Sunday, January 12, 2014

You are in your slippers drinking your favorite hot beverage out of your favorite cup just at the right temperature and you are working, yes, about to get paid for a day’s work and you are at home.  Sounds like a dream   but for many now it is a reality. It is a joy of working at home and with a home office, a real possibility.  You can wake up later because you don’t have to spend that extra hour fighting traffic. It is a growing trend and becoming the norm for many workers as well as employers.  They don’t have to physically see you anymore to get the job done.

Hospital workers who must read x-rays and cat scans and all kinds of imaging have equipped their homes with the necessary computers and machines to file their reports from home instead of sitting in a hospital office.  There are companies now like Virtual Radiological that specialize in sending hospital reports right to the best specialists in the world to interpret tests sending clients to them from all over the world in cyber space.  Doctors are being called full time telecommuters.  That is a new term for the home office worker that I have never heard of before but now is quite common.  Put my suit and tie back in the closet. Please!

Many home workers can set their own shifts and don’t have to answer to anyone as long as the work gets done.  This works particularly well for families with young children home who need to have lots of supervision or with families who want to spend time seeing their older child at his baseball practice or run errands when you want too.  Just the freedom to decide on just a portion of your life and destiny is a joy to your well being in general.  No more looking at the clock saying I can’t wait to get home.  You are home.
People appreciate their jobs better.  They feel like better parents. And better spouses.  Could there be a work heavy en?  To commute or telecommute?  That is the question if we must put it in Shakespearian terms. This may be the change in the way Americans work now.  Sociologist Jennifer Glass is a Professor at the University of Texas who studies Tele-commuting.  She admits that the practice has not taken over the occupational landscape and is still very restricted but it is a growing trend that even major equipment is being installed in people’s basements now called their work spaces. Builders are now building wings attached to people’s homes to accommodate their office environments.

Polls say that 24% per cent of working Americans telecommute regularly for their jobs.   The big secret is the actual meaning of the term telecommuter.  Is it a term that means you can be sucked into working 24/7?  The Professor says yes that there is a danger in overworking yourself at home because you physically do not go far from your work space.  The polls say that Monday and Fridays  are  the typical days people are working from home.  Employers complain that telecommuting is just another way of goofing off, giving yourself a four day weekend.

According to the polls, 40% per cent of telecommuters say they work fewer hours at home than at the office but 60% per cent say they work 60 hours or more.  This is music to any employer’s ears.  To have workers putting in 60 or more hours a week means they can hire fewer workers and not have to pay for office space. Most telecommuters are higher paid salary workers or professionals. But the number of hourly employees who telecommute is rising.   The airline Jet Blue hires home workers to handle reservations from their homes. More than 1,900 employees work from home.  The arrangement saves the company a lot of money in unspent office space. So, the next time you book a flight, you might be talking to Jenny still wearing her pajamas wow!

New advances in technology has helped the home worker industry in that an employer can monitor all the times spent on the computer and listen in on the calls the home worker is handling.  Yes surveillance is everywhere under the guise of quality control.  The employer at least knows the work is being done and being done correctly anytime he wishes to listen in on the   process. Jet Blue  is known for it’s great customer service. It is also listed on services that list good companies to work for so, overall this new telecommuting work thing must be working out for all.  Now let me shuffle in my slippers for another cup of coffee at home.  What? I’m  working!

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