Work From Home Jobs – FAQ

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In today’s world, many people are considering the option of finding a viable way to earn money from home. In some instances, the job seeker may be required to stay at home in order to take care of an aged parent or young children; in other cases, the individual may want the flexibility a work-from-home job can offer.

Some individuals who work from home are retired people who want to supplement their income. Others may want to earn enough money for a special vacation or to pay off medical bills. In most cases, individuals who choose to work from home are creative people seeking an unconventional means to earn an income.

Income derived from working online varies greatly depending upon the type of job one settles upon. Some individuals are merely looking for a way to earn a few extra hundred dollars a month in order to pad the income they earn from their day job where others may need to earn a substantial income from the at-home job. It is fairly easy to earn some extra cash by using the internet if one is dedicated to doing a little research. These individuals must also be willing to invest time and energy into their endeavor. For those who need to make a large amount of money every week, however, the search may be a little more difficult.

No matter what the circumstances, the options for working from home are many and the rewards can be great. Here are some common questions that arise in making decisions as one searches for the right work from home job.

What types of job opportunities are available?

The number of jobs available for someone working from home are vast. There are telecommuter jobs, where an employee actually performs work for an employer just as they would in an office setting, only the employee is sitting in front of a computer or telephone at home. There are online jobs that one can do such as taking surveys for a monetary reward. Someone with a good handle on marketing items for sale can make good money selling items at auction sites. Other people who have artistic skills can make items at home and sell them online. Companies today are hiring people to work from home to handle customer service calls or to troubleshoot consumer problems. Some brick-and-mortar companies are even allowing employees to work from home during the week to save on resources and to offer greater flexibility to their employees. Some individuals want to work as entrepreneurs in order to launch a successful business at home. The opportunities for work from home are wide and varied. This is where keeping an open mind comes in handy as one searches for the right niche job that suits their individual personality, education and training. It is also paramount to have a good handle on what’s trending in the marketplace in order to take advantage of work opportunities as they arise. An individual interested in working from home needs to take a frank assessment of the type of work they want to do before launching into a search for job opportunities.

Where do you find opportunities to work from home?

Searching the classified ads in one’s local newspaper is now a thing of the past. With the advent of the internet, employers are able to offer work opportunities to potential candidates around the world, opening up a veritable world of opportunities to those seeking to work at home. The internet is simply the best way to search for jobs suitable to do from home. There are many employment sites online offering work from home opportunities. Simply search for terms such as ‘work from home’ or ‘internet jobs’ and a variety of options will come up. The internet is full of well-maintained job boards with entire sections set aside for this type of job. An individual wanting to work from home needs to have an idea of what type of work he or she wants to do before beginning the serious job search in order to use time wisely. Beware of job postings that offer the chance to make a large amount of money with very little effort, as this type of offer could very well be a scam. This is where research pays off, as it is the job seeker’s task to make appropriate inquiries before revealing personal information or investing money in a job opportunity that may be a ripoff. Any website or job board listing that does not allow an individual to speak to a real person if they have questions is questionable.

How to decide the type of work to do from home?

This takes a frank analysis of one’s talents, interests and training. Consideration should be taken as to one’s educational background and work experience. This also takes an evaluation of the reasons for working from home. Perhaps the individual wants to escape the pressures of one’s last job and make a total job shift; in other cases, someone may want to enhance their current job skills and stay in the same field. Figuring out what type of job one wants to pursue from home is an important initial step to take before one begins searching for an appropriate job. There also needs to be a personal examination of one’s abilities; for example, someone who does not like dealing with software problems should not apply to work as a technical troubleshooter for a cell phone company. Evaluate whether it is possible to draw upon former work experience to enhance one’s suitability for a particular position. An attorney who doesn’t want to work in the field anymore may be perfectly suited to writing legal articles for a law firm website. Another thing to consider is how many hours one wants to commit to working from home. Some jobs that pay by the hour may require a certain number of hours commitment per week or even holiday work. Deciding upfront how many hours one is available will eliminate some jobs from consideration, narrowing one’s focus to jobs that are more appropriate for his or her lifestyle.

How much time must be spent on the job?

