Work from Home isn’t the Scam It used to be

Many, including me, have reported for years about all the “work at home” scams. And frankly, there are still plenty out there, unless you know where to look. There has never been more opportunity to legitimately earn a living working at home, and NOT get scammed.

12DMothers with young kids aren’t the only ones working at home (telecommuting) these days. The “WAHMs” have lots of company.

The Internet has allowed people of all ages and educational levels to do this, including retirees. Many online jobs are linked to legitimate companies that have made provisions for the telecommuting.

  • More and more companies are recognizing the cost savings of setting up telecommuting positions.
  • Telecommuting boosts morale and thus, productivity, which includes increased work duration.
  • Positions involving 100 percent telecommuting often mean making up ones own schedule. There really is no limit to the flexibility telecommuting allows.
  • The definition of “telecommuter” traditionally has been that of someone employed full-time by a business but spends at least 50 percent of worktime at home. Nowadays it refers to even working just one day a week at home. Telecommuting also refers to the entrepreneur, such as the prolific blogger.
  • “Telecommuting” also encompasses working at home beyond the 40-hour work week onsite, such as making reports and answering e-mails in the living room.

Telecommuting may not be for everyone. But more and more people are finding it to be the only way they want to make a living.

Possible Drawbacks

  • Limitations in face-to-face contact with coworkers and clients, though Skype helps. For many, this is a non issue.
  • Lack of a centralized location for companies in which the entire workforce is remote. Who cares! You don’t want to leave your home and fight traffic anyway!
  • Inability to monitor activities of other personnel. It’s better to be your own boss and not have to manage people, trust me on that.
  • Fewer promotions. Just go into it knowing you can always change positions and still make more $$ with different job descriptions.
  • Loneliness. I’ve never found this to be an issue.

Additional Benefits

  • Significant savings in money: gas, repairs on car from wear and tear, parking fees, wardrobe, childcare, dog sitter or doggie daycare
  • Healthier eating (no vending machine runs)
  • Being able to help with sudden family matters
  • Not being exposed to workplace hostility or other problems such as the nearby coworker who keeps whistling or popping gum, or the employee with the foul body odor
  • The employer saves a lot of money (no office space).

Security Concerns

  • Telecommuters who allow other family members to use the work computer; this opens the door to infections or accidentally leaking company information.
  • The work computer should be off-limits to all other use, even if it seems harmless such as shopping or perusing Facebook.
  • The telecommuter’s household should have at least one other computer for all other use including e-mail accounts.
  • The computer should be located in a secure, private area of the house so that nosy family members or visitors don’t gain access to company information.
  • Storing work related data in a public cloud service; all data should be stored in a backup that’s part of the company network.
  • There may also be some risk in storing company data on a flash drive (it can be lost and eventually found by the wrong person).
  • The telecommuter takes the computer to a public Wi-Fi spot and uses it there, where data can be “seen” by snoops and hackers.
  • Using an unsecure Wi-Fi at home. The worker must make sure that the home Wi-Fi is secure.
  • The employee should never tinker with the company’s administrative and security settings.

All in all work at home is a viable and safe option for anyone who recognizes both the pros and cons, (mostly pros).

Robert Siciliano is a Personal privacy, security  and identity theft expert to Arise discussing identity theft prevention. Disclosures.