Telecommuting or working from home, is a dream for some people. I have been on both sides of that wall.
Setting the alarm, getting up while it is still dark outside, walking to the train station, waiting for the train, taking the train to where the company’s office is located, and then walking from the train station to the office.
Then doing it in reverse at the end of the work day.
Five (5) days a week.
I was spending a total of two (2) hours a day just getting to and from work.
That as opposed to waking up, putting the kettle on, walking over to a desk, turning on the computer, and beginning a day’s work. And you are still in your pajamas.
OK, it may not be that easy, and I know I am setting an envious scene for some, but you do save the commute time, and can use that time to be more productive.
One downside is that you lose the social component of working in an office with other people. It can get lonely.
I have had the good fortune and luck to be able to work from home for a few years now. It just makes sense with what I do, and technology has allowed it to happen as well.
Many companies have “virtual offices” where employees either work from home, or anywhere they can access the Internet and have a phone, which may be just a mobile phone.
This can save a company thousands of pounds in rent for office space, Internet and phone lines.
However, not all jobs can be done from home. If you work in the retail industry there are still brick and mortar stores, although more and more retailers have web sites and ship goods and products.
If you are a service based industry you can have some employees working out of their homes, but they still need to visit clients and customers.
A friend of mine is in sales, and he works from his house. He has to go out each day to call on clients, and develop new customers, but he has a home office with which he works out of. He goes to the company’s home office, which is across the country in another city, twice a year.
What limits and also creates the ability to be able to work at home is the computer really. If your work involves a computer, you stand a higher probability of being able to work from home.
In looking at jobs you can do from home, I found the usual telecommuting jobs that are standard, and I also found some unusual ones.
This is just a few of the many jobs one could do from home, the list can be quite large.
One thing does have to be mentioned about working from home, you need to be focused, disciplined, and do the work. For many people it is easy to get distracted while working at home, too many things drawing you away from your work.
I mention this as I am very disciplined in my work. I keep hours of when I start and stop, and of course can take breaks and if need be work some in the evenings and weekends.
It’s pretty obvious I would put this job first, as it is in part what I do.
If you have a computer, access to the Internet, and in some instances some knowledge of web platforms, you can write. You can write stories, blogs, content, and even news.
The issues you face with this type of working from home job are a few, and one is competition. There are a lot of so called “writers” out there.
You also need to be able to write well, spelling, grammar, and punctuation are fundamentals to the job.
Having spell and grammar checks built into word processors does help.
You also need to be creative, have ideas that are unique. Not that this one is, but you want your writings to stand out. You need your own style.
If writing for content and also SEO/search engine optimisation, not only does your writings need to be creative, they need to be unique. There are whole books written on this subject. You need to know your market and demographic, who you are writing to and for, and use “key words” to rank the web site and draw your potential clients to you.
As you can see writing for SEO is a huge subject, one too large to fully cover here.
However, writing is a good job to do from home.
Technical Support and Customer Service
Many companies that offer customer service centres and/or technical support for a product, such as a mobile phone, computer, or other products, have employees that work from their homes.
As a technical support worker you need the knowledge of the product you are supporting, even IT/information technology jobs can be done from home.
For these types of work the employee is at home and logs into the company’s computer at an office or server site, which could be a “cloud server” site.
The companies information and details on clients and trouble shooting methods are all there.
So instead of employees being in a “battery” call centre, they work from home.
After seeing technical and customer service jobs, and now web development jobs, you can see where I am going with this.
If you can log into a company’s computer or severs, you can do it from home, and web development is no different.
I have a friend who is a web developer and they will tell you that while it is a competitive field, it also can be challenging and rewarding.
You need to be trained and know the various platforms and development tools and software programmes that are available.
One of the reasons my friend is so successful in her work is due to her creative nature. The web sites she creates are almost works of art, in addition to being functional.
Data Entry/Order Taking
Two jobs that are easy to do from home. You take orders via the Internet or phone,and process them from home.
A company needs orders or some other data put into their system, this can be done off site or from home.
The list of jobs to do from home is extensive, but there are also some unusual jobs we can do from home as well.
Taking Surveys Online
This job may not provide huge wages, but it can add or supplement one’s income.
It just takes your time in most instances; you take online surveys and answer questions and submit them back.
For some of the companies you can be paid in cash once you reach a set goal. Other companies pay in vouchers or coupons. Some even send out free products to test and try.
Some companies are looking for “focus groups”, or groups of people to give their opinion on a product or service. Some of these groups require you to leave the house, however, these can also pay more.
While we are on the subject of focus groups, there is a web site called Free Postcode Lottery. In addition to being a free lottery web site, they also offer various vouchers and sometimes they have ads for people to join various groups where they can earn money or receive discounts on products.
Each day there are drawings and if your postcode comes up, you win the jackpot. All for free, and also a place to look for online surveys and focus groups.
Social Media Selling/Sales
Online retailing is not new, you can buy just about anything online, including large appliances.
However, there has arisen a new marketing and sales method using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google +, and others.
It is similar to catalogue sales, in that you hand out catalogues, then go back to take the order, then the order gets delivered, sometimes to you to hand out, or directly to the buyer. For this you are paid a percentage/commission or a flat rate.
Using your social media accounts, you the employee post products or links to web sites selling various products. When someone makes a purchase you get paid off that purchase.
This type of work from home can be done part-time or full-time depending on the amount of time you put in.
As with any job, if the employer is charging or asking for a fee to join, you may want to give it a miss.
The beauty of some of these types of jobs is that you do not need to keep any stock, or be involved in the shipping of any products. You are just the salesperson.
As I have stated, the list and types of jobs that can be done from home is extensive. You just need to find the right fit for you.