Remote workers, also called telecommuters, make their living working from home, usually doing digital work on a computer. Many people think of telecommuters as millennials living in their parents’ basement or new moms trying to get in a few hours of work each week. But with the average telecommuter being a professional in their late forties making almost $60,000 per year, working remotely has never been a more viable option for anyone with a high speed internet connection.

Whether you work remotely or in an office, it can be hard to imagine just how many telecommuters are out there. According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, there are nearly 3.2 million Americans who spend at least half of their work hours telecommuting. This includes both those who are self-employed, and those who work remotely for their companies. Studies have shown that men and women almost equally make up the remote workforce.

Why Would Someone Work Remotely?

While some people thrive in a bustling environment and might find working remotely to be isolating, that does not seem to be the case for most remote workers. Because of the reliability of internet connection and technological communication tools, many workers reported feeling more connected with their coworkers through the use of video conferencing and messaging apps.

The average American spends 25 minutes driving to and from work – that’s almost an hour per day (Or over ten full days of commuting in a year). Obviously, this time will vary from person to person. Telecommuting is a good way of “going green” and reducing your carbon footprint, as well as giving you extra time each day for things that matter more than sitting in a car.

For big companies, hiring remote workers saves millions of dollars each year, which can end up back in your pocket. A report by Forbes stated that companies like American Express save up to $15 million per year in office space costs, and Aetna, who has up to 35,000 remote workers, saves $78 million annually.

The Forbes report also insists this is a growing trend, which aligns with data from other studies as well. They suggest that by 2020, 1 in 3 workers will be hired to work solely online. People are drawn to remote working because of flexible policies and workspaces, as well as the ability to work on their own time that fits with their schedule. This flexibility allows employees to find what works best for them to maximize productivity. American Express, for example, surveys employees to find if they should work in one of the following categories: Hub, Club, Roam, and Home. Hub employees work onsite in the office, Club employees have flexible in-person and virtual roles, Roam workers are constantly on the road, and Home workers are remotely based in home offices. This flexibility is common in America’s most successful companies, and shows the company’s’ value and trust in their workers.

Downsides of Working Remotely: As with most things in life, there are some downsides of working remotely. For example, some people reported less availability of promotions for work-from-home positions. Others who have a hard time focusing stated they were less productive at home, though many telecommuters reported they can get more work done in less time when at home. Also, access to reliable internet is vital to a successful remote position. ZIRKEL Wireless provides reliable, high speed internet to Steamboat Springs and surrounding areas in Northern Colorado, but many people in rural or mountainous areas don’t have the same access to reliable internet.

How Do I Work From Home?

Whether you want to start your own business or work for someone else, knowing how to score a remote job is important to your success. Many professions offer work-from-home positions, and many businesses offer benefits for remote employees. Finding the right company and profession is key. There are an abundance of customer service positions available remotely, from big corporations like Amazon, to small and local businesses. Editors, proofreaders, and transcriptionists are increasingly working from home in the publishing profession, and many online schools look for virtual teachers and tutors. Many remote workers run their own blogs or online stores where they sell products they make at home.

If You Are Telecommuting in Northern Colorado, We Can Help

For a long time, the mountainous area surrounding Steamboat Springs and Yampa Valley didn’t have reliable access to high speed internet, and telecommuting would have been impossible. ZIRKEL Wireless provides everything you need to be successful at your remote job, and we pride ourselves on being the most reliable and affordable internet provider in Moffat and Routt counties. Contact us today to find out more about our high speed internet services!