Working from home has its benefits. You can roll out of bed, throw on a hat or your favorite sweatshirt, grab your laptop, and start working. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the work from home movement isn’t going away. Companies can save money on large commercial rental spaces and studies have shown more employees are productive at home.
That said, what if you’re someone who hasn’t had the luxury to work from home, what would be the logical move for you? Today, we will share with you the best entry-level work-at-home jobs and companies that don’t require a ton of experience!
Entry Level Work At Home Jobs
1. Virtual Assistant
Are you someone who is super organized or has front desk/office management experience?
Then becoming a Virtual Assistant (VA) might be up your street. It’s another solid entry-level work-from-home job and (depending on your skills) it can be a good money earner.
Now most companies and individuals that are looking for a VA want one because they need someone to complete relatively easy, day-to-day tasks. If you’ve got a computer, some basic skills (like email, word processing, spreadsheets, etc.) you can make money as a VA. It’s an extremely flexible way to make money right from the comfort of your own home.
Learn how to become a virtual assistant here!
2. Freelance Work
Freelance work is growing leaps and bound. It’s something you can do full-time or part-time. Heck, you could even do your work from home job and freelance on the side! Either way, there are plenty of options for freelance work including:
- Freelance writing
- Freelance social media management (more on that later)
- Freelance digital marketing
- Freelance graphic design
- Freelance web design
- Any form of consulting
The pros to freelance work are that you can control the time you dedicate to your work, you have flexibility, and you can negotiate pay. That said, one of the negatives is that freelance work isn't always consistent and you’re at the mercy of your client’s sending you work – so this is ideal for stay-at-home parents or even college students who don’t maybe need a guaranteed full-time income.
Check out this complete list of freelance jobs you can do from home!
Many companies have audio and video that they need to transcribe into text. For example, podcasts often need an associated transcription that can be published online to accompany the episode.
Now the thing with transcription is that it helps if you are good/fast at typing. However, it’s not a prerequisite. That’s because most transcription projects are worked out on a per assignment basis (not an hourly rate).
So even if you’re a bit slow at typing, you can still put yourself forward….Just don’t expect to make as much as someone who types like lightning. Ideally, you do want to be able to type 70 words per minute!
Translating is similar to transcription, but you can only take on projects if you can read/write/speak the languages that are involved. They also say that you should always transcribe into your mother tongue language (not vice-versa), so if that sounds appealing to you, consider looking into translation jobs that are work from home!
Note: Schools and medical professionals often need translators and you can offer your translation services if you happen to be fluent in multiple languages.
5. Social Media Management
Everyone’s on social media, right, including you? Now, what if we said you can actually make money from home by posting social media updates on behalf of individuals and companies.
Social media management is something many businesses need help with, simply because they haven’t got the time to invest to do it themselves. You can help with their social media management and get paid for doing so.
The best part of this entry-level work-from-home job is that the business will often already have a strategy in place, and simply need someone to invest their time to help them execute it.
If you’re handy with a hammer and/or have a flair for fixing stuff up, upcycling is a great way to earn some extra cash.
All you need to do is keep your eye out for stuff that people are giving away for free (places like Gumtree are good for this), then fix it up and sell it for a little profit. They say “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” which is why there are always upcycling opportunities out there to take advantage of.
Online surveys are an extremely popular way to earn money from home in your spare time. They can be completed as and when you want, and depending on how much time you invest, they can provide you with some nice extra cash.
If you’re not sure which online survey site is right for you, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out our reviews of Inbox Dollars, Survey Junkie, and Swagbucks below:
8. Data Entry
It’s a bit boring and not many people want to do it, but data entry is definitely tolerable if you’re getting paid for it.
Many businesses often need help with data entry and as long as you know how to use a computer and have a good eye for detail, you can get involved.
Data entry is a popular entry-level work-from-home job because it can be done flexibly and typically does not require much in the way of expertise or experience.
9. Start a blog!
Fancy yourself as a bit of a wordsmith? Passionate about a particular topic or pastime? Why not look to get into blogging!?
Blogging is a great entry-level work-from-home job, but you need to be prepared to put in the time to make it pay off. In other words, blogging is a long-term game if you decide to play! That said it can be lucrative.
Now the reason we say that it helps if you’re passionate about your blog’s topic or subject area is that writing posts won’t seem like a chore. Plus, you’ll already have a good deal of knowledge, which can be translated into useful information for your audience.
Read More: Learn how to start a blog now in just 7 steps.
10. Software Tester
Software companies are always looking for people to help them test their latest offerings, and all you need is a computer and a bit of internet savvy to get involved.
You’ll usually be given access to the software or website and a list of aspects to test. You simply need to report back with your findings, so the software company can then refine and fix any issues.
To find software testing gigs, simply search for it online and check out your options on Indeed or Career Builder.
11. Laundry and Ironing
Most people hate doing laundry and ironing — and that’s why it presents an opportunity for you to earn some extra $$$ from home.
To get started, try placing a listing on a classified ads website, in your local paper or spreading the word verbally. If your prices are competitive and you provide a good service, you’ll be surprised at the amount of return business you create.
