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Can Counselors Work From Home or Remotely? Learn The Truth & What You Need To Know

By Rob Orr / Last updated: Jul 8, 2023

How realistic is it for Counselors to actually work from home?

What if you could swap your office for your living room (or better yet, a home office)? What if you could eliminate the daily commute and instead invest that time into something productive or enjoyable? It’s not a dream anymore.

So, how do you transition to this new way of working?

How can you stay connected with your team remotely?

What about maintaining your productivity levels?

And the most important question – how to balance work and life when they’re happening in the same space?

You must be itching to find out, right?

Whether you’re a freelancer looking for a change, a job seeker trying to break into the remote job market, a new graduate seeking a career with flexibility, or an entrepreneur or employer planning to go remote, this guide has got everything you need to know. So, buckle up. We’re about to delve into the uncharted territory of remote work for Counselors.

Is Remote Work Or Work From Home Possible For Counselors?

Yes, indeed, Counselors can certainly work from home. Thanks to modern technology, they can conduct virtual sessions, eliminating geographical barriers and expanding their client base. However, depending on the nature of their work and client needs, there may be instances where in-person interaction is more beneficial, making a hybrid work model a viable option.

Pivot to the Personal

Let’s talk about the Nature of the Job. In essence, counseling involves listening to, empathizing with, and advising clients – activities that can be done virtually. However, reading body language (a critical aspect of counseling) can be trickier over a screen. But hey, it beats trying to read minds!

Tele-what now? Teletherapy!

As for Technology and Infrastructure, advancements in teletherapy platforms have made remote counseling a breeze. Privacy-protected video conferencing tools like Zoom and Doxy.me are often used in teletherapy, making it possible to counsel clients even while wearing fuzzy slippers (not that we’re suggesting it).

The Rules of the Game

Regulations and Policies can be a bit of a labyrinth. While remote counseling has been given a green light in many places, counselors must be aware of the licensing regulations in their client’s jurisdiction. It’s like playing a game of checkers where the rules change depending on which square you’re sitting!

A Human Touch in a Digital World

Let’s talk about the Skills and Characteristics of Workers. A successful remote counselor needs to be empathetic, understanding, tech-savvy, and adaptable. It’s about creating a genuine human connection even when there’s a screen between you and your client.

The Great Balancing Act

And what about the Work-Life Balance? Remote work can offer counselors a great deal of flexibility, but it’s essential to maintain boundaries between work and personal life. Remember, all work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) a dull counselor!

Have Counsel, Will Travel

Lastly, the Suitability for Digital Nomad Lifestyle is high for counselors. As long as they can maintain secure, private communication channels, counselors can work from anywhere. So, here’s to the traveling counselors, the laptop-toting, advice-giving road warriors!

The Compassionate Crusaders: Counselors Unveiled

Not all superheroes wear capes. Some wear the title of a Counselor. If you’ve got a heart for people, the resilience of a marathon runner, and the wisdom of Yoda, buckle up. This could be your calling.

The Healing Conversationalist: Listen and Understand

Step one in your superhero journey? Become a Healing Conversationalist. Your superpower? The ability to listen and understand. Like a safe harbor in a storm, your empathetic ear provides solace for those in distress.

Solving the Emotional Puzzle: Assess Client Needs

As a counselor, you’ll also don the hat of a master puzzle solver, assessing client needs. You’re deciphering the enigmatic human psyche, finding the pieces that fit together to complete the emotional jigsaw.

Navigating the Path to Progress: Develop Treatment Goals

Ready to navigate uncharted waters? Here, you’ll be developing treatment goals that provide the roadmap to recovery. It’s like you’re a GPS for emotional well-being, guiding clients through their personal journey.

Techniques and Tackles: Apply Therapeutic Techniques

As the Techniques Titan, your role is to apply therapeutic techniques that can untangle the knots of emotional distress. Think of it as having an emotional toolbox, filled with methods to mend minds and heal hearts.

