An examination of telecommuting – and other home-based work options.
Did you know that more than 3 million people perform at least part of their job in an at-home environment?
Quite impressive, and ample evidence that a growing number of employers are embracing the benefits of telecommuting. It’s worth pointing out that as more and more companies hire home workers, prospective employees will begin to expect telecommuting as the norm for certain job descriptions. A snowball effect, if you will, which will push the numbers even higher.
The trends are good. As technological advances are made in the efficiency, modes, and reliability of communication, the trends will only get better.
What is Telecommuting?
There are numerous misconceptions about telecommuting. Below are a few facts about telecommuting along with some suggestions to help you get started.
- Many home workers did not get hired as a telecommuter. They are full-time employees of a company and were allowed to transfer some or all of their duties to a home office. They may work at home once in a month, or five days a week with only occasional visits to the workplace. It all depends on the agreement between the employee and the company.
- If your job is suited for telecommuting you can approach your boss with a proposal. Your company might just need a little educating to see how beneficial it really is.
- Freelance agents are a fast growing segment of home-based workers. A freelancer is someone who contracts with a company or client to perform specified work within a specified amount of time. A freelancer does not receive company benefits and is responsible for paying their own taxes. Learn more about how you can get started freelancing.
- Companies who hire full-time, telecommuting employees generally prefer that you live in close proximity to the job site. There are exceptions though. For instance, a public relations company might want regional representation in an area where they are not physically present. In such a case, you might be required to travel to the corporate location periodically. You can search for potential employers using local search strategies. For more on this, read How To Search For Home Jobs.
- It can take longer to land a telecommuting job than it does to get a traditional job. Telecommuting jobs, especially those which require less skill, are not as plentiful as traditional jobs and are highly sought after by others just like you. You must be persistent, patient, and aggressive in your search.
- You must have a killer resume and cover letter. Making a strong first impression is important if you want an employer or recruiter to actually consider you as a candidate. Learn more about writing a great resume.
Beyond Telecommuting: Creating Your Own Home Job
You’ll increase your odds of finding home employment by thinking outside of the box. Don’t limit yourself to searching for just company hired jobs. Be open to all opportunities and consider the possibility of starting your own business.
- Follow the trends and capitalize on them. For instance, home automation continues to gain momentum. Who will get develop the next great innovation and create opportunities? Will it be you?
- Use your existing skills and knowledge base to start a business of your own. Certainly you have not been living in a vacuum. There is something already within you that can be nurtured into a business. It all starts with an idea.
- Do you have a skill you can teach to others? You could write a 10 or 20 page report and turn it into an eBook. Perhaps your material is suited for a YouTube channel and you could develop a series of informative videos.
- Look around your community and fill a need. By choosing a business based on customer needs, rather than what you think people need, you’ll be one step ahead. For instance, in my own community there are many small businesses who have not created an online presence. They’ve thought about it, but they don’t want a fancy site and they don’t want to pay the hundreds of dollars many designers are charging. Start by performing a market analysis and determine the viability of your new niche business.
There has never been a better time to create your niche with a home-based business of your own. Don’t limit yourself to thinking you must find someone to hire you. You are a force to be reckoned with on your own terms, and the options available to you are only limited by your imagination.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on small business and home-based work issues. He is the founder of HomeBizTools and the publisher of Straight Talk, a syndicated column that offers a unique perspective on today’s business issues.