Posted by : Becca | On : October 23, 2010

Here is an interesting quiz from the U.S. State Department. It’s a nice little self-assessment called “Is Telework For You” and it asks some great questions that can help you determine if you and your job are a good fit for telecommuting. If you want to start working from home, this quiz is a good starting point. Check it out!




Posted by : Becca | On : October 11, 2010

Could you, would you, accept a lower salary in order to be able to do your job from home? It’s an interesting dilemma for people who have traditional office jobs that can be done from home. How do you approach your employer and what do you say when they ask if you are willing to take a cut in salary to telecommute? Before answering the question too quickly, take some things into consideration:

1. Is it going to cost your company more or less to have you working from home? Often there can be a cost saving for the employer because many telecommuters provide their own equipment and supplies for their home office.

2. Is it going to cost you more or less to telecommute?
Take into account savings on transportation, work clothing purchase and maintenance, fewer lunches out. Also look at your costs such as equipment: computer, printer, paper, extra phone line, special phone equipment, and anything else you will have to provide as a telecommuting employee.

3. Tax benefits? Check with your accountant to see if you will be able to qualify for a home office deduction. This can be a benefit to you for working from home, but you have got to make certain that your home office qualifies and that you follow the IRS rules to the letter. Always check with your tax adviser.

4. Productivity. Will you be able to get more done by telecommuting? Be prepared to explain to your employer exactly HOW you will be more productive, then be prepared to back it up once you start telecommuting.

5. Your mental health. How much is it worth to you to be out of the office and working in your home? Is it more convenient? Calming? Getting you away from office drama? Less stressful? Will you gain the added flexibility you may be seeking?

When it comes down to it, is it worth it to you to earn less as a home-office worker? Can you negotiate with your employer for other benefits in lieu of a higher salary? Expect your employer to try to lowball you, but that doesn’t mean that you have to accept it right off the bat. You can and should negotiate in order to make your telecommuting a win-win situation for you and your company.

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Posted by : Becca | On : June 6, 2010

One company that hires telecommuters is UHaul. They are looking for home agents making $8/hour. No college degree required and all training and work is done from your home office. The job is with their sales and reservations department, which is a 27/7 operation, so it looks like there would be opportunities for all kinds of schedules. See the job ad on the Uhaul site.



Posted by : Becca | On : July 31, 2009

While talking with people about telecommuting, I come across a good number of folks who don’t have decent internet access. Maybe they live in outlying areas that don’t have DSL or Cable available. Well, I just found out about satellite internet providers. Maybe I’m behind the times on this, but it never occurred to me to look at this option. I mean, really – dial up can drive a person crazy. Do you all remember the early days of AOL and waiting…waiting…waiting for pages to load. There are still people who have to deal with that!

Even in remote areas, you can get some great satellite internet deals. Equipment can be leased or purchased and the monthly fees are reasonable. Some of the deals right now even include rebates. There are a variety of speeds and price options. Check it out and see if satellite internet is available where you are.

Having high speed access makes it easier to find telecommuting positions and finally there is an option for people who don’t live in areas with DSL or cable! Get speeds 20 to 50 times faster than dial up. Think of the productivity increase! Satellite is faster, it’s reliable and easy to use. It could work for you!



Posted by : Becca | On : November 19, 2008

I can’t recommend Laura Stack’s methods enough. If you have a chance to get to this seminar, DO IT! You won’t regret it, I promise!!

Get organized and productive in 2009! Attend a Denver seminar with Laura Stack!

