Archive for the ‘Home Office’ Category

• Group Health For Elance Freelancers

Elance, one of the freelance job boards, has established a partnership with eHealth to health insurance for small businesses and freelance professionals who work online. Is a retirement plan next?

The partnership will provide the U.S. based Elance community with “free health insurance quotes, the ability to compare over 10,000 health insurance products from carriers nationwide and the option to purchase quality health insurance products through an online, paperless process. Members of the Elance community will also have access to a call center staffed with licensed health insurance agents for personal assistance.”

A recent survey conducted by Elance revealed that a majority (51%) of respondents didn’t know how healthcare reform was going to affect them, and 24% expressed concern that healthcare reform would have a negative impact on independent workers. Although cost was cited as the largest barrier for obtaining health insurance, the majority of survey respondents (85%) identified lack of quality information as a major challenge in selecting health insurance as an independent worker.

To visit Elance’s healthcare resource, go to: http://www.elance.com/p/healthcare.html

• Commute for Fun, Not for Work

Now here’s a switch, instead of commuting to work, this snowboarding enthusiast chose telework so he can commute to fun! Here’s a video he put together for Elance’s “What does your cloud commute look like?” video contest.

In case you don’t know, Elance is one of the largest online freelance job boards in the world. $25,000 new projects are posted every month. You can submit your own video to the Elance Cloud Commute contest through November 17th.. The Grand Prize winner gets a trip to the world capital of their choice. Second place gets you an iPad! And there are more prizes too.

As for Ted Bendixson, the snowboarding freelance copywriter who did this video, he works from home whenever he’s not out enjoying the sunshine and trying gnarly new tricks. If the weather isn’t so great, he just stays inside and puts in a few extra hours. Mother Nature determines his schedule—he says she’s the friendliest boss you’ll ever meet!

In his own words:

A lot of people ask me how I got started, and I only have one answer - in the trenches. I used lower-paying writing gigs to build up a portfolio, and once I had a big enough reputation, I used it to get more of the better paying jobs. Freelance writing started off as part-time work to supplement my job waiting tables out in Mt. Hood Oregon, and in less than one year, I took the business full-time.

Because my clients come from all around the world, and I meet them on sites like Elance, Odesk, and Vworker, it doesn’t really matter where I live. Last spring, I decided to take the plunge and fly out to New Zealand for a southern hemisphere winter. I worked from my home the entire time I was there, and my business didn’t suffer in the slightest.

If I have a tip for anyone, it’s this. When you deliver quality work, and you are always striving to learn more about the fundamentals of your business, you will do well no matter where you are. You can even grow out your hair, wear baggy clothes, and snowboard in the summer.

If you need some gnarly copy, you can reach Ted at his Elance site. We may use him ourselves thanks to his video intro.

• New Telework Friendly Communities Page Coming

Looking for a new home in a community that’s friendly to telework? You’ve come to the right place . . . or at least it will be soon.

A couple days ago, out of cyberspace, we received this email message:

“I found your site through telework.org.uk when asking for a similar site in the US. I am a software consultant who works from home and am looking for a place to advertise the very teleworker friendly community of Rainier, Oregon. Would you be interested in starting a section on such communities?”

Heck yes, we said—if you’ll accept the job as Communities Editor (fancy title in leu of fancy salary).

Heck yes, he said.

So we’ll let Scott introduce himself:

I was a road warrior doing about 130 days a year on the road and living in Baltimore.  My wife works for EDS/HP and does project management and is a full time teleworker. When our son graduated from high school my wife wanted to move close to family considering my time on the road and the empty house during the week due to my road time and my only requirement for where I lived was close to a regional airport and high speed internet.  This prompted me to look outside that commuting radius of Portland Oregon for a place on the water with low property prices and hight speed internet, enter Rainier, OR.  Shortly after moving to Rainier I was diagnosed with cancer and the following year meant no road time.  Fortunately my management worked with me and found work that allowed me to keep my job in a remote status.  Things worked out well enough that when I was cancer free it developed into a full time “remote” position.   But it does look like the work done will create several more full time remote positions within our team in the future.

An inspirational story and precisely the kind of situation that allows individuals, companies, and communities to benefit from telecommuting.

Scott will have the first entry for our new Telework Communities page up in the next few days. Sign up for the RSS feed or come back and visit and we’ll have the straight poop on telework friendly communities for you.