in their position 22% more when compared to employees who never work from home.
Working from home can also improve your productivity. When you work remotely, you are no doubt surrounded by more distractions than you would be at the office. Pets, children, and television can all take your attention away from the task at hand. However, modern employees are proving to be more productive when working in a home environment since the arrangement was first studied in 2012.
Perhaps this is because employees must be accountable for their productivity throughout the day. In a recent study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, researchers found that employees are completing 50% of their work activities by personal choice and half as many because someone is telling them to. This shows that employees deem their remote work important, and the increase in productivity is positive for both you and your employer.
10 Jobs You Can Do from Home with an MBA
Now that you know about some of the benefits of working remotely, you’re likely curious about some of the positions where your MBA degree will be best utilized—even if you’re a recent MBA graduate. Here are 10 positions where an MBA is preferred (or required) and you can easily work from home:
Marketing is a lucrative career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is expected to grow by 6% from 2019-2029. This faster-than-average growth is due to businesses’ consistent need to expand their brand. A bachelor’s degree is a must for these positions, but an MBA is preferred. Having an advanced degree can set you apart from other applicants.
Marketing and product managers must be experts on the business’s brand and products, and constantly work to improve them. They operate cross-functionally with finance and other departments to make strategic decisions. With the rise of video conferencing platforms, meeting with remote teams is easier than ever. Similarly, digital marketing tools help project managers stay on top of content creation, collaboration, and data analysis from their personal desktop.
If your passion is helping businesses improve and maintain their financial edge, you can accomplish this goal from behind your keyboard at home. Your MBA program and business school has prepared you with the financial knowledge you need to produce financial reports and direct investment strategies to meet organizational goals, and technology means you can do all of this remotely. There are many financial tools that you can use from a laptop, like Microsoft Excel, which is perhaps one of the most popular applications for financial managers.
You can collaborate with your team through video conferencing and easily share your reports online like you would in the office. Alternatively, you could be a freelance advisor who helps businesses with their finances as needed.
Similar to marketing roles, it’s not a requirement to have an MBA to be a sales consultant, but it can definitely help you obtain a higher salary. An MBA and a few years of experience can help you refine your sales skills and prepare you for a remote career path. Today, many businesses have adapted their sales cycles and customer service strategies to accommodate digital processes in place of in-person events.
If you work for a consulting firm, you may be using specialized software to monitor sales and market trends to suggest strategy improvements. On the other hand, you could be a self-employed sales consultant who works with clients on a contract basis. As many industries face an uncertain future when it comes to sales, they are looking for innovative ways to improve their processes, which is an opportunity for you to use your MBA expertise.
Supply chain manager
Anyone involved in the supply chain is part of a very hands-on role in the business. For that reason, not every one of these employees can work from home. Warehouse workers, drivers, and maintenance teams are essential for boots-on-the-ground operations. However, as analytics solutions provider River Logic pointed out, many office workers, including supply chain managers, could work from home with the right infrastructure in place.
Many supply chain officers use corporate supply chain management software and enterprise resource planning to manage their backend systems. When these applications are already in the cloud (which most are), setting up remote work access is relatively easy. With a secured VPN, you can safely access your company’s network, share documents, and manage supply chain operations all from a home office.
Health services manager
Did you know that your MBA can be utilized in a health care setting? According to the BLS, medical and health services managers plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of health care providers. They’re not doctors or physicians, but they ensure that operations in the health care facilities are efficient.
A master’s degree is preferred in this field, as being a health services manager requires expertise in both business operations and processes specific to the health care industry. And this position is on the rise. Employment is projected to grow 32% from 2019-2019 due to an increasing demand for health care services.
You don’t even need to step foot in a facility to be a health services manager. Having access to every day digital workflows and calendars can help you coordinate activities remotely.
Human resource manager
HR managers know their position hinges on making connections with employees, and this is still possible while working remotely. Video conferencing apps and online chats make it simple to book meetings with employees and perform other HR functions like hiring and interviewing new staff.
While operating as an HR manager remotely, make sure to always let employees know you’re available to chat. Keep some availability in your calendar and schedule recurring meetings to check the pulse of the rest of the remote office and gain an understanding of how you can continue to improve the employee experience.
Public relations director
If you want to practice public relations in an agency setting, a bachelor’s degree will likely be all you need. However, the role of PR director requires an MBA. It’s their job to oversee the PR team and implement strategies to maximize a brand’s presence. It’s still easy to collaborate with teams with video conferencing applications and digital documentation sharing. Similarly, you can continue to monitor brand performance, current market trends, and maintain partner relationships while working from home with as little as a stable internet connection.
As a PR director, no two days are the same. Especially during current conditions, it’s important to think outside the box to maintain relationships and share content, something that your MBA program will have well prepared you for.
Information systems manager
Like supply chain managers, information systems professionals typically take on more hands-on tasks. They are responsible for determining a business’s information technology goals and implementing computer systems to meet them. In 2018, Logic Monitor conducted research that predicted that by 2020, 83% of enterprise infrastructure would be in the cloud. With the current state of remote work and technology, it would not be surprising if adoption of the cloud exceeds this prediction.
This is good news for information systems managers who are working remotely. When systems are on the cloud, it’s easier to securely access them even when you’re not in the office.
Compensation and benefits manager
An MBA helps you find niche positions within businesses, like compensation and benefits coordination. Every company that wants to attract and retain top talent will need a dedicated manager to plan, develop, and oversee programs to compensate employees.
Many benefits administration applications exist that make it easy for managers and employees to coordinate perks online. You can easily research and plan compensation programs remotely and take advantage of digital tools and online meetings to track progress or employee engagement. Staying on top of employee benefits trends is also an important aspect of the position in which computers and strong research skills come in handy.
Any executive position
When applying for any executive positions, an MBA and years of experience is a must. For technology officers, chief marketing officers, and chief financial officers, not only is it important to be an expert in your department, you must also be a leader. When operating remotely, in-person meetings are still possible to foster collaboration and strategize. Use video calls as often as possible to continue making connections with your team and test other tools that can help with information sharing.
Staying Productive While Working Remotely
Of course, transitioning to being a full-time employee working remotely can come with its challenges. From having to be accountable for your own productivity to distractions such as attention-seeking pets and televisions, here are some tips that can help you stay focused and get the most out of your remote work environment:
Have the equipment you need
A computer and strong internet connection are necessary when working from home, but they likely aren’t the only things you need when completing business tasks remotely. Your organization may have proprietary software or keep special applications behind its firewall that you would need access to. Ensure that you can gain entry to all of the portals, shared documents, and apps that you need to do your job from home.
Depending on your position, you may require some additional hardware, like a financial calculator. Make a list of the equipment you would typically have available in the office to ensure you have them at home as well.
Create a designated workspace
As noted by Jonathon Bacon in Forbes, when working remotely it’s important to stick to your routine as closely as possible. This means adhering to your typical schedule and finding a space that would mimic your office setting. While not every home has a designated office space, it’s important to work in a consistent area, like your dining room table or desk in a guest room. Bacon also recommends that you avoid working from your bedroom, as your body and mind associate the space with sleep and restfulness.
Prioritize a work-life balance
Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges of working remotely is creating a clear distinction between home life and work. That’s why it’s important to work in an area apart from where you typically relax and stick to consistent hours. Don’t hesitate to take breaks throughout the day like you would at the office, but try to avoid working late into the night.
As you can see, there are a multitude of work-from-home MBA jobs where your degree can be utilized, so keep that in mind during your job search. And it’s never too late to begin your journey in higher education. Learn more about applying and paying for an MBA today at Washington State University and kickstart your remote work career.