The concept of remote working often conjures up images of Instagram-ready digital nomads, stretched out on a beachside sun lounger, sipping cocktails as they tap away on their laptops.
The more traditionally viewed nomadic roles might not earn much - but what does that matter when the lifestyle is so ideal?
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has created a game-changing opportunity for higher paying remote job opportunities as we have all become accustomed to working 'out of office'.
Though the reality of these jobs may be a little less glamourous, according to a recent study by the European Commission, the top-paying remote worker roles are among high-skilled professionals and managers in knowledge and ICT intensive services.
And people in these industries were working remotely long before the pandemic.
The six top-earning remote jobs
OneClass, a learning platform for college students, analysed data in the US to pull together the top-earning remote jobs, which all fell into one of three categories: IT, finance and insurance, and business.
Here are some of the top-earning remote jobs:
The tech industry has many remote jobs that pay well, and after the pandemic, tech careers continue to have a strong outlook.
Cloud engineers are responsible for managing an organisation's cloud-based systems and processes.
This can include: setting up architectures using cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud or others, migrating existing infrastructures to cloud-based systems, managing security and access of cloud-based systems, and ongoing operational administration, maintenance, and troubleshooting.
"As a cloud engineer I work to ensure that the data and applications that we run in the cloud are safe, reliable, and fast," says Paul Highams, a British cloud engineer based in Servoz, near Chamonix in the French Alps.
"Working for a multi-national company I deal with people in the USA, UK, France, Poland, and India, so being in the office isn't always an advantage or requirement, as I am on video calls anyway."
"I often start work at lunchtime and work till late evening to match US hours. Deliveries, trips to the post office and school pick-ups are much easier. It's an interesting job as there are always new technologies to learn about, and you see the results of your work," says Highams.
A senior network architect is responsible for designing computer networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), internet connections, intranets, and other data communications systems.
Their goal is to design efficient, cost-effective network infrastructures that meet the long-term IT and business goals of an organisation, while enabling the company to meet its short-term goals and financial obligations.
Software developers are the creative minds behind software programs, and they have the technical skills to build those programs or to oversee their creation with a team. They create software that enables users to perform specific tasks on computer devices.
"It's good to work remotely as I spend much time coding and a lot of communication happens on slack even when I'm in the office," says Patrik Spathon is a software developer from Sweden working remotely for small startup, LeaseCloud AB.
"I prefer remote work as it makes it easier to focus with fewer distractions."
Sales and Marketing Directors
Jobs in business, management, or professional services can easily be done remotely and employment rates remained strong despite the COVID shutdowns.
Sales directors manage the sales team, strategically plan and launch new products or services, and ensures the sales team meets expected sales targets. They build good relationships and understand customer trends - two key priorities that don't necessarily require an office-based presence.
Similarly, a marketing director is responsible for providing direction, guidance, and leadership to a marketing department. They typically manage the marketing of a business, organisation, or product and increase their company's share of the market.
Information Security Manager
Information security managers are responsible for protecting an organisation’s computers, networks, and data against computer viruses, security breaches, and malicious hacker attacks. If an organisation’s IT systems are invaded, important and highly confidential information can be lost and the company could face fines and lose revenue for failing to protect data.
Information security managers identify any weak areas in IT systems, assess security measures such as anti-virus software, passwords, and firewalls, and identify anything that may be a future risk.
They are well-positioned to become remote workers because they can perform their role at the same level whether they're at a corporate HQ or in a home office. Unlike manual professions or customer-facing jobs, their work can be done digitally over an internet connection.
Data Scientists and Actuaries
Data scientists and actuaries have excellent work-from-home prospects as it's just as practical juggling numbers from home as it is from the office.
From health care modelling of virus outbreaks to asset reallocation, their analysis skills play a valuable role in navigating change.
Data scientists have skills in both technology and social science that they use to find trends, manage data and uncover solutions to business challenges.
An actuary analyses the financial consequences of risk. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to study uncertain future events.
They may work for insurance companies, consulting firms, government, employee benefits departments of large corporations, hospitals, banks, and investment firms, or businesses that need to manage financial risk.