telecommuting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6362/all en-US How to Work at Home Without Driving Your Spouse Nuts http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-work-at-home-without-driving-your-spouse-nuts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-work-at-home-without-driving-your-spouse-nuts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_working_together_000056492094.jpg" alt="Couple working from home together and not driving each other nuts" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your spouse has just accepted a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-gadgets-every-work-at-home-professional-needs">work-from-home job</a>. You already have one.</p> <p>And while this work arrangement comes with plenty of perks &mdash; no more commutes, no more sneaky text messages to your spouse while you're hiding from your boss &mdash; it also comes with plenty of potential pitfalls.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to make this unusual working arrangement succeed. If you're careful, you won't want to kill your spouse, either.</p> <h2>1. Respect Each Other's Work</h2> <p>If your spouse is working in the kitchen, it's easy to stroll in and start chatting about current events, the neighbor's barking dog, or your niece's upcoming ballet recital. But remember, your spouse has work to do. Don't keep interrupting.</p> <p>And if your spouse is the one doing the interrupting? Give a polite, but firm, reminder that you need to wrap up an assignment and that you don't have time for chit-chat.</p> <p>Yes, one of the benefits of working from home with your spouse is that you can take those little breaks in the day with the person you loved enough to marry. But too many of these breaks can start to feel intrusive.</p> <h2>2. Turn the Work Day Off</h2> <p>When both you and your spouse work from home, it can be easy to keep working... all night long. After all, you both probably have deadlines that are looming. And if you work on a freelance basis, you might be tempted to take on more work than you can handle during a typical working day.</p> <p>But be careful: If both you and your spouse spend all of your hours working, you'll both run the risk of becoming deadly dull. Even worse, you'll be spending long hours in the same house without actually spending quality, personal time together.</p> <p>Every relationship needs quality alone time between spouses. Don't let an inability to shut off the working day prevent you and your spouse from making this time.</p> <h2>3. Remember That Sweatpants Aren't Flattering</h2> <p>It's tempting when you both work from home to spend all day in your pajamas or sweatpants. Yes, this is comfortable. But resist the urge. Wear day-time clothes during day-time hours. This means, at a minimum, jeans or shorts.</p> <p>If you don't have to commute to an office, you don't have to wear a suit. But wearing sweatpants or pajamas every day shows your spouse that you don't care enough about his or her opinion to make an effort. Ditch the sweatpants once the working day begins.</p> <h2>4. Leave the House</h2> <p>You might lose track of how much time you and your spouse spend in the home if you're both working from it. Entire days can go by when the only time you leave the house is to drop your kid off at soccer practice or when you need a quick hit of Starbucks.</p> <p>Staying in the house all day cuts you off from the community. It makes you boring. And, worst of all, it might make you sick of your spouse. If your spouse is the person you spend 90% of your time with? You might actually run out of things to talk about, especially if you're not leaving the house and interacting with the rest of the world.</p> <p>So make sure to plan regular trips to the gym, morning walks, bike rides, or dinners out. You wouldn't spend every waking moment in an office building. Why would you when your home has become your office?</p> <h2>5. Don't Fill Your Home With Papers, Reports, and Computers</h2> <p>When both you and your spouse work from home, your home is actually pulling double duty: It's both a home and an office. Make sure, then, that your home doesn't only look like an office.</p> <p>It's easy when both you and your spouse work from your residence to litter it with papers, reports, briefcases, laptops, and tablets. Just look at your kitchen table: Does it look like a messy desk that you'd see in a cubicle?</p> <p>If so, it's time to clean up. Make sure that when the working day ends, you and your spouse both pick up your work supplies and store them out of sight. If your home always looks like an office, you're both more likely to work long hours into the evening night after night.</p> <p><em>How do you handle working from home with your significant other?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-work-at-home-without-driving-your-spouse-nuts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-attractive-standing-desks-you-can-actually-afford">11 Attractive Standing Desks You Can Actually Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">Location Independent Career Basics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-superior-life-what-you-put-in-is-what-you-get-out">A Superior Life: What You Put In Is What You Get Out</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-for-answers-in-life-heres-your-key">Looking for Answers in Life? Here&#039;s your Key...</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Life Hacks home office married spouse telecommuting work-from-home Mon, 06 Jul 2015 09:00:14 +0000 Dan Rafter 1476029 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Paid Real Money From Virtual Work http://www.wisebread.com/get-paid-real-money-from-virtual-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-paid-real-money-from-virtual-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_vitrual_assistant_000052964502.jpg" alt="Woman getting paid to work as a virtual assistant" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Internet age has brought a whole new career to the forefront, one that is only gaining in popularity. A virtual assistant, also referred to as a VA, is typically a self-employed person who provides many different virtual services to their clients. A client could be an individual website owner, or possibly even a corporate company. These services include, but are not limited to, ghostwriting, graphic design, e-mail or social media management, and so many other different tasks that business owners have on their plate on a day-to-day basis.</p> <p>Are you frustrated in your current job and looking to gain more independence? Why not kiss the ol' nine to five goodbye and start earning cold hard cash right from the comfort of your home, on your own terms!</p> <h2>What Exactly Is a Virtual Assistant?</h2> <p>Plainly put, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/9-tips-for-working-with-a-virtual-assistant">a virtual assistant</a> is an administrative assistant who works from a home office. They're highly skilled professionals who business owners are able to trust doing many of the tasks that they either do not have time for, do not like to do, or just aren't able to do. Virtual assistants need to be independent workers, since most of the time their clients will give them a general task that needs to be completed, and it is up to the VA to see that task to completion. No micromanaging here!</p> <p>Depending upon the flexibility, availability, and current workload, virtual assistants don't always work with just one client at a time. Virtual assistants are generally hired on an as-needed basis, so in the time slots that you are available and do not have a pressing task to do, you can always pick up work with another client. It's also possible to work out a monthly retainer agreement, where you offer to provide a set number of hours per month for a flat fee. In either arrangement, it is always a good idea to let your regular clients know if you work with multiple people, especially if it isn't already clear.</p> <p>It's also essential that you keep the details of your tasks confidential. Due to the very private nature of virtual assistant work (it is your client's livelihood, after all!), VAs have to be trustworthy individuals who operate under honesty and integrity. Sometimes they might be required to collaborate with their client on projects and help to solve problems within the business that they do not want divulged. It's also possible that you may be asked to work with competing companies. Decide how you want to handle this in advance and understand that it is usually best to avoid a conflict of interest.</p> <p>You do not need a degree or any special certification to become a VA. While not a lot of experience is required, communication and basic office skills are a must!</p> <h2>How to Get Started</h2> <p>If you're interested in getting started in the VA world, you must realize that you're not going to be successful overnight. It takes a little bit of time to get started, build up your clientele, and allow referrals to come your way. While virtual assisting is a work-at-home job and face-to-face contact with your clients is rare, you must still be good at communicating with your clients, either by e-mail, phone, or services like Skype or Google Chat. Good communication also comes into play when you are trying to sell your services to someone; you have to be able to offer help without sounding spammy.</p> <p>Most VAs start out by &quot;hanging out their shingle&quot; &mdash; or creating a website. This, and a solid social media presence will help clients find you and learn about the various services you are able to provide.</p> <p>Some online professionals choose to purchase domains using their name so they can get their name out there and often it's easier than coming up with something catchy. Other times they wish to operate under a business name and register a domain that way. You can even use a free service such as Blogger. It is also recommended that you create profile on LinkedIn and update it regularly with examples of your work (provided they are not bound by confidentiality agreements).</p> <p>To make your social media footprint larger, sign up for Twitter and create a Facebook business page. Try to keep the same names, or as close to it as possible, across all social media platforms so you can begin to establish your brand and business. Be sure to also follow and engage with people who could become potential clients. For instance &mdash; if you're a content writer, start following blogs that interest you. When you see an article that spurs another article idea, offer to write it for them. This could be the beginning of a great relationship!</p> <h2>How Much Will You Earn?</h2> <p>This is where things can get a bit tricky. With the Internet readily available to people all over the world, there will always be someone willing and able to work for less than you are. While this can be frustrating, it is very important that you do not sell yourself short. Know what you're worth and don't settle for less. This might mean that you lose out on some jobs in the beginning, but your work will start to speak for itself and word will spread at just how quick and detail-oriented you are. This is also why communication is such a key aspect to being a successful virtual assistant.</p> <p>In a survey conducted by VA Networking in 2007, over half of the respondents answered that they charge between <a href="http://www.vanetworking.com/survey/virtual-assistant-statistics.htm">$21&ndash;$40 an hour</a>, with some charging well over that and working full-time hours. You might be thinking that those are seasoned virtual assistants, however the majority of overall respondents have only been in the field for less than a year!</p> <h2>Where to Find VA Jobs</h2> <p>You don't necessarily have to set up accounts for all of these sites, but when you're first getting started, it might help you to get your foot in a few. Once you start receiving a lot of requests for jobs or find the one or two clients that want you regularly, you can always suspend your accounts on the other websites.