Productivity Enthusiasts,

Are you working 60+ hours a week? Would you like to learn how to be more productive at work, so you can achieve Maximum Results in Minimum Time® and Leave the Office Earlier®? This seminar is Laura Stack’s flagship productivity class that combines key concepts from multiple seminar listings into a comprehensive, full-day program. Time management, prioritization, scheduling, concentration, organization, email, workflow, processing, and systems are all covered—from the start of your day until the end—to help you become a Productivity Pro®. Professionals, managers, and administrative staff will gain scores of new ideas from “The Productivity Pro”® on increasing output without increasing effort and performing at your matchless best! This seminar is suitable for anyone, at any level, whether you use a handheld or paper planner or something in between. You will learn powerful, realistic productivity tactics geared toward the realities of today’s workplaces. Learn to create an organized time management system that works with a planner, handheld, paper, email, voicemail, and tasks. Integrate the various disjointed pieces of your life into one seamless, cohesive system! Stop wading in your email inbox. Come to this rare public seminar with Laura Stack and get organized, focused, and accomplish more in 2009!

Become a Productivity Pro(R) with Laura Stack
Date: Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Location: Denver, CO, EKS&H Public Accountants

Nearest Airport: Denver International Airport

Grab a colleague! Reduced rates are available when registering three or more people from the same organization.

To register or view complete seminar information and objectives, click here



Posted by : Becca | On : August 10, 2008

A great article from guest blogger Laura Stack – “The Productivity Pro”®

No surprise here. In the wake of the September 11 attacks, many employers are fielding increased inquiries from employees about working from home. Telecommuting might seem attractive to you in these times, but many an employee has tried and failed with this arrangement. Do you have what it takes to succeed?

After working from a home office for 16 years now, I have determined what I believe to be twelve characteristics that indicate a successful telecommuting personality. This list is completely subjective, not based on empirical research. To select these traits, I’ve combined my knowledge of:

1. Productivity,
2. Human behavior,
3. Self-employment, and
4. Working from a home office.

I welcome your feedback if you disagree with any of these or have some to add. Here are the personality traits I believe predict your ability to work at home:

1. Self-Motivated—Do you tend to get things going on your own, or do you prefer to be directed by others? Are you the type that when someone says, “Here’s this project, go figure out how to do it, the deadline’s this,” you get it done.

2. Disciplined—Do you have to push yourself to work your hours? Do you procrastinate? Do you stay strapped to your seat long enough to get your work done? Can you stay focused despite distractions? When you start a task, do you see it through to completion?

3. Likes Working Alone—Do you require social contact to be happy? Do you like your private time and space? Do you feel comfortable working alone, or do you thrive on having frequent contact with others? If you can’t be alone, you may have excessive telephone talking or run menial errands just to get out of the house.

4. A Good Time Manager—Do you handle interruptions, visitors, phone calls, and email well? Can you schedule realistically, prioritize correctly, and delegate appropriately?

5. Likes to Control Own Schedule—Do you resent micromanagement? Do you like having the flexibility to set your own hours? Can you make quick decisions under pressure without consulting others? You’ll be good at telecommuting if you can roll with the punches confidently.

6. Organized—Do you like to start your workday with a clean, organized desk? Being organized isn’t everything, but it’s very important when you work at home. Unless you have an overabundance of space, having a place for everything will go a long way toward helping you maintain sanity in your work and personal lives. Efficiency and organization will allow you to be more productive.

7. Comfortable with job requirements—Do you know how to do your work? Are you off the learning curve? Can you handle your tasks without a lot of direction? Are you committed? Do you thrive on a sense of accomplishment from having done a good job?

8. Can balance work with rest of life—Do you have workaholic tendencies? You must be able to know when to close the office door and when to get down to business. Can you draw good boundaries with family and friends but resist the urge to wander into your office every evening until 10:00 p.m., ignoring your kids and family?

9. Self-confident—Do you feel you could do anything you set your mind to? Do you believe in your abilities to make things happen? Since your coworkers and manager won’t be there to praise you, can you be your own best cheerleader and support yourself? Are you generally an optimist? Can you laugh at stressful situations to cope, or do you typically give up?

