For companies, telecommuting expands the talent pool, reduces the spread of illness, reduces costs including real-estate footprint, increases productivity, reduces their carbon footprint and energy usage, offers a means of complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and possibly earning a tax credit, if they're American, reduces turnover and absenteeism, improves employee morale, enhances continuity-of-operations strategies, improves their ability to handle business across multiple time zones, and augments their cultural adaptability. Some estimates suggest that full-time telework can save companies approximately $20,000 per employee.
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Coworking is a social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share a common working area as well as the synergy that can happen from working with people in the same space. Coworking facilities can range from shared space in formal offices to social areas such as a coffee shop. Entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs often cowork in shared office and workshop facilities provided by business incubators and business accelerator organizations. In entrepreneurship, coworking allows creative start-up founders, researchers and knowledge workers to meet and share ideas, collaborate, share new research, and find potential partners.
What It Is: Do people ask you your secret to perfect pie crust or how you made that wreath? "Everyone knows how to do something, or has a hobby they enjoy," says Kimberly Lawson, owner of OohLaLuxe.net, who has created fashion and beauty tutorial videos. "These can easily be turned into profits." Simply sign up for a free YouTube account. Then use a smartphone or digital camera to record yourself explaining and demonstrating how you work your magic. (If you're more tech-savvy or have a burgeoning teenage filmmaker in your house, you can use desktop software, such as Windows Movie Maker, to create a slicker video.) "Once you upload the video to YouTube, enroll in its partner program," Lawson says. YouTube will then place ads inside or near your video, and you will earn money from the ads themselves, video views and click-throughs. "The key is to put a unique spin on your video," says Lawson, especially if there are lots of others on the same subject.
Businesses often provide teleworkers access to corporate in-house applications, accessible by a remote device such as a tablet or laptop. These devices are gaining popularity in the workforce but come with different underlying operating systems and therefore a variety compatibility issues. However, with the use of desktop virtualization, specifically remote desktop virtualization, any legacy application or operating system can be accessed from a mobile device, as this device is primary used as a display unit while the processing is performed on the company's internal server.
A 2007 study of National Science Foundation employees indicated that approximately one-third participated in telework regularly, characterized staff satisfaction with the program, and noted savings in employee time and greenhouse-gas emissions as a result of telework. Rep. Sarbanes (D-MD) introduced the Telework Improvements Act of 2009 in March 2009. Co-sponsors of the bill included Reps. Connolly (D-VA), Wolf (R-VA), and Capito (R-WV). The bill requires each executive agency to establish a policy under which employees may be authorized to telework to the maximum extent possible without diminishing employee performance or agency operations. At the same time in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Akaka (D-HI) introduced the companion bill, along with Sens. Landrieu (D-LA) and Voinovich (R-OH).
Virtual assistants, commonly referred to as VAs, come in all shapes and sizes. Many companies will hire VAs if they are looking for help with online administrative tasks (email, calendar management, data entry, etc), but don’t necessarily want to hire a full time employee just yet. They’re the perfect work from home job for busy people that may need to drop their work at a moments notice, or have very sporadic availability.