According to the U.S. Department of Labor reports there are nearly 19 million telecommuting workers in the country. Telecommuting has opened up numerous possibilities. Considerable amount of time, effort and expense is saved by not commuting daily to work. Read more on how telecommuting works and its widespread benefits. Find out if you have it in you to take on a telecommuting job?
Telecommuting involves replacing physical travel to the office with the help of modern telecommunications equipment. This allows an employee to work productively from outside the traditional office. The term 'telecommuting' is used to describe an office situation where workers can work from home on a computer and transmit data and documents to a central office.
Telecommuting involves use of a 'remote' office. Telecommuting has been able to gather a large section that is not part of the work force, either by choice or compulsion. Stay at home mothers and disabled workers get an opportunity to become productive members of work force.
It allows mothers with young babies more time at home and relieves stress and pressure. The organization also benefits from telecommuting employees since they save on costs of office space, desk and chair and parking and lighting.
It has been noticed that most telecommuting employees stay longer and thus the organization cuts down on recruitment and training costs. Telecommuting jobs usually involve working with information. It also benefits those who need concentrated hours of work for planning and research.
Companies have telecommuter workers working in different time zones thereby making it possible for the company to work 24/7. With most businesses looking at global competition, telecommuting comes as a wonderful strategy for round the clock customer support.
Do you have it in you to take up telecommuting?
Well, if you thought telecommuting was a piece of cake and you would just wake up one day and begin working from home, nothing could be further than the truth. If you have been dreaming of working in your pajamas and taking an afternoon siesta, get real! Juggling between work deadlines and children can be rather difficult.
You have to plan out your daily schedule and may need some childcare help if you want to work uninterrupted. Finding a balance between work and family is extremely challenging, when working at home. Perhaps even more so when you are only a few steps away from your office. For starters, telecommuting jobs can be rather lonely. You might miss on your water cooler chats and feel left out of the social network. Typically telecommuting professionals are independent thinkers and self-starters.
You need to be highly self motivated and be able to function independent of supervision. If you have a proven history of dependability and good time management skills, you can make a success of a telecommuting job. Ensure that you are equipped with the essential equipment. Telecommuting employees tend to put in longer hours partly because their home and office is at the same location and partly because they may feel an inherent need to be more productive to justify their working arrangement. Often telecommuters do not enjoy the benefits of promotions as frequently as their office counterparts.
Some telecommuting jobs are freelance or small business opportunities wherein professional services such programming, copy writing and graphics are rendered. The telecommuters utilize technological resources to do their work 'virtually' from their home office or a local work center. Some types of work are more conducive to telecommuting - writers, architects, programmers, graphic artists, accountants and researchers.
Telecommuting workers make use of company data networks and fax machines to send and receive data and documents to accomplish their work responsibilities. Many still look at telecommuting as unfit for mainstream organizations. It has been seen that when properly planned and administered, telecommuting can be an efficient alternative to the traditional office setup. Some jobs involve telecommuting for some days of the week.
This allows the employee to spend about 2 or 3 days in the central office. It allows everyone the chance to remain part of the office team, to reconnect with colleagues and project timetables, to attend important meetings and to demonstrate to supervisors that they are keeping up with their responsibilities. Videoconferencing and emails are used to keep in touch with the traditional office and quick meetings.
Telecommuting job options
- Web designers
- Graphic artists
- Billing clerks
- Database management
- Computer jobs
- DTP - Desk Top Publishing
- Financial analysts
- Art designers
- System Administrators
- GUI designers
- Copy Editors
- Data Entry
- Database analysts
- Customer support
Benefit of telecommuting
The benefits of telecommuting are many. The benefits extend not merely to the workers but also to the organizations and society at large. The labor pool is expanded since telecommuting jobs attract marginalized sections such as parents with young children, persons with eldercare responsibilities and physically challenged persons. The environment is that much more cleaner with lesser people traveling to work and there is savings on fuel too. Time spent in driving or commuting to and from work is cut down. This gives the employee additional time at home. You are saved from the bother of traveling in inclement weather.
Benefits of telecommuting to the organization
- The need for office space and parking space is reduced. There is no pressure of adding more cubicles and desks to accommodate a larger work force. Fixed expenses are kept low.
- Organizations need not spend on relocating and shifting. Employees can work from their current locations and do not have to move cross-country or live without their loved ones.
- With home-based work, there is lesser absenteeism on account of domestic issues and minor ailments such as cold.
- Many companies use telecommuting as a perk to attract and retain top talent.
- Telecommuting has resulted in increased productivity ranging from 10 - 30 %.
National Telecommuting Institute
The National Telecommuting Institute (NTI) was established in Boston in 1995. It seeks to develop teleworking opportunities for people seeking home-based employment. National Telecommuting Institute works with many private sector companies as well as federal agencies to train and develop telecommuting opportunities for people with disabilities.
NTI is funded by the Projects with Industry program at the Department of Education. Due to the service of the National Telecommuting Institute, hundreds of Americans are now placed in home-based jobs ranging from medical transcription work to answering calls.