Business development. Non-profit. Account management. Medical and health. Data entry. These are the leaders in the flexible jobs category for January. So says FlexJobs.

FlexJobs is predicting that 2012 will be a big year for telecommuting jobs. I agree wholeheartedly. The trend is rising and it hasn’t hit its height yet. And where there is an increase in telecommuting, flexible work hours and other
alternative workplace strategies there is a rise in the use of virtual office space.

"It's exciting to see more and more telecommuting, freelance, part-time and flexible schedule jobs being offered in wide range of careers,” says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and Founder of FlexJobs.

“There are many, many studies that have been concluding the overall benefits for companies to offer jobs that provide work flexibility for their staff, such as cost savings, increased productivity, and overall happier and less stressed employees. We have seen significant growth in the flexible jobs market in the past five years, and we anticipate more of the same for 2012!"

In December, FlexJobs reports that the Medical & Health category reclaimed the top position as the career field with the highest percentage of flexible job openings, a position it held for nine of the 12 months in 2011.

Following Medical & Health with the next highest number of flexible job openings in order were Administrative, Education & Training, Computer & IT, and Sales.

Meanwhile, career fields which saw the biggest declines in available positions in December were Graphic Design, Bilingual, Web & Software Development, Art & Creative and Customer Service.

I look forward to the FlexJobs report every month because it helps me track virtual office trends. I expect to see even more awareness of virtual offices in 2012 as flexible job directories like FlexJobs gain momentum—and as employers begin to realize that there are many different types of jobs that one can do from a virtual office.