by MJ Ali
Do you remember the first ads for home-based jobs? They targeted stay-at-home moms and promised magical, effortless incomes… for just a little money down. Oh, and you had to drum up your own business. Needless to say, these companies failed to deliver realistic opportunities for a viable income.
Well, times have changed. As people sought a more livable work-life balance and companies started to tally the savings—both in overhead and health—in providing telecommuting options for its employees, legitimate companies took telecommuting seriously and ultimately changed the landscape of where work gets done.
Now, mega corporations employ thousands of telecommuters, offering healthy advancement opportunities, competitive benefits, and a voice in the company. No longer considered a secondary income venue, telecommuters have become a vital part of the workforce. Smaller companies have also found the value in employing telecommuters. Co-Op Web, for example, has been offering telecommuting since 1998.
Single and stay-at-home parents in particular have been able to earn competitive incomes while taking a more active role in their children’s day-to-day activities, and that is invaluable. Beyond the benefits to families, there is an environmental benefit as well. Telecommuters reduce auto emissions and energy required to power larger offices. Walking to your office in your slippers definitely reduces your carbon footprint and commute time, and that means more time with family.
There is a gender gap in remote work, with men of all ages comprising the majority of the remote workforce. But that’s just one statistic. Here’s another: remote work is helping women close the gender gap in tech. A 2017 Forbes article points out that half of telecommuters are 45 years or older, and earn about $4,000 more than non-telecommuters.
Telecommuting jobs are growing, and more job curation companies are focusing on remote job opportunities than ever before. FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Indeed, Working Nomads, and remote OK all have slightly different listings. One or more will have something that will appeal to just about everyone.
Working in isolation, even with a virtual team, has its challenges. There’s still stress, intensity of work, and balancing work-life in the same space. Telecommuting isn’t for everyone, but for those who make it work, it can often be life-changing.