All Articles Tagged "work from home"
Times they have a’ changed with more and more people choosing to work from home. Though it’s definitely not for everybody, many enjoy the effortless commute to their jobs and having the ability to work within a schedule that best fits their needs. Yet it would seem that there are quite a few naysayers who are pushing for people to work less in the home and more in the office.
Here are some reasons why a person should not work from home. Do you agree?
If you have been itching to leave the office and freelance, now seems to be the perfect time. According to new surveys from two freelancers’ marketplaces, working independently is the wave of future — and present.
The new data shows that businesses are relying more and more on freelancers. ODesk found that businesses spent more than $1 billion to conduct work using its “online workplace” platform, which features more than four million registered freelancers offering more than 2,000 different skills, reports Yahoo. Startups, especially, are utilizing freelance workers. According to oDesk data, 58 percent of hires on its platform are made by businesses that call themselves startups.
And it seems no college degree is needed. Online services marketplace Rev.com found that freelancers without a college education earn more than their higher-educated work-from-home counterparts. “Freelance workers without any formal education beyond high school work the most, with monthly earnings nearly three times that of their counterparts with a graduate degree, Rev reports,” writes Yahoo.
Older workers, who tend to be more reliable, work more hours, earning 30 percent more per month than those under 30 (with normalized pay rates), and produce the same quality of work (all ages average 4.5 out of 5 in quality score), found Rev.com.
Freelancing will continue to grow. Staffing Industry Analysts estimates that the market for online workers will increase to $2 billion by 2014.
Yahoo employees are livid about a memo that was recently sent from HR to employees and subsequently leaked to the public, revealing that, come June, employees are no longer able to work from home. Those that do will be let go and can stay at home permanently! Although there are only a few hundred employees that work from home full-time, the memo directs anyone who even works from home occasionally to make the transition. It goes as far to say “… for the rest of us who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, please use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration.” Geez you can’t even wait for the cable guy?
HR (and CEO Marissa Mayer) justified the drastic decision by saying, “We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.” You can check out the memo on AllThingsD. However, most all data implies that reducing employee flexibility can leave an organization divided.
The first thing to consider is how much employees value flexibility in their workplace. In a survey conducted by Mom Corps Houston, 45 percent of the 1,096 working adults who responded to questions about flexibility at work said they would be willing to give up, on average, as much as 8.5 percent of their salary for more flexibility at work.
Another aspect to consider is how productive employees will be while working from home. The numbers are still in favor of allowing flexibility. A study conducted by Stanford University of a Chinese company showed that productivity increased when employees were allowed to work from home. As reported by Forbes 9.5 percent of the increase was due to employees working more hours since there was no commute, fewer distractions, and fewer sick days taken. At home, it’s less likely that employees will be distracted by the discussion of who sang better last night on the Oscars, or taking an extended lunch break and hitting the mall.
The call center employees also took more calls per minute. The same study showed that those who worked from home were 50 percent more satisfied with their jobs and less likely to quit.
Yahoo has been struggling to stay afloat and this is another ploy to get back on the right track. Just last week, Mayer paid a visit to the Today show to unveil the company’s new homepage. That move was later questioned; Yahoo and GMA have a business partnership, and that was Robin Roberts’ first day back on the job. It was a ratings winner… for GMA.
Maybe by forcing all employees into headquarters every day they will weed out the least productive employees. One thing is clear: Yahoo employee morale was reduced the moment that memo was sent.
Employees in tech jobs are spoiled when it comes to work flexibility. And with hundreds of competing IT firms in the area that allow flexible work schedules, many employees will be seeking other employment that allows them to work from home.
After the memo was released, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg wrote:
“For anyone who enjoys working from wherever they like in the world, and is interested in WordPress, Automattic is 100% committed to being distributed. 130 of our 150 people are outside of San Francisco.”
The most beneficial work environment is when employees have a mixed presence in the office, working a few days at home and some in the office. This allows you to be able to wait on the cable guy, while also building strong relationships with your coworkers, your managers, and the company as a whole.
Whether you’re a kitchen table CEO, a freelancer, or a work-at-home mom, you need somewhere to make the magic happen. Even if you don’t own your own business, you may need a place in your home where you can perform work for your employer. In some cases, that home office can make a difference on your taxes this year.
The home office deduction is a popular way to decrease your tax bill. Like all deductions, you can subtract the amount you spent maintaining your home office from your total taxable income. The IRS applies your tax rate to your taxable income to determine how much you owe, so the less taxable income you have, the better your return looks.
To qualify for the home office business deduction, you need to use that space as your primary and exclusive workspace. Primary means that this is where most of your business happens. Let’s say your employer has an office for you on his property and you have a home office. You can’t take the deduction because your boss already has a primary place for you to conduct business.
Exclusive means that you use this space only for your work. There should be a clearly defined separation between your personal space and your workspace. It doesn’t have to be a separate room or have a partition but it should be easily identifiable.
