Telecommuting gained ground in the United States in 1996 after "Clean Air Act amendments were adopted with the expectation of reducing carbon dioxide and ground-level ozone levels by 25 percent." The act required companies with over 100 employees to encourage car pools, public transportation, shortened work weeks, and telecommuting. In 2004, an appropriations bill was enacted by Congress to encourage telecommuting for certain Federal agencies. The bill threatened to withhold money from agencies that failed to provide telecommuting options to all eligible employees.
Consider ergonomic best practices when choosing a desk, chair, keyboard, mouse, phone or headset, and other core pieces of your workspace. Standing desks have gained in popularity and have been shown to offer huge health benefits. Pay attention to natural lighting, air circulation, wall colors, artwork, and plant life in your home office space to maximize its wellness powers.
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On May 24, 2010, the Senate passed the Telework Enhancement Act (S. 707) sponsored by Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio). The bill grants Federal employees eligibility to telework and requires Federal agencies to establish telework policies and identify telework managers. On July 14, 2010, the House passed the Telework Improvements Act of 2010 (H.R. 1722) with a vote of 290-131. The U.S. Senate passed the final version of the legislation by unanimous consent on September 29, 2010 and the House passed it with a bipartisan vote of 254-152 on November 18, 2010. On December 9, 2010 President Obama signed H.R. 1722, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, into law. The Telework Enhancement Act of 2012 provided a framework for U.S. agencies to offer teleworking as a viable option to employees. By increasing the number of employees who telework, the Telework Enhancement Act has three main objectives. (1) Improve continuity of operations, (2) Promote management Effectiveness and (3) Enhance work-life balance.
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As more companies transition to a remote workforce, the number of virtual call center jobs increases. Often, experience in an office call center or even a retail job is enough to land a home-based call center job. If you speak more than one language, consider getting a bilingual call center job, which tends to have perks due to the additional knowledge needed.
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In general, telecommuting benefits society in economic, environmental, and personal ways. The wide application of ICTs provides increasing benefits for employees, especially ones with physical disabilities. It also leads to a more energy-saving society without adversely impacting economic growth. Telecommuting offers benefits to communities, employers, and employees. For communities, telecommuting may offer fuller employment (by increasing the employability of circumstantially marginalized groups such as work at home parents and caregivers, the disabled, retirees, and people living in remote areas), reducing traffic congestion and traffic accidents, relieving pressure on transportation infrastructure, reducing greenhouse gases, reducing energy use, and improving disaster preparedness.