Tutoring school kids has always been a thing, but with the ongoing Covid-19 situation, it’s become more applicable than perhaps ever before. Modern technology also means that you can tutor from the comfort of your own home via a video link.
Now, some tutoring opportunities require you to have certain educational attainments and experience. So bear this in mind and check before applying. Having said that, there may be parents in your local area that want their kids to have some additional tutoring support, so put the word out that you’re offering such services.
Here are 7 of the best tutoring gigs you can do online!
13. Build Websites
If you happen to have experience building websites, this is a very lucrative way to make money from home. You can do this type of work for another company or for yourself, but the cool thing is you can do it at home!
Building websites obviously requires some technical experience and skills, but that isn’t something you can’t learn! YouTube, Udemy and simply just starting a blog (#9) will help you gain valuable website design experience.
Best Work at Home Companies
Symposium is one of the fastest-growing opportunities in the industry.
Symposium scored nearly perfect marks across the board. What sets Symposium apart from the competition? Symposium was the only company we found that didn't require or “strongly recommend” the need for a computer. As long as you have an iPhone running iOS or Android, you'll be able to get started on their platform.
How does Symposium work? Symposium allows you to host ‘one-to-many' live broadcasts on a pay-per-view model. This means that you can potentially have thousands of people tuning in and paying to see your live session, which means the sky's the limit when it comes to your earning potential on the platform.
And, it's up to you what you talk about. Design each presentation around your level of expertise. Hold broadcasts in the middle of the night if that's when your audience is watching. In other words, flexibility is nearly unmatched.
The platform is catered to working professionals seeking coaching, advice, tutorials, or any other type of session you can imagine. Not sure what you have to teach others? Most people have a hobby, skill, or experience, which is unique and highly valuable. Think outside of the box.
For example, if you know the holidays are approaching and you're an expert at making a Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings, you can easily schedule a session to cover preparing those meals from scratch.
Symposium is the perfect platform for those who demand flexibility in their schedules, are self-motivated, and have solid communication skills.
VIPKid is a leading online education company headquartered in China and San Francisco. Symposium has quickly established itself as a leader in the field. They currently have a projected value at over 3 billion dollars. The company matches American and Canadian teachers with Chinese children for virtual English language lessons.
All courses are conducted entirely in English, so absolutely no knowledge of Chinese is required. The company does have educational requirements for tutors, so you must have a bachelor's degree (in any field of study) to join the platform.
If you want to take full advantage of the platform, you should plan to work in the early morning hours due to the time difference with China. Class payouts usually start at a base rate of $8, and each class is 25 minutes. You receive a $1 bonus for completing the course, and another $1 bonus gets added once you've taught 45 classes in a month (less than two classes a day), which means you're making a total of $20 per hour.
Some teachers we spoke with began earning between $7.50 – $8.50 on the platform per class, but rates tend to increase as you build your reputation as a stellar teacher.
Finally, VIPKid was the one job where the word “fun” was used the most often to describe their work, which we thought was pretty awesome.
Everyone is familiar with the global retail giant, but few are familiar with the fact that they are leaders in the virtual working space.
In fact, Amazon always has numerous job postings for virtual working locations on its virtual job board. These opportunities are perfect for individuals looking for a more standard work arrangement from the comfort of their home since most of the jobs are full-time.
Jobs start at minimum wage, but go up from there, with one current employee telling us they began at an annual salary of $62,000. Not bad, considering they spend most days in their pajamas in their home office.
You probably know Aetna as the large managed health care company, with millions of members participating in their health insurance plans. Like Amazon, they've established themselves as a leader in the work from home space.
Founded in the 1800s, this is a stable employer for anyone who needs a robust benefits plan, as well as a more structured work environment. Unsurprisingly for an insurance giant, many of their jobs are data entry, data analysis, reporting, and reviewing information. That means they often require a degree or prior related experience.
The benefit of working for a company with a robust work-from-home network is that they have the support, training, and other programs to help you succeed in your remote position.
It's likely that you have either stayed at or know someone who has stayed at an Airbnb. The company started as a more affordable alternative to hotels for those on the go and is now hosting more bookings daily than Hilton hotels globally.
That means that as a host, you'll spend less time trying to convince people to book a room in your home, and more time deciding what to do with the money that rolls in.
We spoke to several individuals who are hosts on Airbnb, and they ranged from new users hosting a single room in their home up to power hosts with multiple properties rented simultaneously.
There is a lot of money to be made on the Airbnb platform, but you should realize that to make enough money to live off of, you'll likely need to be renting several rooms or properties. For example, renting a single room for $50 a night will net you $1,500 per month (before Airbnb takes their cut), which is a nice extra check to get, but you'd be kidding yourself if you think that's enough provide a living.
However, for those that entrepreneurially minded, there is ample opportunity to make serious cash on this platform.
If you came here to see a more ‘traditional' work from home job on this list, you'd be happy to see TranscribeMe on this list. The company offers speech-to-text transcription services and translation services around the world. You work as much or as little as you want, and you do it on your schedule. What's not to love about that?
