Whenever I mention that I work from home, many people correctly assume that I’m self-employed. However, teleworking isn’t just for freelancers. I’ve previously mentioned that my husband also works from home but he isn’t self-employed; he is a systems engineer for California-based Cisco Systems. He doesn’t have an office in the Phoenix Cisco Systems building, instead he works out of his home office. If he’s not teleworking he’s traveling to a customer’s location.
Cisco Systems actually has a pretty large group of employees that telework and it is saving the company money. A 2009 study of Cisco employees revealed that “the company has generated an estimated annual savings of $277 million in productivity by allowing employees to telecommute and telework.” Source: Cisco
The Telework Exchange website features case studies of several different companies and government groups that offer flexible working arrangements to its employee. KMPG, LLP, an audit, tax and advisory firm, is one company featured. Kristen Piersol, manager of workplace solutions for KPMG’s Midatlantic area, understands that having a telework option is one way the company stays competitive in today’s changing job market, “we wanted to be more attractive to both potential and current employees.”
Other case studies highlighted on the site include the IRS virtual office program, the FDIC’s telework program, the Department of Defense DISA telework program and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) flexplace and telecommuting options.
If you’re looking for a telecommuting opportunity it is good to know that there are options out there but it is even more helpful to find out how you can find one of these great positions. I asked Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs, to share some tips to help you find your dream telecommuting job.
"First, know that fantastic, interesting, and professional telecommuting jobs do exist! In fact, as more companies realize the cost savings and positive environmental impact, even more positions are being offered in industries across the board, ranging from entry-level to executive."
Recent telecommuting job opportunities support the growing face of today’s work-from-home employee. Job titles that Fell has seen recently include a full-time Environmental Protection Specialist for the Federal Railroad Administration and a Marketing Director for The Nature Conservancy.
Fell continues her advice with information specific to online searches. “Second, if you are going to general job boards, when you start your job search, try keywords such as "telecommute", “telecommuting”, and "remote” instead of "work from home" or “work at home”, since the latter two tend to attract far more scammers. Also, be sure to search in your local city and state for telecommuting jobs, because many telecommuting jobs still require some location.”
The Internet age has definitely brought out the scam artists and I’ve read countless stories of people paying hundreds of dollars for lists of work-from home jobs that deliver nothing but an emptier checking account. Fell offers some advice to help all of us avoid these scams.
“Unfortunately, there are a good many job scams out there, so it’s wise to stay on the defensive and keep an eye out for red flags. For example, does the job listing read more like an enthusiastic car salesman (!!!! ALL CAPS $$$$$$) offering tons of money for little work, or does it read like a professional job listing that has a job description, skills and requirements? Is there a company name and associated email address (email@example.com), or is the contact information anonymous (using an @hotmail, @gmail, or other free email account?”
Hopefully I’ve got you excited about the prospect of working from home and there’s no better time than now to start your search. This week is Telework Week 2012 and the Telework Exchange website has a plethora of resources available to help you find your dream telework job, how to pitch the idea of telecommuting to your manager and more.