</p> <p>One thing to note with all of these sites is that it is imperative that you describe your skills and exactly what you're willing to do on a project. In the technology age, with only digital communication, it is easy for things to get murky. Be upfront and honest and it will earn you repeat business in the future.</p> <h3>Fiverr</h3> <p><a href="http://tracking.fiverr.com/aff_c?offer_id=1441&amp;aff_id=4437">Fiverr</a> is a website where virtual assistants can post their gigs, starting out at $5. This is a great place to get started since Fiverr is widely used and popular and it helps you to get more experience under your belt. It also helps you to see what different projects people are hiring for and just how long it will take you to finish various projects, so you know just how much you should charge in the future.</p> <h3>Upwork</h3> <p><a href="https://www.upwork.com/">Upwork</a> is similar to Fiverr, however freelancers are able to charge per hour or by project. The freedom to pick your rates per project makes Upwork a favorite among freelancers. Due to the popularity and surge of freelancers using it in recent years, however, it makes it tough to get started.</p> <h3>VirtualAssistants</h3> <p><a href="http://www.virtualassistants.com/">VirtualAssistants.com</a> has been featured in many well-known publications and is known widely throughout the field. All jobs are prescreened, so you know that you won't be getting into a scam when applying for a potential virtual assistant job.</p> <h3>Virtual Office Temps</h3> <p><a href="http://www.virtualassistantjobs.com/">Virtual Office Temps</a> is a lot like online classified postings, with the ability to post jobs or find them, whether they be part or full-time. It also offers free training, testing, and certification to help you to gain credibility.</p> <h3>Facebook</h3> <p>There are also many Facebook groups dedicated to specific jobs for virtual assistants, and they can be found by doing a quick search using the top toolbar.</p> <p>Are you starting to see your life as a virtual assistant? This flexible job can be perfect for working a part-time schedule, but it also offers the potential for going full-time from home.</p> <p><em>Have you worked as a VA? Please share your experience in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-paid-real-money-from-virtual-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-money-as-a-chat-or-forum-moderator">How to Make Money as a Chat or Forum Moderator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-great-side-jobs">30 Great Side Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-extra-income-as-a-courthouse-researcher">How to Earn Extra Income as a Courthouse Researcher</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-spot-work-at-home-job-scams">6 Ways to Spot Work-at-Home Job Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/part-time-jobs-that-can-get-you-serious-discounts">Part-Time Jobs That Can Get You Serious Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Job Hunting telecommuting va virtual assistants work from home Mon, 11 May 2015 09:00:11 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1414195 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Essential Tools for Telecommuting http://www.wisebread.com/5-essential-tools-for-telecommuting <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-essential-tools-for-telecommuting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007042793Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This technology article is sponsored by </em><em><a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fclk%3B259014441%3B82275395%3Bk&amp;k4=4472&amp;k5={banner_id}">Comcast Business Class</a>, the nation's leading communication services provider.</em></p> <p>If you&rsquo;re one of the 2.9 million teleworkers cited in a <a href="http://www.workshifting.com/downloads/downloads/Telework-Trends-US.pdf">recent workshifting.com report</a> (PDF), you likely already understand how having the right tools for the job can increase productivity and make you appear like a rock star to your boss. These solutions &mdash; handpicked by actual workers in the teleshift trenches &mdash; are ideal for keeping your days productive and your spirits high.</p> <h2>Email-Enabled All-in-One Printer</h2> <p>Your home inkjet printer/copier/scanner is likely already one of your favorite tools, but can it handle impromptu printing jobs from the office 30 miles away? By upgrading to a printer that has ePrint technology, employees can access data from the cloud and save several steps in the process of printing a document that&rsquo;s stuck at the home office.&nbsp;The <a href="http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF05a/18972-18972-238444-12019-3328086-4322914.html?dnr=1&amp;jumpid=se_r1002_FP_USEN_SMB">HP OfficeJet 8600 e-All-in-One printer</a> can receive print jobs from any smart-enabled device; it&rsquo;s essentially as simple as your project manager sending an email. Since it&rsquo;s connected to your wireless router, any PC, phone, or tablet can send it print jobs (no dusty cables required!). <em>ePrint enabled HP devices start at under $80.</em></p> <h2>Shoeboxed</h2> <p>If you can convince your boss to let you work from home, it&rsquo;s likely you can finesse your way into using an expense- and document-tracking service that actually caters to the telecommute crowd. <a href="http://www.shoeboxed.com">Shoeboxed.com</a> is just that tool, giving remote employees the ability to stuff a prepaid envelope with all their paper clutter and drop it in the mailbox. Documents are then scanned and sent to a secure location on the web (where Accounting can easily access them). For those who aren&rsquo;t home to mess with the postal service, Shoeboxed also offers mobile scanning and email options. <em>Basic service is free, and business plans max out at $49.95 a month.</em></p> <h2>Google+ Hangout</h2> <p>Do you miss the chatter around the water cooler? Are you hungering for the occasional overheard convo in the cubicle next to you? <a href="https://plus.google.com/hangouts">Google+ Hangout</a> is a work-around to not being around, and several telecommuters have used it to team up with other remote workers to create that &ldquo;we&rsquo;re in the same room&rdquo; feel. Productive employees have also used the tool to get more work done; time wasted sending emails can be eliminated with a virtual &ldquo;Pssst. What&rsquo;s the number for our Dallas office?&rdquo; Up to nine people can chat using Hangout; video imaging is optional. <em>Google+ Hangout is free!</em></p> <h2>Web-Based Presentations</h2> <p>This type of tool has been around for years, but the offerings just keep expanding. Originally designed to replace the expensive face-to-face sales meeting, web-based meeting software solutions can easily be adapted to hold internal meetings between in-house workers and their home-based teammates. Popular companies that offer web-enabled meetings include <a href="http://www.webex.com/">Webex</a>, <a href="http://www.gotomeeting.com">GoToMeeting</a>, and <a href="http://www.easymeeting.net/">EasyMeeting.net</a>.&nbsp;Ask your boss if they have a corporate account with a web-based host; chances are good that they do, and you can use it to keep connected to other workers in the company &mdash; and save time by not coming into the office for yet <em>another</em> meeting. <em>Service plans start at less than $24 for teams of eight or more, with video compatibility.</em></p> <h2>Mini-Mailroom</h2> <p>When working from home, you may miss having access to the mailroom downstairs. If you send out lots of business proposals or are responsible for shipping physical reports to corporate, a mini shipping station can save you time and your company money. Most companies will have an account number for the major shippers that you can use to bill costs directly to your boss, but you&rsquo;ll still need the following supplies in your mini mailing room: postage stamps, envelopes, bubble mailers, and a postal scale. If you print your own postage, don&rsquo;t forget to stock up on sticky labels and ink, too!&nbsp;<i>Services like </i><a href="http://www.endicia.com/Products/Compare/"><em>Endicia.com</em></a><em> start their plans at just $9.95 a month, plus the cost of postage.</em></p> <h2>Conference Phone</h2> <p>Finally, to appear that you are in the office (even when you&rsquo;re not &ldquo;in&rdquo; the office), clients and coworkers will need to transfer calls and contact you as easily as if you&rsquo;re down the hall.&nbsp;If your company hasn&rsquo;t set you up with a compatible phone system, there are several options you can use on your own.&nbsp;Companies like <a href="http://www.skype.com">Skype</a> do offer some impressive features for getting group calls together quickly, but if you want a seamless look to your communication process, a dedicated VOIP provider (which lets you make calls via the internet rather than phone lines) may fit the bill. Functionality will depend entirely on the speed and availability of a broadband internet connection; rural areas or those with spotty service may have to rely on a second &ldquo;land line&rdquo; to stay in the game when working from home. <em>Prices vary for VOIP services; contact your preferred provider for price quotes.</em></p> <p>Whether you have an actual choice in what tool you use will depend entirely on corporate policy; many telecommuters have found that, if they are among the first to take the leap, they will have more say in what products and services are available to them.</p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essential-tools-for-telecommuting">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-gadgets-every-work-at-home-professional-needs">6 Gadgets Every Work at Home Professional Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home">5 Ways to Stay Productive While Working From Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-work-at-home-without-driving-your-spouse-nuts">How to Work at Home Without Driving Your Spouse Nuts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-career-advice-sites-you-should-know-about">15 Career Advice Sites You Should Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-online-tools-to-help-you-land-a-job">5 Online Tools to Help You Land a Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Technology business tools home office telecommuting Fri, 03 Aug 2012 10:36:41 +0000 Linsey Knerl 947052 at http://www.wisebread.com Webcam Etiquette: Tips from the Other Side of the Conference Call http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/webcam-etiquette-tips-from-the-other-side-of-the-conference-call <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/webcam-etiquette-tips-from-the-other-side-of-the-conference-call" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/webcam-etiquette-tips-from-the-other-side-of-t...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/webcam-etiquette-tips-from-the-other-side-of-the-conference-call" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012723256Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just when we all got used to being heard but not seen on VoIP calls, teleconferences, webinars, and video conferencing have all come of age. Be afraid. Be very afraid.</p> <p>In a recent videoconference I witnessed behaviors for which my grammar school teachers would have scolded me. Attendees slouched in their chairs, picked at their cuticles, and generally seemed bored and distracted. I can hear Mrs. White across all these years: Sit up straight! Stop fidgeting! Pay attention!</p> <p>Now, I might have understood the behavior if the meeting had been with people new to the concept, and unfamiliar with the unblinking eye of the webcam. But this particular meeting was with people from a company that sells video-conference services!