Working from home may seem like a dream afforded to few people or a way for stay-at-home parents to pursue their passions, but it is possible to make a living right from home. More and more, companies are choosing to offer telecommuting positions that you can perform remotely, either at home or elsewhere.
Despite its increasing popularity, many still hold misconceptions about working remotely. It is widely believed that only freelance work is available to remote workers. While freelancing opportunities are still common, there are also remote full-time salaried work opportunities available that function just as any job in a traditional workspace. Read on to learn more about working from home and the opportunities available to all kinds of workers.
For most, working from home means working virtually. Choosing to work from home has its benefits, but it also has some possible disadvantages to consider. Since working virtually usually provides a flexible schedule, it requires diligence and time-management skills. Setting a work schedule and following it is a difficult task for many, but it is essential to almost every work-from-home job. Virtual jobs also require equipment that traditional spaces usually do not provide to workers, such as a personal computer, internet connection and telephone.
Stay-at-home parents and caretakers often choose to work virtually as a means to earn money when working outside of the home is not possible. However, it may not be the best decision for those who do have the option of working a traditional job. Virtual jobs give stay-at-home parents the advantage of having a flexible schedule, which allows parents the time needed to care for a child. This may also be a disadvantage, as sometimes the demands of home take priority, leaving little time for a parent to work between tasks.
Work-at-home opportunities are also a great job option for college and university students. Since working virtually usually allows workers to set their own schedule, it gives college students the flexibility to work around their school schedules from semester to semester. Working virtually is also great for those who travel often or are planning on traveling for an extended period of time. Though working virtually while traveling still requires a reliable internet connection, it gives travelers the freedom to go anywhere they please while making money.
Common Work from Home Jobs
There are many kinds of jobs available for those who want to work from home, but some are easier to come by than others. Most work-at-home jobs are done virtually and require certain basic equipment, such a computer, for most tasks. However, some common work-from-home jobs may require more than just the basics. Web design is becoming an increasingly popular job to work remotely, but it typically requires specific licensed software, as well as a computer that is capable of running that software.
Other telecommuting support positions, such as customer service or virtual assistant jobs, may require special peripheral equipment, such as multi-functional printers and conferencing headsets. Remote customer service representative jobs are widely available, but typically require a certain amount of hours to be worked each day during a specified time. While these jobs save commuting time, they usually do not offer the flexible schedule other virtual jobs provide. Virtual assistant jobs, on the other hand, do allow for a more flexible schedule, but these jobs usually require registering as a business.
Those with experience in writing will also find many work-at-home opportunities online. Freelance writing jobs have become more common, and typically do not require more than a computer and word processing software. Freelance writers have the option of working exclusively for one company or working on a per-project basis. Writing for a single company has its advantages, such as the possibility of being eligible for employee benefits. However, working independent of a company allows freelancers the freedom to create a more flexible work schedule.
Professional development is important in succeeding and progressing in any career, but it is especially important for those who are working from home. While developing professionally usually involves learning and gaining new skills, for virtual workers it also involves having a professional online presence and developing work relationships.
Remote workers, especially those who are freelancers or who work on a per-project basis, benefit from having a solid online presence, through work-based social media and a professional website. A professional website acts as a virtual resume and portfolio. When applying for a remote job or working on landing a freelance project, having a professional website to show potential employers increases the chance they will be interested in hiring the worker applying. This website should showcase the kind of work the worker can produce and the skills he or she has, as well as any references that would be willing to attest to the kind of employee he or she is. It may also include a short biography that is appropriate and maintains professionalism.
One of the more important parts of professional development is moving ahead in a career and receiving a promotion. For those who work at home, this is often the hardest part of developing themselves professionally. Virtual workers tend to get promoted less often, even though they are usually more productive than employees in a traditional workplace setting. Developing a relationship with an employer and making it clear that a promotion is desired can provide the boost needed to move ahead a career.
Resources for Working from Home
If you are considering working from home, or are looking for ways to improve your remote work experience, there are a variety of resources available to help you achieve success. There are many ways to find virtual work online, through job websites as well as job boards.
While not all who work from home choose to work full-time, many do, as it is usually the only way to replace the income of a traditional job. Juggling a remote job and home life can be difficult, especially when the job requires more attention than a part-time position. Some also take up a part-time remote job for extra income outside of their normal, full-time job, which can be challenging to balance. However, finding that balance is possible through the use of scheduling, communicating with coworkers and finding the time to rest and relax.