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Considering Working From Home?
There is a new revolution of people staying home these days and they are doing a whole lot more than folding laundry; they are moms and dads, new grads and grandparents, skilled professionals, and high-powered executives. These individuals are finding more energy, more time, more ways to make money and yes, they are doing it their way. So, if working from home is where your heart is, you are definitely at the right time.
“Is it really possible? Can I really stay at home and make money?” If you can take a degree course, shop, do banking transaction, find your dream home and meet your future spouse online, then the answer is “Yes!” This is the perfect time because the world of work is growing and changing. It is less rigid and more fluid, less restrictive and more inclusive, less traditional and more innovative.
Consider these facts. More than 70% of Americans are internet users and more than half of them have high-speed internet connections. Those numbers are growing and so are home workers. The number of small business start-ups is growing. Small businesses are generating 60% to 80% of the new jobs in United States. Can you smell the opportunity?
Work From Home Statistics
- Based on the latest American Community Survey data, just over 2% of the U.S. employee workforce (2.8 million people, not including the self-employed or unpaid volunteers) considers home their primary place of work.
- Growth of Multiple Days per Week Employees telecommuting (not including self-employed):
2007 to 2008 = 14.1% (2.8 million or 2.18% of U.S. employee population)
2006 to 2007 = 7.8% (2.5 million or 1.99% of U.S. employee population)
2005 to 2006 = 26.2% (2.3 million or 1.86% of U.S. employee population)
Source: Telework Research Network
High School 20%
Some College 24%
College Graduate 43%
Traditional Work vs Work From Home
Today’s work-from-home job market is fast, easy and so much bigger than you can imagine. Just let your fingers do the walking across your keyboard. There is no limit to your reach. The opportunity is ample.
In this job market, there has been a lot of change, unrest and even heartbreak – bankruptcies, mergers, massive layoffs, busts, scandals, and fraud. Don’t be discouraged by these. People have learned to adapt, take on new skills and negotiate for what they want. We are taking responsibility for our own careers. According to a research at the Simmons School of Management in Boston, women make the leading edge of shifting the career paradigm. Because of their commitment to children and family, they often cut back or rearrange their work schedules. They decide when, where and how much they want to work, depending on their economic needs and life stage. The research tells us that women are figuring out alternative ways to combine work and personal life. Working from home offers flexibility to women who want to do both.
Are you exhausted, stressed, frustrated and burn out trying to do two jobs in a day? We are talking about the effects of living too long with all work and no play – the kind of stress that can affect our health such as hypertension and stroke. And yes, stress can kill. We don’t want to quit working, in fact we like it and we are good at what we do. What everybody really wants is time to spend time with our loved ones, read a book, eat lunch with a friend, attend school awards ceremony, go to the gym or simply go for a walk. Well, that is not going to happen if we are chained to our cocoon at work, or working late through some events.
There are going to be more people working from home in the future. Employees gain but so do companies. Sending people home to work means less office space to buy or lease and fewer utilities to pay. Research shows that teleworkers are usually more productive because they are happy and more engaged in their work. People appreciate the freedom and convenience given to them by employers. They appreciate the trust given to them.
Benefits of Working From Home
Greater control of your schedule. No more coffee at ten o’clock and listening to whining coworkers. You can set your own schedule when to take a break or sit on the deck whenever you want.
No daily commute. A walk up the stairs or down the hall to your home office is certainly less stressful than thirty to forty-five minutes driving on the highway. Instead of driving home, you could be exercising or helping your kids with their homework.
You will save money on gas, parking fees and car maintenance as well as business clothes and lunches out.
There is an opportunity to work part-time, full-time or during business hours. In order to eliminate the cost of child care, you can work weekends or nights if there is no set time you have to be at your desk.
You can go to your doctor’s appointment without having to clear it with your boss. At any time you can be home with a sick child, go to vacations with your family and possibly relocate without changing jobs.
Limitations of Working From Home
Working from home is not for everyone . It usually demands the same level of professionalism, focus and determination as working in the office, perhaps sometimes more.
You will need to convert some space in your home to an office and equip it with phones, computer and internet in order to communicate with clients, coworkers and branch offices.