Guardians of Confidentiality: Maintain Client Records

Last but not least, as the Guardian of Confidentiality, you’ll be maintaining client records. A client’s trust is your sacred trust, and you guard their secrets like a dragon guards its hoard.

So if you’re ready to make a real difference, to be that beacon of hope in someone’s storm, your counselor cape is waiting. Embrace the challenge, and let your compassion crusade begin!

Counselors: What Kind Of Background Do You Need To Do This Job?

In this digital age, opportunities to work from home are more abundant than ever before, spanning across various industries and professions, but what kind of background do you need for this kind of work?

Counselors: Eager to help people manage and overcome mental and emotional issues? You’ll generally need a master’s degree in counseling or a related field. Licensure is typically required and involves passing an exam. Continuing education is often necessary to maintain licensure.

  • Master’s degree in counseling or a related field
  • Licensure, typically involving passing an exam
  • Continuing education to maintain licensure

How Much Do Counselors Make?

In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of what working from home as a Counselors may look like, it’s essential to delve into the financial aspects of the role. Remuneration can vary greatly depending on various factors like the level of experience, geographical location, and the size of the employing organization.

As of the most recent data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics(1) there are roughly 834,740 Counselors currently in the workforce.

Next up, let’s take a look at the salary distribution for Counselors, providing information on both hourly and annual wages. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the field for a while, the information here can help you get a sense of the earning potential in this role. The wage information is broken down by percentiles, giving a comprehensive view of the earning potential across the spectrum from beginners to seasoned professionals.

The following table represents a comparison of wages:

Percentile & MeasureAnnual Wage
Average$58,400
10th Percentile$34,860
25th Percentile$40,560
Median$51,180
75th Percentile$68,240
90th Percentile$89,290

The 10th percentile represents the lower end of the wage scale, indicating that 10% of Counselors earn this amount or less. On the other hand, the 90th percentile represents the higher end of the wage scale, meaning that only 10% of Counselors earn more than this amount. The median wage, also known as the 50th percentile, represents the middle point in the wage distribution, with half of the Counselors earning less than this amount and the other half earning more.

These figures offer an insightful look at the potential earnings for Counselors across the spectrum of experience and skill level, painting a realistic picture of what one might expect to earn in this role.

Where to Search For Remote & Work From Home Jobs for Counselors

Counselors of all kinds have learned the benefits of working from home. But how do you find one of these great gigs to serve in a remote role?

Remote teams are everywhere and companies across the spectrum are hiring for these jobs remotely. The good new for Counselors  is that the demand for their skills is plentiful.

Here are some places where you might find remote jobs:

FlexJobs

FlexJobs is great because it has a variety of remote job listings for Counselors and more.

https://flexjobs.com

Remote OK

Remote OK is an online community dedicated to helping people find remote jobs. It features thousands of remote jobs including jobs for Counselors, as well as career advice and tips.

https://remoteok.com/

Upwork

Upwork is one of the largest online marketplaces for freelancers, offering tens of thousands of jobs for Counselors of all kinds. Upwork connects employers with freelancers all over the world, so you can easily find work remotely.

https://upwork.com

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is commonly known for its more traditional approach because anyone who’s anyone with career ambitions is active there. What a lot of people don’t know is that it can be a great place for professional networking and finding opportunities for Counselors. There are many remote jobs available on LinkedIn.

https://www.linkedin.com/jobs

TopTal

Toptal is a leading platform for high quality freelance talent around the globe. Toptal helps businesses source exceptional Counselors, and more.

https://www.toptal.com/

Authentic Jobs

Authentic Jobs was started was started by Cameron Moll in 2005 because he had so much demand for connections to talented people and what started as a small side project has become something entirely its own and could be a great spot to find remote work opportunities for Counselors.

https://authenticjobs.com

Remote Tech Jobs

Remote Tech Jobs is another great site where you can search through hundreds of remote jobs, even for Counselors. They offer a number of different categories, for all kinds of roles for Counselors.

https://www.remotetechjobs.com/

Working Nomads

Working Nomads provides curated lists of the best remote jobs in a variety of different of different professional-level, tech industry related career fields. Their strength is their ability to connect remote workers looking for flexible opportunities with innovative companies offering independent jobs.

