(BLACK PR WIRE) (August 9, 2009) -- "Work from home." This phrase elicits curiosity whenever employed people read it. For many people the ability to work from home, commonly known as telecommuting, is a dream come true. Parents could spend more time with their children, commuters could save on gas and automobile expenses, night owls could sleep in, and strong-willed personalities could be their own bosses.
The definition of a telecommuter has wide variability. Some work entirely from home, others work partially from home and partially at an office. They may be self-employed, salaried employees, freelancers, independent contractors, or have some other arrangement. Some telecommuters have a conventional day job and use home-based work on the side to supplement their income.
Whether telecommuting is right for you depends on several factors. First, you have to determine if it is a possibility within your current situation. Some employers are open to the idea while others are not. Some employers will permit it with tradeoffs, such as a lower salary, reduced benefits or limited promotion opportunities. If the current options are not workable, and you still want to telecommute, you will have to decide if you want to change careers or go out on your own. In any case, you should not make any rash decisions without having a “plan B” to fall back on.
Socialization is another factor. The personal interaction in the conventional office environment is easy to take for granted until you find yourself working in your living room all day long. While many telecommuters have families, singles may feel isolated in such a circumstance. Can you obtain a schedule where you have face-to-face contact with coworkers, clients or the public? If not, you will have to rely on other outlets for companionship.
You may have the impression that telecommuting means enjoying a leisurely breakfast after sleeping in until noon. In reality, your career viability will depend on being flexible in a business climate that is more global than ever before. Are you prepared to be up at one in the morning for a teleconference in Australia? Can you learn some Japanese for dealing with clients in Tokyo?
Additionally, you need to assess how your living conditions would accommodate telecommuting. Nearly all telecommuters use laptop computers, but your position may require other equipment. You will have to designate which area of your home is for work and which is for your personal life, especially if you have a family.
So do some honest evaluation, and seek the counsel of friends, colleagues and even career coaches as necessary. You just may wake up to your dream of working from home.