As a transcriptionist, you will transcribe either video or voice recordings into written words. Although medical transcription is what usually comes to mind, the fact is that there is now far more need for general transcriptionists. With businesses and bloggers turning increasingly to podcasts and video to reach their audiences, these mediums are often turned into written content for marketing purposes or training materials.
The technology to communicate is not advanced enough to replicate face-to-face office interactions. Room for mistakes and miscommunication can increase. According to media richness theory, face-to-face interactions provide the capacity to process rich information: ambiguous issues can be clarified, immediate feedback can be provided, and there is personalized communication (e.g. body language, tone of voice). Telecommuting requires the use of various types of media to communicate, such as the telephone and email. Emails have a time lag that does not allow for immediate feedback; telephone conversations make it harder to decipher the emotions of the person or team on the phone; and both of these forms of communication do not allow one to see the other person. Typical organization communication patterns are thus altered in telecommuting. For instance, teams using computer-mediated communication with computer conferencing take longer to make group decisions than face-to-face groups. Workers tend to be satisfied with face-to-face interactions, phone conversations, and in-person departmental meetings to receive communications, but email and the Internet do not add to their communication satisfaction. This suggests that teleworking may not have the components for “rich communication” compared to face-to-face interactions, although one study found that virtual workers in a team were more satisfied with their technology-mediated communication than their in-person office communication.
Behind this service, of course, is a team of work-from-home stylists who pull together the outfits, client by client. Stylists get a rundown of the customer, then scramble to find something fabulous. Stylists must commit to working 15 to 30 hours per week and be available for an on-site training session in their city. Currently, Stitch Fix needs stylists in Austin, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco.
The online application process for these jobs—or perhaps “gigs” is the better word, since they're all for independent contractors—is pretty simple and straightforward with very little required of candidates. Some of these opportunities—like the micro-jobs—you could very well apply and start the same day. And these jobs require very little commitment and can typically be done on your own schedule.
Three of the five job attributes: skill variety, task identity, and task significance, influence how much employees think their jobs are meaningful. Skill variety is the degree that a job requires a variety of activities and skills to complete the task. An increase in skill variety is thought to increase the challenge of the job. Increasing the challenge of the job increases the individual’s experienced meaningfulness, how much the individual cares about work, and finds it worthwhile. Telework may not directly affect skill variety and task meaningfulness for the individual compared to when he or she worked in an office; however, skill variety and meaningfulness of individual tasks can increase when working in a group. If the work done at home is focused on the individual rather than the team, there may be fewer opportunities to use a variety of skills. Task identity is the degree that the individual sees work from beginning to end or completes an identifiable or whole piece of work rather than only a small piece. Task significance is the degree that the individual feels his or her work has a substantial impact on the lives or work of other people within the organization or outside the organization. Telework may not change the job characteristics of skill variety, task identity, and task significance compared to working in an office; however, the presence of these characteristics will influence teleworkers’ work outcomes and attitudes.
Some of the potential benefits and drawbacks of telecommuting can be explained by job characteristic theory, which proposes that the traits and tasks of the job itself affect employees’ work attitudes and behavior. If five characteristics of a job are present (skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback), then the employee in that job will experience more internal work motivation, satisfaction with personal growth opportunities, general job satisfaction, higher job performance, and lower absenteeism and turnover. Many studies have provided evidence that job characteristics influence employees’ behaviors and attitudes. Additionally, job characteristics can interact with individual differences to impact employee attitudes and behavior. Of these five job characteristics, telework specifically changes autonomy and feedback compared to face-to-face work and can thus influence employees’ behaviors and attitudes. According to Job Characteristics Theory, changes in autonomy and feedback influence work behaviors and attitudes more than a change in skill variety, task identity, or task significance.
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