At work, you had to keep your desk neat so that you looked organized—and sure, it’s always helpful to see the top of your desk. But at home, who cares if clutter collects around you? Well, don’t fall into that trap (especially video conference calls are part of your routine). While you might miss the building services team, who used to wipe down your crusty keyboard and empty your waste paper baskets every night, it’s ultimately up to you to keep your space spic and span so you can do your best work.
In 2009, the United States Office of Personnel Management reported that approximately 103,000 federal employees were teleworking. However, fewer than 14,000 were teleworking three or more days per week. In January 2012, Reuters, drawing from an Ipsos/Reuters poll, predicted that telecommuting was "a trend that has grown and one which looks like it will continue with 34% of connected workers saying they would be very likely to telecommute on a full-time basis if they could." On December 9, 2010, the U.S. Federal Government passed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 in order to improve Continuity of Operations and ensure essential Federal functions are maintained during emergencies; to promote management effectiveness when telework is used to achieve reductions in organizational and transit costs and environmental impacts; and to enhance the work-life balance of workers. For example, telework allows employees to better manage their work and family obligations and thus helps retain a more resilient Federal workforce better able to meet agency goals.
FlexJobs CEO Sara Sutton Fell was profiled as the Fairygodboss of the Week, and she said remote work helps her get outside and stay active: “I live in Boulder, Colorado, with my two boys, so when I’m not working, I love to get outside for some activity, either with them or for a little solo time. We mountain bike and hike, and I also love hot yoga.”
When I began looking for work-at-home jobs, I had no clue what I wanted to do, I just knew that I needed something part-time and flexible. My plan was to work in the afternoons when my daughter was napping, which gave me two-three hours of uninterrupted work time. Luckily, through my networking efforts, I was able to land a freelance marketing gig that allowed me to work a few hours each day while my daughter snoozed in the afternoons.
You don’t need to know HTML or programming to work part-time testing websites. Website testing services are looking for visitors to relay their experience and suggest improvements. They’re looking for people who are similar to their customers and readers, making this a great job for almost anyone wanting to work from home. Typically, testers record their impressions as they visit and evaluate a website.
Some of the “gotcha” job offers from the past include check-cashing schemes, mystery shopping, medical billing “jobs” that require you to purchase expensive computer software, and craft-making jobs that ask you to pony up the cash for materials before you get started. And let’s not forget about the famous envelope-stuffing scam that was nothing more than a pyramid scheme designed to siphon money from as many people as possible.
This is another area where large, often tech-focused, companies are consistently looking to hire remote workers. Like with customer service agents, tech support specialists are focused on answering customer questions and solving their problems. However, tech support is more specialized, so it does require a little knowledge about working with the product.
Our wage and job-growth information come from the latest edition of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. The BLS lists “median” wages for jobs rather than “average” wages. The median wage is in the middle of the data set, with half of the jobs paying less and half paying more. BLS job-growth projections are for 2016 to 2026.
Virtual assistants, commonly referred to as VAs, come in all shapes and sizes. Many companies will hire VAs if they are looking for help with online administrative tasks (email, calendar management, data entry, etc), but don’t necessarily want to hire a full time employee just yet. They’re the perfect work from home job for busy people that may need to drop their work at a moments notice, or have very sporadic availability.