"An initiative of Kentucky Teleworks, Inc."

Do teleworkers get trained as well as on-site employees?

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.

Is it expensive for an employer to let workers telework?

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.

Do teleworkers miss supervisor contact, lose their chance for promotion, or suffer from diminished company loyalty because they aren’t in the office?

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.

Does a jobseeker need to spend much money to start teleworking?

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.

What Types of Jobs are Available for Teleworkers?

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.

Is Telework right for everyone?

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.