Telecommuting in the Finance World

By 2016, it's estimated that there will be 63 million people working from home, and the finance industry makes up a big chunk of these jobs already. Employees are finding options both as telecommuters with big companies and as financial entrepreneurs. Working from the comfort of home has a wealth of benefits for both the employer and the worker.

The Financial Sense Behind Telecommuting

Telecommuting is a financially smart decision for companies where the employees can do the same job in various environments. When it makes no real difference to the finished project whether the employee is in the office or in his own home, working from home makes financial sense for the company and the individual.

Companies that operate with a large number of telecommuters save money by eliminating large office space. Not only do they save on rent for an office building, they also save on everything from utilities to coffee and water coolers. Meanwhile, employees are saving money on their daily commute and may be able to trim other expenses such as dry cleaning when they don't have to maintain the same extensive workplace wardrobe.

Producing Better Financial Workers

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Not surprisingly, employees who work from home typically report lower levels of stress and higher levels of productivity. In a home office, there are no co-workers roaming about who can drop in for a chat or interrupt with a question. While it's still easy to communicate via email or video conferencing, it's easier to manage these types of messages and make it clear when you're too busy to be disturbed with trivial things.

Working from home also allows employees to spend more time with their families. They're often able to keep a more flexible schedule, allowing them to step away to deal with household chores or picking children up from school. Eliminating the daily commute puts time back into the employee's day that he can use to finish up a project for work or take care of personal matters at home.

Working for a Finance Agency or Independently

Finance jobs that don't require regular face-to-face contact are ideal for telecommuting. With more customers turning to the Internet to get their needs met, a phone call or online chat will often suffice where an office meeting was once required. Insurance agents, mortgage loan officers, and consumer collections agents can all work from home. In positions like insurance sales, employees also have the option of working for an agency or independently.

If you're experienced in the financial industry and want to break off from a big agency, the lure of working from home may be enough to get you to finally make the move. Those who are self-employed not only enjoy the freedom of working from home, they're also able to tailor their schedule to meet their individual needs. Financial planners frequently work independently, creating a brand around their own talents and trustworthiness. Some financial planners who don't keep an office space even meet with clients in a home office.

Exploring the World of the Day Trader

If you have a knack for predicting trends in the stock market, a career as a day trader may offer the perfect opportunity for telecommuting in the finance industry. This is one of the most flexible jobs available because most trades are opened and closed the same day. This allows you to work with an extremely flexible schedule. However, the perks of day trading do come at a price. You need to have the financial reserves to invest in your trades, and you should expect to spend the day glued to live news stations and analytical software while you're trading.

A day trader's income relies on a unique combination of his own knowledge and skills and the whims of the stock market. It's not a stable profession by any means, but it offers both flexibility and intrigue which may appeal to certain personality types.

Part-Time Telecommuting

Many companies are electing to participate in telecommuting part-time. This can work in a number of ways. Certified public accountants, tax researchers, and financial analysts are increasingly working from home for most of the week, coming into the office just a few times a week.

In other companies, telecommuting is something that's offered on a case-by-case basis. Though some employers may believe that collaborative work is best done in a traditional office, it's obvious that employee flexibility is also important. He says that working from home is preferable to taking a day off, making telecommuting a convenient alternative to taking personal time away from the job. Technology today makes it possible for employees to take work home on an as-needed basis. Some companies provide laptops to facilitate just that.

Financial employers often report that they like to get to know an employee in the office before they decide whether telecommuting will work for them. For many workers, telecommuting a few days a week is the perfect compromise to help them balance their work and home lives. Others choose to do all their work from home, but only work part-time as they're gradually stepping away from the office toward retirement.

Finding Your Niche

Telecommuting isn't right for all jobs in the finance industry, but there are some key factors that can help you decide whether telecommuting might work for you. If you have little to no face-to-face contact with clients, working from home is a definite possibility. You can often collaborate with co-workers via video conferencing or online chats, or head in for meetings on occasion. If you have the skills and talents to do your job independent of a bigger company, you may even be ready to work for yourself from your home office.

The finance industry is second only to business services as the top choice for telecommuting. With an increasing number of jobs breaking away from the confines of the office and moving to remote locations, the opportunities for building a finance career from home are limited only by your ability to find a need and fill it.

Contributed to by Kim Hale

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