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How technology helps grow the number of people working from home

Some people achieve a better work-life balance by working from the comfort of their own homes.

TAMPA, Fla. — For some people, achieving the perfect work-life balance would be easier if they could just work from home. 

It's good to know that technology is making it possible for more people as companies hire more remote workers. 

"I don't have to put energy into my appearance and I don't have to drive anywhere," Melissa Huston said.

Six years ago, Melissa was spending almost two hours a day commuting to her job as a marketing analyst. She just knew there had to be a better way. 

"The kind of work that I do, you know, being an analyst, a lot of it is just being on the computer, being in tools on your computer," she said. "And, I'm like I don't need to necessarily be face to face."

She started doing her research and found FlexJobs, a website specializing in job listings specifically for people who want to work from home. 

"From the employer's perspective, it's really nice to have a remote workforce in some capacity because it lowers cost," Brie Reynolds, career development manager at FlexJobs, said. "Studies show that it increases productivity and it allows you to hire from a wider talent pool."

Sykes in Tampa is one local company that looks for those wanting to work remotely.

"It gives us an advantage. We aren't limited by geography when we're looking for talent. We have the opportunity to hire throughout all of the United States and Canada to ensure that we have the best people that are supporting our clients," Donna Bluestone, head of human resources at Sykes, said.

For most remote jobs, all you really need is a quiet space in your home dedicated as an office, a computer and high-speed internet. 

However, Huston says you also have to have the self-discipline to set those work boundaries both on the clock and off. 

"I did have to create some structure around my schedule because you'll end up working 24/7 if you don't," she said. "So every day I have a start time and an end time."

But, it's that saved time that Melissa now devotes to her family, which makes all the difference.

Experts say if you're just starting your search, use keywords like "remote job," "virtual job" or "telecommute job." You are likely to find scams if you type in "work from home."

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