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).
The online application process for these jobs—or perhaps “gigs” is the better word, since they're all for independent contractors—is pretty simple and straightforward with very little required of candidates. Some of these opportunities—like the micro-jobs—you could very well apply and start the same day. And these jobs require very little commitment and can typically be done on your own schedule.
Three of the five job attributes: skill variety, task identity, and task significance, influence how much employees think their jobs are meaningful. Skill variety is the degree that a job requires a variety of activities and skills to complete the task. An increase in skill variety is thought to increase the challenge of the job. Increasing the challenge of the job increases the individual’s experienced meaningfulness, how much the individual cares about work, and finds it worthwhile. Telework may not directly affect skill variety and task meaningfulness for the individual compared to when he or she worked in an office; however, skill variety and meaningfulness of individual tasks can increase when working in a group. If the work done at home is focused on the individual rather than the team, there may be fewer opportunities to use a variety of skills. Task identity is the degree that the individual sees work from beginning to end or completes an identifiable or whole piece of work rather than only a small piece. Task significance is the degree that the individual feels his or her work has a substantial impact on the lives or work of other people within the organization or outside the organization. Telework may not change the job characteristics of skill variety, task identity, and task significance compared to working in an office; however, the presence of these characteristics will influence teleworkers’ work outcomes and attitudes.
Scottsdale, Arizona-based Liveops refers to itself as ”The modern call center that isn’t a call center”. This should give you a strong indication of what they do, and how and where it takes place. The company doesn't have call centers in the usual sense, but instead employs over 20,000 independent agents, working remotely. As such, it also describes itself as the world’s largest cloud contact center.
The job characteristic dimension, feedback, increases employees' knowledge of results. Feedback refers to the degree that an individual receives direct and clear information about his or her performance related to work activities. Feedback is particularly important so that the employees continuously learn about how they are performing. Electronic communication provides fewer cues for teleworkers and thus, they may have more difficulties interpreting and gaining information, and subsequently, receiving feedback. When a worker is not in the office, there is limited information and greater ambiguity, such as in assignments and expectations. Role ambiguity, when situations have unclear expectations as to what the worker is to do, may result in greater conflict, frustration, and exhaustion.
What It Is: What better way to alleviate your travel bug than to work as a remote travel agent or consultant? Whether part- or full-time, spend your working hours dreaming up itineraries, flight plans, hotels, and activities for clients looking to travel far and wide. Then, take advantage of your discounts (hey, perks of the job) and go wherever your heart desires, whenever your heart desires.
Distributed work entails the conduct of organizational tasks in places that extend beyond the confines of traditional offices or workspaces. It can refer to organizational arrangements that permit or require workers to perform work more effectively at any appropriate location—such as their homes or customers' sites—through the application of information and communication technology. An example is financial planners who meet clients during the client's lunchtime at the client's workplace; even though this is an out-of-the-office, meeting, the Internet enables the planner to present financial planning tools and presentations on their mobile computers. Another example is a publishing executives who recommends books and places orders for the latest book offerings to libraries and university professors from the executive's home using e-mail or an online system. If this type of distributed work replaces the worker's commute, it would be considered telecommuting. If not, it would be telework (see §1. Definition).
A meta-analysis of 46 studies of telecommuting involving 12,833 employees conducted by Ravi Gajendran and David A. Harrison in the Journal of Applied Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA), found that telecommuting has largely positive consequences for employees and employers. In their meta-analytic study, Gajendran and Harrison found that telecommuting had modest but beneficial effects on employees' job satisfaction, perceived autonomy, stress levels, manager-rated job performance, and (lower) work-family conflict. Telecommuting also reduces turnover intent, or the intention to quit one’s job. Increased job satisfaction, decreased turnover intent and role stress related to telecommuting partly because of a decrease in work-family conflict. Additionally, the increase in autonomy from teleworking in turn increases job satisfaction. Although a number of scholars and managers had previously expressed fears that employee careers might suffer and workplace relationships might be damaged because of telecommuting, the meta-analysis found that there are no generally detrimental effects on the quality of workplace relationships and career outcomes. Telecommuting actually was found to positively affect employee-supervisor relations and the relationship between job satisfaction and turnover intent was in part due to supervisor relationship quality. Only high-intensity telecommuting (where employees work from home for more than 2.5 days a week) harmed employee relationships with co-workers, even though it did reduce work-family conflict.
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