</p> <p>For your next appearance, here are a few dos and don'ts to consider before you step &mdash; or sit &mdash; in front of a camera .</p> <h3>They Can See You Now!</h3> <ul> <li>You really do need to get dressed, at least from the waist up.</li> <li>If you opt to go <i>al fresco</i> below the belt, be darn sure everything you&rsquo;ll need for the call is within reach.</li> <li>Those mascara smudges are a dead giveaway that you haven&rsquo;t showered.</li> <li>When you roll your eyes, shake your head, or otherwise gesticulate, they CAN see you, remember?</li> <li>You can&rsquo;t chat with the person next to you, make another phone call, send an IM, or answer emails while someone is talking &mdash; the mute button is no longer your ticket to guilt-free multi-tasking.</li> <li>If you&rsquo;re making a presentation, be sure you know when the audience can actually see and hear you.</li> </ul> <p>By the way, did you know that some web conferencing tools show the organizer when you&rsquo;re working on other things? Now there&rsquo;s a wake up call!</p> <h3>Warn the Family</h3> <ul> <li>Warn your spouse before the green light goes on. If your imagination fails you on the risks here, do a YouTube search on &ldquo;embarrassing video conference.&rdquo;</li> <li>The number one complaint among teleconferencees is background noise. Although you love your kids and pets, their cries, screams, barks, and meows are distracting and unprofessional, regardless of which of them does it. You might even want to put a note on the front door asking visitors to not ring the bell.</li> <li>Close any windows (the real ones, not the computer&rsquo;s) that might expose listeners to a weed whacker or lawn mower sonata.</li> </ul> <h3>Turn Off Your Reminders</h3> <ul> <li>Do you really want your co-workers to know when your next teeth cleaning is scheduled, when you&rsquo;re meeting the bankruptcy attorney, or that your massage is confirmed for 3pm?</li> <li>Even beyond the potentially embarrassing personal reminders, an unexpected pop-up might expose competitive data, passwords, or other information that was intended for your eyes only.</li> </ul> <h3>Plan for the Worst</h3> <ul> <li>Be sure someone involved in the meeting is available by phone or email before and during the session. Have phone numbers and email addresses for the other participants handy in case you have trouble getting logged on. There&rsquo;s nothing more frustrating than being all dressed up with nowhere to go.</li> <li>If you need computer files for a demo or webinar, have a paper backup in case the interface fails.</li> <li>Write down, on an actual sheet of paper, the call in number and password for the conference. If you get dropped due to a computer hiccup, you won&rsquo;t be able to check your email for that information.</li> <li>If what you&rsquo;re doing is really important, have someone else &mdash; someone already logged in and briefed &mdash; who can continue where you left off it the power goes out when the Big One hits. Alternatively, log in from two places, such as a desktop and portable computer, so if one fails, you can quickly switch to the other.</li> </ul> <h3>Practice Being &ldquo;On Camera&rdquo;</h3> <ul> <li>Preview how you look &ldquo;on camera.&rdquo; You may need additional lighting to avoid looking like Bela Lugosi.</li> <li>Know where the camera is and look at it, not down at your desk or at the screen which makes you look like your nodding off.</li> <li>Check out what the camera sees in the background and adjust accordingly.</li> </ul> <h3>Close Unnecessary Applications</h3> <p>Conferences that involve desktop sharing expose you to a whole other set of risks.</p> <p>While some desktop sharing software tools allow you to share only certain applications or documents, it&rsquo;s a good idea to close any that are unnecessary before the meeting.</p> <p>Take a fresh look at your task bar and web browser menu:</p> <ul> <li>Having World of Warcraft as a top icon might not sit well with the boss;</li> <li>That browser bookmark that allows you to speed your way to FlexJobs.com may not bode well for your career;</li> <li>Don&rsquo;t forget to turn off any recent search helpers so if you have to do a live web search, whatever auto-fills the search box isn&rsquo;t potentially incriminating.</li> </ul> <p>And, as always, plan ahead:</p> <ul> <li>Think about what applications or documents you might need during the session and open them in advance. This will not only save time, but it will also reduce the risk of others seeing things they shouldn&rsquo;t as you root around your system trying to find what you need.</li> <li>If you&rsquo;re using multiple screens, be sure the conference software is tuned to the correct one.</li> <li>Practice transferring control of the desktop back and forth between presenters.</li> <li>Turn off all sounds including your telephone ringer and other alerts, computer beeps and pings.</li> </ul> <p>Finally, quadruple-check that the audio, video, and screen-sharing portion of the session has really ended before you start spouting off about what a waste of time that meeting was. Cover up your webcam just to be safe.</p> <p>We have the tools. We have the technology. They&rsquo;re not perfect, but if we all learn how to use them, we can make the road less traveled the way to work.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-lister">Kate Lister</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/webcam-etiquette-tips-from-the-other-side-of-the-conference-call">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hang-up-the-phone-why-video-is-the-best-way-to-connect-with-people">Hang Up the Phone: Why Video Is the Best Way to Connect With People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cloud-computing-and-your-wallet">Cloud Computing and Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essential-tools-for-telecommuting">5 Essential Tools for Telecommuting</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center Technology meeting etiquette skype small business telecommuting teleconferences video call webcam webinars Wed, 22 Jun 2011 22:57:35 +0000 Kate Lister 581357 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Steps to Work-Life Balance When Working from Home http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-from-home <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-at-home" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/7-steps-to-work-life-...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-from-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009115427Small.jpg" alt="Work at home mom" title="Work at home mom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working from home can be challenging.</p> <p>If you have a family, you know exactly what I&rsquo;m talking about. Kids get underfoot, spouses interrupt, telephone calls disturb, and friends stop by at the worst possible moments. It seems like you&rsquo;re always playing catch up to get work done or feeling guilty that you&rsquo;re not spending enough time with your loved ones.</p> <p>Even if you&rsquo;ve trained your loved ones to respect your work hours, there&rsquo;s still the challenge of maintaining good work-life balance. You set your own hours and there isn&rsquo;t anyone to tell you when to punch your time card for the day...or when to get back to work because you&rsquo;ve been goofing off.</p> <p>With good organization, however, you can have the best of all worlds: a healthy work-life balance that fits everyone&rsquo;s needs and a smart schedule that gives you the right amount of office time &mdash; and some playtime, too.</p> <h3>Step One: Start Scheduling</h3> <p>Grab a blank weekly calendar (or use Google&rsquo;s free calendar feature) and start penciling in family activities and obligations, from school drop-offs to lacrosse practice to mealtime to laundry. Beginning with these gives you the opportunity to work around your life &mdash; and avoid feeling that life revolves around work!</p> <p>As you start building your schedule, be realistic and honest about how much time each activity takes from your day. Many people forget to factor in the time it takes to drive to activities or settle the kids in before starting to work, which means they have to work extra hours to catch up, always feel rushed or working late into the night to meet deadlines.</p> <h3>Step Two: See What&rsquo;s Left</h3> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve scheduled your life activities into your calendar, look over it and see where the empty blocks appear. These blocks are where you can fit in work time. Here&rsquo;s where you can see whether you have enough time to get all your work done or need to rearrange life activities to give yourself enough room.</p> <p>Remember that you can also hire help to free up some work hours &mdash; get a babysitter for the kids a few hours a week, recruit your spouse for driving duties, or arrange for someone to help with meals, laundry, and housecleaning. You don&rsquo;t have to do it all (none of us are superheroes!), and it&rsquo;s often well worth it to pay someone else for certain tasks so you can free up time to earn income.</p> <p>Watch for patterns in your days, too. You may notice that you&rsquo;re a productive bunny in the mornings but a sloth in the afternoons &mdash; so use the morning time to get work out of the way and take care of less strenuous tasks in the afternoon.</p> <h3>Step Three: Expect the Unexpected</h3> <p>When adding to your calendar, it&rsquo;s a good idea to book in an hour of &ldquo;unexpected&rdquo; time every day. This block of time is a free hour that lets you deal with any unexpected delays, events, or interruptions that might arise unexpectedly.</p> <p>And if nothing occurs in your day that you need to dip into that hour of &ldquo;unexpected&rdquo; time... well, you just gained an hour to do whatever you&rsquo;d like! You can put in an extra hour to finish up that project, work on a new task, or send out some sales pitches to potential new customers.</p> <h3>Step Four: Be Your Own Bulldog</h3> <p>Once your work hours have been set into your calendar, guard them like a bulldog. Those hours are your office hours, and your family and friends need to know about them so that they can avoid disturbing you. You&rsquo;ve already planned your life activities and know that you&rsquo;ll be there for them, so respect your work time in the same way.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s best to set regular work hours people can rely on so they can easily remember when you&rsquo;re &ldquo;in&rdquo; the office and when you&rsquo;re free. Post your office hours everywhere &mdash; on your website, your blog, your contact page, your email signature, and even on your office door for your family to see. This shows people that you&rsquo;re serious about your work.</p> <p>Setting regular office hours for yourself is also great for customers &mdash; they know exactly when you&rsquo;re available and can get in touch with you easily during that time, and you won&rsquo;t feel pressured to check your email every 15 minutes when you&rsquo;re off duty.</p> <p>Help family and friends respect your work hours, too. Don&rsquo;t get up for every interruption, especially if the person knows that you&rsquo;re working. With a smile, cheerfully remind them of your work hours and tell them you&rsquo;ll come to see them as soon as work&rsquo;s over. They may not like it at first, but your family will soon come to respect your work time because YOU respect it. The interruptions slow and then stop completely if you stick to your guns.</p> <h3>Step Five: Get Focused</h3> <p>Treat your work hours as sacred (barring family emergencies, of course). Let phone calls go to voice mail, close your email and for heaven&rsquo;s sake, stop Twittering and Facebooking when your time&rsquo;s up.</p> <p>Balancing work and life means being effective with the time you have to work, so don&rsquo;t waste it on distractions and interruptions. If family and friends show up, politely tell them you&rsquo;re busy but would love to catch up later &mdash; or even better, just don&rsquo;t go to the door.