Once you’ve determined that you can take this deduction, you need to figure out the amount of money you can subtract from your taxable income. It’s based on what percentage of your home is dedicated to your home office.
For example, let’s say that you have a 1000 square foot apartment and the room you use for your home office is about 450 square feet. That’s 45 percent of the total area and you can take 45 percent of the resources you spend on your home as a deduction. Now that includes the rent/mortgage of your home, the utilities, and the insurance on the home. Just remember that even if it’s a household expense, it must be used for business use to be deductible. If you have telephone service, you can’t claim a percentage of that service if you don’t use it to make business calls.
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by Charlotte Young
For many professionals, chatting around the water cooler at a 9-5 office is quickly changing to a mix of the physical office and virtual work life. It’s a change that comes with both benefits and challenges, the biggest problem being a slower response time. But Forbes reports that a survey by Microsoft Office 365 and 85 Broads found that women prefer to work from home 3.1 days per week as it leads to a better work/life balance. For these women, Forbes has a list of valuable insights to staying ahead when working from home.
One of the biggest problems employees face while working from home is employer skepticism that they are putting in a full work schedule. In efforts to combat any doubt, it’s important to remain transparent about your work habits. Share your calendar with your team or keep a running list of documents in a shared drive so that your colleagues will know what’s been keeping you busy.
Make sure to establish a clear schedule that is as close as possible to your office schedule. This will help your boss, clients and colleagues know when you are available.
Stay available to your business contacts. With a clear schedule in place, make sure to stay online as often as you can. Respond quickly to emails so that your colleagues know you’re there. Check in with your team throughout the day through the phone to effectively respond to their questions. Make phone and online appointments to meet with clients and colleagues just as you would if you were in the office. Don’t wait for your team to call you, stay ahead of the workload by reaching out to your team first.
The most important thing is to make sure you stay focused on your objectives. By working with your manager, you can ensure a clear understanding of the goals and deliverables you must accomplish in your virtual work setting.
For the working woman dealing with children and family concerns, a blend of office and virtual work life may work best. Keeping in mind these tips, these women can stay connected to their professional life and competitive for salary raises and promotion while keeping a closer eye on the little ones.
By Alexis Garrett Stodghill
Writer Amy Wesgaw recently published a piece on Technorati questioning what role working from home will play in reviving America’s economy. In her heartfelt essay, she outlines many of the frustrations of struggling with unemployment, and the increased stress for those overworked in the smaller labor pool. These new facts of life have transformed what was once something only for stay at home moms into a desirable source of income for everybody. For the black community, developing work from home expertise could make or break us economically.
Stories about how African-Americans have been hit harder by the recession than other groups abound. Our unemployment rate is over 16% — almost twice that of the general population. For black men and teens, these rates are even worse. Black adolescent joblessness is at roughly 40%, and African-American men have been deemed “the recessions biggest victims.”
Very few government agencies are doing anything to address these problems. The city of Milwaukee is the first locale to make an attempt to help black men with specially designed programs — and this initiative started a month ago. At this rate, more efforts have to be made by our leaders if there is any hope of eradicating what for black America is a Great Depression. We must unite to better capitalize on our considerable financial power and inborn cultural creativity. Generating work from home opportunities can be a substantial tool in combating our economic plight.
This is where learning from an expert like LaShanda Henry comes in. As the founder of the web sites Sistasense.com, Multiple Shades of You Online, and Black Business Women Online, Ms. Henry earns her living from home building online destinations — and teaching black women how to be Internet entrepreneurs. Henry provides services to them like graphic design, but also supports and nurtures her clients so they can learn how to make money on the web.
This enables LaShanda to create a win-win situation for herself, her clients, and African-Americans at large. Through selling her skills from home and empowering other black women to do the same, she empowers us to circulate vital knowledge and resources within our ranks.
LaShanda was not always a work from home expert. She decided to make that leap of faith when she became pregnant with her son. “It is the best decision I could have made,” she told The Atlanta Post. “I am now making more than double what I made before and more importantly I’ve been able to watch my son grow up.”
Now in her early thirties, Henry represents a wave of new African-American business leaders whose empowering skills can truly lift all boats. She may not have realized it, but LaShanda was part of the 60% growth spike of black-owned businesses founded between 2002 and 2007. According to a 2010 Washington Post article analyzing this trend, some researchers fear that the recession will crush this historic development. Others think rampant joblessness will lead minorities to work even harder to create their own jobs.
Who says you have to leave your house to make money? You can make a few dollars for padding your saving account, or paying off bills, just by creatively using the resources in your very own home. Check out the following ways you can make quick and easy money, using common household items! Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
(WSJ/ SmartMoney.com) – With Earth Day just days away, consider greening your office. Or better yet, get rid of it altogether.
Thanks to improved technology and the high price of gasoline, working remotely has become an increasingly popular—and less expensive —option for both large and small work forces. Since 2006, the number of U.S. employees who worked remotely at least one day per month increased 39% to 17.2 million in 2008, according to the latest survey available from WorldatWork, global human resources association in Washington, D.C.