Some workers are finding it more economical to just stay home
Eagle, WI. August 26, 2005. As gas prices fast approach the $3 per gallon mark, many employees are counting the cost of getting to and from work. For some who commute long distances, it could almost seem like an employment tax. They have no choice but to drive to get to their jobs, and yet they have seen gas prices almost double since 2002. Sure public transport is an option, but not for everybody. Even car pooling is not an option when you live out in some of the more rural areas and have to commute in to the city.
For many people, the answer has been to give up the long commute times and associated fuel costs for work from home opportunities. Some have successfully persuaded employers that their role can be carried out at least as well from their own home offices. Still others have not only given up the commute, but also corporate life as they pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and start their own home based businesses.
In concert with the growth of home-based entrepreneurialism is the trend for businesses of all sizes to outsource functions which historically have been fulfilled from inside the organization. According to Dun & Bradstreet the US market for outsourcing grew from $100 billion to $345 billion in the four years from 1996 and has continued to grow apace since then.
It is not just large organizations who are looking to outsource. Small business owners who can not or do not wish to directly hire people can now have their business staffed by outside contractors who work virtually from their own home offices. They can contract a graphic designer to design their logo, a web designer to build their website, a book keeper to keep their accounts in order, and even a Virtual Assistant to take care of their administrative and marketing needs.
Web designers, computer programmers, graphic designers, and book keepers, are just a few of the occupations leading this trend towards working virtually from their own home offices. One of the fastest growing groups of seasoned professionals who have left the corporate world to become home-based entrepreneurs is Virtual Assistants. Before becoming a Virtual Assistant, I used to commute 90 miles a day to and from work says Yvonne McCoy, owner of Swift Office Services LLC. When I consider how much that would cost me in gas now, and factor in child care costs, it really starts to look like a very small return for a lot of time away from home. Since starting my own business, I feel as though I have got my life back and am no longer having to pay for the privilege of going to work.
As this trend towards entrepreneurialism and home-working continues, it is likely Virtual Assistants like McCoy will become highly sought after. They are undoubtedly a great solution for the small business owner who can not afford to directly hire an assistant and provide them with a desk, computer and all the paraphernalia that goes with an employee. It really is a win-win situation. The business owner gets the services of a top notch personal assistant, while the Virtual Assistant is able to complete projects while balancing work and family. The business owner pays only for time on task – the Virtual Assistant buys all her own equipment, and sets up her own office.
Of course rising gas prices are not the only reason people decide to work from home. But the savings in terms of traveling time and costs are certainly very nice side benefits. It is also reassuring to know that business support services are available virtually everywhere.
Yvonne McCoy has over twenty years administrative experience working in her native England and now here in Wisconsin. Through her business Swift Office Services LLC, she partners with business owners who recognize the benefit of outsourcing. She helps busy professionals with their administrative and marketing functions from her own fully equipped office in south east Wisconsin. More information available at http://www.SwiftOfficeServices.com