Some of the old-school names that made a list of 100 companies to watch for telecommuting jobs might surprise you.

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As you’ve probably seen in almost every coffee shop in Seattle, there seem to be hundreds of telecommuters clicking away on laptops yet are still full-time employees of innovative companies, like … IBM?

Yes, that IBM.

Once the symbol of conformist, monolithic, 9-to-5 corporate culture, IBM recently has been ranked No. 8 on the list of the nation’s most telecommuting-friendly businesses. Compiled by online telecommuting employment service FlexJobs, the annual Top 100 Companies to Watch for Telecommuting Jobs contains many of the usual cutting-edge technology firms, such as Amazon (No. 3), Intuit (No. 12) and Apple (No. 47). But there is also a surprising number of old-school companies — like Aetna (No. 11), American Express (No. 20), Xerox (No. 23) and General Electric (No. 61) — that have taken note of today’s workforce demographics and have begun offering flex-work perks.

The list can come in handy for job seekers looking for a way to create a better work-life balance, but who don’t necessarily want to take their chances on a risky startup. FlexJobs gathered data from the job listings of 40,000 companies that mentioned telecommuting as an option during the 2015 calendar year. These work-from-home arrangements included both full- and part-time telecommuting.

In this latest list, only two are based in the Pacific Northwest — Amazon and elder care specialist A Place for Mom (No. 28). But since the rest of the listed companies are comfortable with people working remotely, virtually any of the firms on the list might be fair game for Seattle job seekers — even for those firms based in other countries, like Cactus Communications (India, No. 15), SAP (Germany, No. 22) and Real Staffing (U.K., No. 74).

Those who are looking for telecommuting work, however, should be prepared to demonstrate skills in the computer/IT or health-care fields. According to FlexJobs, nearly 40 percent of the top 100 companies are in these two industries. Some of the health-care firms that made the list include UnitedHealth Group, Humana, Aetna and Anthem, while Dell, Apple, SAP and VMWare led the field of computer/IT-related related employers.

The current most popular work-from-home titles that are in demand include software architect, IT analyst, developer, programmer, security engineer, pharmacist, nurse, case manager, coder and medical network manager.

Telecommuting jobs in the tech industry are nothing new, of course, given the types of communication tools those companies develop, said Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “Medical and health-care jobs are newer to the scene, but in the past decade [they] have shown remarkable growth with work flexibility and telecommuting,” she said.

This is not to say, however, that telecommuting can only be found in the software or healthcare fields, Fell adds. Remote jobs, she says, can be found “across almost all careers, such as marketing, legal, government and education.”

Randy Woods is a writer and editor in the Puget Sound business publishing arena and a veteran of the local job-search scene. Email him at