Someone interested in replacing a full time job may plan to work 40 hours per week where someone seeking to merely supplement their income may be able to work only on a part time basis. A stay-at-home mom is going to be limited to working a few hours a day when the kids are occupied or napping whereas an unemployed sole breadwinner may need to devote 8 or 10 hours a day to work behind the computer. Making a serious evaluation of the reasons behind making the decision to work from home is key to determining how many hours one may expect to work per week. Looking at financial goals for the work-at-home job is another major consideration in looking at how many hours are legitimately necessary to accomplish the goals. For some people who only want to earn some extra money to make life a little easier, committing to work a large number of jobs may not be the right fit. For them, finding something that can be accomplished on a job-to-job type basis may be more appropriate. Perhaps completing a few online surveys a day may be perfect, but for others who need to earn more money each week, making an extra $25 or $30 a day is not going to cut it. Take time to look at how much money can realistically be made at the particular job opportunity when determining whether this is a real option or not.

How to determine whether or not a job opportunity is legitimate?

As one beings the job search, finding legitimate job opportunities will be a challenge. There are tons of offers online that are designed to take one’s money or steal one’s personal information. Finding legitimate job offers requires making the extra effort to research the company making the offer. Things that sound ‘too good to be true’ usually are just that, so be wary of any job offer that does not make sense. If a job offer involves investing a large sum of money in order to get started, this is a warning sign that the offer may not be legitimate. There are situations where someone needs to invest some money in order to begin an at-home business, but it is up to the individual to determine whether the investment makes sense and is reasonably connected to the business itself. A job offer that does not afford a potential hire to talk to a live person over the telephone is another warning sign. This is where the internet can prove to be a useful tool. The internet is another way for one to research a particular job offer before jumping in with both feet. Look for reviews posted by other applicants or former employees. There are even websites where one can see whether or not complaints have been filed against a particular company. This is where using common sense and utilizing research skills are vital to finding the ideal work opportunity.

What is telecommuting?

One option for someone interested in working from home is telecommuting. Telecommuting jobs are jobs that are designed to be done by someone at home, working with a computer and/or telephone. Telecommuting work arrangements are becoming more commonplace in today’s world thanks to the internet. Employment situations exist where it is possible for employees to do part or all of their work from home. This may enable a worker to work a 40 hour week by spending part of the week at a brick-and-mortar workplace and do their remaining work from home. This type of work arrangement is particularly suited to employees who handle a lot of paperwork during the week or perform work on computer. In order to telecommute, employers must be willing to provide the worker with the equipment and technology necessary to complete tasks from home. This may include providing a computer and obtaining secure internet access. This type of job takes a motivated worker who is organized and able to work from home without getting distracted by things happening in the home environment.

What skills are necessary?

Working from home requires an individual who is personally motivated to successfully work from home. This means having some sort of schedule and goals each week in order to stay on track. Some jobs require a certain amount of hourly commitment per week where others do not so having a good handle on the amount of time the individual wants to invest weekly will guide job options. It is up to the individual to determine what type of job best suits their personality and work habits. If an individual is not comfortable talking with people over the telephone, direct sales may not be the right work environment for that individual. For others, being able to control their income based upon personal effort expended to talk to individuals about an investment opportunity or similar may be just the ticket. Another skill generally required for someone to successfully work from home include a willingness to work in a non-traditional setting. Some people enjoy personal interaction with co-workers and getting away from the house for an eight hour work day: for these people, working from home is simply not an option. In many instances it is necessary to have excellent computer skills in order to work from home, but in other cases, computer skills are not required: it depends upon the type of job in which one decides to participate.

What is involved in a job as a customer call representative?

One recent development in the work at home marketplace is a willingness for major companies to use at-home workers to handle customer telephone calls or live internet chats. These companies are thinking outside the box in using work-at-home personnel to handle inbound customer service calls and even take orders. This is advantageous for the employer, who does not have to set up a physical brick-and-mortar facility for workers to handle incoming calls. Instead, they have employed a network of individuals working all across the globe who have received training on how to handle customer calls. For an individual who would like to work for an hourly wage in this sort of situation, finding a reputable company is key. Answering calls at home is an excellent way for someone who enjoys talking with people to earn some extra income from home. For an individual who wants this type of job, having a quiet home environment is imperative, as is having good interpersonal skills. Someone who is hired to handle customer care inquiries may be required to do some sort of company training in order to be able to present accurate information to the customer. This type of job also requires reliable internet access and a modern computer. In some cases, an employer in this type of setting may supply the necessary computer equipment.

What type of work is involved in customer support jobs?

Another at-home job that pays employees on an hourly basis to work from home are customer support jobs. Some companies that supply products to consumers that are equipped with computer operating systems are now hiring at-home personnel to handle customer service calls. This type of job is perfect for someone with computer troubleshooting skills. Companies hiring workers at home to handle incoming customer service calls will provide the requisite training necessary to adequately troubleshoot customer problems. They often will also provide computer equipment and cover charges for internet access, making this a great option for someone who wants to do computer work from home. In order to obtain employment at this type of job, the employer may require some sort of technological background, although in other cases the company may hire a qualified individual who shows the willingness to participate in an online training program. Some common employers for this type of job include satellite providers and mobile phone companies.

