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There are many benefits of working from home. It saves money from commuting, lunches out, childcare, and purchasing and maintaining a work wardrobe. There are considerable benefits that have to do with flexibility – time-wise, location-wise, and employer-wise.
As technology and the Internet advance, effectively earning a living working from home has become a very real and viable possibility for more people. Making money online has been long viewed as a “pipe dream” by the masses. But, more and more companies are looking to outsource full-time and part-time jobs to people who telecommute. This article explores some of the very real advantages and some possible challenges to being able to effectively work from home.
Want To Completely Eliminate Your Daily Work Commute?
As an employee, most people are required to commute daily from their home to their place of employment. Every day people fight traffic and spend both their time and gas to get to work on time. Working online affords people the opportunity to shorten their daily commute to the length of time it takes to walk to their home office. Now a 20 or 30 min. commute is shortened down to 2 minutes.
This can add up to some very real savings! If you calculate how much money you spend per month on gas for your daily commute, and add on top of that the time you spend in the car every month, you might be shocked at what you find.
Decreasing the amount of money you spend on gas allows you to effectively give yourself an hourly raise. And getting back some of that commute time will give you more time to get the piles of things done that are vying for your attention every day.
Do You Aspire To Have More Flexibility In Your Work Hours?
Having more flexibility in your work hours is another very real advantage to having a job at home. Need to run to a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day, or pick up one your children after school in the middle of the afternoon? How would you like to be able to knock off early on a Friday, so you can get a head start on the drive heading out of town for the weekend? All of this is possible, when you set your own work hours.
However, this can be a double-edged sword. It’s very important to plan your work, and work your plan. In order to be effective, and often to be able to meet the requirements of many online employers, setting up and working your schedule consistently becomes critical.
Want To Work Wherever You Find An Internet Connection?
Additionally, you can work from wherever you have an Internet connection. You are no longer restrained to any one city or building. You could work from home, local coffee shops and libraries, or even from a balcony in an exotic foreign location. Working online really does open up some amazing possibilities.
However, keep in mind that you must still get your work done, and some employers online require you to meet specific office set-up criteria in order to work with them. You may need a quiet environment without distractions, a wired telephone connection, (as opposed to a wireless telephone) or access to a printer, fax or scanner.
Want To Have A Broader Range Of Job Opportunities To Choose From?
Another tremendous advantage to an at-home job is that it opens up a broader range of employment options. Depending upon your marketplace, your local employment opportunities may be limited to certain industrial sectors.
You could be pigeonholed into a certain job just because you live close to a particular employer. For example, if you lived in a mining town, your employment options would be very limited, and you would have to move to another town in order to find a broader range of employment opportunities.
Now, you don’t necessarily have to move in order to find employment in an industry that you’re interested in, or have already developed some skill.
Be Aware, If You Don’t Work, You Don’t Get Paid!
I mentioned above how important it is to stick to your schedule. Working at home really can give you tremendous flexibility, and offers an array of advantages. But if you have difficulty self-starting tasks, setting and sticking to your own schedule could be a challenge. Every new job offers new challenges, this is no different.
You should certainly familiarize yourself with some of the calendar scheduling possibilities that are available from companies like Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo calendar, Google calendar, or one of many other scheduling systems available online. A simple Google search for “scheduling software” or “calendar program” will give you a variety of calendar options to choose from. Pick one, work with it and become familiar with how to use it, and stay committed to using it daily for everything you do. Not only will this increase your productivity, it will guarantee that you don’t “wash out” of the work-at-home marketplace because of an inability to set and work your schedule.
At Home Distractions Can Ruin Your Work Productivity
Many parents are attracted to working from home, so that they can be closer to their families. Working adult schedules are very different from our children’s school schedules. Adults in the workplace don’t get off of work until 5 PM or 6 PM if they’re working in a first shift job situation. School children, however, are often finished by 2:30 PM or 3 PM. This creates a unique challenge for many working families that has opened the door to a variety of paid after-school programs. Some children need the structure of an after-school program to stay out of trouble and help them get started on their homework.
Working a job from home allows parents to avoid having to shell out even more money to pay for an after-school program. But, having children around during your workday can be very distracting. You can literally “drown” in interruptions. And since you won’t have a boss looking over your shoulder to tell you to ‘get back to work’, you’ll wonder what happened to your day, and why you weren’t able to get as much done as you had hoped to.
Interruptions can be a tremendous productivity killer. The best way to deal with this situation is to set clear ground rules with your family, so they understand that when you’re working at home, you’re not available, unless there is truly an emergency. Being interrupted every 30 minutes can threaten your ability to make working from home a viable option.
What’s The Bottom Line?
A tough economy has forced many employers to look for additional ways that they can cut costs to save money and protect their profits. There is a considerable amount of overhead cost to an employer to provide an employee with a work environment. The building has a monthly cost per square foot. Utilities, office furniture, telephones, Internet connections, computers and equipment are just a few examples. By hiring an employee to work from home, companies can effectively get the same work output for less money than bringing an employee in-house.
With that in mind, great work from home opportunities are rapidly becoming more available. When you consider the reduction in time and expense commuting to a job, adding additional flexibility to your hours and the location where you work, as well as simply having a broader range of job opportunities to pick from, the barriers to finding a great work-at-home situation are going way down. With a bit of due diligence, and some focused effort, you too can earn a living working from home!
Dr. Carolee Duckworth is an online work expert, earning her own living online for 12 years & teaching thousands of others how. She designed and initiated College-Online.com—providing significant work advancement for tens of thousands of working adults since 1996.