Senior Voice -

By Teresa Ambord
Senior Wire 

Ever wished you could work from home?

 

October 1, 2017



It used to be a rare thing to meet someone who worked from home and actually made a decent income. Some people say they could never do it. They’re not self-starters. They can’t deal with the distractions. They’d feel like they were always at work. Then there are people who work from home, for an employer or for themselves, and never want to “go to work” again.

Who actually works at home? In 2015, only about 3 percent of workers, or 4 million people, worked from home. As millennials swarm the workforce and always talk about work-life balance, many experts believed they’d be the ones who work from home. But in actual fact, most of the ones working at home (as employees, not self-employed persons such as freelancers) are baby boomers, according to the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey. The older the worker, the higher the chance he or she will be working from home.

Why? It’s a mixture of reasons behind it. According to Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, this type of employment is “more available to those who have earned the trust of their employer or just don’t give a damn about climbing the corporate ladder.” Lister goes on to say that though millennials may want to work from home, they also feel they must be seen in the office, and fear that working remotely will diminish their potential for promotion.

If you’re not concerned about the corporate ladder and would rather work from home in your pajamas and slippers, with your dog beside you, and not fighting traffic and inclement weather, there’s more good news. The census survey mentioned above and information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that telecommuters make, on the average, $4,000 a year more than employees who commute to work.

Apart from “appearances,” not everyone is cut out to work from home. If you’re thinking about it, here are seven traits Inc.com lists that you need to work well from home:

1. Self-motivation. Can you be motivated to work without the office atmosphere and coworkers?

2. Good communication skills. It may sound odd, but communication skills are even more important for at-home workers. This is because you’ll need to rely on nonverbal cues much of the time.

3. Resourcefulness. There will be times when you have to solve a problem without input.

4. Tech-savvyness. Even if you can call for tech help, you’ll need some ability to troubleshoot when things go awry.

5. Ability to self-evaluate. Without external feedback, you’ll need a critical eye for your own work in terms of quantity, quality and speed.

6. Independence. Do coworkers annoy and distract you, or do you need the interaction with them? If your best work is collaborative, working at home may not be for you, depending

on whether feedback is available to you.

7. Confidence. You’ll need a high degree of confidence in your skills and knowledge. That means you’ll need a thick skin when inevitable criticism comes.

Read more from Inc.com about the seven traits here: http://on.inc.com/2vX70Xb

Can you do your current job from your home? Obviously if you’re a retail sales clerk or a cardiac nurse, you can’t. But if you’re a medical biller, an editor, a tutor, an administrative assistant, or any other job that you can accomplish from your home (even if only part of the time), you might ask your boss if he or she would consider it. Here’s a big selling point: it frees up desk space at the office. And, studies show that for people cut out for working at home, more work gets done.

If you’re searching for opportunities for work-at-home jobs, be careful. This is an area where many scams have popped up. Bankrate.com suggests you weigh any job in terms of positive indicators of real employment:

• The hirer is an established company.

• The ad includes the company name and does not have applicants reply to a blind email address.

• Human resources personnel are available for questions.

• There is mention of information commonly associated with “real” employment (benefits, vacations, policies, etc.).

• There is an application and interview process, not simply an emailed offer.

• The employer can detail the job duties and expectations.

• References/work samples are requested.

You can read more from bankrate.com here: http://bit.ly/2gTwKgw.

On a personal note, I changed careers and began working from home, as an employee, more than 13 years ago. My mom was certain my new employer would never pay me and even if they did, there would be no benefits and the pay would be puny. None of that happened, though for me it took a change of careers, a very good decision for me. Working from home can be done and it can be very rewarding if you have the temperament.

 
 

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