The 2012 Status Telework in the Federal Government features teleworking highlights from the past 18 months as well as goals for improving teleworking in the future. Reports finding that all 87 agencies participating in the Data Cell had established telework policies and 73 percent of the policies met the Telework Act Requirements. More than 684,000 federal employees were deemed eligible to telework, this represents approximately 32 percent of all federal employees. More than 144,000 federal employees had written teleworking agreements with their agencies. 27 percent of teleworkers worked remotely three or more days per week. In addition to the findings, the reports examine teleworking at the Department of Defense. According to the report, there are more than 793,000 employees in the DoD and of those employees, 134,477 were deemed eligible for teleworking. Overall, the federal government seems to have embraced teleworking and is attempting to create more remote working opportunities for employees. In closing, the report listed several ways that the government could make more jobs available through telework. Suggestions include using telework as a tool to retain employees at or near retirement age and using telework to expand hiring of highly trained disabled veterans.
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.
Attorneys preparing for trial often create a mock jury to get feedback from individuals similar to those who may eventually sit on a jury. Since it can be costly to do in this in person in the community where the trial, cheaper online jurors are the logical alternative. They might listen to audio and view video presentations, or read the material and answer questions.
Search engine evaluators work online as independent contractors and give feedback about whether search engine results are comprehensive, accurate, relevant, and timely. They are the human quality-assurance check in a system run by complicated algorithms. Search engine evaluators must be familiar with the language and the culture of the local web search engine users. Typically, these positions are bilingual, but some openings are available for English-only search evaluators.
There are pitfalls and false starts in the growing Work From Home job market, but positions are available to qualified workers. Many of the telecommuting positions have evolved from positions previously performed in a central office where the employer has allowed the flexibility to Work From Home. Other positions to explore are Stay-at-Home Mom jobs and Online Data Entry jobs.
If you have experience and knowledge in a specific area, then consider sharing it with others. For example, if you’re an accountant or lawyer, then you can provide advice to small businesses for a pretty penny. You could also consult businesses on how to use a new software program or how to become more environmentally friendly. (If you're interested, my company offers a consulting guide to get started.)
When I started to work from home, I missed talking to people. A lot. But I soon found a friend. Every day, I would hear the UPS guy gunning his motor as he drove down my long driveway to deliver my packages. As soon as I would spot him, I’d fly out of the house and chat him up. And now he leaves the packages by the curb. Sure, the one big bonus of working from home is that it gets you away from the petty office politics and never-ending gossip.
What Employees Say: “Company is comprised of hard-working individuals who are extremely passionate about what they do. We have done wonderful things for communities through foundations, IBO’s and our own employees giving back. It is exciting to be part of a growing company that has allowed me to use my knowledge to help build my department. I am proud to see how far we have come..” —Current Employee
Autonomy influences experienced responsibility such that if the job provides freedom, independence, and scheduling flexibility, the individual should feel responsible for his or her work outcomes. Telework provides flexibility in scheduling and freedom because being outside the office gives the worker more choices. Teleworkers do not have to stick to office routines and can shift work to different times of day. Telework allows employees the freedom to choose where they work, when they work and even what they wear to work to allow their best work. Teleworkers may experience more responsibility to the extent that they feel in control and accountable for their work. The autonomy of telework allows for lower work-family conflict. Teleworking provides the freedom to arrange work to avoid family conflicts. Increased control over life demands is one of its main attractions. The level of autonomy in telework felt by the employee depends on a variety of factors, including scheduling flexibility and the household size. In addition to reducing work-family conflict, conflicts with activities are also reduced. Increased and fewer time restrictions freedom allow workers to participate more in recreational activities, whether social or physical.
Some of the available jobs are technology-focused positions like web designers or software engineers, but this is not always the case. Others are non-tech roles like jobs in customer service or freelance writing and editing. The leading companies looking to hire part-time telecommuting workers are in the education, IT, sales, and health industries:
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.
How to get the job: In addition to having the appropriate accreditation and state license to practice, it's important to highlight your ease with remote technology (e.g., FaceTime, Zoom and Skype) and any teleconferencing software. Being a clinician requires constant documentation and communication, so be sure to emphasize your abundant writing skills.
One of the hottest work from home jobs out there right now for online tutors is teaching Chinese children English through VIPKID. The service is super flexible, you get to set your own hours, and there is no lesson planning involved. VIPKID provides the lesson plans and communicates with the parents, all you need is a laptop and a desire to help teach children. Tutors typically earn anywhere from $14 – $22 per hour according to their website.