</p> <p>Of course, working with young children at home is more challenging. So be creative and try to make your office hours fun for them so that you can focus on what you need to do. Set an egg timer for 30 minutes and then find a fun activity that will keep kids busy. Let them take the contents of your shredder to use as nesting material for their stuffed animals, set them up to color, paint, read a book ,or (gasp) let them watch their favorite TV show.</p> <p>Then get ready to get to work!</p> <h3>Step Six: Break It Down</h3> <p>Before you begin working, start by breaking down your time into small chunks of tasks. By planning bite-sized tasks for your work hours, you can maximize your time and get a lot more done. Believe me, sitting down without a plan and saying, &ldquo;Well, I should do really some work...&rdquo; usually results in you spending your time picking away at a bunch of things that don&rsquo;t really get you anywhere.</p> <p>Get focused. For example, if you have an hour of time to work, use the first 30 minutes to clean up 10 emails. Use the next 20 minutes for social media networking. Take 10 minutes to call a client. And use the last 30 minutes to write a draft blog post.</p> <h3>Step Seven: Take Care of You</h3> <p>When you made your schedule, did you remember to pencil in free hours and playtime? Probably not &mdash; you were probably busy writing in your obligations and trying to fit work around them.</p> <p>But all work and no play makes for fast burnout, and that means you absolutely need to give yourself time off and consider it sacrosanct.</p> <p>So book an hour each week for a long bath and a good book. Block out 30 minutes each evening to read a story to your kids. Schedule a movie night with your partner. Reserve 45 minutes every morning for a walk. Oh, and don&rsquo;t forget to schedule in a good eight hours of sleep every day. Shortcutting on sleep can have detrimental effects on your work productivity.</p> <p>Make time for you, your loved ones and your friends. It&rsquo;s important to make sure you feel balanced and healthy... not burned out and resentful!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heather-allard">Heather Allard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-from-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-paid-real-money-from-virtual-work">Get Paid Real Money From Virtual Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/convince-the-boss-to-let-you-work-from-home">How to Get Your Boss to Let You Work From Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center small business telecommuting time management work from home work life balance Thu, 05 May 2011 21:18:37 +0000 Heather Allard 532481 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Telework Can Save You $20,000 a Year http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/8-ways-telework-can-save-you-20000-a-year <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/8-ways-telework-can-save-you-20000-a-year-tom-harnish-2" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/8-ways-telework-can-save-...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/8-ways-telework-can-save-you-20000-a-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000001267484XSmall.jpg" alt="Work from home" title="Work from home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Two nights ago, some friends came over for dinner. The conversation turned to telework, and became, as one put it in an apologetic email later, &quot;spirited.&quot; What was his beef?</p> <p>Fundamentally, he wanted to know what's in it for business owners. Everyone touts the work life <a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;218396076;41475586;v?http://www201.americanexpress.com/sbsapp/FMACServlet?request_type=alternateChannels&amp;lpid=298&amp;openeep=17460&amp;ccsgeep=17460">benefits</a> and savings of telework for employees, he said, but why should business owners want their people working at home?</p> <p>After three years' work <a href="http://undress4success.com/research/business-plan-data-sources/">reviewing 250 studies</a> and talking to employers, employees, experts, and naysayers we knew the answer. As fast as he fired the questions, we answered. You, fortunately, can chew all this slower and digest the answer before you take another mouthful.</p> <h2>Savings</h2> <p>Smart employers understand that a happy employee is a loyal one. Over 80 percent of employees consider working from home a perk, and a third say they'd prefer the option to work from home over a pay raise. About the same percent say they would take a pay cut if they could telework. If you can <strong>keep good employees</strong>, you can save the $20,000 to $35,000 it costs if you lose one that's valued.</p> <p>You also have access to a much <strong>larger pool of qualified people</strong>. Telework allows companies to reach beyond their local area for talent, and gives fast-growing employers a way to expand beyond the local population.</p> <p>Telework also means you can <strong>get more work done with fewer employees</strong>. The numbers vary from company to company, but productivity increases are typically 30 to 40 percent. Yes, really. There are numerous studies that prove it, conducted by big companies with a lot to lose if telework didn't work.</p> <p>One obvious benefit for employers with employees at home is that <strong>they don't have to provide an office</strong>. Nationally, real estate costs employers an average of $10,000 per employee per year. Sure there are some offsetting costs for training, telecommunication, even tech support (see below), but IBM was able to slash its real estate costs by $50 million a year by allowing people to work remotely. Sun Microsystems estimates they save $70 million a year in real estate costs.</p> <p>But the savings go well beyond the cost of real estate. Telework save companies money in office furniture, equipment and supplies, utilities, janitorial service, security, maintenance, paper goods, coffee and water service, and leased parking spaces. Dow Chemical was able <strong>save a third of non-real estate administrative costs</strong>, by sending some workers home.</p> <p>Another savings that telework provides comes from <strong>lower absenteeism</strong>. Two-thirds of the people who call in sick, aren't. They have to let in the cable guy, take a kid to the doctor, or here in Southern California it may just mean the surf's up. If someone goes surfing this afternoon and works 'till midnight what do you care if they get their work done? In any case, working from home keeps people away from sick co-workers and allows them to start work sooner after illness or surgery. Nortel found that the entire cost to outfit and equip a teleworker could be made up in the first year if only 3.5 days can be saved in absenteeism.</p> <p>Telework also makes <strong>grants and incentives available</strong> to employers. Some states such as Virginia, Georgia, and Oregon offer as much as $3,500 per employee to send people home. Arizona, Vermont, and Connecticut offer free assistance for employers considering telework.</p> <p>And, finally, there's one big savings: If there's a disaster or pandemic, a dispersed workforce can <strong>save your company from going out of business</strong>. Not having all your eggheads in one basket means your people will be able to keep working when snowmageddon, a flu outbreak, or terrorism hits. When something happens, fewer people will be affected, your economic stability will be more easily maintained, and continuity of operations will be assured. (COO is the impetus behind the Federal Government mandate that eligible employees must telecommute to the maximum extent possible.)</p> <h2>Obstacles</h2> <p>But what about the downsides, our friend demanded. There have to be obstacles and costs. Of course, that's true. Implementing any business strategy requires preparation, training, and will involve some costs and risk. Some people will meet any change with resistance, and that has to be managed, too.</p> <p><strong>Management mistrust</strong> is the biggest problem and the primary reason telework hasn't become the preferred work arrangement for people whose job would allow it. 75% of managers say they trust their employees, but 30% say they want to be able to see them. Of course if the boss is on the third floor and the troops are spread around the building they're out of sight anyway, but . . . .</p> <p><strong>Some people just aren't cut out for telework</strong>. Social needs, self-discipline issues, communications problems mean that certain people need to work in an office. Telephones, email, and instant messaging are a solution for some. Innovative solutions such as virtual outings, online games, and even Second Life have proven successful for others. For that matter, occasional instead of full-time telework is also a solution, and the most common arrangement. Telecommuters today work at home an average of 2.5 days a week. Still, some companies have closed their office and everyone works from all the time, while other organizations have been slow to see and seize the advantages.</p> <p>Some employees are afraid of an &quot;<strong>out of sight, out of mind</strong>&quot; problem, but good managers use performance-based measurement systems and base advancement on productivity not perfect attendance.</p> <p>And <strong>there are real costs</strong> involved. Our research showed that the average was $2,710, with a range from about $300 to $4000. While few employers provide employees a car so they can get to work, many do feel obligated to provide a computer, software, cell phone, printer, and broadband. Most, however, did not cover office setup, postage or courier services, scanners, PDAs or pagers, phone cards, or any sort of per diem.</p> <p>Only about a third of federal agencies pay for home office equipment, relying instead on the employees' own equipment or providing equipment GSA already owns. Of those that do pay for equipment, most pay only a portion of the costs.</p> <p><strong>Security issues</strong> used to be a common obstacle, but today that's really not the issue. For example, 93% of managers involved in IRS pilot telework program believed there was no problem with data security. In fact, 90% of those charged with security in large organizations feel that home-based workers are not a security concern &mdash; they're more concerned with the occasional work that is taken out of the office by traditional employees who lack the training, tools, and technologies that teleworkers receive.</p> <p>Overall, then, our research shows that an employer can save about $20,000 per employee per year if they telecommute full time. For a roundup of the latest statistics on who's telecommuting and how much, visit our <a href="http://undress4success.com/research/telecommuting-statistics/">Telecommuting Statistics</a> page on Undress For Success. For a look at how you, your company, and your community could benefit from telework, visit our <a href="http://undress4success.com/research/calculator-2010/">Telework Savings Calculator</a>.</p> <p>Telework: Make the road less traveled your way to work. It makes cents.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "gold"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tom-harnish">Tom Harnish</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/8-ways-telework-can-save-you-20000-a-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship small business telecommuting telework Fri, 16 Jul 2010 02:20:36 +0000 Tom Harnish 114246 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Your Boss to Let You Work From Home http://www.wisebread.com/convince-the-boss-to-let-you-work-from-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/convince-the-boss-to-let-you-work-from-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/work-from-home-1[1].jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans spend an average of 50 minutes a day commuting to and from work.