https://www.workingnomads.com/jobs

We Work Remotely

We Work Remotely is an online community and fantastic resource for finding work as a software developer to work with remote teams. In addition, if you’re doing some research into the remote work possibilities, We Work Remotely keeps a list of the top 100 remote companies and companies that are entirely remote.

https://weworkremotely.com/

Simply Hired

Simply Hired is a job board where you can find some great opportunities for remote jobs. SimplyHired hosts a database of remote jobs across various industries. You’ll find everything from entry level to senior level remote jobs here.

https://simplyhired.com/

Career Builder

Career Builder is one of the oldest and most established employment sites on the internet. It has the largest market share by far in the United States where it was founded in 1995. Even though this is a traditional, old-school job board, there are a wealth of opportunities for remote developers to find a new job.

https://careerbuilder.com/

Indeed

Indeed.com is another old-school traditional source for remote software developers who may be looking for a more traditional employment model. Well established and widely trusted, Indeed is always a good place to check for tech industry jobs while you’re on your job hunt.

https://indeed.com/

Pros & Cons of Working From Home for Counselors

Not everything is all sunshine and roses, right? Yes – there are a lot of pros, but there are also cons for Counselors working from home; let’s take a look.

Remote working pros for employees

  1. Flexibility: Working from home allows for a flexible schedule. You can arrange your workday around your most productive times and manage personal responsibilities more effectively. You decide when you’re going to wake up, how you get to enjoy your coffee, and when you need a break (not when you’re told to take a break).
  2. No commute: Eliminating a daily commute can save significant time, reduce stress, and decrease transportation expenses. On average, Americans spend 27 minutes on their daily commute to work, with 14 million of the same study group having over one hour of commute time. (1) Once that’s averaged over how many days you go to work per year, it’s an astronomical figure.
  3. Cost savings: Along with saving on commuting costs, you also save on expenses such as eating out, professional attire, and childcare. The financial impact can vary from person to person, of course, but going to the office can include hidden fees that add up.  You’re cutting down on transportation costs, such as gas, tolls, public transit, and vehicle maintenance.  Plus, you’re removing that pesky temptation to hit the burger joint during lunch.
  4. Increased productivity: Many people report increased productivity when working from home due to fewer distractions and interruptions, and the ability to create a work environment that suits their preferences.
  5. Better work-life balance: Working remotely can make it easier to balance your work and personal life, particularly if your employer allows for a flexible schedule.
  6. Health and wellness opportunities: You can have more opportunities to incorporate healthy habits into your day, like preparing home-cooked meals and fitting in exercise during break times.
  7. Home Office, Living Room Couch or Coffee Shop: You get the benefit of deciding where you’re going to work. In the office, you may be in a cubicle, or near the heater, which might not be ideal for you. But, the coffee shop, library, or your balcony, may be optimal for you.

Remote Working Cons For Employees

  1. Isolation: Working from home can be lonely, as it limits face-to-face social interaction with colleagues. This can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnect, plus, you miss out on company culture and it’s hard to overestimate how important this can be. Some companies are known for their great  culture that makes them special. If you don’t experience this culture, then you’re missing out on something valuable.
  2. Blurred boundaries between work and personal life: Without a clear division between your work and personal environment, it can be challenging to ‘switch off’ and stop working, which could lead to overworking and burnout. Your home life and office life are now combined. You often hear the phrase “keep your personal life out of work, and work-life out of your personal life”.  This can cause an imbalance in your family life.
  3. Distractions: Although there may be fewer interruptions from colleagues, home distractions can affect productivity – think children, pets, household chores, or noise from neighbors.
  4. Communication challenges: While technology helps bridge the communication gap, it can’t entirely replace face-to-face communication. Misunderstandings can occur more often due to the lack of non-verbal cues. Communication can be delayed. (3) You’re now on your own; the colleague that used to be right next to you might begin and finish their remote day differently than you.
  5. Technological issues: Remote work requires reliable internet and appropriate devices. Not everyone has access to a reliable internet connection or high-performance equipment, and troubleshooting tech problems can be more difficult when you’re not in the office. Plain and simple, we’re all not computer experts, and the tech team won’t be showing up at your front door.  There are many tech problems that can occur at home – the wifi goes down, your laptop breaks or your dog chews up your charging cable.
  6. Career progression concerns: Some employees might fear they’ll be ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and miss out on opportunities for advancement or professional development. Career growth is widely “hire from within” for most companies.  You’re losing the benefit of professional growth by removing in-person interactions. (3) 
  7. Health challenges: Your physical health can suffer. It’s a lot easier to work longer hours and spend a lot of time – a lot more time – at your desk than you normally would.

