Telecommuting vs work from home – are these the same of different working concepts? What are the pros and cons of them both to look out for when you are thinking of shifting your career working lifestyle?
Work from home
There are a lot of website and people out them trying to tempt people to be part of their ‘business’ model by advertising that you can ‘work from home”. In many of these the deal is that you are NOT an employee of their business, but are either a contractor or working for yourself but being paid by them on a commission basis. In both these cases you are not covered by any benefits provided by that business – i.e. workers compensation or other kinds of insurance, health or other benefits etc. You are on your own!
The other thing here is that many of these businesses pay their ‘work from home’ people based on a commission calculated on sales or leads. Many of these jobs are telemarketing at some level – selling something over the phone.
I have no real gripe with these – other than people need to be aware that the onus is on YOU to check the legitimacy of the company and the products/service that you may be advocating. Make sure that you understand the cost (including your time) that you will need to put in to be paid etc. There are lots of scammers out there looking for you to work hard for them for little return.
There are also some very legitimate and outstanding work from home jobs out there. The Forbes blog has a list of the top ten.
Please note that I am not including in this group those folks who work from home as their own boss – the wonderful entrepreneurs who bring us products, information and wonderful blogs. If you can manage to build up your own empire through skills, hard work and having that ‘edge’…then all power to you!
Telecommuting is considerably different. A true telecommuter is an employee of a company and is paid a salary/hourly rate which provided all the same company benefits as a person working in the company office. They are considered to be part of the company team rather than a contractor or commission-based worker.
Telecommuting vs work from home
Now there is considerable grey area between these two types of work. Some telecommuters are allowed to do so only if they become contractors. Some contractors are treated extremely well by companies and are considered to be part of the company team and so on.
From where I sit, telecommuters have greater stability, are more hooked into the company culture and get more support. Some work-from-home schemes give you more freedom, let you work hours that suit you but you work harder for less pay. So the choice is yours – but like everything in life “Caveat emptor“.