</p> <p>That's about 200 hours a year wasted in traffic jams. With telecommuting, you can reclaim that time and spend more of it with your family!</p> <p>In a recent <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/06/get-your-boss-to-let-you-work-from-home.html">guest post we did for My Life Scoop</a> we shared 8 great tips on how to convince your boss to let you work from home. Here are two key tips from that article.</p> <h2>List the Ways Telework Will Benefit the Company</h2> <p><em>While your boss may be receptive your needs, the company&rsquo;s needs will trump yours.</em></p> <p><img align="middle" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/work-from-home-4.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Get stats from <a href="http://www.telework.gov/">government agencies</a> and other companies to support your case, and be sure to zone in on the ones most relevant to your industry. Kate Lister and Tom Harnish, authors of the definitive telecommuting guide, <em>Undress for Success</em>, have compiled a <a href="http://undress4success.com/research/pros-cons/">comprehensive list of convincing statistics</a>. For example, did you know:</p> <ul> <li>Best Buy, British Telecom, Dow Chemical and many others show that teleworkers are 35-40% more productive.</li> <li>AT&amp;T's teleworkers work 5 more hours at home than their office workers.</li> <li>Sun Microsystems' employees spend 60% of the commuting time they save performing work for the company.</li> <li>72% of employers say telework has a high impact on employee retention.</li> <li>Unscheduled absences cost employers $1,800/employee per year; that adds up to $300 billion/yr for U.S. companies.</li> <li>Telecommuting programs reduce unscheduled absences by 63%.&nbsp;</li> <li>Telecommuters typically continue to work when they&rsquo;re sick (without infecting others).</li> </ul> <p>If your boss wants to see some concrete numbers, check out the <a href="http://undress4success.com/research/calculator-2010/">Telework Savings Calculator</a> and the <a href="http://www.tjobs.com/hiresavings.shtml">TeleCommuter Hire Savings Calculator</a>.</p> <h2>Prepare a Written Proposal and an Oral Presentation</h2> <p>When it comes time to finally and formally present your telework proposal, make it <i>good</i>. This video has a great summary of the process, plus details on what to include:</p> <p><object height="396" width="640" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" id="videojugplayer"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.videojug.com/player?id=8f7291a2-891e-c294-5909-ff0008ca6eb9" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed height="396" width="640" src="http://www.videojug.com/player?id=8f7291a2-891e-c294-5909-ff0008ca6eb9" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always"></embed></object><p><a href="http://www.videojug.com/tag/career-fulfillment"><br /> </a></p> <p><em><strong>Want to see the complete 8 step plan to convincing your boss to let you work from home?&nbsp; </strong></em><em><strong>See <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/06/get-your-boss-to-let-you-work-from-home.html">the full article</a> at the My Life Scoop website!</strong></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/convince-the-boss-to-let-you-work-from-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">8 Life Skills Every Freelancer Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-gadgets-every-work-at-home-professional-needs">6 Gadgets Every Work at Home Professional Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home">5 Ways to Stay Productive While Working From Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-paid-real-money-from-virtual-work">Get Paid Real Money From Virtual Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-think-twice-before-bidding-on-freelance-gigs">Why You Should Think Twice Before Bidding on Freelance Gigs (Book Giveaway)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building telecommuting telework work from home Tue, 22 Jun 2010 18:15:00 +0000 Amy Lu 136250 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Telecommuting a Good Way to Go Green? http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/is-telecommuting-a-good-way-to-go-green <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/is-telecommuting-a-good-way-to-go-green-thursday-bram" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/is-telecommuting-a-go...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/is-telecommuting-a-good-way-to-go-green" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009596496XSmall.jpg" alt="Telecommuting office" title="Telecommuting office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Telecommuting may sounds like a practical option only for big corporations, but with the advent of web-based software and other tools, a small businesses can easily allow many employees to telecommute. Anyone who spends all day at a computer can do it &mdash; you may be surprised at who may also be able to work from home. There are some savings that go along with a small business allowing employees to telecommute, but it also offers an opportunity to go green.</p> <h3>Telecommuting as an Option</h3> <p>Jason Webb set up his law firm with telecommuting in mind. From the start, he's seen not only a decreased carbon footprint, but an improvement in his employees' ability to juggle both work and home. Throughout the law firm, telecommuting has increased productivity as well as decreased operating <a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;218396076;41475586;v?http://www201.americanexpress.com/sbsapp/FMACServlet?request_type=alternateChannels&amp;lpid=298&amp;openeep=17460&amp;ccsgeep=17460">costs</a>. In particular, Webb's costs for IT have gone down: by using existing web applications like Backroom Management, Google Apps and Egnyte, he's been able to pay a low per month charge, rather than having to invest in an expensive server and software licenses up front. Furthermore, these online tools don't require Webb to call in help if something goes wrong. Having employees telecommute has made Webb's work easier:</p> <blockquote>My practice often has serious and severe deadlines that my clients often let go to the last moment. Because my team can access their tools anywhere, I can call them to get a project done no matter where they are and it is easy for them to hop on the internet and make it happen. Also, when we are behind, some of my secretaries can work in the evening after they put their kids to bed. Some of the most productive hours for them are around midnight with no distractions at all. Also, because I can access all of my tools on my Droid, I can work at any time. I am more responsive to clients and am able to take advantage of those little wasted moments when I am on errands or at home.</blockquote> <p>While Webb's employees have been generally positive about the idea of telecommuting, their reactions have been varied.</p> <blockquote>They love it and use it to different degrees. For some it is a convenient opportunity that they use here and there. For others it is the primary way that they work.</blockquote> <p>This sort of telecommuting arrangement makes for a much greener business: Webb's employees spend significantly less time on the road and need less gas, often improving morale. He also has less of a need for energy to keep the lights on throughout his office or control the temperature of the office when nobody's actually there.</p> <h3>Telecommuting as a Necessity</h3> <p>Danny Wong's company, Blank Label, started out in an incubation space at Babson College. Now, though, his team is split between California, Massachusetts, and Shanghai. Being spread over three very different time zones has offered a few challenges to Blank Label, but Wong and his team have built a solid dynamic that allows them to benefit from their various locations:</p> <blockquote>We get along great without needing to see each other on a frequent basis. It does get complicated when we need to have a last-minute/urgent call, especially with one partner being in Shanghai. But this is the best thing for the business right now.</blockquote> <p>It doesn't hurt that the company doesn't need to pay for an office space and employees don't have any expenses related to getting to work every day. Blank Label has minimal costs to offset those savings, according to Wong.</p> <blockquote>We pay a small fee to use OoVoo's 4 way video conference service. But that's a very small monthly fee. We use many free programs for e-collaboration, so we luckily don't have more costs working this way.</blockquote> <p>For many businesses, it's practical to have an employee outside the main office as a matter of course. If nothing else, having an overseas employee who telecommutes makes getting someone in place for an international meeting that much easier. There are other benefits, such as the ability to respond at any hour of the day that can lead to telecommuting as a necessity. Why have an employee work the graveyard shift, running office equipment around the clock, when you simply find an employee willing to telecommute who is based in another time zone? You can save on energy costs and there simply isn't any cost for an employee's transportation to and from work.</p> <p>Working from a home business exclusively can be significantly greener than part-time telecommuting as well. There's no need to duplicate equipment, such as computers and printers, in both an office and at home, for instance. Reducing infrastructure can be just as important a part of going green as reducing energy usage, and since the business is reducing upfront costs, replacing them only with small monthly fees, telecommuting can be a financially sound decision as well.</p> <h3>When Telecommuting Is Not an Option</h3> <p>There are some businesses where telecommuting just won't make sense for most employees: a mechanic's shop just won't function if the mechanics don't come in to work. It's still worth looking at the tools that can be used for telecommuting; many can help your business go a little greener, even while you're in the office. Web-based applications, for instance, can allow you to use smaller computers for your business, both reducing your power needs and saving you money. You may also find that certain parts of your company can still telecommute, even if not everyone can be away from the office all day, every day.</p> <p>You may also find that telecommuting is a matter of preference for your employees. Some may simply prefer to come into the office a few days a week so that they can interact with you and other employees. It's important to talk through the idea of telecommuting with your employees to make sure that they'll be able to handle their jobs just as well out of the office as they do in it.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "gold"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/is-telecommuting-a-good-way-to-go-green">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-during-your-commute-even-if-you-drive">10 Smart Things to Do During Your Commute (Even If You Drive!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">Location Independent Career Basics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-work-at-home-without-driving-your-spouse-nuts">How to Work at Home Without Driving Your Spouse Nuts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-paths-to-being-a-digital-nomad">Three paths to being a digital nomad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Cars and Transportation Small Business Resource Center small business telecommuting Mon, 05 Apr 2010 02:23:32 +0000 Thursday Bram 5538 at http://www.wisebread.com Location Independent Career Basics http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/location-independent-career-basics" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/location independent.JPG" alt="location independent tools" title="location independent tools" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Would you like to have the ability to work from anywhere you wish? The backyard? The café down the street? Your bedroom? Or even <a href="http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/cheap-travel/" target="_blank">on the road</a>&hellip;a tropical island somewhere, perhaps?