10 Major Companies That Let You Work From Home
More than ever, work-at-home arrangements are benefiting both employees and the companies they work for. The benefits to the employee are clear: eliminating expensive and often stressful commutes; reducing spending on things like dry-cleaning, lunches, and parking; and having more time with family. In turn, by offering this benefit, employers can attract top talent and cut costs associated with office space. In addition, research has shown that workers who telecommute are more focused and productive, and put more time into actual work. The following 10 companies are among those employers that understand the symbiotic value of telecommuting.
- Aetna Life Insurance maintains an extensive telecommuting program: More than 25% of Aetna employees telecommute part-time or full-time. The option was first extended to claims adjusters but is now offered to employees in nursing, sales, product management, and other divisions. Employee surveys show high satisfaction rates.
- Cisco Systems, a global leader in communications technology, has offered telecommuting options to its employees for some time. In 2009, the average Cisco employee worked from home two days per week. Examples of Cisco telecommuters include voice engineers, network engineers, and sales representatives. According to Cisco, the company is "achieving new levels of efficiency and effectiveness by enabling people to work together no matter where they are located."
- American Airlines Vacations employs home-based reservations representatives. Representatives must reside within 50 miles of Fort Worth, Tucson, or Cary, North Carolina. AA’s telecommuters must have a dedicated workspace at home, a high-speed Internet connection, and a phone line dedicated to work calls. American Airlines conducts home visits to approve home offices before extending job offers.
- Apple offers at least two types of telecommuting positions. Employees who have at least one year of customer service experience and are highly knowledgeable about Mac products are eligible to become work-at-home sales associates. This full-time job involves providing customers with advice during purchases. This position requires availability at night and on weekends. Also, Apple fortifies its tech support team with telecommuters. Called Apple At Home Experts, these employees are required to have a quiet home workspace, an ergonomic chair, a landline, and an Internet connection.
- Allstate Insurance, an international insurance company, frequently advertises part-time telecommuting jobs for field claims adjusters and trial attorneys. Claims adjusters do not work exclusively from home; much of their work involves traveling to evaluate property damage and to negotiate settlements.
- Deloitte & Touche, the world’s largest professional services firm, offers an extensive telecommute program: More than 90% of Deloitte employees work remotely. Deloitte’s telecommuters include auditors, consultants, and others in the financial advice field.
- Sprint maintains two flexible work options. First, employees with the Sprint Mobile Workforce are based in a Sprint building but are not assigned personal workspaces. They can work at home, from communal space in a Sprint office, or at more than 100 mobile workspaces nationwide. Second, Sprint’s general telecommuting program lets employees do some or all of their work from home. Full-time telecommuters work at home at least three days per week. One drawback is that they’re not given Sprint office space. Other Sprint telecommuters may be offered personal workspace at a Sprint office.
- TDS Telecom, a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, sells telephone and Internet services in 30 states. The company’s work-at-home positions involve clerical work, data entry, and transcription. Salaries range from $32,000 to $54,000, and benefits are extended after 90 days. Employees provide their own computers and must maintain high-speed Internet access.
- Xerox hires people to take customer service calls from home. This job involves using standard scripts to field inquiries and respond to complaints about photocopiers, printers, and other office equipment. This work-at-home job can involve some human contact: Some Xerox telecommuters provide training to lower-level staff.
- 1-800-FLOWERS hires seasonal home-based workers to manage increased workloads around Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Employees must work at least 20 hours per week. When call volume is especially high, employees can expect to work up to 50 hours per week.
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