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What is Telecommuting? Remote Work Explained


Is telecommuting for you? Telecommuting is working from a remote location not in the same space (ie. traditional office) as coworkers or people you do business with. This is often done at home, but can also take place in other locations such as a coffee shop. The Internet, phones, faxes, webcams and instant messaging are some of the technological advances that enable this type of work arrangement. Take into account the considerations below as you decide if telecommuting is for you.

Working Remotely

There are a lot of obstacles that one has to overcome in order to find a good job today. To begin, there are a lot of skilled workers who simply don't live in an area where their preferred business is prevalent. Oftentimes, this means that these workers will have to relocate in order to get a job in their field of expertise. However, thanks to telecommuting, this is no longer necessarily the case. Today, jobs have been decentralized so that workers are able to work from wherever they choose.

In the past, online jobs simply weren't possible due to the lack of technology. Things have now changed, and it is actually easier than ever to telecommute. This is because such things as Broadband phones, videoconferencing and wireless Internet are now cheaper and more efficient. 

Benefits of Telecommuting

Telecommuting opportunities are great for single parent homes, or homes where only one parent is able to go outside of the home to work. These jobs also allow people with physical disabilities to be able to work from home, without worrying about whether or not a place is handicap accessible for them. You can accomplish work in accordance to your schedule and personal needs.

Disadvantages to Telecommuting

A disadvantage of telecommuting is that there are a variety of distractions that you will have to deal with while working from home (that you would not have to deal with at an office). For instance, at home you will find yourself dealing with your family and the other daily routines that occur (such as a ringing phone or doorbell, a crying child, a barking dog, etc.). The lack of direct supervision can make it difficult to clearly define your job duties at times, and communication can be misinterpreted.  Also, if you are a social person, you could suffer from isolation.

Who Should Consider Telecommuting

While all of this may sound great to you, it is important to understand that not everyone is meant to be a telecommuter. Oftentimes when you work from home, you will have to be your own supervisor, depending upon yourself to complete your work correctly and on time (without anyone looking over your shoulder).

Anyone who chooses to telecommute must have an independent nature and be able to work well under strict time constraints. This is especially important since telecommuters oftentimes have more work to do than those who are not remotely employed, simply because they will not have other staff around them to depend upon. 

There are definitely some people who would benefit from telecommuting. These include mothers who want to spend more time with their children, adults who have to take care of a family member, and those who are disabled, as telecommuting will ensure that their special needs are met.

As you can see, there are many benefits, as well as some drawbacks to working from home today. Nevertheless, it is nice to know that technology has made it possible for you to work from anywhere that you desire. The telecommuting choice a personal one, and only you can decide what the right choice is for you.

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