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Business, tech are among the top CNY industries advertising remote-friendly work

Photos of Tina McQuiston's family are seen on the side of her fridge while she works at her desk in the dining room.
Tarryn Mento
Photos of Tina McQuiston's family are seen on the side of her fridge while she works at her desk in the dining room.

The work day used to start in the office for Tina McQuiston. Now, it can start in the kitchen or the dining room — that's what she and her family converted into a multi-person office when the pandemic first started.

Now work from home is becoming a bit more permanent. McQuiston said her employer, a tech firm where she's an account executive, is giving workers an option.

"We can go in a couple of days, one day week or we can work remote,” McQuiston said.

People are returning to the office after more than 30% of the nation’s workforce went remote during the pandemic's peak. But local employees in some fields are seeing remote-friendly opportunities increase. An analysis of online job advertisements provided to the New York State Department of Labor shows ads for remote-friendly gigs targeting Central New Yorkers are on the rise in key areas.

Karen Knapik Scalzo, an associate economist with the state labor agency, said the data has some limitations; it tallies ads, not individual jobs, so more than one gig could be attached to an ad. But she said it gives job seekers an idea of which sectors are more remote-friendly than others.

"Another thing that they can consider when they look at what's important to them in choosing different careers," Knapik-Scalzo said.

Health and tech ads more than tripled. Business and financial ads more than quadrupled. And computer and math increased six times. But the largest jump was for administrative work — think clerks, bookkeepers and customer service reps. Those ads increased more than 10 times.

McQuiston is in tech, but she’s also a manager — online remote-friendly ads for those higher up roles jumped more than six times. She said she’s grateful for the balance it brings to her life.

"It allows me to be a mom and an employee," McQuiston said.

But distance from the office is raising concerns among employers.

For the full version of this story, listen to our City Limits: A Working Dilemma podcast wherever you get your podcasts or online.

Tarryn Mento is an award-winning digital, audio and video journalist with experience reporting from Arizona, Southern California, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Tarryn produces in-depth and investigative content for WAER while overseeing the station's student reporter experience. She is also an adjunct professor at Syracuse University.