What type of entrepreneurial opportunities are available?

The sky is the limit for inventive entrepreneurs interested in creating an at-home business. Individuals interested in launching an at-home business must consider their interests, talents and training in determining what sort of business to launch. Attention must also be paid to the market the individual wishes to reach. Someone who is talented at cooking may want to launch a business involving baked goods or freezer meals for working moms. Someone in a rural setting may want to get into beekeeping: beekeepers can sell honey and wax, and even get paid for putting beehives on farmers’ fields. Creating an at-home business will typically involve an initial investment in equipment and technology. Advantages to creating a business at home is the possibility that the business will be a huge success and the individual will end up making a handsome income as a result. On the other hand, choosing the wrong business can quickly turn into a money pit that ends up costing the individual much more money than the business ever earns. Launching an at-home business is limited by the effort someone is willing to put into the business, and success often depends upon the marketplace.

What investment is necessary to earn money from home?

The financial investment needed by someone interested in working from home depends upon the type of business one is interested in. Someone who is planning to produce home baked goods needs to have proper kitchen equipment, baking supplies and a way to package their product; this may incur more cost than an individual handling customer service calls who only needs a computer and internet access. In addition to the investment of monetary funds, an individual needs to make an investment of time in order to make their home venture a success. One cannot expect to spend a minimal amount of hours in the business and also make a huge profit. Another ‘investment’ one must make in working at home is to locate a dedicated space in which to work. This may mean setting up a home office in a secluded area of the home where one won’t be disturbed by the normal ongoing activities of the household. For others, it may mean building a shed by the road where one will sell summer produce. All in all, investments of money, time and space are all required to successfully work from home.

How will working from home impact the family?

Someone interested in working from home must realize that there are certain obstacles to working in a non-traditional setting, and one of them is interruption from family. For people with young children or other family members who will be at home during work hours, the biggest issue is interruption. This is where a frank discussion with family members is necessary to ensure that everyone understands that the individual’s work is important and that there are times the person should not be interrupted. Having a dedicated work space is imperative to put a sense of distance between family life and work life when one works from home. Family members may feel that the person working from home is constantly distracted by the job tasks. This requires the working individual to set rules for themselves as to when they are ‘off limits’ from the job so they can retain a sense of perspective. Once the individual has worked the requisite hours they predetermined for the day, the computer should be shut down so family members won’t feel ignored. Doing this will enhance the likelihood that family members will respect the time allotted for working from home, as the hours for work and for home life are clearly defined. Individuals who choose to work from home generally find that the balance they are able to achieve between their home and work life create a happier individual, which inevitably impacts the family as a whole in a positive way.

How will working from home impact finances?

For someone leaving a traditional 9-to-5 job to work at home, the initial financial implications are serious. It is best to have several months’ worth of income in savings before launching into this type of endeavor if the individual is the main breadwinner. In the case of someone seeking to earn some extra money, this is not an issue. In all instances, however, having realistic expectations is key to staying focused while not losing one’s enthusiasm if little money comes in during the initial days of working from home. It is reasonable to expect income to be lower at the outset of a new at-home job. The individual will spend much time in the initial job hunt which makes it necessary to do some serious self-evaluation before launching the job search. Once money begins coming in from a business at home, the individual must keep careful stock of how much money is coming in, in order to determine whether the income from work is sufficient to meet the needs of the family or the individual. One must also look at the expenses that are incurred for the work at home. If one is spending more money than they are earning on a regular basis, it is time to reevaluate the choice of occupation. This is where taking a fresh look at the initial goals of working from home needs to be done, as the goals may need to be changed.

What are reasonable goals to set for working at home?

Determining short-term and long-term goals are imperative for making wise decisions in regards to working from home. In the short-term, the individual may only want to make a few extra hundred dollars to pay a specific bill or make life a little easier. For others, this may be their only income opportunity and so the short-term goal is to make enough money to completely pay all of their bills and living expenses. Having the right expectations is important to setting goals that are achievable and realistic. Long-term goals for one individual may be as simple as supplementing a social security check or retirement income, but for someone else, the long-term goal may be to eventually launch their own company. The dream can be as big or small as the individual decides, but taking time to evaluate options and set goals is something that should be done initially so one can create a plan to achieve those goals.

Do employers benefit from hiring people who work from home?

