The Three Types of Telecommuter

by Rosalind Mays

When searching for a telecommuting job, choosing which type of telecommuter you want to be your first step to finding your perfect telecommuting occupation. There are three types to choose from; each has its pros and cons. Making the right choice for you is imperative to finding a telecommuting job. The three types of telecommuter are:

  • The corporate telecommuter
  • The freelancer or independent contractor
  • The self-employed telecommuter

Which one would you like to be?

The corporate telecommuter is a person that has the best of both worlds -- able to work at home and still has an "on site" presence garnishing relationships with co-workers at the office. Most likely, being this type of telecommuter will allow the teleworker to work at home only a couple of days out of the week. This is wonderful for those that have a problem with feeling isolated while working at home and are concerned about being in the corporate "loop", yet still desire the flexibility of working from home.

But be warned, this option also allows the employer to dictate the design of your home office, the days you are to telecommute - basically, the employer has all the control. Many job hunters are searching for the corporate telecommuter position, believing that they can have this type of home-based job and look after children at the same time. However, most corporate employers offering flex-time options, stipulate that an employee wishing to telecommute must have child-care available during working hours.

However, the advantages of this type of telecommuting position is that the employer pays for all the equipment and software and the teleworker receives benefits and a steady paycheck. The job hunter will find that that most telecommuting job offers are in this "corporate telecommuting" category.

The independent contractor is my personal favorite of the three choices. Why? Because this choice allows the teleworker the most control, especially if teleworker is a parent who wishes care for children during the day. The employer of an independent contractor (teleworker) cannot by law stipulate working conditions, nor the types of equipment used, or stipulate the working hours of the contractor. The employer can only insist on the condition of the end product and the deadlines. The teleworker in this category can and usual does have more than one employer! The sky is the limit on how much money can be made. On the downside, the income tends to fluctuate, there are usually no benefits offered and the teleworker must take care of self-employment tax, updating equipment and software and other issues that an "employee" does not have to bother with.

The self-employed telecommuter is where the real wealth and freedom resides. However this is the option that holds the most risk. A self-employed telecommuter actually has his/her own business and is constantly acquiring clients or customers while working strictly by phone, fax and Internet. That means all opportunities begin and end with the teleworker. There are no benefits (unless the teleworker's company pays for them), no guiding hand of an employer, no co-workers (unless the teleworkers has a partner), no "corporate office" to rely on for assistance -- but plenty of opportunity for the brave individual that goes this route. The savvy teleworker that chooses This route can name their price for work completed, choose the type of people they wish to work with, and grow as quickly or as slowly as their talent and determinations warrants.

So now you know what you're getting into, have you made your choice? The choice is the first step. Why? Because once you have a clear idea of what you want to do, which type of telecommuter you want to be, any other opportunities that do not meet your goal can be quickly weed out. You will be able to concentrate on the opportunities you do want. So, which type of telecommuter do you want to be?

Happy Hunting!

Rosalind Mays is the author of Telecommuting Millionaire?"

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