As you see, there are many advantages to working from home but, just like any other good thing, there can be pitfalls, too. Some are obvious and some are not so obvious. The bottom line is that you want to succeed at working from home. It doesn't matter if you are starting your own business or working for someone else. For that reason, it is important to at least consider these 10 tips when your home is your work setting.
4. Be flexible, boundaries may need to change. Working parents may need to shift their boundaries (move a working dinner to a working lunch, put in time after addressing her family or child care needs), but they have a high capacity and efficiency to get the job done. Support these shifts knowing that you are exhibiting trust and support for this highly valuable work sector.
So whether you're in the workforce and looking for a change or you're a stay-at-home mom who wants to make money (without committing to a real "job"), there's plenty to think about before you take the leap. Not everyone is cut out to go solo, but many of those who succeed claim they'd never go back to a traditional work environment. Below, some key questions you need to explore to determine whether your work-at-home fantasy could actually come true.
With so many businesses operating mostly, or even completely, online, it’s no wonder that many hire virtual assistants to help keep them organized and complete administrative tasks. According to the International Virtual Assistants Association, these workers are “independent contractors who (from a remote location, usually their home or office) support multiple clients in a variety of industries by providing administrative, creative, and technical services.”
Do you enjoy giving feedback? Are you web-savvy? Then become a website and app tester and earn some easy side cash. Companies need to know if their websites and apps are easy to navigate, simple to use, and that they convey the right message. To get an objective opinion, businesses pay website testing companies to conduct research — and that's where you come in. Sign up to become a tester, and you can easily earn $10 for 10-20 minutes of your time. Most companies will require you to record your findings via webcam — so you will need to be comfortable speaking your thoughts out loud.
Many direct sales businesses are built on a model known as multi-level (sometimes called "network" or "matrix") marketing. The business owner (i.e. the home-based businessperson) earns money from direct sales to customers, as well as claiming a percentage of the revenue earned by "downline" sellers that the owner has recruited to become part of the company's sales force. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this model, there are a couple of common pitfalls with these types of businesses. Consider the following two examples.
Under no circumstances should any information from this blog be used as replacement for professional financial advice. DollarSprout.com is owned by VTX Capital, LLC and neither are licensed by or affiliated with any third-party marks on this website and third parties do not endorse, authorize, or sponsor our content except where clearly disclosed.DollarSprout.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
We all take breaks during the workday, and working from home should be no different. You may want to consider working in smaller spurts and allowing yourself to relax in between, which can be really refreshing and help you both physically and mentally. Getting up from your chair for a while at regular intervals can also help your eyes and spine relax.
3. Birch Creek Communications – BCC periodically looks for people to do data entry; when they do, they’re looking for independent contractors just like everyone else. Pay is by the job and your performance, with their uppermost pay range going to those with consistent near-perfect accuracy. You can set whatever schedule you wish with them, but it looks like work is most widely available Monday through Friday on a corporate schedule.
Tutor students. If you have an academic specialty and can squeeze in a couple of hours during the week while Junior is taking a nap or Janie is at gymnastics, share your knowledge with struggling students. Find students looking to improve their grades on your own through your kids' schools – check a site such as Craigslist.org to gauge hourly rates in your area – or sign on with an online tutoring company, such as Tutor.com. You must be available to tutor at least five hours a week and have a college degree to tutor certain subjects for Tutor.com. Tutoring is done virtually from home via a computer, not in person. Tutor.com tutors are paid an hourly rate based on the subject.
If you have the skills you need to work from home, scope out the best scam-free resources to help you find jobs that are a good fit. Of course, FlexJobs is the premier source for avoiding job scams in your search for hand-screened, home-based jobs that are 100% real and legitimate. Many of the jobs below can be done on a part-time, flexible schedule, or freelance basis.
It’s no secret: getting out of bed to go to work in the morning is hard. Traffic jams, metro delays, and the daily grind of an office routine can all seriously detract from our excitement to show up at the job every day. But what if you didn’t have to show up at the job every day? What if you didn’t even have to get out of bed in the morning in order to be a productive contributor to your company?
Although the demand is expected to decrease over the next decade, the opportunities are still there for travel agents who can harness the Internet to earn clients and help them plan their adventures. According to the BLS, job prospects may be best for travel agents who offer expertise in certain regions of the world, have experience planning tours or adventures, or who focus on group travel.
Of course, many people who enter direct-sales businesses aren't really looking to earn a full-time living. They simply want to generate a certain level of supplemental income. If that's your goal, and you're able to build up a small but loyal clientele, a direct-sales business could be just the thing to add several hundred dollars to your income every year (and allow you to get personal discounts on products to boot).
I remember when I first started working from home and I was terrified to leave my computer for even a second. Irrational thoughts entered my head: “What if I’m grabbing coffee and miss an IM and don’t answer within a few seconds!? They’ll think I’m not working hard enough!” It took me a few weeks to realize how utterly ridiculous this was. If I was in an office, guess what? I’d go grab coffee without a second thought.
Some people prefer running a timer app on their computer to set specific blocks of time for each task. You can use your phone’s alarm clock to serve the same purpose. Others however, feel intimidated with a timer and would rather go for a spreadsheet where they can lay out hourly, daily, weekly schedules. Whatever method you pick, the most important thing is you keep track of a routine and your time.
Although working from home is not usually connected with the medical field, a surprising number of medical jobs can be performed from home. Such occupations include medical transcription, medical coding, and virtual nursing. Even some pharmacists work from home reviewing prescriptions, overseeing transfers from one pharmacy to another, and providing counseling on use of medications. Many of these jobs require some form of certification, training, schooling, and/or previous experience.
Persistence and Commitment. You’ll need to have a good amount of persistence while pursuing freelance writing gigs. This business is subjective, and while one person may love your writing, another may not. Do your best to always produce good, solid copy and hold on to your commitment to do the best you can for your clients. Just by committing to do those two things, you’ll be miles ahead of your competition.
Thanks for this advice. I am done homeschooling and will soon be giving my energies to work from home endeavors. Did not start this until now, knowing I needed to go after it full force or not at all. That is how I approached home-schooling. Thanking God for great success and guidance there. On to the next thing with Him by my side. Merissa, you give great advice, tips and encouragement. I am thankful for your blog/website.
The name of the site is Will I Succeed? In order to answer that question, I need to define success to me. I have seven major goals to reach. These are financial goals that are, in major part, driven by the success or failure of what I’m doing. You’ll notice at the top of my site is a progress bar. Every time a goal of mine is reached, one those boxes will get a check mark. Once all seven boxes have been checked it’s happy dance time!
Take breaks. When making your schedule, you might want to consider working in smaller spurts, and allowing yourself time to get up from the computer to stretch. “This will really help you both physically and mentally,” Spence says. “Without a water cooler and co-workers around, you may forget to take time away from your desk. When you take breaks, you’ll be more productive,” Kanarek adds.
“Working from home provides you great opportunities to connect with some of your core values, like family and community, while still providing quality service to your company,” says Shawn Mason Spence, an entrepreneur mentor, radio host and author of The Work From Home Bible (to be released November, 2012). “It requires discipline, focus and commitment, but the flexibility to define that yourself. You can create a work culture at home that represents you, not just the culture of your organization.”