Unconventional telecommuting jobs you may have not known about
Telecommuting affords us the opportunity to work anywhere we want. As long as the technology is installed on the machine and there is an internet connection, you can work from anywhere, whether that’s in your bunny slippers or on the beach. Telecommuting used to be only in the purview of Information Technology (IT) jobs, but the same technology is making some unlikely professions available for remote work.
Cloud-based video conferencing software takes telecommuting out of the land of the computer nerd and allows more people to get into the game. So, by addition of applications like Slack, Skype, Sococo, Room, and others, you are able to have secure conversations from anywhere in the world. Here, we’re highlighting five professions which can now be done from home.
Speech therapists (or “speech language pathologists”) teach people how to speak properly when a speech disorder is present. Often times this may be applied after somebody has suffered a major accident.
Most speech therapists are employed by a school system where they teach children and teens how to overcome their speech-related problems. A little more than half of therapists work in an education setting. The rest can be found in hospitals, private practice, and senior centers.
As we’ve become more technologically adept, it’s more realistic to get a remote job in speech therapy. Possibilities for these types of positions can be seen in the underprivileged school systems who aren’t able to afford a full-time on-site speech therapist. By working through video conferencing, they can see and hear distant patients and demonstrate their techniques for solving their problems. Another solution for remote speech therapy is for people who want to recover in their home from strokes and other afflictions of the language centers.
Telemedicine is offering some powerful alternatives to our traditional ways of working within the health system.
Psychiatrists evaluate people’s mental health and prescribe medication and other therapies that help patients cope with their issues. For psychiatrists who practice telemedicine, using video and smartphones can help them easily connect with patients to evaluate their progress. While an initial visit may be necessary, ongoing visits can easily be facilitated using telecommuting. This frees up time to visit new patients and deal with patients that need a one-on-one approach.
Some patients may actually be more comfortable with talking via video than making a journey to an office and speaking with someone in person. In fact, certain populations of people, like those who are fearful of going out of their homes (agoraphobics), welcome this form of therapy. It can help them be more receptive to therapy. The same benefits apply whether you’re doing psychiatry, counseling, or psychology.
Lawyers can often do a lot of their job through video, and with the use of digital signature technology, clients may not even have to come in to sign papers. By interacting with clients virtually, confidentiality can be preserved, and it can help people who cannot travel get easier access to a lawyer. There is also evidence that giving lawyers time to telecommute helps them be more productive in the courtroom. By placing them more in control of their schedule, they are able to better prepare their difficult cases.
Costs can also be significantly reduced, as the lawyer no longer needs to have a fancy office for show. Because of telecommuting, they can practice their trade from the comfort of their own home… perfect for a solo operation.
The computers and video conferencing allow client and lawyer to meet and keep their conversations private. This lowers the overhead costs of the practice, which in turn can be handed down to clients who need a cheaper rate. By extending this paradigm to paralegals and assistants, costs can be lowered all around, and those savings can be passed on to the client.
Telemedicine is a booming field, but on the surface it can seem like an unusual place for telecommuting. Don’t doctors need physical access to a patient to check symptoms and vital signs? They do, but there’s a growing number of ways for doctors to get the data they need through special devices or applications on smartphones. For instance, testing for sleep apnea used to require a stay at a sleep center, but most CPAP machines have an SD card that holds the data. CPAP machines are also able to upload the patient’s treatment data.
Telemedicine is the future for several reasons – one of the most important being that it allows doctors to see patients more efficiently. Electronic health monitors reduce the amount of mundane tasks they need to do, and lets them focus on their primary job – diagnosis.
Of course, telemedicine and telecommuting will not completely remove the doctor from the office. We’d need robot physicians for that to happen. But telemedicine can help doctors triage which cases really need a physical visit and which ones don’t. Reading health data statistics from afar is the first step.
Most people’s interaction with pharmacists are at drug store counters, but there’s a whole back end to the pharmaceutical profession that can take advantage of telecommuting. Take, for instance, remote order entry pharmacists. Their role is to work with research doctors and hospitals to study possible drug treatments. They identify, assess, and solve medication-related problems. This work doesn’t require in-person visits with a patient. They just need the data from the doctor.
Hospital pharmacies are also a place where telecommuting pharmacists have an advantage. Doctors and nurses act as the go-betweens; placing orders for medications. Coming up with treatment plans and assessing doctors on the risks is something that can easily be done via video rather than being down in a hospital basement all day.
Telecommuting used to be the domain of IT, but now it’s big among the health professions and in educational fields as well. In-person communication isn’t always necessary, and the cost and time benefits of telecommuting are too much for many companies to ignore.
Perhaps most of us will be able to skip the drive and work from home one day.