If you love to write, want a job that requires little training, and love to learn about many different topics, then this might be the perfect match.
Their pay starts at 33 cents per audio minute, which comes out to $20 per hour!
In the world of stay-at-home jobs, you can find nearly anything you can dream up. And yes, that includes playing with puppies and getting paid for it.
Rover is a dog sitting or overnight dog boarding platform, which matches dog owners who need a dog sitter for an upcoming trip, party, meeting, vacation, etc., with dog lovers looking to take great care of pets. The company also offers dog walking services.
Become a sitter on Rover doesn't have many formal requirements, but the company does everything they can to ensure that they find qualified dog sitters.
We met with a dog sitter who has relied on Rover for over two years for a full-time income, and she makes roughly $3,000 per month taking care of three dogs at a time. Those who do this part-time can earn approximately $1,000 per month, which isn't bad for an activity.
It goes without saying, but this is only an excellent opportunity for those of you who are true animal lovers and would take excellent care of these wonderful pets.
Belay is a virtual personal assistant company that matches people looking for extra help to be more productive, with awesome people working from home.
The services they offer include virtual assistants, virtual bookkeepers, and website specialists. They require that all applicants go through an assessment process to make sure that you are a good fit for the company. Once approved, they will match you with a client who is a good fit for your skill-sets, abilities, and interests.
According to one insider who we spoke with on the condition of anonymity, you can expect to earn roughly $16 per hour as a virtual assistant. Virtual bookkeepers with substantial accounting experience can expect to receive more on the platform.
One person also mentioned the fact that there's no shortage of work on the platform, but that finding the right client is critical for long-term success.
9. Magic Ears
Magic Ears is an English learning platform for students ages 4-12. The company provides a 1-on-4 teacher to student ratio, which creates a fun learning environment.
Due to the larger class size, they can pay between $22-$26 per hour – a decent hourly wage. The company, based in Beijing, requires that all instructors be from the U.S. or Canada and be native English speakers. Unlike VIPKid, the company does require a six-month commitment, which we assume is there to justify the training they provide teachers.
You will need a high-speed internet connection so that the connection with students is of high quality.
That is an excellent option for educators or individuals who seek to interact with others throughout the day.
Unlike the others on this list, Fiverr is a platform where you can find work from home opportunities and gigs. It made the list because it was often cited as a reliable place to find excellent opportunities managing social media accounts and profiles.
To become a social media manager, you should be able to regularly create new social media content for your client and manage their social media presence. One work-from-home social media manager that we spoke with focused exclusively on Pinterest and earned $2,500 per month, working only 20 hours per week since she had several clients who needed similar work.
Fiverr gigs typically start at just a few dollars for basic projects, but the beauty of the platform is that it's super easy to join and start earning money. If you have an excellent talking voice, you can even focus exclusively on voice-overs!
You'll have to do several gigs to make enough money to replace a full-time income, but it's possible if you establish yourself and build a strong Fiverr reputation!
If you are ready to start working from home, we know these ten jobs are the best of the best. While our list only includes the top 10 work from home jobs, there many more that we evaluated. That means that you should also do your research when deciding where to apply for a job.
If the idea doesn't convince you of working from home, that is okay because we created the ultimate guide to making a resume (some work from home jobs still require a resume!) so that you can get noticed for your dream job.
Why Work From Home
If you are reading this guide, there is a good chance you are looking for a work from home job or are looking to transition away from a traditional desk job. Whether you are looking for a more laid-back work environment, more control over your time, or increase your earning potential, it's easy to see why working from home can be an attractive option.
In the past, many viewed work from home jobs as perks offered only by I.T. companies or startups competing for the world's best talent. However, many of the top companies in the world are now continually seeking to hire remote employees for several reasons.
Working From Home Makes You Happier (& More Efficient!)
According to a Stanford University study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, employees who work from home report higher job satisfaction, are more engaged in their work and are also more efficient workers.
It's hard to argue with more job satisfaction and higher efficiency!
The reality is that many people simply need to work from home for health, family, or other reasons. Years ago, you had to accept lower quality or lower-paying jobs to work from home, but the tide is turning, and there are tons of excellent opportunities if you know where to look for them.
Who Should Work From Home
If you've ever fantasized about quitting your 9-to-5 job to work from home, there are a few things you need to know to set yourself up for success.
Today, most companies have rigidly structured work environments to get the most out of their employees. After all, not every worker is a go-getter, and some require a bit of an oversight.
That means that to make sure you have what it takes to succeed in working from home, you need to be self-motivated, organized, and have excellent communication skills. If you aren't able to do those things, you might be better off keeping that 9-to-5!
But if you're ready to spread your wings and fly free, keep reading to see our top work from home jobs!
The Pros and Cons of Work From Home Jobs
When considering remote job options, it's wise to keep the positives and negatives in mind. Yes, there are negatives to working from home. It's not always a good match.
The Pros of Work From Home Jobs
By and large, the flexibility offered by work from home jobs is what makes them so appealing for so many people. Working whenever you can and not being stuck with a fixed schedule is the biggest asset of working from home.
