Telecommuting is increasingly common. Forty-three percent of workers said they spent at least some time working remotely in 2016.
Working from home is increasingly popular, too. The latest telecommuting statistics from Global Workplace Analytics indicate that 80 to 90 percent of the U.S. workforce would like to work remotely at least part-time.Forty-three percent of workers said they spent at least some time working remotely in 2016. Click To Tweet
Maybe you’d like to give working from home a try. Every industry is different, but there are some things that any professional can do to help find remote employment. It’s not as complicated as you might think. Here’s how to get started:
1. Decide if working from home is right for you
Working from home has benefits and drawbacks. Be sure to do your homework, and some soul-searching, to decide whether it’s really right for you.
Telecommuting works best if you’re an independent self-starter. If you struggle with motivation, working from home could make things worse. Also, consider how you’ll feel missing out on the camaraderie you enjoy working with others every day. Sure, you’ll skip some of the challenging aspects of having coworkers, but you’ll be missing out on the good stuff, too.
Carefully weigh all your options, and be honest with yourself about the strengths and weaknesses you’d likely bring to an alternative work arrangement. You may want to talk to some family members, close friends or even coworkers to be sure that your self-assessment is fully accurate. The key is not to expect working from home to turn you into a different person. Be real about whether or not it’s really right for you.
2. Plan and Be Patient
The time you invest in the planning stage of this venture will pay off in the end. Think about how you’ll make it work before you make the switch.
Start by carefully considering all aspects of your work arrangement, and don’t be afraid to think out of the box. What would be the ideal situation for you? Would you like to work from home exclusively or maybe just a couple of days a week? What would that allow you to do? Is that a realistic expectation?
Also, spend some time thinking about where you’ll work. Will you have an office at home or will you work from somewhere else, like a coworking space? Be patient with yourself as your vision begins to come into focus. It takes time to wrap your head around a big change like this.
3. Talk to people
Work-from-home opportunities vary pretty widely. They’re more common in some industries than others. Also, the area where you live will affect your prospects.
Start by talking to people in your industry who might know something about what kinds of opportunities are available. Reach out to other folks who you know who live in your area and work from home. Ask what they can tell you about the arrangement that might be helpful. You’ll learn so much from having honest dialogue about your goals with others who have some relevant experience to share.
4. Consider talking with your boss
If you’re happy with your job, but yearn for more flexible work options, you might want to consider talking to your boss about your thoughts and goals. Even if you’ve already had a conversation a couple of years back, it might be worth it to attempt the discussion again.
If your boss is up on the research, then he should be aware of the benefits of having employees work from home part of the time. These workers are often happier and more engaged — and they tend to put in longer hours than office-bound staff.
5. Search smart
Your first goal during the job search phase: avoid work-from-home scams. Always remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.
Never send money or financial information, such as your social security number or bank account number, to a prospective employer. Legitimate employers won’t charge a startup fee, nor will they pay a fortune for routine tasks like stuffing envelopes.
Above all, prepare to be flexible. Real telecommuting jobs often have occasional in-office meetings, local training sessions or other on-site requirements.
Telecommuting comes with a lot of spectacular advantages. If you’re interested in trying it yourself, be ready to invest some solid time and energy into the process finding an opportunity that’s right for you.
Tell Us What You Think
Would you like to work from home? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.