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 You are Here: Work at Home Moms > Telecommuting & Work at Home Directory > What is Telecommuting

Telecommuting and Jobs Tutorial - Part 1 - What is Telecommuting?

Many people around the world struggle with balancing business and personal or family life. 

Life is busy and it just keeps getting busier. 

If you have children at home or elderly parents to care for then there really aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. 

Many people have found a viable, and profitable, alternative to the traditional 9-5.

Telecommuting may be the answer to your dreams.

Telecommuting is essentially working from home.  In many situations it involves setting up an agreement with your current employer.  That enables you to do your job from your home. 

Many types of jobs can be handled from home; an accountant, attorney, administrative assistant, transcriptionist, customer service representative, collections, website design, marketing, really just about anything. Unless your job requires you to go to other locations like an electrician or a computer networking consultant, you can telecommute.   

How it is different from freelancing? 

The difference is quite simple actually, freelance workers are self employed.  Telecommuters work for an employer.  Telecommuters still receive a salary, benefits, vacation days and technical support from their employer. 

Freelance workers are responsible for their own benefits, income, vacation time and even their office equipment.  The only real difference is your location.  Telecommuting can be arranged so you work 100% from your home or employers may split the difference and ask that telecommuting employees come into the office occasionally, for example once a week. 

A growing trend. 

According to 2007 World at Work and the  Dieringer Research Group Study, in 2006 there were 12.4 million 'corporate' teleworkers, an increase of 10% since 2005.  Additionally, 8% of America's 150 million workers have an employer that allows them to telecommute one day per month.   

In January of 2008 IDC reported that the mobile workforce is expected to be over 1 billion workers by the year 2011.  And a Nov 2007 Citrix survey finds 23% of US workers regularly do their jobs from someplace besides the office and 62% who cannot work off-site would like to.  

What does all this information mean? 

More and more employers are recognizing the benefits of telecommuting.  Employers can save on overhead and telecommuters are typically more productive than on site employees, not to mention happier.  If you’re considering approaching your boss about telecommuting, keep reading our Getting Started Tutorial.  Section three addresses approaching your boss!   

If you’re longing to eliminate your commute and live a higher quality of life, chances are your employer may be open to the concept of telecommuting.  Not to worry, if you’re unable to convince your boss that telecommuting is a good idea, there are other options. 

Challenges and rewards. 

While telecommuting gives you the ability to skip the commute and may add a few more hours to your day, it is still hard work.  Many telecommuters feel the need to ‘prove themselves’ and end up working longer hours than they would if they were going to the office. 

Additionally, telecommuting requires organization skills, the ability to self-motivate, excellent communication skills, professionalism, and some technical skills so you can establish a home office that meets your employer’s needs. 

Additionally, social people may miss the day to day interaction that is often found in the workplace.  Of course others will be glad to get away from it!  It all depends on your preferences. 

Do the benefits outweigh the challenges?   

For most the answer is yes. 

It is significantly less stressful for many to be able to work from home and it can be tremendously more profitable. 

Keep reading and we’ll show you how.

Telecommuting Tutorial Part 2 - Do you have what it takes to be a telecommuter?


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