When it comes to working at home, there is a belief that real jobs that offer a fair salary do not exist. And that’s assuming you can even find work for a company that seeks home workers.
Here’s my prediction: The year 2014 and even into 2015 may be the best time to snag that coveted work at home job, with 2014 being the most active home-based hiring year. There will be an influx of companies hiring a staff of non-employees, opening the door for many to obtain a job that provides more than just a handful of cash. By non-employees, I am referring to individuals who work for a company as a freelancer, contractor, or 1099’er. Whatever you call them, these individuals carry the employment status, without the typical benefits associated with being an actual employee.
The Main Contributing Factor:
Health Care Reform
By now we’ve all heard the many opinions of how the new health care laws may affect small business, but little has been said about the potential benefits for home business seekers. Recent decisions and announcements pertaining to health care will change how employers hire and retain their workers.
Without going into the depths of all the new health care laws, bills, reforms and exchanges, I’ll get to the main point: the mandate. On July 2, 2013 the Obama Administration announced that employers with 50 or more workers have until 2015 to comply with a mandate to provide health insurance for their full-time employees.
The threshold that triggers this mandate is the “full-time” status. Employees who work at least 30 hours per week are considered to be full-time. So, if a company has at least 50 employees who work 30 hours or more each week, the mandate kicks in.
Don’t most companies with at least 50 employees already provide health insurance coverage? Yes, according to a CNNMoney article, in 2012, 96% of such companies did provide all their full-time workers insurance. That leaves a measly 4% who didn’t. But, when you really think about it, that 4% could mean hundreds of thousands of people. Not too measly if you ask me.
It is my belief that many small businesses – especially those within the 4% bracket – will opt not to reach the threshold. Not only because of the reporting requirements, but they don’t want the added expense of covering all their employees. Nor do they want any possible penalties involved with non-compliance. Even with the assistance and benefits of the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP, the small business section of the new health insurance marketplace that will allow small businesses to pool with other small businesses to lower the cost of insurance), employers will seriously consider reducing their workforce.
Why 2014 and not 2015 if the Mandate has been Extended?
Prior to the announcement of the extension, it is my assertion that small businesses weren’t sure what to think of, and how to act upon, the new health care laws. They were reluctant to make hasty decisions, although many companies decided to freeze new hiring or reduce their existing employee’s hours (Gallop Poll, April 2013).
Now that there is an extension, with no action expected by small businesses until 2015, companies are presented with the opportunity to take a hard look at their situation and evaluate their needs and future outcome. The majority of companies who fall in the 5% bracket will not jump on the bandwagon and immediately start reducing hours. These companies have time to weigh the pros and cons and figure out what they want to do. During the year 2014, I predict a drastic shift in the employment landscape as companies conduct lay-offs, reduce employee hours, or fire as a means to re-hire in favor of a work at home, contract-based staff.
Seize the Opportunity
This is your opportunity to let your skills and talents do the talking for you. With a potential increase of employers reducing their force over the next year or so, take advantage of what this can mean for you. Evaluate your abilities and desires and pursue educational advancements to aid in a career change.
As a non-employee, you will be responsible for many business decisions that you may have never considered. Your livelihood will depend on your next contract or your longevity with a company. You may have tax issues you haven’t previously encountered.
Don’t let these things scare you; you want to work from home for a reason so take advantage of the opportunities in front of you.