1. Parenting
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What is difference between telecommuting employees & independent contractors?

By

Question: What is difference between telecommuting employees & independent contractors?
Answer: Telecommuting is simply a term that means working from a remote location, often a home office. Telecommuters can be employees or independent contractors. However, many assume "telecommuting" means employment, so it is always best to clarify. Independent contractors, often known as freelancers or consultants, are self-employed and are often paid on a project basis. There are specific tax implications to being an independent contractor. Read more about the pros and cons of self-employment.

Employees, telecommuting or not, are not only directed by their employers in what work should be done but also how and when to do it. Employees usually receive regular paychecks, and taxes are taken out. Employee must receive minimum wage.

Though independent contractors are sometimes paid on a regular schedule, often they are paid upon completion of their project. Because the number of hours a project will take is not specified, minimum wage is not guaranteed. Taxes are not usually taken out of payments to independent contractors. And if paid $600 or more, independent contractors should receive a 1099-MISC tax form from their client to file with their income taxes.

Question: So what does all this mean for the typical work-at-home mom?

Answer: Work-at-home moms could be telecommuting employees or independent contractors. Each has it's own pros and cons. But the differences between the two can affect child care arrangements.

Keep in mind that, if you are an employee, your company expects to direct your day-to-day actions, though how much varies greatly. But this means you should have a clear understanding with your employer about your child care arrangements. If you plan to work and watch your kids simultaneously, your boss must sign off on it.

Independent contractors have a lot more flexibility in this area since the end product is usually all their clients are interested in. However some companies that hire independent contractors for jobs like call-center agents expect you to have a distraction free work environment.

  1. About.com
  2. Parenting
  3. Work-at-Home Moms
  4. Telecommuting
  5. Telecommuting Employee or Independent Contractor - Differences and Definitions - Telecommuter or Freelancer

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.