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).
If working for yourself sounds like a major pain, don’t worry. There are still plenty of real work-from-home jobs in which you can work for an established company. These are more traditional jobs where a company hires you and pays an hourly wage. Typically, these jobs involve addressing customer questions and calls which are directed virtually to your own phone.
These little jobs are done by people who log on to a company’s site and choose tasks, which could be as simple as clicking a link. Amazon's Mechanical Turk is one of the most well-known sites of this type. Also, there are crowdsourcing projects, which are similar to data entry, where companies engage an army of virtual workers to each do one small part of a larger project.
Sociotechnical systems (STS) theory explains the interaction between social and technological factors. STS examines the relationships between people, technology, and the work environment, in order to design work in a way that enhances job satisfaction and increases productivity. Originally developed to explain the paradox of improved technology but decreased productivity, the theory can be applied to the design of telework. One of the principles of STS is minimal critical specification. This principle states that, unless absolutely essential, there should be minimal specification of objectives and how to do tasks in order to avoid closing options or inhibiting effective actions. Telecommuting provides teleworkers with the freedom to decide how and when to do their tasks. Similarly, teleworkers have the responsibility to use their equipment and resources to carry out their responsibilities. This increase in responsibility for their work also increases their power, supporting the idea that teleworking is a privilege and in some companies, considered a promotion.
Holly fell into freelance writing on a whim. She submitted several pitches for guest posts and ended up landing a few clients. After roughly 6 months of freelancing on the side, she was making enough money to replace her income and work at home full-time. Now, she makes over $200,000 a year from writing alone. Not bad for a home-based business, eh?
Of the more than three million web entries resulting from a search on the phrase "work at home", more than 95% of the results were scams, links to scams, or other dead ends. Work at home scams earn their perpetrators more than $500 million per year, and home business scams account for another $250 million per year. Even the sites that claim to be scam-free often feature ads that link to scams. According to Christine Durst, CEO of Staffcentrix, there is a 48-to-1 ratio of scams to legitimate offerings among work-at-home job leads on the Internet.
P.S. If you want to learn from some of the best in the business I highly recommend you check out the Work at home Summit. This summit is a collection of entrepreneurs talking about a myriad of different work at home businesses and jobs they’ve started and grown. This is 100% the best work at home event I’ve ever seen. (Totally scam free.) And it’s free. You can find out more here.
The number one spot on the list went to Appen, a technology services company headquartered in Australia. Amazon, VIPKID and UnitedHealth Group were among the top ten companies offering the highest number of remote jobs posted in 2018. Newcomers to the list include Cisco, Abbott, and Sanofi , joining 2018 alumni like PRA Health Services, Toyota and Williams-Sonoma. Xerox , CVS Health, Salesforce, ADP, American Express and Humana are among the 26 companies that have been ranked every year since the list's inception six years ago.