If you are looking to work from home to avoid the commute but still want a more traditional career, there are many full-time opportunities available. Indeed, working from home is no longer only for those who can't work at least 40 hours per week.
We found that many of the workers we interviewed liked working from home because they could flex their hours up and earn more money when they needed it.
And, working from home lets the worker design his or her work environment from the ground up. Using a work environment free from distractions, remote workers can maximize their own living space to get the most out of where they spend their time.
The Downsides of Working From Home
When working from home, you'll likely be spending the vast majority of your time on the computer or the telephone, depending on your role. That means that you'll be spending less time interacting with other people in an office (unless you work from a co-working space).
The #1 downside that we heard from employees who previously worked from home and went back to working in an office was that they felt isolated working from home.
If you are someone who has limited social interaction outside of work and knows this is a critical aspect of their job satisfaction, you'll need to specifically look for jobs that require virtual communication (our #2 job might be the perfect fit).
And the remote position requires the right amount of discipline and time management. If you aren't a self-motivated person who can buckle down without a boss in the office, you may struggle.
Tips for Working From Home
Communication is the undercurrent in working from home successfully. It's kind of like how humans need air to breathe.
This idea is accurate with most jobs but becomes a top priority when working remotely. That's because your primary connection with the company you work for and your co-workers is 100% through the digital space. If you don't get good at communicating over the internet, you will leave a path of confusion and frustration.
Excellent communication isn't just about the number of words you write. It more has to do with being clear, concise, and direct.
Over the years, I've focused on over-communication, which I think is a good thing at its' core. But I'm learning to write what I mean in fewer words, to make what I'm trying to communicate easier to digest and understand.
Excellent communication comes down to a few core principles:
- Asking the right questions as early as possible
- Making sure you understand each request or task
- Explaining complex problems for anyone to understand, regardless of their background
- Being careful about what assumptions you make
- Taking an active role in whatever you touch
Organization and Work Efficiency
You could be at the top of your field, but if you can't organize your workday, you could fall flat on your face when working from home.
I've worked with well-intentioned individuals who had a hard time getting this right. They were smart and talented but had a hard time organizing their time working through multiple priorities at home.
It becomes about making order out of chaos. The better you become at what you do regularly, the more the company will rely on you to solve those problems. Being organized means increased responsibilities and more tasks coming your way (and can anyone say cha-ching).
This idea isn't about letting your employer put unrealistic expectations on your time; it's about increasing your work efficiency. In most work at home situations, no one is going to dictate your every move. You have to figure this out on your own.
A few questions I like to ask myself in making sure I'm on track:
- Are my priorities for today and this week clear?
- Am I being blocked by anyone, and have I communicated this clearly to the correct people?
- Are the expectations of what I will accomplish with my time realistic?
- In regards to what I am working on: what are the main risks? Have I communicated these risks?
As you can probably tell, being organized is highly coupled with communication. Both communication and organization depend on each other, and the more you can improve these skills, the more you will increase your value.
If you want to excel at working from home, focus on your communication and organizational skills. You'll decimate your competition if you do.
There is an element of working from home that requires a higher level of trust than working in an office. People depend on you to work, even though they can't physically see you at your desk.
The more you can convince your co-workers that you know what you are doing and are reliable in solving problems, the more you increase your value as a remote worker.
Your value should be evident through your day-to-day output. If the company you work for starts to wonder if you are working at all, that is a bad sign.
But once you get to the point where people learn to rely upon you for high-value output, they will start to give you the benefit of the doubt. When something takes you longer than expected, they assume this is a more complex task than expected, as opposed to questioning your abilities or work ethic.
And I can't stress how important this is when working from home. When the company needs to let people go to cut costs, you don't want to be at the top of the list.
It's easier for a company to fire remote employees than their in-office counterparts. You can counteract this by being a necessary component on your team.
I'm a natural introvert. I suffer from social anxiety when I'm in crowds of people I don't know very well.
But even if you are an introvert like me, we all need human connection. When working from home, this becomes more vital. Building personal relationships is more challenging when you aren't physically working with people.
Creating a personal connection with your co-workers is about team dynamics. Strong teams know each other well. The more you can identify a human behind a name, the more you can collaborate effectively with each other.
There are several ways you can build strong personal connections when working from home:
Not being able to walk up to someone and have a physical conversation means it is difficult to have more in-depth discussions. Email does not work great when there's a ton of back and forth.
Chat software, like Slack, helps solve this problem. It allows you to have private conversations with individuals or have rooms dedicated to teams. It also provides a way of having lighter social conversations through general chat rooms. These can be fun and gives a break from the regular day-to-day conversations.
Seeing your coworkers regularly during meetings does a great job connecting with your coworkers on a personal level. You can see expressions, hear voices, and interact with people, not much different from what you would do in an office environment.
If you work for a company that does not have this setup, I highly suggest pushing them to implement video chat company-wide. Even if your company has a central office, they should install a webcam so that you can be a part of meetings in the office. Google Hangouts and Zoom are great options.