Some work from home positions require you to work within a set time which means you can’t leave your home office at any time. During working hours, you have to learn how to avoid home distractions.
If you are a contractor, consultant or small-business owner, you will need to keep financial records for tax purposes.
It takes a certain kind of people to work successfully from home . If you are a self-starter and a problem solver, it will help greatly. Managing your time and work flow will be your responsibility. If you are the type of person who thrives on relationships, or works best in a team, being at home by yourself might even make you miserable.
Where to Start?
You can start by checking on all the major online job boards including HotJobs.com, CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, SimplyHired.com and Indeed.com. In your search terms, include the words “home-based”, “telework”, “virtual” or “telecommute.”
Employers often post jobs on sites such as Elance.com, Sologig.com, Odesk.com and Guru.com, where they hope to find good talent. Jobs on these sites usually require you to have skills besides the ability to finish quality work on time.
Here are some work at home positions that might spark your interest.
Customer Support Services – In the United States, more than 200,000 people are involved in this line of work providing customer support services from their home offices. Typically, one must have the right skills and qualities in order to be successful in providing customer support service to clients. Among those skills are highly motivated, professional in dealing with clients, a problem solver, strong work ethic and strong computer navigation skills.
Telemarketer – If you have excellent communication skills, this position is right for you. Many business, nonprofits and political organizations hire full-time and part-time people to do cold callings on their behalf. The position requires one to work from home to place calls. The nature of the calls varies from persuading people to make a donation to agreeing to try a product or service.
Virtual Assistant – This exciting field requires people to have a solid administrative background who work from home to provide professional support services to clients via phone, fax and email. Typical tasks might include database management, word processing, and phone answering. More technical skills may be required depending on the type of industry you are working for.
Online Tutor – If you are interested in helping students improve their grades in school, you might want to consider the opportunity to work from home as an online tutor. Tutor.com is free for everyone to apply to become a tutor. However, you will be required to take a subject examination in the subjects that you are intending to teach. Once you pass the subject exam, there will be a mock session with other online tutor. The final step is to pass a background check and a final exam. Other sites worth checking are TutorVista.com, Growingstars.com, Lynda.com, and e-tutor.com.
Medical Transcriptionist – Being a medical transcriptionist is a demanding job and nearly every company seeks experienced applicants. The work involves listening to and typing up dictation from doctors who may sometimes have difficult accents, eat, drink and talking to other people while dictating. Good medical transcriptionists are very high in demand.
Writer/Editor – Although the print industry has been suffering, there are frequent listings for writing, editing and proofreading in particular for the web. If you like to put your thoughts in words, you can join millions of people in the blogosphere. You don’t have to have experience in writing to get started. You can start with any topic that interests you and yes, not only can blogging be fun, but there is money to be earned when you post your own blog or through revenue-sharing agreement. Sites worth checking: Demand Media Studios and FabJob.
Do Your Research
While there are real work from home opportunities out there, there are also scams. According to a study, only one out of fifty work from home opportunity is legitimate. So beware, there are more scams than the genuine ones. Sites that are offering work from home opportunity do a really good job in attracting their audience, sometimes they are too good to be true. They make the work sound so easy but what they failed to mention is that it is not for everyone.
You can tell whether a work from home opportunity is a scam or not. Generally, sites with very long paragraphs and very persuasive content have one sole purpose – they are trying to lure you into buying their information or product. The information they convey to the audience is always money related. A real work from home site will never ask you to pay anything to get started. Things you should keep in mind:
- Do a search using a company’s name, person name or company’s website and the keywords “review” and “scams.”
- A genuine work at home ad usually includes the company name, email and contact person.
- There is an application, interview process and background screening, not simply an email offer.
- The company usually details the job duties and expectations.
- Reference and work samples are requested when you make your application.
- Trust your instinct and have a little doubt. Don’t jump into conclusions or assume. Take note of continuous patterns of complaints or disgruntle work at home seekers.
- Search other resources besides Google before finalizing your decision.
- If there is no information about the company you’re looking for, wait until it is available. Never be the first one to try. Good luck!