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Remote workers without a home office may miss opportunities

Zillow • Oct 3, 2013 at 4:07 PM

By: S.E. Slack

Remote employees taking advantage of a public high speed Internet connection to get their work done had better not let their employer know.

They hog a table for four, have cell phones attached to their heads and spread their paperwork all around their laptop so they can work in comfort. They are in the cafes of the Indie Arts Capital of the World and right here in downtown Norwalk. But most of their employers want them to work from their homes.

Korynn Stark, Recruitment Services Manager with TalenTrust, said employers she works with prefer workers to have their own high speed Internet connection.

“It’s a must,” she says, “not a plus.”

Employers can be picky in today’s economy and Stark has found that among those willing to hire non-traditional employees, lack of a high speed Internet connection is considered an indicator of unreliability. Her employers, she said, want personnel who can work effectively from home.

Remote workers represent an enormous talent pool for most employers since location technically doesn’t matter. As Stark indicates, however, employers do expect workers to be professional.

Some workers think they can beat the system, though. TechCrunch reported that Apple uses a variety of methods to check on their remote workers during training sessions and work hours.

One way they check is by asking trainees to turn the camera on themselves. It’s immediately apparent to trainers not only whether or not the worker is paying attention but where they are located. Trying to mask other customers in a crowded café is pretty tough.

Pew Research stated that more than two-thirds of adults older the age of 18 have a swift Internet connection. Roughly 10 percent of them work from home. Stark says more of them could if they wanted to; she’s got plenty of positions to fill. She doesn’t like ruling out candidates but if she discovers their primary ‘home office’ is at the local Starbucks, she has no choice but to cut them from her list.

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