You will want to have a decent web camera that produces a clear picture. Even if you don't end up doing video conferences, you will want to have a good headset or microphone that will record your voice crisp and clear. It can be annoying to be on a call with someone talking, but no one can understand what they are saying. “Did anyone hear what Chris said?”
Spending in-person time with your co-workers adds a human element that is hard to replicate when you are a digital nomad. Sharing meals, chatting over a beer, and attending conferences can do wonders in building a personal bond with your online co-workers.
The goal is not necessarily to become best friends with everyone at your company. But the more you can connect with others personally, the more integrated you become into that company.
If you work remotely for a company and don't do any of the above, I recommend you request these things. Otherwise, you will feel like you work on an island, and work depression can set in quickly.
Internet Speed and Reliability
When working from home, your internet connection is your lifeline. Without it, you'll be sitting at your desk, twiddling your thumbs.
I've worked with people who tend always to have some kind of internet issue. They either take forever downloading a large file (which wastes time), or their internet is not reliable, and they will frequently go offline.
Besides slowing you down (literally), it doesn't put you in a positive light if you seem to have constant internet issues. Having a reliable internet connection is a vital aspect of working from home.
In addition to getting stable internet, spend extra money ($100-$300) on a reliable wireless router. The best routers are mostly set it and forget about it and will work reliably for multiple years. The one I use has lasted over 3-years and is still going strong. I can even get a reliable internet connection from my front porch!
What if you are needed for a critical issue and end up losing the internet? Losing your internet connection can happen to anyone, but the more you can reduce this risk based on your internet provider and hardware, the less likely this will occur at the wrong time.
Being at the top of your game means you need to prioritize your physical wellbeing.
If you are always dead tired when you work at home, you will find it challenging to focus on the problems at hand. You also might end up taking your frustration out on your coworkers or managers, which is never a good thing.
In my case, when my sleep schedule is not consistent or if I'm having problems sleeping, my monitor feels like a gateway to hell. Words look like mush, and issues seem impossible to solve. My comfortable work environment doesn't make this any easier.
Save yourself pain and suffering by making sure you are performing at the top of your game. Figure out what sleep schedule works best for you and your family, and try to stick to it (during the weekdays at least).
In most cases, your remote employer will talk to you about the expectations of the hours you work. Whatever is decided and agreed upon, stick as near to the plan as possible. And make sure you are keeping timezones in mind.
If you are supposed to start working at 8 AM MST, make sure you are online at that time, and not 8:15 AM. Keeping a regular schedule relates to building trust with your company.
This idea might seem like a small issue, but having your managers wonder why you aren't online is not a good thing. Coming across as flaky doesn't put you in a positive light.
When you need to take off early, or take an extended lunch, make sure you communicate when you will be gone and about when you think you will be back. It's not about having people micromanage your time; it's to limit the possibility of someone looking for you and not being able to get a hold of you. Do this a few times, and people might start to wonder what you are “really” doing at home.
Have you ever tried to get work done with a small child yelling in your ear? It's not fun, and it is incredibly hard to focus. Let's face it: For some of us, a remote job – especially one where you might be your boss, may not be as fun as it sounds.
Having a distraction-free work at home environment will make your time more efficient. It also doesn't help your work at home status if your coworkers think you spend most of your time watching kids at home.
Luckily, my kids are older, and even when they are off from school, they keep themselves busy by playing outside or doing things on their own in our house.
In the past, I was interviewing with a possible employer for a remote position. My youngest daughter would have these tantrum fits (she was four years old at the time). During this video interview, she would storm into my office and start wailing. I'm convinced that part of why they didn't make me a job offer was that they were concerned I didn't have a place where I could work undistracted.
Having a solid work ethic is required while working at home. Would you hire someone to do a job that you thought was lazy?
Developing a driven work ethic takes time, and isn't going to form because you are working from home magically. It helps if you like what you do and have lots of experience. It also helps in thinking about what you are working towards. Do you envision having this job long-term? Or are you pursuing financial independence?
Like any job, some days you might find it hard to work. But if you have an end goal in mind, this can help you push forward.
The goal is to work as hard as you can, to give you more options in the future. This goal might be more money or the opportunity to switch to a different role that fits you better.
Optimize Your Home Office
Being able to work from your home office means that you can define your work environment.
Improve anything that will help make your day more enjoyable. For me, I've grown to love working on Mac laptops, as I've found them to be reliable, and I don't have to worry about viruses (so I've always requested a Mac work computer). I also like to use a standing desk and have decent speakers to pump up the music and enjoy some Kendric Lamar.
Anything that will make you feel comfortable, relaxed (but not too relaxed), and helps you focus on solving problems is money well spent. Some of these things you might have to cover out of your pocket. But you won't know unless you ask!
A crappy chair that gives you back pain is going to become a bigger problem over time. Solve these types of issues early, and your future self will thank you.
More recently, I've converted to a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, which has simplified my computer setup. I also have a USBC/Thunderbolt 3 doc that allows me to connect + charge my laptop with one cable to all of my workstation equipment: monitors, ethernet, speakers, charging cables, etc.