10. Thrives on risk and uncertainty—Do you feel okay about stepping out of your comfort zone to take risks? Are you a go-getter? An adventurer? Willing to put your all into your passion? Working at home involves risk with relationships…can family members respect your efforts to work at home? Will there be turf wars? Will your image suffer at work? Will you be looked upon as a slacker? These are all big question marks when first starting out.

11. Seeks support and advice from others—Do you know when to ask for help or support? Are you a perfectionist and try to do everything yourself? Successful telecommuters know their limits, and they know when to ask for help. Being at home can wear you down. It’s easy to take on too much if you’re not careful. It’s tempting to work 12 hour days because you’re getting so much done.

12. Good communicator—Telecommuters need to develop good working relationships with a variety of people: their customers, co-workers, boss, and family members. To make this arrangement work, you’ve got to keep everyone in the loop and constantly informed.

If you’re considering approaching your employer to discuss a telecommuting arrangement, use this list to do a bit of introspection before proceeding. HR professionals can use this list as a conversation document to assess the viability of this arrangement with interested employees.

The more solidly you feel you demonstrate each one of these characteristics, the better your chances to do well telecommuting. If you said a resounding, “That’s me!” after each one, you’re probably a natural. If you can identify with some but not all of the traits, you may have some challenges, and you’ll have to make some adjustments. If you just shook your head, you may want to reconsider altogether and be grateful every time you look at your paycheck.

Make it a productive day! ™

(C) Copyright 2004 Laura Stack, MBA, CSP. All rights reserved. Portions of this newsletter may be reprinted in your organization or association newsletter, provided the following credit line is present:

“Laura M. Stack, MBA, CSP, is “The Productivity Pro”® and the author of Leave the Office Earlier. She presents keynotes and seminars on time management, information overload, and personal productivity. Contact her at 303-471-7401 or Laura@TheProductivityPro.com.”



Posted by : Becca | On : July 19, 2008

Here’s a great blog with freelance jobs listed. Freelancing is a great way to earn income from home. She’s got a great listing of various gigs, most of which are writing jobs.

Freelancing Guru Jobs

Isn’t it great that so many people online are so willing to share what they’ve found? I’ve been so excited lately reading other people’s blogs and seeing all the great stuff they write about.

By the way, I’ve discovered that Google Reader is a great way to keep all your blog subscriptions in one spot. I had been subscribing by email to many blogs, but was too overwhelmed with all the email. Google Reader lets you place all the various blogs into folders. I organized mine in several categories to make reading easier. Love it. Give it a shot if you have lots of subscriptions.



Posted by : Becca | On : July 17, 2008

Looking for a job, that is.

When you’re searching for a work from home job, you need to treat the job search as a job! It’s a competitive world out there. For each work from home job there are potentially hundreds of applicants. As fuel prices rise there are even more people seeking employment from home or asking their current employers if they can telecommute.

The first thing you need to do is make an honest assessment of your experience and skills. Start building a strong resume. Not only should you include your past work experience and skills, but you should focus on accomplishments at your previous positions. When describing your past work experience don’t just focus on the tasks you performed. Succinctly explain the RESULTS of the tasks you performed. For example, if you were in a sales position, you could state that you grew your account base by 30%, or that you gained “X” number of clients for the company.

A common issue with WAH job seekers is that some of them have been out of the work force for a long period of time and feel they have nothing to put on a resume. Whatever experience you have put it on that resume! You may have done volunteer work, helped your church with bookkeeping or designed a web site for a friend. Use those things. Something to know as well is that you do not have to put dates on your resume. There are different schools of thought on this. Some will tell you that you must include dates of employment. I disagree. Unless the job posting states that it is required, it isn’t! Put down your experience and if it’s relevant, you may just get that interview. If questions about time of employment come up at that point, answer them honestly. It’s OK to say that you took time off to spend time with family.

If you are uncomfortable with your resume writing skills you may want to seek help from a friend or even a professional resume writing service. It may be a stretch for you to spend the money, but in the long run this investment in your future will pay off.

