Remote workers work on a telecommuting basis, often from their homes. Some people working remotely do so while traveling on business for their employer. Many remote workers are independent contractors that aren't employed by a company, but rather pay their own taxes and insurance. Businesses save money on overhead costs and don't have to have benefits such as medical insurance plans for these workers. People working from home can arrange their work hours around childcare and other responsibilities as well as save money on transportation and clothing.
While some people say that remote workers represent the future of work, like Breanden Beneschott, CEO and co-founder of Mechanism Ventures, others aren't as quick to forgo the traditional on-site type of working arrangement. Some people argue that face-to-face communication and creating a physical workplace environment are important, while others maintain that the real problem is that people are caught up in assumptions and conventions because on-site work has been such a large part of our culture for so long. These workers can be in any industry and at any experience level.
Working remotely keeps more people from the daily commute and this is better for the environment as well as traffic congestion. The time spent traveling to and from an on-site job can be better spent on completing work. Yet, not everyone is suited for telecommuting. Some people are extroverted and prefer to work in teams rather than alone on a computer from home. For introverts who prefer to think things through on their own, however, being a remote worker may seem ideal.
Communication is a main consideration for managers working with remote workers. Technology such as email, instant messaging, video conferencing and regular or cell phones can help remedy communications problems. Clear expectations about job performance should be given to workers who telecommute.
Although some people argue that those working at home aren't likely to accomplish as much as they would at an on-site work environment, studies show these workers often accomplish more since their work is always in their preferred environment. Just as at on-site jobs, attitude plays a big role in the quantity and quality of work accomplished by remote workers. Self-motivated individuals who learn quickly and work well without a lot of supervision tend to make the best remote workers. Motivated people who are permitted to work remotely, and are given reasonable work and decent pay, often greatly appreciate the working at home arrangement and are likely to produce efficient, quality work in return.