Previously, it was believed the at-home employee would be riddled with distractions – blowing off meetings, not hitting deadlines, and a drop in productivity. In reality, it was the opposite.

Remote Working Pros For Employers

There are plenty of reasons why remote working is becoming increasingly popular among businesses.

  1. The productivity of in-office work compared to at-home work is impressive. A study conducted by UC Irvine showed, office workers, are interrupted every 11 minutes. Then having a rebound time of 25 minutes, to get back on task. Removing the simple distraction of co-workers increased productivity by 13% according to a Stanford study and increased 22% when participants were allowed to choose between working from home or the office(6) By removing distractions, the employee is given less of an opportunity to wander off task, and this creates a higher focus. A higher focus inevitably creates an increased pace of productivity.
  2. When employees are in the office, management has a tendency to micromanage which is a huge distraction factor.
  3. Remote work creates an opportunity for office downsize.  We no longer need a conference room to fit 25 employees, instead, only a zoom call.
  4. Being in an office increases the risk of exposure to illness. A survey created in 2021 says at least 50% of people are worried about being exposed to an illness in the workplace. (5)  This is common after we just went through Covid 19. If an employee is at a lower risk of exposure, there’s less of a chance they’ll be using those sick days.

Remote Working Cons For Employers

The cons for an employer are all specific to each company.  But as a general rule of thumb, not having a direct eye on your employees can ultimately create an issue.

  1. You’re forfeiting the opportunity to manage and delegate tasks to your employees. (2) Not all employees are the same.  Some excel with a structure set in place so they can’t slack off.
  2. The task of communication is much easier when you just need to walk to an employee’s desk.  You can’t guarantee an answer in a matter of minutes when you’re not in the same space as the employee.
  3. The financial aspect of needing a 2,000-square-foot office space can be debilitating. An office this size is no longer needed.

Mastering Mental Health and Work-Life Balance in the Remote Work Era

So how do Counselors maximize the work from home opportunity? Here are 10 tips that Counselors can implement to master the work-from-home life and thrive.

  1. Create a Dedicated Workspace: Design a productive environment that fuels creativity and focus. An area dedicated solely to work communicates to your mind that it’s ‘business time’ when you’re there. Learn how to setup and create your own home office space here.
  2. Establish Routines: Cultivate a rhythm to your day that separates ‘work time’ from ‘personal time’. This harmony aids in decreasing stress and enhancing productivity. Learn more about how to maximize routines for your work-life balance here.
  3. Stay Connected: Regularly engage with your team and colleagues virtually. Shared experiences and human connection combat feelings of isolation. Learn about making friends and maintaining relationships when working from home here.
  4. Prioritize Physical Exercise: Incorporate a regular exercise routine into your schedule. Physical wellness promotes mental sharpness and emotional stability. Keep reading about how to deal with boredom when you’re working from home here.
  5. Practice Mindful Eating: Nurture your body with healthy food choices. The quality of your fuel affects your energy levels and overall health.
  6. Embrace Breaks: Take short breaks to refresh your mind and body. These pauses can increase productivity and reduce stress.
  7. Set Achievable Goals: Use smart, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART) goals to track progress and maintain motivation.
  8. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation: Regular mindfulness practices like meditation or deep-breathing exercises can reduce stress and enhance focus.
  9. Get Quality Sleep: Prioritize a full night’s rest. Quality sleep contributes to improved concentration, productivity, and overall health.
  10. Seek Support When Needed: Reach out to mental health professionals if you feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to seek help and support for maintaining your wellness and balance.

