If working for yourself sounds like a major pain, don’t worry. There are still plenty of real work-from-home jobs in which you can work for an established company. These are more traditional jobs where a company hires you and pays an hourly wage. Typically, these jobs involve addressing customer questions and calls which are directed virtually to your own phone.
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.
Since 2000, US federal law (Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act) requires each Executive agency to establish a telecommuting policy allowing eligible employees to participate in telecommuting to the maximum extent possible, so long as the employee’s performance is not diminished. Notably, telework is not an employee right, i.e., Federal law mandates that agencies must establish telework programs, but does not give individual employees a legal right to telework.
Freelance writers can more easily be thought of as a “writer for hire” or someone who is contracted out to write about a particular topic. If you have some writing chops, but don’t want to deal with all the extra work that goes into running a blog, you can hire yourself out and write for newspapers, large online publications and even other bloggers.