And for the love of God, please set up a computer backup solution! There are online backup services you can use, or like me, you could purchase a computer backup drive that is compatible with your O.S. I use W.D. My Passport drive and it works flawlessly with my setup. I don't have to think about it and know if I connect to my workstation, everything is getting backed up regularly.
Be Quick on Your Feet
Sometimes you will have to work on things that don't fill you with feelings of butterflies and rainbows. But remember, working from home means hundreds, if not thousands of people who would love to do what you are doing.
Being a valuable remote employee means that you are willing to tackle things that make you uncomfortable, up to a certain point. If you push back on every task assigned to you because it doesn't fit with what you want to do, eventually, your employer might decide they need to find someone who fits that role better.
Don't underestimate the value of being a kick-ass problem solver. Learning new things, or tackling problems that make your insides squeal, can often have you learning much more than if you only stuck to what makes you comfortable.
It takes skill and tact to understand what type of tasks to push back against, so I would advise you to move forward carefully until you know your value and your strengths.
Own Your Mistakes
When you make a mistake, own up to your part of the problem. Show your coworkers and managers how you are going to prevent this problem from happening again.
Owning your mistakes not only is a good mentality to have in general, but it reflects how valuable of a remote employee you are.
If you are continually looking for others to blame and playing the blame game whenever you can, this erodes how much people trust you. People will wonder if you are trying to cover your tracks and if you care about what happened.
You might work alone in your home office, but you are still part of a team. Show that you are a team player and care about the results and effectiveness of the team above everything else.
Work at Home (Wah) F.a. Q
Is Working at Home a Viable Option?
The first thing to consider when thinking about working from home is if this option is a possibility.
If you do most of your work from a computer, chances are you could do this remotely. But if you have a job that requires you to be physically present in a specific location, it probably won't work. At least not the exact position you've been filling.
You could still do what you are doing now, but in a different capacity that would allow you to work from home. But in some jobs, this might not be an option without a significant shift in your career.
With that said, below are a few different types of jobs that work well when working remotely in themselves:
- Virtual Assistant
- Digital Project Manager
- Travel Agent
- Data Analysis
- Social Media Manager
And there are many other options. As we become more of a digitized society, the options will increase.
When thinking about whether working from home is a good option for you, also consider if you will enjoy the work environment.
Do you mind working from home during the workday and not being in physical contact with anyone? Or do you go crazy if you are not interacting physically with people regularly?
Being an introvert, I enjoy working alone. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy interacting with others. I get all I need through our company chat software. If I feel worn out from always being at home, I'll sometimes change locations and work from a coffee shop.
It would not be a great situation if you quit your current job, only to find out that you do not like working from home by yourself.
One option is if you want to have the flexibility that working from home comes with, but you also wish to have more physical human interaction, you could look into working from a coworking space on occasions. Using a coworking space might give you the best of both worlds without sacrificing the benefits of working from home when you want to.
The more experience you have, and especially if you are considered a “master” in your field, it will be easier to find a job that allows you to work out of your home.
If you are just starting, and have limited experience in your job field, it will be harder to convince a company to bring you on. The main reason for this is because remotely working requires a higher level of trust than a typical job. They can't just walk over and see what you are doing.
If you don't have much experience and want to work remotely, you might want to consider first getting some substantial job experience. This experience will not only improve the quality of your job resume, but it also increases the chances of landing a high-paying work from home jobs. It also puts you in a position of power instead of trying to get whatever you can. You might end up finding yourself accepting a remote job you don't want, just because it is the only offer you have.
I know this may not be what you want to hear, but this could end up improving the trajectory of your career and open up more options when you have more experience.
Depending on where you live and what you do will depend on whether or not your salary will increase working remotely. If you are in a low cost of living area, there is a good chance you can make more money working for a company remotely in a larger city.
Even if you learn that you will have to take a pay-cut to work from home, the benefits and freedom might be worth the cost. Just keep in mind that not having to commute to work will save a ton of money and time.
When you look for a work at home job, you might also learn that salaries and pay will vary across the country. To get a sense of what is out there, get as many job interviews as possible, . You might find a job that has fewer responsibilities but pays more from a different city.
Companies looking for remote workers have an influx of candidates, which means these jobs can be much more competitive. Sometimes this means pay could go down (compared to certain areas), and it could also make it more challenging to get an interview. That's why the more people you can get to view your resume and get an interview with, the more of a chance you will have in landing a job.
Health insurance can be tricky when working for a company that is not in the same state where you live. If the company has a lot of remote employees, chances are they provide national health insurance. In most cases, this is going to be the best and cheapest option for healthcare.
But you might find yourself in a situation where the company you work remotely for doesn't have a healthcare policy that is available in your state. Your next best option is to use healthcare.gov (or your state's healthcare marketplace) to see what options you have. Depending on your income level, you might qualify for subsidies to lower your premium. If not, health insurance is going to be expensive.
Health insurance could be a significant factor in taking a remote position. If you have a family of four and do not qualify for healthcare subsidies, you could end up paying $1,500-$2,000/mo for health insurance.
Don't wait until you accept a job offer and start before thinking about health insurance. Having to spend $2,000/mo out of pocket for health insurance could end up taking away the benefits of a higher salary (that's $24,000/yr).
