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Working from home can sound like the perfect set-up for you.
You have freedom and flexibility. You can work anytime that works for you, and you can wear your pajamas to the office. What could be better?
According to a study by Flex Jobs and Global Workplace Analytics, work from home jobs have grown significantly in popularity in recent years—115% in fact.
When people leave their jobs to find something that allows them to work from home they cite benefits including more flexibility, increased happiness, and often better pay as well.
While it is true some great benefits come with working from home, it’s not for everyone.
It’s important to consider the pros and cons of working from home to ensure it would be a good fit for you.
Then, once you’ve done that you can start thinking about the specific ways you can make your home into your office as well.
We put together a list of 10 ways to work from home to help you get started.
What Are the Benefits of Working from Home?
The following are some of the major benefits that can come with working from home.
- You can create an office and work environment that appeals to you. You can sit outside on your back deck, on your sofa or create a zen-like office that will help facilitate creative and your work. If you work from home, that also doesn’t mean you’re strictly stuck with your home. You can get out and about and sometimes work from coffee shops or cafes.
- Since you’re not confined to one particular work environment, if you work from you may also be able to travel while you’re still earning money. As long as you have your computer and the internet, you could be set.
- There are a lot of ways you can end up saving money when you work from home. For example, you won’t have to buy fancy work clothes, nor will you have to cover the costs of commuting. You can make your meals at home as well as your coffee, so these are places to save money too.
- You can often create your own schedule and work at the times where you feel most energized and creative. As long as you can meet whatever your deadlines are, there’s a lot of wiggle room in your schedule when you work from home.
- A lot of people find that when they work from it’s less stressful because they aren’t part of the back and forth of office politics. You can focus on work without worrying about gossip or other issues.
- You can also create a better work-life balance when you work from home and spend more time with your kids and family.
- When you work at home if you finish your work you don’t have to stick around the office just because it’s “work hours.” When you’re done, you can usually close up your laptop for the day and that’s it.
What Are the Possible Downsides of Working From Home?
Of course nothing, including working from home, is without some downsides. Things to consider before you make the leap to work from home include:
- How are you with time-management? Are you a self-starter? If you’re not, working from home might not be the right option for you because you may find it tough to get things done without the structure of a traditional work environment.
- Could your home life potentially be too distracting for you to work in? For example, would you have children who would be home with you who could reduce your productivity?
- What about benefits such as health insurance and other employee benefits? How would you get those things if you were to lose access to them through your job?
- Are you okay with spending a lot of time alone? There isn’t a lot of interaction when it comes to working from home, and some people thrive in quiet situations where they can work alone, but for other people, it could become lonely and isolating.
With all those issues in mind, if you’ve considered them and decided to work from home could be a good option for you the following are 10 of the best ways to work from home.
10 of the Best Ways To Work From Home
The following is a list of the best ways to work from home. Options include specific jobs as well as general ways you could shift into work from home.
Negotiate With Your Current Boss
One way that many people overlook that could allow them to work from home is to negotiate with their current employer.
More employers than you realize might be willing to let you take on a more flexible work from home schedule, but you need to show your employer how it will be mutually beneficial.
There are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to negotiate a work-from-home schedule with your boss.
First, how often do you want to work from home?
While your ultimate goal may be working from home every day, you should start fairly small so that both you and your boss can see how it works out.
For example, maybe you negotiate to work at home one day a week as a remote, telecommuting employee and then you can go from there.
Before you start the negotiation process, think about whether or not your current position really lends itself to working from home.
As an example, if you often having meetings in your office as part of your job, working from home might not be right for you.
Similarly, if you interact with clients, working from home probably won’t work for you either.
Think honestly about your job duties and how those would play out if you were to shift to working from home more.
Your company, particularly if you work for a large organization, may already have policies in place for telecommuting, so check with your HR department too.
Once you’ve taken care of those initial steps, create a proposal that you can show your boss highlighting why you working a more flexible schedule will be good not only for you but also other people you work with and your boss.
Keep it professional and try and think from the perspective of your boss.
As part of your proposal, include details of a trial period.
If you’re going to negotiate a flexible work schedule, plan to speak with your boss in person.