</p> <p>A location independent career is your ticket to workplace freedom. More and more people are striving for this freedom themselves. We&rsquo;ll look at the basic qualities (good and bad) of a location independent career, and in so doing, you may come up with a few ways to make your own career location independent.</p> <h2>What is Location Independent?</h2> <p>As it sounds, location independent refers to a career that does not require your presence in any one place for your job to be done. You may still opt to attend meetings or networking events here and there, but for the most part you are free from any geographical commitments.</p> <h2>The Basics &ndash; How it&rsquo;s Possible</h2> <p>Location <st1:city><st1:place>independence</st1:place></st1:city> is enabled by technology. Without telephones and cell phones, the Internet, virtual offices and conference functions, scanners, faxes, and express postal services, most location independent careers would not be possible.</p> <p>So although you don&rsquo;t need to be a technological wizard with an ability to speak three different computer languages, you will need a basic understanding of computers, the Internet, and the various modalities of communicating.</p> <p>Many location independent careers do indeed require a high level of proficiency in all things Internet, but this is not always the case. As you will see further on, there are many people out there who have the ability to be location independent; some may not even know it!</p> <h2>Advantages of a Location Independent Career</h2> <ul> <li>You save money, time, and resources since you don&rsquo;t have to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/car-sharing-why-own-when-you-can-just-share" target="_blank">commute to work</a>.</li> <li>It&rsquo;s more casual. Most location independent people don&rsquo;t wear suits. Heck &ndash; you can work in your PJs if you want to (just turn the video off on those conference calls).</li> <li>You make your own hours. Are you a night owl? Then feel free to work until <st1:time minute="0" hour="3">3am</st1:time>. Would you prefer to take time off in the afternoon to be with your kids? Go ahead; you&rsquo;ll make up the time when you need to.</li> <li>You can explore the world slowly with <a target="_blank" href="http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/cheap-travel/">long-term travel</a>, since you can work from the road.</li> </ul> <h2>Disadvantages of a Location Independent Career</h2> <ul> <li>You must be very self-disciplined. Rarely is anybody holding you accountable.</li> <li>It is easy to become distracted if you work from home. You can potter around the house all day in the name of &ldquo;working&rdquo; without actually getting any work done.</li> <li>It can be very lonely. Depending on your line of work and the degree of social contact that it entails, location independent careers can be a touch lonesome. Sometimes office banter is refreshing.</li> <li>It can be easy to lose yourself in your work and be at the grindstone for longer hours than you should be. (Again, this is a matter of self-discipline).</li> </ul> <h2>Three Types of Location Independent Careers</h2> <p>Location independent careers tend to fall under three main categories: entrepreneurs, freelancers, and telecommuters.</p> <h3><strong>Entrepreneurs</strong></h3> <p>As an <a target="_blank" href="http://blogs.openforum.com/2009/05/11/four-common-mistakes-to-avoid-in-running-your-small-business">entrepreneur</a>, you are your own boss, and have complete freedom to call the shots. But simply being an entrepreneur does not give you a ticket to location independence; many industries or business structures require your physical presence.</p> <p>Where entrepreneurialism enters into the location independent realm is in the entrepreneur&rsquo;s intrinsic ability to see (and act on) business opportunities and market needs. <strong>Successful location independent entrepreneurs tend to be inventors of items or technology, import/exporters, or pioneers of business ideas that can be marketed virtually.</strong></p> <h3><strong>Freelancers</strong></h3> <p>Any location independent career involves a degree of organization and self motivation; qualities which most entrepreneurs and freelancers share. Where freelancers differentiate themselves from entrepreneurs is in the nature of their work and who they work for. Freelancers usually juggle projects for multiple clients, and in the location independent business, frequently work across different industries.</p> <p>I have met any number of location independent freelancers who wear multiple hats, such as online marketing, PR, writing and copywriting, business strategizing, virtual assistance, and publishing. Many will package up their repertoire as &ldquo;business services&rdquo; and take whatever work comes their way, outsourcing what they cannot do themselves.</p> <p>I am location independent myself, and although I boast a mean entrepreneurial streak, I am solidly planted in the freelance category, with multiple clients and publications that I write for in the realm of personal finance and travel.</p> <h3><strong>Telecommuters</strong></h3> <p>Rounding out the spread of location independent career categories is the telecommuter. This is somebody who (usually) works for one boss or company, but has the flexibility to work from home (or anywhere that has the technology available for the telecommuter to keep in touch with the office).</p> <p>Some companies are incorporating &ldquo;flex hours&rdquo; into their <a href="http://blogs.openforum.com/2009/06/22/tax-free-employee-benefits/" target="_blank">employee incentive programs</a>, which allow employees to do some of their work from home. It saves the company paying for dedicated office space for all employees, in addition to the advantages of location independent careers, listed above.</p> <p>As more and more companies look into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/outsourcing-your-life-and-creating-new-businesses" target="_blank">outsourcing</a> to reduce their expenses and increase productivity, I believe that telecommuting will become even more prevalent. In fact, the gap between telecommuting and freelancing is easy to bridge; if your company cuts your hours or responsibilities as a result of these <a href="http://blogs.openforum.com/2009/05/11/how-your-small-business-can-survive-the-recession/" target="_blank">hard financial times</a>, you might complement your work with another part-time telecommuting job, and whamo: you are a location independent freelancer before you know it.</p> <p>And just in case you still think that location independence is solely for computer geniuses, here are a handful of wacky location independent careers that I&rsquo;ve come across in the last week alone:</p> <ul> <li>Jewelery Designer</li> <li>Hand Analyst</li> <li>Professional Barterer</li> <li>Coach (this encompasses a lot, since you can coach within many areas of specialty)</li> <li>Lawyer</li> <li>Industrial Designer</li> <li>Voice-Over Artist</li> <li>Airport Services</li> <li>Game Designer</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-you-need-to-fire-your-financial-planner" target="_blank">Financial Planner</a><o:p></o:p></li> <li>Sales</li> </ul> <p>If you have a pressing desire to embrace a location independent lifestyle but aren&rsquo;t sure where to start, there are plenty of online resources for you to check out. For starters, you may want to take a peek at the Web Site whose address says it all: <a href="http://www.locationindependent.com/" target="_blank">locationindependent.com</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-e-books-to-help-you-make-money-travel-and-change-your-life">Three E-Books to Help You Make Money, Travel, and Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-paths-to-being-a-digital-nomad">Three paths to being a digital nomad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-work-at-home-without-driving-your-spouse-nuts">How to Work at Home Without Driving Your Spouse Nuts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meet-meg-favreau-our-senior-editor">Meet Meg Favreau, Our Senior Editor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/resources-for-freelancers">Resources for Freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income entrepreneurs freelancing location independent online business telecommuting Fri, 17 Jul 2009 17:00:03 +0000 Nora Dunn 3394 at http://www.wisebread.com Three paths to being a digital nomad http://www.wisebread.com/three-paths-to-being-a-digital-nomad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/three-paths-to-being-a-digital-nomad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/courtyard-laptop-2.jpg" alt="laptop, messenger bag, and coffee mug outside in the courtyard" title="On-line in the courtyard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="162" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I wanted to be a digital nomad before anybody--before the term existed; before the technology existed; before most people even imagined that it would someday be possible to earn a living without ever being in the same place as your coworkers, bosses, customers, or clients.&nbsp; Other people may have become digital nomads before I did, but nobody wanted to be one before I did. &nbsp;</p> <p>Three obstacles define the three paths to being a digital nomad. &nbsp;</p> <p>First, there was the technological barrier--one that has been largely overcome by the earliest digital nomads.</p> <h2>The Road-Warriors</h2> <p> People whose regular job required constant travel--salesmen, executives, managers and technical folks with far-flung teams--were nomads before they were digital nomads.&nbsp; It was on their behalf that the technology was gradually beaten into submission.&nbsp;&nbsp; I knew a lot of these folks--people who paid top-dollar for a computer (just) small enough that it would fit into a suitcase and (barely) light enough to be carried by one person.&nbsp; An excellent article in a recent Economist, quotes Paul Saffo as saying that &quot;<a href="http://www.economist.com/specialreports/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10950394">nomads</a>&quot; is the wrong term for those early strivers:</p> <blockquote><p>Since these machines, large and small, were portable, people assumed that they also made their owners mobile. Not so. The proper metaphor for somebody who carries portable but unwieldy and cumbersome infrastructure is that of an astronaut rather than a nomad. </p></blockquote> <p>Exactly so.</p> <p>The technological barrier is down, now.&nbsp; The equipment is small, cheap, and highly functional.&nbsp; (Although there are still challenges even with modern high-tech gear.&nbsp; For some nitty-gritty details on actually getting things done while on the road, see <a href="/high-tech-and-homeless-my-life-as-a-cyber-nomad">High-Tech and Homeless</a>.)&nbsp; I never wanted to be a road-warrior, though.&nbsp; Having to show up every day at one specific workspace was bad enough--I most definitely didn't want to put myself in the position of having to show up at dozens of different specific workspaces.&nbsp; It was one of the paths that has eventually led to a kind of digital nomad, but not the path for me. &nbsp;</p> <p>Long before the technology really supported the road-warrier, it became good enough (and cheap enough) that it was practical to create a fully functional workspace that wasn't at the office.&nbsp; The technological barrier, although not yet down, had become low enough that it could be easily stepped over.