Whether you want to totally change up your career path, or just start earning some side income, there’s never been a better time to work from home.
Working from home can be very appealing, but it can also have certain drawbacks. If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, it’s good to be aware of some of the pros and cons before committing to this type of work environment. Before we get into those, it’s important for you to know what kind of remote job choice you’d be most comfortable with.
Most people fall into one of the following three categories:
Being an entrepreneur / Setting up a business
You can choose to have your own business where you are your own boss and don’t report to anyone. Whether it’s affiliate marketing, a drop shipping business, a web design service, or a brand new business idea, you can work where you want, when you want, and as much as you want.
Although this type of work gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility, keep in mind that you often have to invest quite a bit of money up front to get started and, at some point, will need to get investors and employees on board to help you grow.
Being a freelancer
You can choose to freelance and offer your services to clients on a contract or project basis. Again, this gives you the ability to choose where you want to work and how much you work. And it is up to you what types of projects you prefer to do. With this type of work, however, your income is based on securing new clients and keeping existing ones.
Being a work-from-home employee
You may prefer to work remotely but still be employed by a company because you prefer job and income security. This still gives you the freedom to work from home and not commute to work. However, being part of a team usually means having fixed hours and scheduled meetings.
Once you’ve decided what category you’d be most comfortable working in, consider some of the pros and cons before committing to this type of work enviroment:
- Setting your own schedule and working from pretty much anywhere in the world
- Adding valuable time to your day by eliminating your commute to and from work
- Daily commutes can be stressful - getting rid of stress can be very beneficial to your health
- With extra time in your day, you may take up that hobby you haven’t had time for before or spend more time with family and friends
- Saving money on clothes, lunches, and expensive coffees
- Preparing your own meals every day, which means you can eat fresh and healthy
- No public transport or gas bills - maybe you won’t need your car at all anymore
- More comfort - say goodbye to formal attire, say hello to sweatpants or yoga pants
- Flexible working hours, particularly if you are a business owner or freelancer
- Setting up your own working environment that makes you feel good (for example, you can surround yourself with plants, flowers, family photos, etc.)
- Work/life balance - no more daily commutes and a reduced level of stress can result in better sleep, eating healthier, and exercising more
- Working alone can feel lonely at times - spending long hours and collaborating only with your computer and no in-person interactions can become quite challenging
- Missing out on thinking things through with others - ideas seem to flow much faster when employees are thinking through things together in person
- Zoom and Skype are great and will connect you with other people, but it might not be as productive and effective as sitting together and brainstorming ideas
- For some, no motivation can make life difficult and can adversely affect productivity - and without motivation, there is no drive or ambition to achieve goals
- Working from home often lacks the energy that is present when working with other colleagues
- Self-regulation is tough for many people - working from home requires you to keep a check on your performance
- For some, procrastination becomes an issue when working alone and unmonitored - since work rests at your own discretion, you may find yourself taking frequent breaks or putting things off
- The degree of procrastination is something that can spiral out of control
- Distractions and lack of a good working environment can become an issue - not every household can provide adequate working conditions. Household noises, children interrupting you while you are trying to concentrate etc., can affect your work dramatically.
As you can see, working from home has its benefits and drawbacks. Some people are comfortable working from home, and some prefer to work in a more structured environment with other people. There really is no right or wrong answer - you have to decide what’s best for you.
If you want to go ahead and give working from home a try, you may be wondering what types of jobs are most suitable. There are many, but here are a few we think would be great options to consider:
The appeal of blogging is that anyone can do it, and from anywhere. Blogging can be done from home, from a coffee shop, or from a beach. Anyone who is interested in sharing their words with the world can do so with a few clicks of a mouse and a keyboard.
Being a blogger is similar to being a freelance artist - whether you’re a writer, photographer, or a curator of information, a blog can give a specific audience a close-up look into a particular subject (or subjects).
Multimedia animators often work from home. Multimedia animators often work within a specific type of animation. Some focus on creating animated movies or video games. Others create visual effects for movies and television shows.
Before a magazine or newspaper goes to print, there is the process of editing and proofreading that must occur. Pages must be checked for correct spelling and grammar; margins and spacing must be adjusted so the articles flow smoothly; and pictures must be placed within the articles for the flow to seem consistent. Proofreaders are often responsible for all of these important pieces; they are the people who make publications look their very best.
A proofreader is a valuable asset in the publishing world, and there are many full-time and part-time remote positions available.
A medical transcriptionist transcribes doctor’s reports from voice recordings, converting them into written reports. The transcriptionist may also edit medical documents, interpret medical abbreviations and terminology, and discharge summaries.
It has become even easier to find employment working from home because there is no longer the need for medical transcriptionists to acquire specialized computers with preloaded software. All you need is an up-to-date computer, high-speed internet, and the ability to follow standard privacy and confidentiality procedures.
A bookkeeper produces financial records for businesses or organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy. Some bookkeepers prefer to have freelance businesses and to service clients through intermittent financial support, consulting services, or even training a company’s in-house accounting staff.
Caterer / Personal Chef
You can start a catering business from your own home. Private caterers own their own business and contract vendors as needed. These caterers are often hired for wedding receptions, birthday parties, business and personal anniversaries, business holiday events, retirement parties, as well as many other events.
