Work From Home

work from home

There are loosely three types of work that can be completed at home. The first type is when salaried employees, who have hitherto always made the commute from home to the office, are permitted to complete projects and tasks from home. These employees are often allowed to take company equipment to their home and there will be an expectation of at least weekly visits to the office, to hand over completed work that cannot be emailed in and to check in with management. These can be or full-time positions or part-time jobs and usually involve a fair amount of online work. This allows management to check on progress regularly thanks to new innovations like cloud computing.

Third-party

The second type of home working is when an individual signs up with a third-party company who has contracts with large corporations who are looking to reduce the size of the call centers and thereby reduce the overheads associated with large office blocks. These people are usually required to be self-employed and therefore are responsible for providing their own equipment, medical and insurance needs – representing yet another saving to the large corporation. Some of these jobs at home can feel very much like a regular salaried position, with the need to complete training, have monthly management meetings and check-ins (usually completed on the phone) and the need to stay fully up to date with any policy changes. The worker will book hours a week or so in advance and need to fulfil a certain requirement each week in order to have their contract renewed, something that will happen anywhere from quarterly to annually.

Freelance

The third type of home jobs is in the realm of the freelancer. Writers, graphic designers, artists, bloggers and a whole host of other jobs can be sought, completed and submitted entirely online, leaving the worker free to work literally anywhere – under a tree in the park, at a restaurant, or even on the beach while on holiday – as long as they have a working mobile internet connection! Sometimes there are slots for completing online work, such as helping to refine search engine requests. These positions pay mere cents per answer, but a quick thinker and clicker can do nearly 1000 per hour.

The Pros and Cons of Working From Home

Pursuing careers from home is not for everyone: there are certain requirements to be met first. Most importantly you must know what kind of a person you are as regards a work ethic. If you tend to goof off whenever the boss pops out and are continually missing project deadlines perhaps you are lacking the discipline required to work from home. You must be reasonably technically proficient too, and be able to set up a computer, install software and perform basic trouble-shooting tasks.

Many employers are reluctant to let the staff work from home, feeling sure that the workers will not work as well with all the distractions of home surrounding them. While it is true that some people will not be able to settle down to work before their entire house is spick and span, the employee can train him or herself to set an alarm that announces it is now time for work. Sticking to a set timetable can help to keep home separate from work.

It has been found that people are amazingly different when it comes to preferred hours of work, with some enjoying a lie-in before working hard all afternoon and into the evening, while others rise early and have completed their six or seven hours shortly after noon. Parents can mix it up, working while the children are at school, then stopping to enjoy quality time, a meal, and even some television, before getting back to work once the children are asleep in bed. Employers do not have to have eyes on their employers to see the results of their work and will quickly pick up on any slackness. Software can be programmed to email logs of work done to management at periodic intervals which helps to keep tabs on any employees suspected of napping on the job.

In summary:
  • Work from home can be for a regular company, online business operations for contractors, or freelance
  • Home working is a slowly increasing trend, despite the lingering stigma that leads some people to disdain it as the realm of shirkers and ‘skivers’
  • Home workers tend to form a unique pattern of work that does not conform to the regular working hours of ‘nine to five’ – this seems to boost productivity in workers due to the greater job satisfaction they feel

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