What do you think about home-based jobs and what does it mean to be “employed” today? We immediately think of an employed person as one who gets up in the morning to prepare for the workday ahead, commutes to work, arrives at an office and spends the day there usually from 9 to 5.
But we probably all know someone who doesn’t have to go through the daily routine of “employment.” When asked about what they do and where they work, they’ll usually say “Oh, I’m a writer/web developer/digital marketer and I work from home.” For most of us, that sounds like the perfect way to work. No hassle, no boss, no need to dress up or commute and get stuck in rush hour traffic.
Why are more and more people getting into home-based jobs today? It’s certainly not just a phase where people try to get by until a bigger opportunity comes along. As it seems, home-based jobs are the big opportunity that people want to achieve for themselves.
Let’s get to know the ever-changing definition of what it means to be employed and why home-based jobs are the future of employment.
From the Industrial Revolution to the Digital Boom
With the new inventions that emerged during the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution blossomed and transformed the manufacturing industry in Europe and then it spread to America. This meant an enormous change in the way people earned a living.
Before, agriculture was the main source of livelihood for people. But during the rise of new industries in manufacturing, people left their rural lifestyles and moved to the cities to find work in factories where they operated machines. Among the things they made were cloth, steel, paper, glass, and pottery.
Moving from Factory Jobs
What followed was the Technological Revolution in the mid-19th century to the early 20th century. During this time, further advancement in production and manufacturing made it possible for technological systems to spread. This meant greater railroad networks, telegraph communication, and availability of water and gas supply.
With the expansion of both the telegraph lines and the railroad system, more and more people moved to areas where there were greater opportunities for employment. At that time, jobs were no longer limited to factories. Jobs became available in numerous new sectors such as the communications sector as telegraph operators.
When mechanical technology shifted to digital electronics, it marked the beginning of the Digital Revolution in the 1950s. The use of computers in major industries spread and it continues to be important today. It transformed production, technologies, as well as business techniques.
When before, the economy was based mainly on industrialization, it then shifted to being based on information technology. Manufacturing and industries became more automated and more people began working on computers in their offices. Jobs were mainly focused on “mind workers” such as consultants, executives, scientists, teachers, lawyers, engineers, and doctors.
The Changing Definition of being “Employed”
Fast forward to the present, we are now at a time where computers and the Internet are accessible to most of us. Communicating with colleagues at work is possible through mobile phones and instant messaging and social networks.
Collaboration for projects has become easy with various project management applications. Person to person meetings are becoming more and more inconvenient and obsolete. We no longer have to rely on our company for electronic equipment such as computers and Internet connection. We can do our work right at home.
Today, employment is no longer about creating a physical object like that in manufacturing. It is also no longer limited to reporting to the office. Many home-based workers today are freelancers who can take on several projects or clients at a time.
So, how to be a freelance writer for example? For as long as you have the necessary equipment to do the job at home which is basically a computer and Internet connection, you can produce the output that is required of you by your client and earn a good living out of it.
Benefits of Home-based Employment
Home-based employment benefits not just the freelancer but the client as well. For the freelancer, there is much freedom from being able to work from home. It means more time with the family or for oneself. Most projects can be done on flexi-time. Freelancers can pick the hours when they want to work.
Freelancers can take their jobs anywhere. It can be at a coffee shop, by the beach, at a friend’s house, or a co-working space. This mobility is not possible for traditional office-based jobs. There, we are assigned to our own desk or cubicle where we do the work.
And perhaps the biggest benefit of all for the freelancers is the boundless opportunities for employment. No longer limited to his or her city, a freelancer can search for jobs on the other side of the world and do the work right in the comfort of home.
Employers or clients also have plenty of advantages with the rise of home-based employment. Today, you can hire freelancers from all over the world. You can tap global talents, meet them online, and collaborate. There’s no need to rent a space to keep an office. They have their own equipment. So, that’s another cost that you don’t have to worry about. Clients themselves can work right at home, too.
The world has become much smaller and it is now easier to connect with anyone anywhere on the planet. Home-based employment is great news for anyone who wants to spend more time with their families or simply want to have more control over their time.
Almost everyone has a computer and Internet connection today. That means anyone, with enough necessary skills, can shift from traditional employment to home-based jobs. It may sound scary at first and it’s easy to feel that it’s not stable and secure. But with more employers seeking to save overhead costs of keeping offices, home-based jobs will continue to be more available for anyone in the world. And surely, the demand for such employment will go on for the foreseeable future.