Personal chefs work closely with their clients. They have to take into consideration their clients’ preferences when customizing a meal plan. It is important to follow these preferences carefully in order to ensure client satisfaction. A chef must also have nutritional knowledge, as oftentimes a client needs to follow strict dietary guidelines or has food allergies. There are also some chefs that specialize in certain types of cooking, such as paleo, vegetarian, or raw food diets.
Freelance graphic designers are responsible for more than just graphic design. They are responsible for every aspect of their business, from marketing and client relations to bookkeeping and invoicing. The role calls for considerable self-discipline and dedication. You’ll have the flexibility to work from anywhere there is Wi-Fi, and have the creative freedom and flexibility to select work that challenges and inspires you.
Some childcare providers have a business in their own home. They typically convert a portion of their living space into a dedicated space for the children. You will need to ensure that your home meets the regulations for family childcare centres. After the children go home, you’ll often have more responsibilities, such as shopping for food or supplies, doing accounting, keeping records, and cleaning.
Consulting is an enormous field, and consultants can work for practically every industry, from fashion to finance. If you have extensive knowledge and experience in a specific professional field, you can share your expertise in order to solve business-related issues or problems.
Consultants are often used before and during the start-up of a new business, or to re-align a flailing business. Any knowledge consulting can be done via the internet. Note that implementation consulting—an event, a piece of machinery, etc.—will need to be done on site.
Customer Service Representative
Customer service representatives interact with customers on behalf of an organization. They provide information about products and services, take orders, respond to customer complaints, and process returns.
Working as an online customer service representative lets you work through online chat - these types of customer service representatives often work from home.
Data scientists collect and report on data, and communicate their findings to both business and technology leaders in a way that can influence how an organization approaches a business challenge. They have a solid foundation in computer science, mathematics and algorithms, human behaviour, and knowledge of the industry they’re working in. Opportunities for remote data science positions are steadily expanding - in fact, the position of data scientist is considered one of the most remote-friendly jobs.
Words are everywhere. From websites to billboards; e-mails to brochures; social media to SEO (search engine optimization), words dictate whether a business flourishes or fails. Simply stated, if a company cannot communicate effectively, it is doomed. The value of copywriting skills, therefore, will never wane. More and more, agencies and businesses are hiring freelance remote copywriters.
Faulty software can leave networks vulnerable to malware, spyware, adware, phishing and more. A security engineer analyzes computer networks, ensures they are running securely, and tries to foresee possible security issues that could arise in the future.
Since many security engineers spend most of their time creating code, they are spending that time in front of a keyboard. Where that happens to be doesn’t matter all that much. There may be on-site meetings once in a while, but those meetings are rare.
Social Media Manager
Social media managers use platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Four Square, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest etc., to link a company, brand, or product with a targeted audience for the purpose of driving engagement and creating a community. This results in subscribers and sales for a company. Because the job involves so much computer-related work, it is easy to work from home.
Translators typically work from home. Nearly all translation work is done on a computer, and translators receive and submit most assignments electronically. Translators sometimes deal with the pressure of deadlines and tight schedules. Their schedules often vary, with alternating periods of limited work, and periods of long, irregular hours.
Whether a client is going through a major transitional phase in their life, or is just needing some motivation and encouragement to reach a specific goal, a life coach can be an invaluable professional mentor. They are experts at providing the questions, framework, exercises, and accountability needed to help their clients discover and initiate positive change in their lives.
Many life coaches work with their clients over the phone. Coaching over the phone has the added benefit of allowing the life coach to work with their clients regardless of the country, city, or state in which they live.
Web developers are responsible for programming the code that ‘tells’ a website how to function. They build websites that are ‘user friendly,’ which means they are easy to navigate for those using them. They also build functions within a website — for example, a form to capture an e-mail or to provide a newsletter, a paywall to capture payment details, or a message to thank a customer for their business.
Some web developers freelance their skills to various organizations, while others choose to outsource their skills to organizations by using their expertise to act as consultants or independent contractors.
There are many different types of authors: novelists, poets, journalists, screenwriters, playwrights, copywriters, and so on. There are also many genres of writing: academic, creative, business, professional, and journalistic. For as many different types of books and published writings there are in the world, there are as many different types of authors that write them.
Most authors/writers work from home. For some, that may mean a quiet desk with a computer, surrounded by books, encyclopedias, a dictionary, and thesaurus. Some may find the gentle hum of conversation an easy writing background and find a coffee shop to be their place of work.
An editor is a critical reader and a lover of words, whose job is to polish and refine a story or an article. Editors are employed by a variety of industries and for many types of products, such as magazines, newspapers, blogs, and books.
Advances in electronic communications have changed the work environment for writers and editors alike. Editors are able to do a lot of their editing from their homes.
A registered dietitian (RD), or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), is a food and nutrition expert. They advocate health and nutrition and use their expertise to help individuals make positive changes in their lives.
In private practice, registered dietitians work under contract with health-care or food companies, or their own business. They may provide services to private individuals, restaurant managers, food vendors, distributors, athletes, nursing home residents, or company employees.
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