Flexible work isn’t just a great thing for working parents or people who want to enjoy their lives more. Flexible jobs are a critically important source of income for professionals who have disabilities or special needs. We’re going over a few ways flexible work benefits those with disabilities and how to find a flexible job to meet your needs.
Flexible Work as a Solution
Flexible work, and particularly remote work, can make all the difference in earning a steady income and having a stable job. Flexible work options—such as working from home, working a part-time schedule, working freelance gigs, or working a flexible or alternative schedule where you can choose your hours or work hours outside of the typical workday—can provide the necessary work environment for professionals with disabilities.
These options can eliminate or reduce a commute, allow for less working hours or more time off, give the ability to attend doctor’s appointments without issue, and allow for your skills to take center stage, rather than your disability.
The American Council of the Blind offered a list of benefits that remote work can provide to those with disabilities. Among some of the best:
- Working from a home office can be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA;
- Much more flexible hours and work schedule;
- Substantially reduces and may even eliminate time-consuming, frustrating, and expensive travel;
- Can design your work environment to suit your comfort level;
- Flexible clothing—no dress codes at home (e.g., pajamas, shorts and T-shirt, etc.);
- Much more comfortable environment for a service animal;
- Fewer problems getting along with coworkers;
- May reduce or eliminate your child care or adult care expenses, thus, increasing your net income.
Employers Committed to Hiring Those with Disabilities
Flexible work opportunities are not just juicy added benefits for employees. Professionals who otherwise might not be able to work can use flexible roles to find meaningful, fulfilling work that can be tailored to their specific needs and abilities.
Focusing your job search on companies that are known to hire those with disabilities can be a smart way to find a flexible job. FlexJobs compared a ranking from DiversityInc on the top companies for people with disabilities with our database of employers to determine which of those companies also hired for flexible jobs.
These companies were graded based on “how inviting a company’s website was to customers, job applicants, and others with disabilities; whether a company’s recruiting process was inclusive of job seekers with disabilities; how and whether a company keeps track of employees with disabilities, including new hires; and availability of flexible benefits like working from home and alternative career options.”
A sampling of the list can be found below.
- IBM – remote jobs, full-time jobs, part-time jobs
- KPMG – full-time jobs, part-time jobs, seasonal jobs, remote jobs
- Kaiser Permanente – full-time jobs, part-time jobs, temporary jobs, freelance jobs
- Aetna – full-time jobs, remote jobs
- Ernst & Young – part-time jobs, flexible schedule jobs, remote jobs, freelance jobs
- Procter & Gamble – part-time jobs, remote jobs
- Deloitte – full time jobs, remote jobs, alternative schedule jobs, freelance jobs
- Sodexo – occasional jobs, full-time jobs, part-time jobs, temporary jobs, remote jobs
- Starwood Hotels & Resorts – full-time jobs, part-time jobs, temporary jobs, remote jobs
- Northrop Grumman – full-time jobs, part-time jobs, occasional jobs, remote jobs
FlexJobs hears from successful members who found a job using our services. Of particular note are the stories from job seekers with disabilities or health issues who were able to find meaningful, flexible work. Here’s a few inspiring words from our success stories:
“I applied to two telecommute jobs and heard back from both within less than two weeks. It’s funny that May is Lupus Awareness Month, as well as Ehler-Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month. May is the month I am not letting [lupus and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome] get in my way. May is the month I am starting my first new job in eight years.” —Christa B.
“I am off disability! I can work full-time and contribute to society. I do not have to worry about finding someone to drive me to work. I am safe to practice and can continue to utilize 22 years of nursing experience. I am fully insured! Even when my legs are hurting or frozen up, it does not stop me from walking across the hallway to my office and sitting down to work.” —Tracy S.
“I have a disability and working from home allows me to further my career. I am almost 60 years old. I am good for another 12 to 15 years working remotely.” —Gerald F.
Finding Flexible Work
Head over to our job search page with 50 career categories to choose from. You’re also able to select the type of flexibility you’re seeking, whether it be remote work, flexible schedule, part-time, freelance, or any combination of these.
FlexJobs members also have access to discounted career coaching, where you can meet one-on-one with one of our expert career coaches to get resume help, job search tips and tricks, and much more. Best of luck in your job search!
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
A version of this article was originally published on May 31, 2011.
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