“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
A few years ago, I became interested in this topic. My first exploration took place more than 10 years ago, when I used to coordinate ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) for Venezuelan schools. I also taught computer “science” to grades K-12 students and teachers, and one of the topics on my courses was “future trends”. We explored telework, telecommuting or remote employment as part of this. At that time (year 1999) it seemed an excellent idea for people who lived in remote areas, people with disabilities or chronic illness, people with social or mental issues or just people who didn’t want to spend 1-2 hours or more just to go to and come back from work.
I became very interested in this topic because I am a fan of “pay for delivery” work, as opposed to “pay for time spent at” work.
Let me explain: employment is an exchange of your life-time for a few $$$. It may or may not have the “reward” or “worth” component that makes you feel happy and fulfilled as a person. Studies show that people “work” a few hours a day but almost never the 7-8 hours they were supposed to work: they extend the breaks, spend time in the washroom, checking social media sites, talking over the phone (about un-related issues), solving problems from their private lives or talking to co-workers. A lot of people take sick leaves when they are not sick: they are just tired or overwhelmed with the expectative of spending yet another 7-8 hours behind a desk or at closed doors.
When you are paid for “showing up”, you need to be at work from 9-5 and you are expected to deliver something (goods or services), but a lot of people deliver the minimum and then take a break…
When you are paid for your true delivery the relationship is much fairer: you are clear about the targets and expectations, you deliver and then you can go home. You can now use your free time to do all those other things you need or want to do with your life.
Remote employment can provide this, but you need to make sure you find the right one for you and that you are fit for this. It is not for everybody.
The first barrier is to be able to discriminate legitimate opportunities from scam and fraud schemes. The Internet is plagued with these schemes and scams, so you need to understand what remote employment is and what is not.
What is remote employment?
What remote employment is not?
Benefits of teleworking/remote employment:
Drawbacks or disadvantages:
What industries or types of jobs have more opportunities as remote employment?
How can you know a remote employment website/job ad is legitimate?
What are the typical skills and equipment they ask for?
Equipment: Some companies will provide you with equipment, but this usually happens when you have already worked for that company and have reached an agreement to start working from home. In most cases, they will expect you have the basic equipment to do the job, and they will pay you just for delivery and deadlines.
The basic equipment you should have includes:
Skills: It is not a set of “typical” skills as each job requires different sets. But most remote or online jobs ask for similar basic skills:
Do you have to “invest” anything when preparing for remote employment?
In some cases, a few websites charge a small amount to make sure people connecting are serious about employment. Some would charge an amount for training. The only way to know if this is legitimate and “fair” is to see what you are really getting for your money and make sure all the transactions are transparent.
Companies (real employers) won’t charge for anything and they may require a face-to-face or Skype interview before closing the deal.
Where can you check for remote employment?
There are a few specialized (and tested) websites that dedicate to these jobs. In most cases, you will find these jobs through real companies websites, universities or colleges that offer online instruction or media publication websites that have electronic versions and/or blogs.
You can explore the following websites for more informal/one time contract remote employment:
Contract World Canada: http://www.contractworld.jobs/work_at_home_jobs_canada/01_home/work_at_home_jobs_home.html
Some links to get more information:
Virtual Assistants Association: http://www.ivaa.org/
Blog about eLearning careers and telecommunting: http://christytucker.wordpress.com/instructional-design-careers/
Category: Balance Work and Life, Career Development and Job Search, Community Resources, Education and Training, Financial Independence, Freelance Writing, Job Search, No Waste Living, Remote Employment, Resilient Living and Choices, Simply Living, Social Media, Sustainable Living, Telecommuting, Telework, Time Management, Work from Home