Who can resist the dinging sound of a new email? You, that’s who, especially if you want to stay on task. And forget about signing in to Facebook “just for a minute.” It’s easy to get distracted when you telecommute—unlikely distractions that just don’t exist at work abound at home. At the office, for example, you might visit the company kitchen once in the morning and once in the afternoon for a cup of joe (because that’s what’s appropriate), but at home, you’re hitting the fridge every hour on the hour. Or more.
Like most work-at-home jobs, the amount of money you make depends on your experience level and any specialties you may have. According to Salary.com, annual salaries for technical support representatives range from roughly $29,600 to $43,300 with a median salary of $34,400 a year. That breaks down to about $16.50 an hour, but again this figure varies widely.
Of the more than three million web entries resulting from a search on the phrase "work at home", more than 95% of the results were scams, links to scams, or other dead ends. Work at home scams earn their perpetrators more than $500 million per year, and home business scams account for another $250 million per year. Even the sites that claim to be scam-free often feature ads that link to scams. According to Christine Durst, CEO of Staffcentrix, there is a 48-to-1 ratio of scams to legitimate offerings among work-at-home job leads on the Internet.
I am a health and safety coordinator, working full time in a 24 hour run facility, I am also a single mom. I have been living pay cheque by pay cheque for years even when I was working three jobs. Trying to pay off debts that I incurred while with my ex husband and ex boyfriend. I am exhausted and depressed that I am trying to help my children with their dreams, but don’t have enough funds to pay the rent, buy food or pay the bills. I am trying to pay off the credit cards and high interest rate loans that I feel stupid about. I would like to just earn the extra dollars when I am at home on weekends catching up with the household chores, and taking my son to his rep basketball games. I just want to be able to keep up on paying everything on time and to get out of debt quicker. If someone have something available to help me out I will be grateful. I was debt free once before and it felt great just keeping up and being able to take my kids out to dinner once a month as a treat. My dream is to buy my daughter her wedding dress, and to register my son into basketball camps, help my other son go back to school.
Have lots opinions on what works and what doesn't on the web? Then you might just be right for a "career" in remote usability testing. Actually, no one really makes a career at it, but user testers can pick up some extra work reviewing websites or mobile applications that may still be in development. You don't even necessarily have to be very knowledgeable about the Internet because some developers want the beginner's point of view.
Motivator-hygiene theory differentiates between motivating factors (motivators) and dissatisfying factors (hygienes). Factors that are motivators such as recognition and career advancement may be lessened with telework. When teleworkers are not physically present, they may be “out of sight, out of mind” to other workers in the office. Additionally, telework may not always be seen positively by management due to fear of loss of managerial control. A 2008 study found that more time spent telecommuting decreased the perception of productivity of the teleworker in the eyes of management. Hygiene factors, such as work conditions, may improve when teleworking such that teleworkers have the flexibility to work in a variety of locations. Thus, telework has different work motivating factors and dissatisfying factors than office work.
Security must be addressed for teleworkers and non-teleworkers as well. In 2006, a United States Department of Veterans Affairs employee's stolen laptop represented what was described as "potentially the largest loss of Social Security numbers to date". While he was not a telecommuter, this incident brought attention to the risks inherent in working off-site. Ninety percent of executives charged with security in large organizations feel that telework is not a security concern. They are more concerned with the occasional work that's taken out of the office by non-teleworkers because they lack the training, tools, and technologies that teleworkers receive. In other studies regarding Job Characteristics Theory, job feedback seemed to have the strongest relationship with overall job satisfaction compared to other job characteristics. While teleworking, communication is not as immediate or rich as face-to-face interactions. Less feedback when teleworking is associated with lower job engagement. Thus, when perceived supervisor support and relationship quality between leaders and teleworkers decreases, job satisfaction of the teleworker decreases. The importance of manager communication with teleworkers is made clear in a study that found that individuals have lower job satisfaction when their managers telework.
Since work hours are less regulated in telework, employee effort and dedication are far more likely to be measured purely in terms of output or results. Fewer, if any, traces of non-productive work activities (research, self-training, dealing with technical problems or equipment failures) and time lost on unsuccessful attempts (early drafts, fruitless endeavors, abortive innovations) are visible to employers. Piece rate, commissions, or other performance-based compensation also become more likely for telecommuters. Furthermore, major chunks of per-employee expenses are absorbed by the telecommuter himself - from simple coffee, water, electricity, and telecommunications services, to huge capital expenses like office equipment or software licenses. Thus, hours spent on the job tend to be underestimated and expenses under-reported, creating overly optimistic figures of productivity gains and savings, some or all of those in fact coming out of the telecommuter's time and pocket.
If you have prior administrative experience or you simply enjoy basic office tasks like typing, correspondence, and scheduling, a virtual assistant (VA) job may be the perfect fit for you. Not only are VAs are in demand, but their hours are (often) flexible, and most tasks you can complete on a flexible timeline. You can learn more about virtual assistant roles here.
Durst says insurance companies are increasingly outsourcing their incoming phone calls to contact centers. The contact centers then have to hire or contract with licensed insurance reps “because state laws mandate that only licensed agents can ‘sell’ policies,” says Durst. So, if you see an ad on TV for XYZ Life Insurance Co. and call the number on your screen, there’s a good chance you’re talking to someone who is working from home.
Many of the best web design jobs come from customer referrals. However, a great way to get started is by listing your services on websites like 99designs or Fiverr. Here, you can connect with thousands of potential customers who are searching for the exact services you offer. You may also have the opportunity to upsell them after they purchase your introductory offer.
Believe it or not, you don’t have to be a CPA to start bookkeeping. Just sign up for a bookkeeping course at a community college or even online (such as this course from The Accounting Coach). Once you complete a course, you can start earning, and the median salary is reportedly $34,000. (Some stay-at-home bookkeepers I've spoken with personally make more than $70,000.)
What It Is: Students in countries including Japan, Korea, France and Germany are looking for English speakers to practice with. Sessions focus on things like making professional small talk or running a meeting (trainers are provided with specifics on how to teach each topic, and are also trained themselves for two days before starting the job). Lessons take place either over the phone or on a live Internet video service like Skype — sometimes at night, because you're working with students in different time zones. You need to commit to a minimum of 20 hours a week at consistent times, and can work as many as 35 hours.
Freelance writers can more easily be thought of as a “writer for hire” or someone who is contracted out to write about a particular topic. If you have some writing chops, but don’t want to deal with all the extra work that goes into running a blog, you can hire yourself out and write for newspapers, large online publications and even other bloggers.