November 3, 2007

What is Telecommuting?

When you call an 800 number to place an order at J.Crew or 1-800 Flowers, there's a good chance the voice that answers is coming from someone sitting in the comfort of his or her own home. Telecommuting is basically working from home for your employer or as an independent contractor for a legitimate company. Many companies today outsource work to telecommuters to keep their business costs down.

Telecommuting can be a great resource for parents that want to earn a steady income from home. The flexibility of scheduling work hours can be a great benefit to a stay at home parent. Some companies will offer more flexibility than others, however, so it is important to research. Training is usually provided by the different companies offering telecommuting positions, but you need to find out if the training will be paid or not, as this differs from company to company.

Telecommuting can be offered in a lot of different business fields, such as customer support, data entry, and document coding.

To qualify, a prospective agent must usually, at the least, have high -speed Internet access, a landline to handle calls, and a quiet workspace. And different businesses may have additional requirements, so you need to check out each company's individual requirements for employment.

It is very important to research a company offering telecommuting opportunities to make sure they are a legitimate company. Here are a few guidelines:

Never pay for a job. If the company is legitimate, they will not ask you to pay to work for them.

Always check with the Better Business Bureau.

Call the company directly for more information. A legitimate company will have a 1-800 number. Call and talk with someone and ask questions. If the company does not offer a 1-800 number, or the option to speak with a live person, you should consider that as a red flag.

If the company offers exaggerated claims about your potential pay, and it sounds "to good to be true", it probably is. This is another red flag.

Visit forums and boards on work at home websites, and look for threads about a company you are researching.

You can also do a Google Search on the company's name, and add the word "scam" to see what pops up.

Research cannot be stressed enough--ultimately you must decide if a particular company will be the right one for you to work from home for.

Here is a listing of companies that are offering telecommuting opportunities. I will be adding to this list often, so keep checking.

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