If your boss does agree to a trial period, ensure that you provide a high quality of productivity, you’re reachable when needed, and you are generally reliable.
Work for Amazon
Amazon is a mega-business, and the company employees people all over the world. They’re based in Seattle, but they do often offer work-from-home positions.
For example, in March 2019, Amazon announced they were going to be hiring 3,000 work-from-home employees with full benefits. They were searching for remote employees to fill customer service positions.
In March, the company said they were going to be hiring employees across 18 states for these work-from-home jobs.
Typically, a customer service associate job at Amazon pays $15 an hour, and is part-time, with a workweek that ranges from 20-to-29 hours. Overtime is available, and according to Amazon, employees may be eligible for healthcare benefits after 90 days of employment.
To qualify for these particular positions, you can’t live within 50 miles of an Amazon customer service location.
Amazon is also planning to open more headquarters and hire 50,000 new employees, so it’s possible some of those jobs could be work-from-home positions.
One of the most often-recruited positions that’s work-from-home at Amazon is a virtual call center agent. You may have to reside in a particular state to qualify, and sometimes you will have to plan on participating in onsite training.
Other required qualifications include a high-speed internet connection and a dedicated phone line.
During the holiday season, part-time work-at-home employees may be eligible for overtime or full-time hours.
Work as a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant can be a broad role and you might work for one client full-time, or you might juggle several clients at the same time.
If you want to become a virtual assistant, you should have strong clerical and organization skills as well as potentially having good communication skills and some writing skills.
If you want to work as a virtual assistant, you should also create a resume or profile highlighting your skills and then you can get started looking for work.
Along with possibly networking in person at events in your local area, some of the ways you can connect with clients include:
- Look on a site like Upwork where people post jobs for virtual assistants, and you can apply through there.
- Create social media profiles and perhaps your own blog so that people may be able to find you that way.
- Use a site like PeoplePerHour, which is a freelancer site similar to Upwork but can be better for virtual assistants specifically.
- You can also use traditional job boards and ads because virtual assistants have become so common that a lot of companies will hire through these portals.
A virtual assistant can often make anywhere from $25,000 to $75,000 a year, depending on their clients. Some virtual assistants make even more, particularly if they have specialized skills like web design or content creation.
Start a Home-Based Daycare
If you have kids and you’d like to work from home because you don’t want to pay for childcare and you want to spend time with them, why not consider a home-based daycare?
Starting a home-based daycare can let you achieve all of these goals at once.
An at-home daycare may require that you get certain licensing, and it can vary depending on the state you live in.
As an example, in California, if you wanted to open a home-based daycare, you would work with the California Department of Social Services for licensing.
Then you would have to go through health and safety training, and someone on-site would need to have a CPR certification.
Most states have a limit to the number of kids you can have in a home-based daycare program.
Again, all of this varies from state-to-state.
Social Media Manager/Marketer
You may already be familiar with the use of social media on a personal level, but what about turning it into a viable business that will allow you to work from home?
A social media manager or marketer is someone who handles various social media accounts for businesses and other clients.
These are broad titles and the work could include creating ads and monitoring them for effectiveness and determining your clients’ return on investment for those ads, writing and scheduling content and posts, creating graphics such as images and infographics, and maintaining two-way conversations with people on social media.
If you want to become a social media manager or marketer, it’s important that you learn the necessary skills.
There are free classes on Facebook available through their Blueprint program, and there are also a variety of third-party options that offer various training courses on social media management—some free and some paid.
Finding clients will be the biggest challenge of this work-from-home job, but once you do start getting a few clients, and your work begins to be able to speak for itself, your business can grow quickly.
While you don’t have to learn every advanced marketing skill right away, you should dedicate yourself to continual learning if you want a thriving career as a social media manager.
Things changes quickly, and the more advanced skills you have, the more likely clients are to hire you.
Be a Teacher at VIPKid
VIPKid is a company that teaches overseas students English. The VIPKid headquarters is in Beijing, and you work with Chinese-based students aged 4 to 12. All of the classes are one-on-one, and they’re conducted through the VIPKid portal, which is similar to Facetime.
To be eligible for this work at home opportunity, you need a degree and at least a year of experience teaching.
The education curriculum the company uses is based on Common Core State Standards from the U.S.