How's your resume performing?

One very important element in the job search is to follow the instructions on the job posting. If the employment ad says “no phone calls” do NOT call them. If it says email your resume to a certain email address, do that. If it says to go to their website and fill out an online application, do that. This may seem simple, but you have no idea how many people don’t do this. If you follow the instructions to the letter your chances of being selected for an interview go way up.

When you get that interview it is important that you focus on one thing: how you will be valuable to the employer. This isn’t the time to focus on how great the job would be for you, but how great you would be for the company. Before your interview find out as much as you can about the company. Write out a list of ways you can bring value to the company in the position. Also have a list of any questions you may have about the position. It helps to have these things written out. Interviews can be stressful. When you’re nervous you are more likely to forget things you want to say or questions you want to ask. Keep your resume and cover letter in front of you to refer to also. Be on time for you interview. Have a positive attitude and show them how you will be a benefit to their organization.

Once you have completed your interview make sure you send a thank you note to the person who took the time to interview you. It is a nice way to keep yourself at the front of their minds and to leave a good impression. Show that you appreciate their time and let them know you are looking forward to hearing from them.

A common complaint from WAH employers is that they end up with people who really don’t want to work, or that can’t seem to perform the tasks effectively. The purpose of a work from home job is not for you to spend more time with your children. The purpose is to perform the tasks your employer requires and to do the job well. Make sure you have appropriate care for your children while you are working. It is unrealistic for most people to think that they can have four hours of uninterrupted quiet time to work while supervising toddlers. Be honest with yourself about your situation and find the type of job that suits you and your situation the best.

Finding the perfect work at home job is not an easy task, but it is worth it when you find the right one for you. Check out this list of companies that hire workers from home to see if there might be a fit for you.

Good luck out there!



Posted by : Becca | On : April 3, 2008

I’ve posted about Squidoo a few times and I must say it continues to be a fun way to get information out there and connect with others who have similar interests. For those of you unfamiliar with Squidoo, it’s basically a place where you can build single web pages (called lenses) on specific topics for FREE! Their tools make it so simple to share with the world anything you want, and you can make some money while doing it. It’s a win-win situation.

My lens count is now over 50. I have a few on working and making money from home and a whole bunch about my passion – live theater. Another part of Squidoo I’ve really enjoyed is the sense of community there. There are lens groups you can join to connect with others, and forums where lensmasters communicate about everything from regular chit-chat to how to make better lenses. Everyone I’ve come across has been happy to give advice and help out. It’s a fantastic group of people!

While it hasn’t been “making a living” money, I’ve also earned some nice spare cash from my lenses and each month the amount I’ve earned has increased. Gotta love that! I encourage you to check it out for yourself. Take a topic you’re interested in and build a page and you’ll see how easy it is! Have fun!

Check out my lens



Posted by : Becca | On : March 5, 2008

There are so many folks on Yahoo Answers asking “are there real, legit work at home jobs?” Of course we know there are many legitimate telecommuting jobs available, yet there are so many answers insisting this is not true. There are also many answers, giving links to affiliate programs and MLM/Network Marketing opportunities.

Now, I believe that MLM/Network Marketing is absolutely a valid option for many people, but when someone wants a JOB, that isn’t what they are looking for. It’s frustrating to so many who do simply want a job – they want to trade hours for dollars and get a paycheck. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I feel bad when those folks are overwhelmed with home business opportunities.

I take folks at their word. If they ask about jobs, I give them information about jobs. If they ask about home businesses, I give them information about home businesses.

Why some people feel the need to completely ignore the actual question being asked is beyond me. People just want honest answers, and that’s what they deserve.

Bottom line on Yahoo Answers, you’ll find a lot of good information on there, a lot of irrelevant information and some downright scams. Everyone must do their due diligence when seeking home employment. There ARE good jobs out there and I wish you all the best in finding one that suits your needs!