Depending on the company you work for and the type of job, you might have to do some traveling for work.
Sometimes this means going to a yearly company gathering or attending a conference. Assuming you are okay with a little travel, this shouldn't be an issue. But if you have kids at home, even a small amount of travel time could be hard to work around, depending on your kids' ages.
When working through the interview process for remote jobs with companies, make sure you ask how much travel they expect you to do (if it hasn't come up already). It's one thing to have to travel a few times per year. It's a whole different problem if they expect you to jump on a plane every month.
If you are married, I suggest starting the conversation with your partner on how they feel about traveling for work. That way, you have an idea of how much travel will work for your family.
One vital piece of working from home has an environment that allows you to work effectively. In most cases, this means a room or area dedicated to your home office.
If you are living in a cramped space already, the problem is only going to get worse if you don't have a dedicated home office.
The best option is an area that is separate enough from the main areas of your home that will allow you to work at any time. If your home office doesn't have a window, think about whether this will work for sitting in that space for 40+ hours per week.
You might think that you can make your attic work as a home office, but if it doesn't bring up good feelings when you go into that space now, that feeling will get exasperated the more time you spend there.
Computer and Office Furniture
Some companies that allow you to work from home may or may not require you to provide your computer. I haven't worked for a company that didn't buy me a laptop to use, but this is something you will want to make sure you are clear on before accepting a job offer.
Other things, such as a desk, chair, etc. may or not get covered by the company. But you won't know unless you ask. If you can get a motorized standing desk, that will help improve your health from sitting all the time. These days I think you can get an excellent standing desk for several hundred dollars, and it might be a great option even if you have to purchase it yourself.
How To Search for a Work From Home Job?
The excellent news about searching for a work from home job is that Google becomes your vast world to explore. However, that can also make it challenging to find opportunities that are published online.
You'll want to make sure to do an in-depth review of the common search terms and job listing sites, which might include:
- remote jobs for [job type]
- online [job type] jobs
- remote jobs directory
The more resumes, emails, and forms you can submit, the higher your chances are for getting contacted.
One technique that I've had success with is to target major cities and metro areas around the country and search for companies that are in my field. Even if they aren't looking for remote workers specifically, you might be able to convince them to consider you as an option. Just keep in mind that you will want to start the message with how you know they aren't looking for remote workers directly, but you would make an excellent candidate for the position.
Sometimes if you can just get your foot in the door, that might be enough to convince them that you are worth it.
You need to spend a massive amount of time, making sure your resume looks as impressive as possible.
The goal is to land an interview, and a spectacular resume could end up getting you a job that is not even directly open to remote employees.
One thing to consider is that you could potentially be going against tens or hundreds of other candidates also applying for that remote position. How does your resume stack up against your competition?
You want to keep your resume simple and to the point and make sure it highlights your unique strengths. Why should they consider you over others?
Work at Home Benefits
No More Commute
Some people are not able to live near the office where they work, or maybe they have a spouse that has a long commute.
Working remotely not only saves you a ton of time, but it also means you spend less on fuel and maintenance on your vehicle. For example, if it takes you 20 mins to get to work, which most people consider a small amount of travel time (especially when you hear about people having to drive 1+ hours to get to work), that adds up to over 3 hours per week. Or 13 hours per month, which comes to over 156 hours per year!
What could you do with an extra 156 hours per year?
That is about 3.5 weeks of a full-time job that you dedicate to traveling in your car to work. After working remotely for so long, this is one thing I don't think I could give up. The benefits of eliminating your job commute are massive.
In addition to saving time and money, not having to commute to work also has environmental benefits. You are reducing the amount of pollution generated in your city. It's a win-win for everyone!
Being able to walk inside your home office to work means it is easier to jump in and out of clocking in hours.
When the weather is beautiful, I like to walk or take a short bike ride on the local trails near my neighborhood. Sometimes I do this during my lunch hour. Other times, I take a break in the afternoon and make the time up either before or after work sometime that week.
Periodically one of our kids gets sick and has to stay home from school. Instead of taking the full day off to take care of their needs, I can often take part of the day off. That way, I can be available when I'm needed and re-arrange my schedule.
Each company is going to have different policies on what is acceptable. But I found most companies are willing to have you temporarily change your work hours to meet a pressing need during the day.
Time flexibility is enormous when talking about financial independence. Your work from home job might give you enough flexibility with your time that you don't mind holding down your job.
When you work in a physical office, that usually comes with being in an environment alongside other people.
Maybe you work next to someone who talks loudly. Or a co-worker likes to go on about their fishing trips for 30-minutes. When you face project deadlines and deliverables, the only thing you want to do is focus on what you need to get done.
Working from home allows you to work in an environment that is much less distracting. Or at least it provides options in changing things to suit your needs.
I've become relatively particular about the coffee I like to drink in the morning. Granted, I could do this regardless of the type of job I had, but working from home means that I can continually drink the coffee of my choice all day long. If I need an afternoon snack, I'm only limited by what is in my pantry.