To apply for this work-at-home opportunity, you first do an online interview where you talk about your professional experience.
Then you do a 10-minute teaching demonstration based on a set of slides.
Once you do the initial interview, you receive training materials, and you create a full mock lesson.
When you do the lesson, you perform it in front of another teacher. You have a set amount of time, and you can use things like props and repetition as part of your lesson.
For most of the people teaching on VIPKid, they say the pay is around $20 an hour when all is said and done, and you get paid once a month by direct deposit.
If you teach with VIPKid you do need to sign a six-month contract and then when it ends, the company decides whether or not to renew it based on how many classes you were able to teach and parent and student feedback.
While FlexJobs isn’t in and of itself a specific job you can do from home, what they are is an amazing job portal.
They focus on connecting people with not only remote but also freelance and part-time positions.
All of the jobs listed on FlexJobs has some sort of flexible component.
You can search international jobs that can be done anywhere or in the world, or U.S. jobs you can do anywhere in the country.
There are also state-specific jobs so you can search that way as well.
FlexJobs works to take the scam element out of finding this kind of work and cut through all the nonsense to connect job-seekers with viable opportunities.
FlexJobs includes listings for everything from entry-level jobs to executive positions, and they have a team of researchers that screens all the jobs in different categories so you’re not sifting through ads and junk content.
Working Solutions is somewhat of a pioneer when it comes to connecting people with ways they can work at home.
The company was founded in 1996 as a way to provide people with legitimate opportunities to work at home.
The Working Solutions workforce is made up of independent contractors, and clients come from across different industries.
There is a system you have to follow to find work with Working Solutions. First, you apply to be a Working Solutions agent, which the company says takes around 15 minutes.
Then, once you take that initial step, you take an assessment, which will take around 30 minutes to complete.
You receive a notice of whether you passed the assessment or not within 24 hours of completing it.
If you pass the assessment, you then receive a link to the Applicant Portal so you can complete your profile.
Once you make it through these steps, you review the available opportunities and see if there are any programs that might be a good fit for you.
Concentrix is based in California, and they have moved significantly in the direction of a work-at-home model.
Concentrix says they hire people who are disciplined and motivated and people who work for the company are a link between Concentrix clients and their customers.
If you want to apply for a job as a Work at Home Advisor with Concentrix, you can complete an online application on their careers page.
There isn’t a fee to become a representative, and Concentrix hires in most states.
Concentrix representatives are employees rather than contractors, and there are opportunities for advancement within the company, such as a move up to a team leader.
The hiring process usually takes 7 to 10 days, and some clients do require the use of a webcam during training and coaching.
Be a Freelancer
Becoming a freelancer can mean that you work in an area of expertise such as web development or content creation, or perhaps you work in several different areas.
One of the easiest ways to become a freelancer is to join a site like Upwork.
When you join Upwork, you can develop a profile across different fields if you choose or you can focus on one area.
Some of the many categories for freelancers on Upwork include:
- Web, mobile and software development
- IT & networking
- Data science & analytics
- Engineering & architecture
- Admin support
- Customer service
- Sales & marketing
There are other categories, as well.
When you sign up for an Upwork account, you then fill out your relevant work experience, and you can add a portfolio of your work if applicable.
You can upload a photo and a video introducing yourself if you’d like to, and from there, you can start bidding on jobs.
You can search for jobs in your categories based on whether they are hourly or fixed price in terms of how they pay, as well as by experience level.
You can look for short- or long-term projects, and you can filter by the number of hours per week a job might require and the budget of the client.
When you first start out as a freelancer, it can be tough. There’s a lot of competition, and without much experience on your Upwork profile you might not get a ton of jobs right away, or you might have to accept lower-paying jobs until you have Upwork feedback.
Once you start getting that feedback and you have a good track record on the site, however, you will likely find your freelancing career can expand as much as you would like it to.
You do have to focus on making sure you’re timely and delivering high-quality work because clients leave reviews and feedback on your profile that are visible to other clients.
There are numerous opportunities to work from home whether you want to work part-time, or you want a full-time job that you can do remotely.
Working from home offers the benefits of work-life balance and flexibility as long as you’re able to effectively manage your time and the distractions that might come from a work-at-home environment.