Related & Frequently Asked Questions

Still got questions about remote work? I’ve got answers. Here are some FAQs about working from for Counselors.

Q: What type of equipment do I need for remote work?

A: It can vary based on your job role, but typically you’ll need a reliable computer, high-speed internet connection, a comfortable chair, and a desk. Some companies may also require specific software applications, a webcam for video meetings, or even a virtual private network (VPN) for secure access. Here’s a detailed guide on what you need to buy and download to be successful working from home.

Q: How can I avoid distractions when working from home? A: Set up a dedicated workspace and establish boundaries with those sharing your home. Use productivity tools to manage your tasks and break down your work into manageable chunks. Also, be sure to take regular short breaks to avoid burnout. Learn more about work from home etiquette for remote workers here.

Q: How can I stay productive while working remotely? A: Make a to-do list each day, prioritize tasks, and establish a consistent work routine. Utilize time management techniques like the Pomodoro technique, and don’t forget to take regular short breaks to recharge. Learn more about how to stay focused working from home here.

Q: How can I improve communication with my team while working remotely? A: Regular check-ins and updates are crucial. Make use of collaborative tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangouts. Clear and concise communication is key. Keep learning about how managers can support their remote team here.

Q: What can I do if I feel isolated while working from home? A: Stay connected with your colleagues via virtual coffee breaks or team meetings. Also, consider joining online communities or groups of remote workers to share experiences and advice. Learn more about making friends and maintaining relationships when working from home here.

Q: How can I ensure that I’m not overworking? A: Set strict start and end times for your workday and take regular breaks. It’s also important to ‘switch off’ completely from work at the end of the day.

Q: How can I secure my data when working remotely? A: Use strong, unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication where available. Use a VPN if handling sensitive data and make sure your home WiFi network imans secure.

Q: How do I maintain a professional image while working from home? A: Dress appropriately for video calls, maintain a clean and professional background for video meetings, and ensure you’re punctual and prepared for all interactions.

Q: How can I create work-life balance when my home is my workplace? A: Set clear boundaries for your work and personal life. This can include a dedicated workspace and set work hours. Additionally, ensure you allocate time for self-care, hobbies, and family.

Q: How can I stay motivated while working from home? A: Set both short and long-term goals, maintain a positive mindset, reward yourself upon the completion of tasks, and remember to celebrate your achievements.

Next Steps

Connect with other freelancers, remote job seekers, remote work employers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers of all kinds and get more tips, tricks and hacks on the work-from-home life by joining my brand new free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks. In this group you will be able to connect with other people sharing a similar experience as you!

Resources

  1. https://www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm
  2. https://www.nextiva.com/blog/working-from-home-vs-office.html
  3. https://www.differencebetween.com/what-is-the-difference-between-work-from-office-and-work-from-home/ 
  4. https://biz30.timedoctor.com/working-from-home-vs-office/
  5. https://hbr.org/2021/05/what-mix-of-wfh-and-office-time-is-right-for-you
  6. https://www.hi-reit.com/working-from-home-vs-office/
  7. https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/working-papers/does-working-home-work-evidence-chinese-experiment

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Rob Orr

Rob is a graduate of Florida State University and the founder and Senior Editor of HomeOfficeHacks.com, a website dedicated to helping people navigate the unique challenges of working from home. As a remote working veteran with over 10 years of experience, Rob has developed a deep understanding of the strategies and solutions that can help people thrive in this environment. He is a respected expert in the field, renowned for his clear, engaging, and informative content. An award-winning web designer, developer, and digital marketer, Rob is also the owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties. His dedication, resourcefulness, and creativity have earned him a reputation as a respected leader in the remote work and digital media communities, inspiring others through his work and passion for lifelong learning.