Remote Workforce Toolkit


The nature of work in Montana is evolving.  Instead of gathering in one central location, like an office or plant, many workers are able to work wherever they have an internet connection.  Remote work offers employers a unique opportunity to tap into new sources of labor; taking advantage of Montana's natural beauty by allowing workers to live anywhere in the state.  Growing interest in remote work is due in part to benefits recognized by both employees and employers.

Benefits to Employees

Remote workers are more likely to report feeling happy compared to on-site workers; citing benefits such as better work-life balance, less stress, and increased focus. Remote workers are reportedly more productive

Benefits to Employers

Employers benefit from increased retention of happy employees. Estimates suggest that employers save an average of $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year due to increased productivity and retention, reduced absentism, and cutting costs related to office space. 

Montana is currently experiencing a labor shortage.  Remote work offers a solution to a variety of barriers that keep individuals out of the workforce.  In areas experiencing a housing shortage, businesses can recruit from places where housing is more available.  Employers could also increase the pool of available workers by attracting individuals who lack consistent childcare; need accommodations for a disability; or wish to keep working after semi-retirement. 

  • Remote work is an arrangement between a worker and their employer that allows individuals to work outside of a traditional office environment. It is based on the idea that work does not need to be done in a specific location in order to be successfully accomplished. Remote work generally allows individuals to live anywhere, no matter where their employer is located. This arrangement allows individuals to not be tethered to a particular job based on where they live.

    • The beauty of remote work is that it allows businesses and employees to create arrangements that makes the most sense for both.
    • Some people have the opportunity to work remotely for the majority of the working week, but have to commute to in-person meetings at the office one day a week. On a typical day, these remote employees work from a home office or other location and can work from the company office when necessary.
    • Others rely on coworking spaces where they can get their job done. Coworking spaces offer a work site, network connectivity, and opportunities to meet others who work in a multitude of industries. They can be utilized by people with full-time jobs, freelance careers, and even entrepreneurs who want to rent out an office space for themselves or their small staff. They are effectively a halfway point between a traditional office and a nontraditional workspace, providing both structure and flexibility.
  • The Montana Department of Labor & Industry partnered with the Montana State University Extension to launch the Remote Work Certificate Program.  

    Learn skills needed for remote employment, freelance work, and ecommerce.  Get help finding a remote job and connection to a professional remote network. 

     Learn skills critical to remote work, including

    • Communicating with a remote team
    • Problem solving
    • Time management
    • Collaboration
    • Goal setting
    • Organization
    • Accountability

     How does the program work?

    • Nine course modules delivered in a self-paced, online format
    • One one-hour interactive video-conference workshop per week
    • MSU Extension field faculty guide participants through course
    • Job Service Montana helps with remote job search

     How long does it take?

    • Approximately 6-8 hours of independent work per week for 4 weeks
    • Courses start at the beginning of each month

     To participate, you will need the following:

    • Reliable access to internet
    • Web camera and microphone
    • Basic computer proficiency

     Course Fee:  $199

    Financial assistance for the $199 course is available to qualifying candidates.

    Ready to start? Register at MSU-Extension or call your local Job Service office.

  • Workers’ Compensation

    Workers’ Compensation is required for employees who work remotely. The Workers’ Compensation Act applies to all employers and to all employees with limited exceptions. See 39-71-401 Employments Covered and Exemptions.

    For employers located outside of Montana who have remote employees working from locations in Montana, the Workers’ Compensation Act applies. Out of state employers are required to have Montana specifically endorsed in 3A of their policy declaration page.  An ‘All States Policy’ endorsement does not meet Montana’s requirement for coverage. See Administrative Rule 24.29.703. Out of state employers who have questions should contact insurance professional or contact our Workers’ Compensation Section for assistance.

    Remote Work Tax Resources

    If you are working remotely in Montana and another state, you may have a filing requirement in both states. This applies to Montana residents working remotely in another state and nonresidents or part-year residents working remotely from Montana.  Please see Montana remote work tax resources

    Montana Unemployment Insurance

    For employers located outside of Montana with remote employee(s) located in Montana, if work is being “performed” in Montana the employer needs to register and pay UI for the employee(s) they have performing the work.  For more information, please refer to the Montana Employer Handbook.

    Employers are encouraged to register with Montana UI online at 

  •  Hire a graduate from the Montana State University Remote Work Certificate Program
    Connect with MSU-Extension Remote Work Certificate Program Lead today.

    Post your Remote Job Opportunity in Montana  



Back To Top