Downgrading to One Vehicle
In households with kids, where both parents work, it is common for the family to need two vehicles. But when at least one partner works from home, you have the possibility of getting by with one car.
It takes coordination to figure out how to share one car, but the financial benefits can be massive. You only have to get insurance for one car, and you don't have to worry about maintenance or fuel costs having a 2nd vehicle.
In our case, we currently have two vehicles. But we might decide to downgrade to one car eventually. The financial benefits might be worth the extra effort in coordinating who needs to use the vehicle. It could also open up the option of getting a nicer solo vehicle.
If you have a 2-car garage, going this route frees up more space to do other things. We love to do craft projects, and having a car space opened up in our garage would mean we could tackle DIY projects all year long.
Can Live Anywhere
One big advantage of working at home is you have the option of moving to a different area and keeping your job (in most cases).
If you can get by living in an area with a low cost of living, this can mean more cash in your pocket. While others with similar jobs have to deal with high rent or mortgage prices, you can relish in the thought of having more space for less money. I haven't heard of remote jobs that pay you differently, depending on where you live.
But the reverse could also be true. Maybe you decide to move to a higher cost of living area. This transition becomes more comfortable because you know you don't have to find a new job before/after you move, and you have the option of moving later if you don't like it.
Being location agnostic, you can roam when and where you want. Once you become a digital nomad, you most likely will not want to give up this benefit!
Your Work From Home Office Is Your Fortress
I have full control over the layout and setup of my home office. I can hang whatever I want on the walls. The position of my computer speakers is 100% in my control.
And by working from home, you only have to use headphones if you want to! You can crank the music as loud as you want, or listen to podcasts while you work. The freedom in how you set up and what you do in your home office is up to you.
I installed floating shelves in my home office for my computer speakers and displayed pictures of my family. The office is in our basement, which means it is cooler in the summers, but still has a window where I can get natural light. I have a standing desk that I use periodically.
I say all of this because having full flexibility in my work environment allows me to focus on what makes me comfortable during the workday without having to consider how my choices affect my coworkers.
More Employment Options
When you don't work remotely, you have to get a job near where you live. This limit does not exist when you work from home.
And depending on where you live, this also means that you might make much more than what the local workforce brings in to do the same thing.
In other words, the world is full of possible employers in different locations who might be looking for someone like you. Your income potential goes up, as companies in various areas might have much higher salaries.
If you get fired, or if the company you work for goes out of business, it can be much easier to find other jobs. You become limited only by how much time you spend looking for remote jobs in your field. The more time you spend in your job search, the more likely you are to generate interest.
Since you are working at home, most remote jobs will supply you with mobile-friendly equipment (explicitly talking about working remotely as an employee). This equipment usually means a laptop and other stuff that allows you to work from your home office.
When you work from a laptop, this means you can change up your work location without much hassle. Just pack up your gear and head to a local coffee shop, or library, for example.
Having a mobile workstation is great because you can change your work environment in your local area, effortlessly. You could also put in some work time while you travel, or (God forbid) when you are on vacation.
At times I can feel like my house is pressing down on my soul, where I need to get out. Changing your work scenery can be an attitude booster and can be necessary when spending massive amounts of time in your home office.
Your employer hires remote employees means they have to have systems set up that you can use from anywhere.
This idea relates to not being tied to any location. Otherwise, no one would be able to work outside of the office.
Having a mobile-friendly work process is a benefit in that everything you need becomes accessible from your laptop. There are many 3rd party web applications that help to connect a remote workforce. These tools can include video conferencing (Zoom and Google Hangouts are great), chat software (I love Slack), and ticketing systems.
When a meeting gets abruptly canceled, it is not a huge deal, since you would be at your desk anyway. If you need to talk to someone that isn't available right that second, you can send a message in chat, and the message will be seen eventually. Many of these efficiencies would not be present if the company were not set up to hire remote employees.
Indeed, the above benefits have drastically improved my time working. Not only has working from home increased my income, but it has allowed me to enjoy more of what I do.
I especially like how, when I'm working on a problem, I can buckle down and focus on getting it solved as quickly as possible. When an unexpected issue comes up, I don't have to haul it to a corporate office. I just have to walk downstairs and boot up my computer.
It's a combination of all the benefits of working remotely that make this option worthwhile.
Fewer Office Politics
Not being in the office means you miss out on some of the drama experienced in the company building.
In some companies, the amount of office politics and drama can be soul-crushing. Most of this drama goes away when working from home, as these things are less prevalent coming through in chat, email, and online meetings.
The way people interact digitally can often be much different than what happens in person. This idea doesn't mean it can't or won't happen when you work at home, but I have found that it is much less of an issue when I'm not in the office.
Have you ever encountered an awkward heated debate between people at the office? Where people raise their voices, or a harsh word is spoken? I have, and it is uncomfortable for anyone who happens to be in the room. Becoming a digital nomad eliminates most of these problems.
If working from home can be summed up in one word, “independence” would be it. You open yourself up to more options in how and where you work, along with freeing up your time and money to do other things.
Once you experience this type of freedom, it will be hard to hold a regular 9-5 office job.
Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.