Yes. A large percentage of training in most major corporations occurs on-line or via webinars, DVDs, or other media which don’t require physical presence. So teleworkers can train with the same software used to train on-site employees. Additionally, on-line meeting software and instant communications technology can be used by trainers to teach new procedures and protocols — and even to allow teleworkers to “attend” staff meetings.
Teleworkers often log onto a server remotely, which makes monitoring their work essentially the same as monitoring a worker who logs onto the server in an on-site office. Plus, e-mail, instant messaging, and other communications vehicles allow supervisors to communicate with telework employees as effectively as if they were in the same building.
No. In fact, that savings are substantial. For starters, an employer doesn’t have to provide office space for teleworkers. Since the average metropolitan office space costs between $30-$70 per square foot and the average worker has between 250-300 square feet of office space, each teleworker can save his employer $7,500 to $21,000 per year, not include the costs of utilities. According to a study released by AT&T, employees who telework can also save their employers approximately $10,000 each year in reduced absenteeism and job retention.
Absolutely not. Research indicates that teleworkers are often more in touch. Programs like Go To Meeting and Skype ensure that teleworkers are as engaged as other employees. And in addition to usually being more available electronically, teleworkers are often more productive because they don’t experience the number of interruptions that on-site workers do. Plus, advances in server technology have enabled businesses to closely monitor the productivity of teleworkers, no matter where they are geographically located.
Legitimate companies will not ask for an investment up front; however, it is common for telework employers to require a new employee to purchase some small pieces of equipment to perform their jobs. (For example, a USB headset, which costs around $20.) Some companies also ask for the cost of a criminal background check, but then reimburse the worker when he is hired (if the result is “clean,” of course). It is important to remember that a legitimate company will not ask a worker to pay for company training.
In most cases, companies require applicants to run a test on their computer to ensure that it meets their minimum operating requirements. Do not be afraid of this test. In most cases these requirements are not high enough to be a problem; computers are usually required to have no more than Windows XP or Vista operating systems.
Most companies that provide telework opportunities require a minimum of DSL connectivity (in most cases a satellite internet connection is not acceptable). Teleworks USA can help you understand if your connection is adequate, and most employers will run tests before you are hired.
The Teleworks USA website allows job seekers to present their qualifications and experience to employers who hire teleworkers; it also allows employers to search and sort the database of potential teleworkers by their skills, education, and experience. The result is hires where both employer and worker win.
Telework jobs cover a wide variety of different skills and schedules, just like the traditional workplace. Available jobs range from entry-level work with limited educational and skill requirements to highly skilled professional positions requiring postsecondary degrees and special certifications. These jobs include positions that are full time, part time, seasonal, or independent contractor status. Many of the jobs offer the same benefits provided to on-site employees.
No. In addition to not being appropriate for every job description, telework is also not a good fit for every employee. Successful teleworkers must be able to be efficient in an environment that requires self-discipline, dedication, motivation, and the ability to solve problems and make decisions. Many workers are more comfortable in a supervised, office environment away from home.