Telecommuting is a practice being adopted by companies around the globe as a way to lower overhead costs and foster better relationships with employees. I wish telecommuting was an option with my old employer, but it still required a lot of face-to-face interaction. I did have a lot of flexibility and some benefits mentioned here, but not to the extent of being completely mobile. That being said, now that I am 100% self-employed I do have virtually all of these reasons to be thankful for. Even just a few weeks in, I can already feel the benefits.
In addition to greater flexibility, higher levels of productivity and overall job satisfaction, telecommuting is ideal for the following reasons:
- Little to no face-to-face contact with a “boss”. Although communication is key, nearly all methods of “checking in” are virtual which increases efficiency and lowers stress levels.
- More control over your work environment. You call the shots. If you produce better results while listening to 80s Hair Bands on your iPod, so be it! You can do your work from the comfort of your own home, the healthy buzz of your local coffee shops, or your outdoor patio or garden area.
- A schedule that fits your needs not your employer’s. Take that extended vacation that you planned without your world crumbling around you. Attend your son’s Little League game without hassle from your boss. Get up early or stay up late finishing up projects according to your preference.
- No unnecessary added expenses. Skip the commute, wear your most comfortable clothes, brew your own coffee, and make lunch from scratch using the items that you already have in your kitchen. Working from home helps you reduce costs and gives you tax breaks beyond your wildest imagination.
- More variety in work assignments. Mundane tasks given to you by your “superiors” are delegated to people who work locally not remotely which give you the opportunity to complete several projects at one time.
- You can raise your own children. Forget about daycare. You can tend to your little ones and still maintain balance between your personal and professional life.
- Increased job security. You can juggle multiple streams of income efficiently when you work from home. By keeping yourself organized, you keep yourself out of the unemployment line and gainfully employed even if one endeavor doesn’t pan out.
No matter what your underlying reason for working from home may be, rest assured that more individuals and companies are considering the pluses of telecommuting and freelancing.
Explore your options and see what kind of arrangements can be made with your current employer before striking out on your own. You never know. You may ask yourself later on why you didn’t think about doing this sooner.
Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer for ChickSpeak, Buzzine, DisFUNKshion Magazine, Student Stuff, and a guest contributor for Wisebread. She loves thrift related topics and can spot a bargain a mile away.
Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle
My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.
Of all the reasons you listed, my favorite is "freedom". More and more people are deciding to organize their work around the life, and lifestyle, they want...instead of what most people do, which is organize their life around their work.
The article is way off on not needing child care when you work at home. Children need adventures, books, nature, and so much that you can't give them when you want them just to let you finish one more task... Raising your children IS a fulltime job. If you or your spouse are not able or not willing to do it, hire somebody who is or stay childless.
I really want to work for myself one day. I am currently in a 9-5 job that I enjoy, but do not get the freedom that I would really love. It would also allow me to make my own schedule and work on the projects I am interested in. Just keep having to work hard so that I can make it possible.
All good reasons for working at home, and good reasons for being self-employed! I champion that cause every chance I get. I ran my financial services practice from a spare bedroom for the first couple of years I was in the business, but for me there were just too many distractions and it was too easy to find an excuse for not working. So I found a small office building 1/2 mile from my house and rented an office. Separating home and work by those 880 yards made a huge difference for me.
I split my week between home and office. For me it's a nice balance, more than two days a week at home, I go stir crazy and feel out of the loop at work; more than three days in the office, and the laundry doesn't get done.
There are definite pros and cons to both set ups. I find my WAH days have much less shape to them than my in-office days. I start earlier, finish later but generally have blocks here and there where I'm taking care of other commitments (be it a dr's appointment or school volunteer commitment, etc.).
I've been splitting my week this way since my youngest was three. Barring a child being home sick now and then, I have never ever used it as a substitute for child care. It's untenable for the employee and unacceptable to an employer. Obviously, it's a different set of rules if you're self-employed.
i work from home and while i havent started earning the income that i hope to earn, i wouldn't have it any other way. hopefully in the next few months my income will increase :)
I totally agree with you, Indigo, as working from home is NOT for everyone. You have to have a really strong mindset to stay focused. On another note, for those who want to consider freelancing either as a side income or maybe even transition into it full-time, here is an article that you can refer to when learning how to BUDGET on a freelance income:http://www.gobankingrates.com/budgeting-for-freelancers/
#8 -- Out of sight, out of mind?
Does telecommuting hurt your career? I work from home, and my boss never "sees" me coming in early and staying late. I guess my achievements have to speak for themselves.
Excuse me, but telecommuting is NOT the same as running your own business from home. (If your business is at home and you work for yourself, then how exactly are avoiding commuting?)
Seven reasons why telecommuting may not be for you:
1) Isolation. Not everyone can handle being on their own most of the time.
2) Team work can be tricky. Sometimes it's easier to discuss things face-to-face rather than online meetings, phone calls and the dreaded email threads.
3) You lose a sense of what's going on. It's easy to be left out of meetings, spontaneous conversations, and not get your say on important issues.
4) The freedom isn't there. I'm required to work the same hours as my coworkers and customers, and those "extended vacations" only apply to the self employed.
5) Working from home is not daycare. Small kids need more time and attention during the day and so does your work. You wouldn't bring them into the office all the time, would you?
6) It can be hard to maintain a work/life balance when work is where you live.
7) Working from home takes dedicated space. Sure, working from home has it's perks, but I could have a roommate or a smaller (and cheaper) apartment instead of an office.
Thanks for hearing me out!
Good points, but I think this post confuses having your own business at home and telecommuting (working for a company, but at home).
For instance, if you telecommute you don't have as much freedom as you think. Many people are required to be available to clients and coworkers during certain hours
(9-5 and beyond), and I don't think there is such a thing as an "extended vacation" -- you get what everyone else in your company gets (2 or three weeks).
In my area, many companies offer "flex time" or flexible hours to their onsite workers to allow them to have some balance with their family lives. (Like picking up kids from school, going to games, etc).
The best case scenario if you're working for someone else is to work for a company that respects your life balance, whether you work from home or onsite.
'You can raise your own children?'
I'm not going to touch the implication that using daycare = abdicating responsibility for raising one's children.
I am going to note that smaller children may require more time and attention than you think. I know from personal experience that blocking off segments of time for work becomes more difficult once children are mobile.
This strategy may be more effective once the children are in school. Not when the children are between 0 and 5 years of age.
Gotta love having no commute when working at home, saves so much time and could allow you to sleep a little more and be more productive in your day.
Makes my mouth water just thinking about it. My company is so old school -- it is a HARD sell. It's not so much about making money (or saving it) as much as it's about control. Gotta keep that thumb on everyone.
I keep asking every so often, but get shot down each time. I told my boss that I only need three things to do my job: my company laptop, my company car (I'm a district manager), and a cell phone. Everything else is just window dressing.
I see so many positives from working at home. I especially enjoy working in the comforts of my own office and just being able to relax at work. However, one problem I've encountered from working at home is that sometimes I lost track of my work. It's so easy to get distracted here and there that soon enough, the day is over. I guess you need a strong mindset as well.