Working from home is becoming more commonplace. Data released in 2018 from Indeed found that about one in three workers says their company has a policy allowing remote work. And data from Gallup revealed that from 2012 to 2016, the percentage of employees working at least some of the time remotely rose to 43% of employees, from 39%. They're also spending more time than ever working from home.
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.
Consider ergonomic best practices when choosing a desk, chair, keyboard, mouse, phone or headset, and other core pieces of your workspace. Standing desks have gained in popularity and have been shown to offer huge health benefits. Pay attention to natural lighting, air circulation, wall colors, artwork, and plant life in your home office space to maximize its wellness powers.
Durst says insurance companies are increasingly outsourcing their incoming phone calls to contact centers. The contact centers then have to hire or contract with licensed insurance reps “because state laws mandate that only licensed agents can ‘sell’ policies,” says Durst. So, if you see an ad on TV for XYZ Life Insurance Co. and call the number on your screen, there’s a good chance you’re talking to someone who is working from home.
Fashionistas and those with a great eye for style may love work as an online stylist. Clothing box subscribers fill out online questionnaires and even share their social media profiles with their stylists who curate the perfect new pieces for their wardrobe. You’ll assess customer’s preferences and create a monthly selection of new outfits for them to try on and buy. For an in-depth review of Stitch Fix, be sure to check out my YouTube video below.
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I often get asked, “What’s the difference between freelancing and contracting?” The short answer is this: As a freelancer you’re in charge of finding your own clients, finishing work, and getting your clients to pay. When you contract, the company you contract with finds clients and handles payments, you just claim available work and submit it on time.
Many of my readers have started proofreading from their iPads, scanning legal documents for court reporters as a result of the Proofread Anywhere eCourse I recommend. You can read some of their testimonials in the comments on this post. They offer a 7-day intro course free so you can decide if that line of work is right for you before you pursue the training.