Telecommuting has long been promoted as a way to substantially increase employee productivity. A working-from-home-related experiment conducted using 242 employees of a large Chinese travel agency by professors at Stanford and Beijing University found that employees randomly assigned to work at home for 9 months increased their output by 13.5% versus the office-based control group. This improvement in output arose from working 9% more hours from saved commuting time and from 3.5% improved efficiency from quieter working conditions. The study also found that home-workers reported significantly higher job-satisfaction scores and their quit rates fell by almost 50%. However, home workers' promotion rates dropped by half due to apparent performance declines, indicating a potential career cost of home-working.
Usability testers are asked to perform tests based on their demographic profile (education, knowledge of the web, age, social media use, etc.). They are then given questions to address and/or tasks to perform, such as registering on a website and then providing feedback online. Reviews usually take about 15-20 minutes and earn typically about $10 each. After completing a review, testers are not paid until the client accepts their feedback. Work can be rejected and unpaid for technical problems, lack of detail, or other issues the client determines.
Motivator-hygiene theory differentiates between motivating factors (motivators) and dissatisfying factors (hygienes). Factors that are motivators such as recognition and career advancement may be lessened with telework. When teleworkers are not physically present, they may be “out of sight, out of mind” to other workers in the office. Additionally, telework may not always be seen positively by management due to fear of loss of managerial control. A 2008 study found that more time spent telecommuting decreased the perception of productivity of the teleworker in the eyes of management. Hygiene factors, such as work conditions, may improve when teleworking such that teleworkers have the flexibility to work in a variety of locations. Thus, telework has different work motivating factors and dissatisfying factors than office work.
Phony job listings on legit job-hunting websites. One fraudulent group was listing fake jobs on CareerBuilder, which is an otherwise respectable site. The group was charging a big fee for a background check before consideration of any applicants. Federal, state and local authorities received more than 17,000 complaints filed by people who were ripped off by this particular group. And that’s just the number of people who found their way to complain. Who knows how many others were taken?
Freelance writers can more easily be thought of as a “writer for hire” or someone who is contracted out to write about a particular topic. If you have some writing chops, but don’t want to deal with all the extra work that goes into running a blog, you can hire yourself out and write for newspapers, large online publications and even other bloggers.