&nbsp; But close behind was a series of management and personal barriers.</p> <h2>The Telecommuters</h2> <p>People whose regular job can be done on a computer were digital before they were nomads.&nbsp; For almost twenty years now, the technology has been good enough that pretty much any digital job could be done at home, or really, anywhere--as long as &quot;anywhere&quot; was one specific place where the equipment could be set up and a data connection established.</p> <p>Bosses never liked telecommuting--if they couldn't walk over and see you working, they were pretty sure that you probably weren't.&nbsp; And, since the sort of jobs that could be done entirely on a computer over a data link tended to also be the sort where managers--even managers with a good bit of technical savvy--had no idea how much work was actually involved in any particular task, there wasn't really any other way to tell if someone was working hard or hardly working.</p> <p>The result of all that was that most managers would only let certain employees telecommute--the ones they trusted to work hard without supervision, and certain other key technical people who might leave the company if their whim to telecommute wasn't indulged.</p> <p>Once the equipment got cheap--especially after it got cheap enough that employees could afford to buy their own--employers were quite prepared for employees to have workspaces at home.&nbsp; But that was just so that the employees could work more, not so they could quit coming into the office.</p> <p>Still, telecommuting has grown.&nbsp; Lots of people do it now.&nbsp; Especially since fuel got so expensive, there has been a surge in people working at home one or two days a week.&nbsp; Obviously that saves time and fuel, while still giving the boss the chance to observe them working on the other days. &nbsp;</p> <p>With the technical barriers down, though, the mere telecommuter can now be a digital nomad.&nbsp; The boss may imagine you sitting in a home office, working on desktop machine not much different from the one in your cubicle, but there's nothing to keep you from taking your laptop to the library or the coffee shop or the public park--anywhere you can get a network connection.&nbsp; In fact, if there's no danger of being urgently called into the office, there's nothing to keep you from taking your laptop literally anywhere--even halfway around the world.</p> <p>Telecommuting is a second path to being a digital nomad.&nbsp; I did a little telecommuting, but it wasn't for me.&nbsp; To thrive as a telecommuter you need to be both self-motivating and self-limiting.&nbsp; Too little of the former, and you're not productive.&nbsp; Too little of the latter and your home office turns into a home sweatshop.&nbsp; (It's very easy to find yourself working from 6 AM until 10 PM, checking email at all hours, feeling pressure to be always-accessible since people can't just catch you in the hallway at the office.)&nbsp; With just a little experience at it, I found that I suffered from both those deficiencies, so I avoided telecommuting after that.</p> <p>The hard work of crossing the managerial barrier is largely done--telecommuting is a fact and most companies have policies allowing limited forms already.&nbsp; You can't really look to others to cross the personal barriers for you--you have to do that yourself.&nbsp; If you find your way past those, there's really only one remaining barrier--money--that keeps people off the ultimate path for the digital nomad.</p> <h2>The Freelancers</h2> <p>The technology is cheap and easy.&nbsp; If you don't have a regular job, you don't need to get anyone's permission to telecommute.&nbsp; As a freelancer, you can work wherever, whenever, and however you want.&nbsp; The limiting factor is earning enough money to support yourself.</p> <p>You can freelance at just about anything.&nbsp; Software is big, as is writing (fiction, non-fiction, screenplays, poetry, blogs...), and the arts (graphic design, photography, music, sculpture, painting, drawing, architecture...).&nbsp; Especially big are the specific tasks that came of age at the same time as the technology of the digital nomad--freelance web design, for example.&nbsp; There are freelance researchers, freelance editors, freelance accountants, freelance technical support.&nbsp; Of course, you're really only a digital nomad if a large fraction of your freelance work can be done digitally--there's not much call for digital massage therapy or digital hairstyling--but the range of things that can be done on-line keeps growing.</p> <p>If you're of an entrepreneurial bent (or know someone who is), you can go the route of the &quot;virtual corporation&quot;--put together (or join) a small team of people who come together to create a new product, outsource anything that they don't have the expertise to do themselves, and once they're done, go their separate ways.&nbsp; (This sort of thing is very scalable.&nbsp; See Tim Ferriss's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307353133?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0307353133"><cite>The 4-Hour Workweek</cite></a> for some examples of what amounts to one-person versions of this sort of business.&nbsp; There's also some info in <a href="/book-review-the-4-hour-workweek">my review</a> of the book from last year.)</p> <p>You can make money at any of these things.&nbsp; Some people can make a lot of money doing freelance work.&nbsp; But for most people, freelance work is going to pay less than they can get working a regular job.&nbsp; To make it pay even a large fraction as much will likely require working a whole second parallel job (marketing your freelance service) plus a third parallel job (managing the business--invoicing, collecting, accounting, etc).</p> <p>This is why I talk so much about frugality.&nbsp; Maybe you can earn a lot of money and maybe you can't--but anybody can get by on less money.&nbsp; And, if you can get by on what you can earn freelancing as a digital nomad, you can be as free as anyone has been since hunter-gatherers took up agriculture.</p> <p>It's what I've always wanted to do.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-paths-to-being-a-digital-nomad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">Location Independent Career Basics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-work-at-home-without-driving-your-spouse-nuts">How to Work at Home Without Driving Your Spouse Nuts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/resources-for-freelancers">Resources for Freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-rules-that-your-work-at-home-employer-should-follow">7 Simple Rules that Your Work-at-Home Employer Should Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/replacing-a-crappy-job">Replacing a Crappy Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income digital nomads freelance nomad road warrior telecommuting Thu, 28 Aug 2008 09:53:54 +0000 Philip Brewer 2357 at http://www.wisebread.com Plumas County: Hidden (Cheaper) California http://www.wisebread.com/plumas-county-hidden-cheaper-california <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/plumas-county-hidden-cheaper-california" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/CA_10711.gif" alt="Move to Plumas County" title="Move to Plumas County" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I’m going to let you in on my biggest secret to living large on a tiny budget. Five years ago last month my husband and I –lifelong coastal Californians made the big literal move to a part of California we never heard of –the northeastern corner and Plumas County. You know, that place on the map of the state that’s square up in the corner? Nearly three hours north of Lake Tahoe? Way, way, way up there? Yup, that’s still California.</p> <p>We were prompted by many things: the impending birth of our first child, the lack of space in our tiny studio apartment, me wanting to stay home with our kids, and a need for slightly less competition in our fields so we could focus and concentrate on making the family thing work, rather than killing ourselves trying to be corporate. While friends and family members were snagging up half a million dollar fixer uppers without yards in L.A., we found a great house under 200K on an acre of land with a view of a valley spotted with cows and teaming with migratory birds and awe inspiring mountains.</p> <p>While rural living is probably not for everyone, there are certain frugal and lifestyle advantages to it. In 2002, while pregnant with my son I realized that none of the things I moved to San Francisco for I was still doing. I wasn’t writing, I wasn’t going out on the town. I couldn’t afford to do anything but pay rent, basically. My husband was feeling a similar pinch in Los Angeles and though we’d been lobbying for each other to move to the other’s city, my son’s birth was around the corner and we still hadn’t come to a decision on where to live as a family. </p> <p>Enter my mothers. What about trying the mountains? My moms had moved to Plumas the year before and bought a nice house that sat in a quiet, upscale neighborhood with a meadow on one side and national forest on the other for under 150K. A whole house rented for $500 a month, there was (and still is) a shortage of professionals for a variety of necessary jobs, and our kids could start life breathing fresh air. We were broke, had nothing to lose, packed the U-haul and headed north. I mean way north. A brisk 11-hour drive up the I-5 from Los Angeles—and that’s if you are starting from Santa Monica.</p> <p>First the positives in the pocketbook. Plumas County—one of those tiny little northern California counties started in the Gold Rush—needs you. The industries of yester year: mining, logging, milling, are long since gone and there are a number of towns that were built around these industries still standing and looking for revitalization. Most of the areas original inhabitants leave the area upon graduation for Chico, Reno, the military. Rentals are hard to come by these days but they still exist—and where else in the state could you rent a whole house for under $1000 without it being a ghetto crack head neighborhood? This is probably the only place in the state where a mortgage won’t be two-thirds of your budget. Utilities other than oil are about the same as anywhere else in the state and lots of properties are zoned commercial as well as residential so if you are wanting to start that business venture…</p> <p>If you are a recreational shopper and you need your hands spanked, this is also a great place to live. There&#39;s not that many places to shop and unless hardware and general stores are a big turn on for you, you&#39;ll save money just by virtue of there being much less to spend it on (though I&#39;ve dropped plenty at an antique store in Greenville, Bookstore in Chester, the Co-op in Quincy). </p> <p>But the biggest positives are what I call the social and lifestyle improvements. Picture no waiting. For anything. Ever. I still recall with horror not having health insurance and having to go to an ER in Los Angeles and having to wait a month with insurance to get seen in San Francisco. Here it’s ‘can you make it in this afternoon?’ Have you wanted to be actively involved on a committee to oversee something in your town but couldn’t ever find a vacancy on a board? We need you. And not just for volunteer positions. Virtually all federal, state, and county jobs will be opening up in the next five years as most if not all are now held by baby boomers reaching retirement. Ever wonder what it would be like to leave your house and not have to factor in traffic as part of how long it will take to get somewhere or how long it will take to find parking? Ever wonder about not locking your doors?