Behind the Remote Work Trend: Finding Remote Jobs in Portland and Seattle

Whether you’ve dreamed of having the freedom to work from your kitchen table or you’ve always wanted to start your day in a coworking space, there’s good news. Remote work is on the rise, continuing to become the norm for modern professionals, with about a third (35%) of U.S. workers with jobs that can be done remotely working from home all of the time. The Pacific Northwest has become a prime spot for job seekers to pursue remote job opportunities in a variety of fields and industries. If you’re looking for a career where you can work remotely for a company based in Seattle or Portland, get started by examining the history of remote work in our region, determining how to identify remote jobs, and exploring a few local employers who are hiring now. 

Why is remote work trending?

In the Pacific Northwest, 23.3 percent of Portland area residents and 25.4 percent of Seattle area residents work from home. According to census data, Seattle is No. 5 and Portland No. 10 for metro areas with the greatest share of remote workers. Remote jobs are popular in Portland and Seattle for several reasons. Along with their large numbers of self-employed residents, the cities are home to robust creative and technology industries. And as one regional economist says, you can’t rule out the Pacific Northwest lifestyle appeal.

Why PNW employers want remote workers

It’s a win-win, creating more flexibility for employees and lowering cost for employers.

With so many technological advances in the past decade and a growing movement to make workplaces more inclusive, many employers are embracing remote work policies. When you pair remote-working tools such as video conferencing with a hardworking team of employees, offering remote work options makes sense. That’s especially true with remote work trending in the Pacific Northwest and the next generation advocating for more flexible working policies. It’s mutually beneficial for employers to save overhead office costs while giving employees the freedom to create their own schedules. 

See also  10 Reasons You Want to Work and Live in Portland, Oregon

The rise of traffic and commute times reduces productivity.

For those living in the Pacific Northwest, it’s no surprise that Seattle and Portland have some of the worst traffic rates in the country. In a recent traffic report, Seattle was listed as the seventh-worst U.S. city, with Portland as the 15th. With increasingly longer commutes in the Emerald and Rose cities, employees face long workdays and feel the impacts on their productivity. Research indicates that working from home boosts productivity, minimizing interruptions and helping employees to maximize their days. If you can do 80 percent or more of your daily tasks from a phone or computer, working remotely is a logical alternative to a traditional office environment.

Employers are vacating commercial office spaces.

Commercial office space in Portland is experiencing significant vacancies, with 16.4% of office space in the metro area vacant by the end of 2023, and even higher vacancy rates in the downtown area, ranging from 24% to 29%. This trend reflects a four-year decline, indicating more tenants leaving than moving in. Experts anticipate vacancies will continue rising gradually due to the ongoing adaptation to remote and hybrid work arrangements, with recovery not expected until late 2025.

How to find and secure remote work

Tailor your elevator pitch

If you’re ready to find remote job opportunities, it’s important to start tapping into your professional network. Start by crafting an updated elevator pitch that highlights your background and skills. Then, use this pitch to communicate the types of remote work you’re looking for and the value you can bring to a remote-based employer in Portland or Seattle. Your network will be able to keep you apprised of remote opportunities that match your skills and interests. In order to jump-start your remote career, consider taking on projects that will demonstrate your skills and ability to deliver work that’s done remotely.

See also  How I Found a Job in Portland, Oregon: Mac’s Story

Serve an employer’s needs

Despite research that indicates how remote work increases productivity, some employers are still reluctant to implement remote or flexible schedules. You can alleviate an employer or potential employer’s fears by anticipating their needs. Regardless of your field, being tech-savvy in areas such as web design and social media management is an advantage. Consider enrolling in online courses to expand your arsenal of skills. Taking the time to invest in professional development will put you in a more competitive position both in terms of your skillset and your ability to operate out of a virtual office. Along with tech skills, think about honing your expertise in a particular field to make yourself a more competitive candidate.

Ask about remote and flexible schedule options

While you may work in a conventional office environment right now, don’t forget that you can approach your current employer about the possibility of remote work. It may feel intimidating to initiate this conversation, but it could lead to a schedule that better suits your life. By demonstrating your time management and workflow efficiency, you can build up trust in an employer to request a work-from-home trial run. If you can prove yourself as a self-starter, make a plan, and pitch your vision, you can make your dreams of a more flexible work schedule a reality.

Employers with Remote Jobs

Ready to start making the switch to remote work? Researching Pacific Northwest employers with remote work opportunities is one of the first steps you can take to begin transitioning into a remote career. Read up on these local employers with remote opportunities.

See also  What It's Like to Work for Portland Nonprofit Outside In

10Up

As a location independent team, 10Up provides web design and development consulting services. The team makes finely crafted websites and tools for content creators, doing its part to create a better web for clients such as Microsoft, Time, ESPN, and Adobe.

AuthO

With a global team operating throughout the world, AuthO provides authorization and authentication technology for mobile and web applications. The company works with thousands of customers in more than 70 countries, securing millions of logins each day. 

Automattic

Passionate about making the web a better place, Automattic is a global, remote-based team that includes employees throughout Oregon and Washington. Automattic is the developer of tools such as WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, Simplenote, Longreads, VaultPress, Akismet, Gravatar, Crowdsignal, Cloudup, and more.

Ookla

Ookla is the team behind Speedtest®, a global leader in internet performance testing. Ookla believes the more information people have about their internet performance, the better they can advocate for speed and service improvements.

Xealth

Xealth enables healthcare teams to order digital content and services as easily as they do medications today. Patients can then access these digital health prescriptions from the provider’s portal so that they can actively manage their health.