Learn About Working From Home

Have you ever dreamed of working from home? Through the advancement of technology, dozens of industries have begun to offer “at-home positions” on a contract or employment basis.

Telecommunication jobs are on the rise with online work becoming available for writers, teachers, customer service representatives, transcriptionists and more. 

The ability to work from home offers numerous benefits, including a more flexible schedule, the avoidance of traffic and other daily nuisances and you gain the capacity to save more from the cost of commuting to work.

Telecommunication can be just as beneficial to employers, as businesses gain the ability to hire the best rather than just from candidates in their local area.

Employees who work at home have been found to be more productive and typically take fewer sick days. 

If you are interested in finding a position where you can work from home, it is important to learn more about telecommunication, the positions that may be available to you and the differences between being considered an employee and being considered self-employed.

Why telecommunication?

Telecommunication refers to any position in any industry where you work from home. Therefore, telecommunication encompasses several different work-from-home positions and private contractors.

Employers, employees and contractors can often see several benefits from telecommunication, including: 

  • Employees are generally more productive. 
  • Employees are generally happier and more loyal to a company. 
  • Administrative and office space-related costs decrease. 
  • Employees and contractors can be hired from anywhere in the world. 
  • Elimination of daily commutes. 
  • A reduction in unscheduled absences. 

Employed vs. Self-Employed

While working from home often presents a more flexible work schedule and overall greater satisfaction, it is important to learn about the difference between employees and self-employed contractors as telecommunication positions are not without their potential drawbacks. 

Although not always, employers that offer remote positions typically hire workers as private contractors rather than employees. When this occurs, it is crucial that you understand that, as a private contractor or “freelancer”, you will be considered self-employed.

This means that you may not receive several benefits that are offered to employees in a traditional office setting, such as: 

  • Paid sick time. 
  • Health insurance benefits. 
  • 401k
  • Retirement and pension opportunities. 

In fact, contractors are not afforded the same job security as a traditional employee. For example, in the U.S., a former employee may be entitled to unemployment insurance benefits after being laid off or unjustly fired from a position.

However, if you are considered self-employed, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits regardless of why you lost your position or how long you worked for a company. 

Statistically, freelancers and contractors can earn up to 45 percent more in income compared to traditional employees. Self-employed contractors must also pay a far higher tax rate.

While the tax rate is staggeringly higher for the self-employed, contractors generally qualify for far more tax deductions due to business-related expenses.

Additionally, telecommunication offers the ability to reduce daily spending due to the elimination of daily commutes, the cost of childcare (when applicable) and a reduction in food costs. 

Unlike employees, most contractors and freelancers have the ability to create their work schedule. In most scenarios, employers provide deadlines for contractors rather than setting specific work hours depending on the telecommunication industry.

However, some employers will require contractors to set a schedule within pre-discussed business hours. 

Understanding Self-Employment Taxes and Deductions 

Self-employment often has the highest tax rates within the United States. Therefore, if you are interested in working from home, it is important to learn more about these tax rates as well as the deductions that you may qualify for. 

The reason that self-employment is plagued by higher tax rates is that the self-employed contractor must pay the employee and employer portion of Medicare and Social Security taxes.

If you were considered an employee, your employer would be responsible for a portion of those taxes.

While self-employment tax rates are high, contractors can deduct business expenses from the amount that he or she would otherwise be expected to pay towards taxes.

In telecommunication, the most common deduction is the home office deduction. This deduction allows you to deduct a portion of your rent, utilities and broadband bill.

If you own your home, you may also deduct a portion of your mortgage instead of a rental amount. 

Depending on your job description, you may have other monthly expenses that can be deducted from your taxes, such as a portion of your cell phone bill if you utilize your phone for your job.

When entering these types of business expense-related deductions, the amount of your deduction is calculated by your bill amount and the percentage that you use a service for business or personal use.

For example, if you have a cell phone bill that is $100.00 a month and 50 percent of your phone uses is for business-related use, then your deduction would be $50 per month for each month that your usage remains unchanged within the year. 

As self-employed contractors are not typically offered health insurance benefits, a contractor’s health care premiums can also be considered tax-deductible.

In addition to the premiums on their policy, a contractor may be able to deduct premiums that were paid to cover a spouse and dependents who are younger than 27 years of age, as long as those individuals did not have access to another form of health insurance. 

Other common self-employed deductions include business expenses that are related to travel.

If you drive your vehicle for work-related purposes, you can deduct a portion of your maintenance costs, gas costs and more. If traveling for business, a portion of food-related expenses may also be included. 

For all business-related tax deductions, it is crucial that you always keep a detailed record of your expenses and that you keep all of your receipts in case you need to provide them in the event of a tax audit. 

The Types of Work From Home Positions Available 

Telecommunication has become a part of dozens of industries. When searching for positions that will allow you to work from home, you can often find careers in:

  • Writing. Writing careers, including blogging, content writing, copywriting, technical writing, editorial positions and ghostwriting have become some of the most common positions that can be done from home. 
  • Customer service and sales. Many U.S. employers have begun to allow customer service or sale representatives that would generally work within a call center environment to work from home. However, this line of work will generally still require employees to fulfill a set schedule.  
  • Transcriptionists and translators. Transcriptionists convert audio files to written texts. Depending on the position and industry, this career path may also involve transcribing to a written text that is in a different language than the language used in the audio format. 
  • Web Designers. Web design is another industry that has increased its capacity of remote employees and contractors. However, unlike many other positions, web designers are generally required to hold certain degrees to qualify for a position. 
  • Virtual teaching. In more recent years, virtual teaching has become a popular choice as the demand for online classes has increased. However, applicants must still meet all teaching-related eligibility requirements in order to obtain a position, and most positions for virtual teaching are at a college level. 

Learn How to Apply for Telecommunication Jobs

When searching for a position that would allow you to work from home, it is important to use keywords such as “remote” or “telecommunication” as your location, as you will likely receive a greater number of results.

You can apply for telecommunication jobs through traditional online job boards such as:

  • Indeed.com.
  • SimplyHired.com.
  • Glassdoor.com.
  • Careerbuilder.com.
  • Recruiter.com.