</p> <p>Add in the kid factor and there is a considerable advantage: no traffic for them to accidentally run into, everyone in town will know that your baby belongs to you—parents here still run into the post office while baby is asleep 10 feet away in the car. Sending your kids to a good private school won’t cost an arm and a leg. And the average daycare cost per child is the county is about $3.00 an hour. Add to this being able to raise them around horses, wild turkeys, and having a national forest as their backyard and suddenly being able to walk three blocks to the city park that’s fenced in on all sides like prison and urban childrearing starts to sound silly.</p> <p>But you are a life long urbanite---not unlike my husband and I and this is probably sounding way too cute and quaint. Not so. The biggest seller for me when I moved up here was the chance to live somewhere slightly economically depressed while not having my income tied to such a local economy. Enter the age of the telecommuter. Thanks to a zippy fast DSL connection, I’m doing the same work I was in the city and still getting paid my city wage. And with Internet Radio and iTunes I get to listen to KCRW and NPR in the afternoon (complete with traffic reports about people stuck on the 405) instead of some AM honky tonk station I would have gotten a decade ago out of Reno, NV. My husband, an IT guy without a degree was faced with the dotcom crash on the coast but here he’s never out of work and usually has a backlog. And while it’s true that this corner of California votes like it’s Alabama at times, that’s changing too. Morally bankrupt Rep. Doolittle (®) who never faced serious challenges to his seat is now holding on to it for dear life and is expected to lose the next election. (Yay!)</p> <p>And you won’t be alone in your move here. One out of three families I encounter here aren’t from here. They are usually ex-Bay Area residents with at least one telecommuter in the family with a smattering of southern Californians. My neighbor is from Burbank. Another neighbor is from Tustin.</p> <p>Still, I can hear the skeptic in you—not unlike the skeptic in me—screaming, yes but what about culture?! Team sports? The stuff of Little Leagues and Friday nights of our suburban youth? To this I add we have two thriving art organizations and apparently our girls’ basketball team is kicking ass all over the northern part of the state¬––Go Greenville! There are the same mommy and me-ish things, same crappy California public education, a local community college, etc. But there’s lots of cool hidden stuff too. I work out with a couple of women in a cool private gym I never knew existed. Mountain Maidu culture (the original inhabitants of this area are the Maidu) still prevails and helps distinguish the area and give it its diversity. There’s lots of camping and fishing stuff up here that apparently people come from all over to experience.</p> <p>My dealings with getting the kids some culture was making a commitment to bring them to San Francisco on a quarterly basis and Los Angeles twice a year. We pack in those short weeks with museums, movies, family, and the big one---Asian cuisines. And since we save so much by not eating out (not that many restaurants up here worth eating at), we finally get to splurge on food in the big city—something we couldn’t afford to do anymore when we lived there.</p> <p>Now as we look back and also hear the struggles of other parents of preschoolers in urban areas, we are still happy with our decision. Though there have been some hidden costs we did not anticipate well enough. The biggest one is the horrible combination of the high price of oil combined with a long winter. In 2006—a short winter—we spent $500 for the year on oil to heat the house and water heater. In 2007 winter started sooner, lasted longer and the price went up—we’ll be lucky if we get out of this winter for under $3,000. But this is kind of a freaky year for that sort of thing so we try not to take it personal. I only fill my car up once a month since I telecommute and my husband is in a carpool in a Prius.</p> <p>Still the benefits are overwhelming for the telecommuting worker or family. You get a home office that overlooks snow-capped mountains and air so clean that visitors from the city feel like their lungs are collapsing from the freshness. Your kids get to experience seasons and self-sufficiency of gardening and making things that go with the seasons, and they learn first hand what farm and wild animals look like instead of learning these things from picture books. At Christmas time you get to chop down your own tree with a $10 permit. And my goodness, if you are having children, don’t you want to afford to spend more time and less money being with them?</p> <p>So, show of hands. Who&#39;s up for the move? </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maggie-wells">Maggie Wells</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/plumas-county-hidden-cheaper-california">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-where-its-cheap">Live Where It&#039;s Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-reasons-your-fixed-rate-mortgage-payment-could-rise">The Surprising Reasons Your Fixed-Rate Mortgage Payment Could Rise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-paying-cash-for-a-house">The Pros and Cons of Paying Cash for a House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/real-estate-appraisals-ten-things-most-people-just-dont-understand-about-them">Real Estate Appraisals - Ten things most people just don&#039;t understand about them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing cheaper housing costs childcare costs living expenses Plumas county rural living telecommuting Sun, 02 Mar 2008 11:44:51 +0000 Maggie Wells 1873 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Simple Rules that Your Work-at-Home Employer Should Follow http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-rules-that-your-work-at-home-employer-should-follow <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-simple-rules-that-your-work-at-home-employer-should-follow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/work_at_home.jpg" alt="desk with computer and papers" title="desk with computer and papers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="187" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working from home, as a contractor or full-time employee for a legitimate business, seems to be a great way of making money while keeping a flexible schedule with plenty of time for family, friends, fun, and sleep. Or is it? </p> <p>Last year, I investigated contract writing as a way to give myself what I thought might be a more me-friendly schedule. So I sent some samples in response to an ad in a professional-association newsletter, completed a do-it-our-way training session, and started accepting project assignments. </p> <p>The good news is that the company paid on time, precisely what it promised. But hardly anything else matched what a reasonable person (me) would have presumed based on communications with the company owner and its designated trainer / tyrant. </p> <p>The pay, though advertised as excellent, was below even my fairly priced rates. But, according to the owner, each of a nearly full stable of happy, qualified, and loyal writers could complete 2 assignments per day (sometimes 3) so that, according to my math, an assignment should take 4 hours for completion. Given the speed and volume with which I could complete the projects, I could supplement my income very nicely. </p> <p>I was assigned to a trainer who would teach me the company’s way. Perhaps I should have been concerned that she shared the name of a former Caribbean-Basin dictator but I pressed on. </p> <p>According to the agreement, I would confirm my availability to complete each project upon its receipt. In practice, however, I was asked to give a number of weekly assignments that I could handle, which I did, calculated on the 4-hour average. Straying below that number, I later learned, had to be approved by the owner. </p> <p>The assignments involved reviewing client-supplied documents (2 – 20+ pages, occasionally with conflicting information); preparing a 2-5 page, well-written, and completely proofed draft within 48 hours; and responding promptly to any client concerns that included dissatisfaction with the prescribed and unchangeable format.</p> <p>Let me admit that I am a steady but sometimes slow processor of information. I like to review, reflect, analyze, synthesize, and then recast words into a what I hope will be a compelling, though corporate-like, story. Sometimes, I can assemble, knead, bake, and deliver a project within 24 or 48 hours but oftentimes I cannot. Bottom line, it took me a minimum of 4 hours and an average of 8 hours to complete the assignments. </p> <p>Trying to fit it all in (the assignments and the ever-increasing workload from my own business) took nearly every waking hour. I did ask my trainer-turned-manager for tips on speeding up the process. I received silence in response. Questions on how to handle certain scenarios according to the company way were met with what I now deem the Management-by-Magic-8-Ball method: “do what you think is right,” “all signs point to yes,” etc. If I asked the wrong question, misunderstood a requirement, or made a mistake, I would receive the digital equivalent of being yelled at: an email with words written in a very large font. </p> <p>I never dreamed that a virtual work environment could be run like a sweat shop. </p> <p>Less than 7 weeks into my tenure as a contract writer, I quit. </p> <p>My choice was simple, but for others who are breadwinners with little time to search for another position, quitting is not so easy. For example, the husband of a friend has been telecommuting for a large, publicly-held, seemingly well-run company. His job is to provide technical services 24/7 to a designated customer. As the customer grew over the years, so did his workload. His pay and his support from the company (none, ever, it seems) did not change. To maintain service levels, he became chained to his computer, sleeping erratically to view system performance throughout the day and night, and unable to take a few days off in a wireless location. Sure, he could have quit (before a mild illness turned bad and put him in the hospital, etc.) but there should be accountability on the part of the employer, who seemed to have to dangled the promise of a change in schedule or staffing without ever making one. </p> <p>Here are 7 simple rules for companies who engage work-at-home employees or contractors: </p> <p>1. Deliver what you promise when recruiting new employees or contractors. </p> <p>2. Set policies for time off / days off that are easy to understand and easy to follow.</p> <p>3. Require your employees to visit a physician at least once a year.</p> <p>4. Make sure that compensation is competitive for hourly workers as well as salaried employees or pay-per-project contractors.</p> <p>5. Limit hours on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis.</p> <p>6. Encourage employees to take a vacation and provide back-up support for the vacation.</p> <p>7. Evaluate virtual workplace arrangements on an annual basis, identify changes needed, set a deadline for making them, and stick to it.</p> <p>If you are a work-at-home employee or contractor, it&#39;s your job to make sure your work-at-home employer plays by the rules. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-rules-that-your-work-at-home-employer-should-follow">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-an-employee-to-do-part-2">What&#039;s an employee to do? Part 2</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">Location Independent Career Basics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-paths-to-being-a-digital-nomad">Three paths to being a digital nomad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-work-at-home-without-driving-your-spouse-nuts">How to Work at Home Without Driving Your Spouse Nuts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income contractor employee employer telecommuting work at home Thu, 21 Jun 2007 01:23:47 +0000 Julie Rains 763 at http://www.wisebread.com