Whether or not employers benefit from hiring people working at home depends upon the type of work is involved. Many employers are finding that the ability to hire people from all over the world via internet at-home jobs has allowed them to access talent that they would never have been able to access before. Another benefit for employers is that hiring staff who are working from their own homes helps the employer minimize expenses such as maintaining a physical building, paying utilities and providing space for employees to work. Still another advantage for employers is that most at-home employees are dedicated to providing the employer with top notch work. Individuals working at home who are able to balance work and home life often are incredibly valuable employees to have, as they are focused on the tasks at hand during the hours they are working from home. This increased production may be caused by the fact that at-home workers are less stressed and more reliable than traditional employees. To sum it up: hiring at-home employees can cut a company’s costs considerably, allow them to access incredible talent around the world and increase productivity. And who could argue with that?

Should it be kept a secret from the employer?

For people who choose to work from home in addition to a regular job, it may not be advisable to let their employer know that they are ‘moonlighting’ from home. Some employers will become concerned that the employee cannot devote adequate time and energy to their ‘real’ job. Other employers worry that the individual may be working towards leaving the job behind. This could create a situation where an individual’s sideline job ends up supplanting their main job because their employer has decided to fire them before they quit. When the boss knows about the online work, it may allow the employer to blame the second job if the employee is ‘off their game’ one day, or if the employee takes an unexpected day off. These reasons, and others, are all valid reasons to keep the fact that one is working from home a ‘secret’. But is there a downside to this? Individuals should keep in mind that there should always be a clear division between their work life and their home life. There is always the possibility that the employer might discover that the individual is also working from home on the side. In that case, the position the employee could validly take is that what they do on their own time is their own business so long as it does not negatively impact the employer’s business. In this day and time, so many people are managing small side businesses so it is not entirely unexpected that someone working full time may also be working at some sort of job at home as well.

Is it required to have personal interaction with people?

This depends upon the type of work one wants to do from home. An individual who works as a freelance writer may never have to actually speak with someone over the telephone or meet with anyone in person. They can research and write articles from their laptop computer without ever leaving the house. Contrast this with someone making a product at home may need to go out into the community to work with businesses and individuals in order to set up markets for the product. It depends upon the type of work one is doing from home. Working from home offers a great opportunity for people who are uncomfortable dealing with the public as there are a variety of job opportunities that allow the individual to earn a living without dealing with anyone face-to-face. Working from home also allows individuals who are physically challenged in some fashion to work from the comfort of their own home if they are unable to leave their home environment without difficulty. Working from home allows one the added benefit of not having to dress up in business attire in order to work each day: working from home can be accomplished while one is dressed in casual clothes or even their pajamas!

How to avoid distractions?

Working from home can be difficult at times. There are many distractions that can continually draw someone away from their work. These distractions include interaction with family members, watching television, answering the telephone or running errands. At other times it is easy to allow oneself to tackle home projects in order to avoid working at a particular task one has undertaken. One tactic for dealing with distractions is to set daily goals and then stick to them. Avoid distractions that draw attention away from the tasks that must be done each day in order to successfully do the job at hand. Put the telephone on mute and ask family members to respect the work space. Make a list of errands that need to be done during the week and set a particular time for doing those errands. Remaining focused on making the business a success is key to finding a way to work with the challenges that distractions will offer each and every day. Learning to say ‘no’ is another tactic for dealing with the demands of daily life that threaten to draw someone away from their work at home. Friends and family members who are at a distance may not realize the demands that work requires and they may assume that someone is available for a chat or to have a cup of coffee; it is up to the working individual to insist that their job is important and that there are certain hours during the week when they are unavailable due to work demands.

How to stay motivated?

Setting goals during the initial onset of the decision to work from home is one way to maintain motivation during the long haul. One of the biggest enemies of working from home, in addition to handling distractions, is dealing with boredom and loneliness. It is tempting to take time out to call a friend or put the work on the back burner for awhile, but these things lead to the destruction of one’s motivation to make the work at home a financial success. One tactic for maintaining motivation is to set a goal of working hard for a certain number of hours during the day before allowing time for a short break. This enables the individual to achieve daily goals while also allowing for that short break necessary to get away from the telephone or computer for a few minutes. It’s like setting up a reward system: work hard for four hours, then take a thirty-minute break. Setting financial goals is another way to maintain motivation. Setting a goal of a weekly amount of money to earn from one’s at-home work is one way of setting goals that are achievable and concrete. Another trick for staying motivated is to have a photograph of something tangible to serve as a reminder as to why the individual is working from home. For a stay-at-home mom, it may be a photo of her children next to the computer screen; for someone trying to earn enough money to buy a new car, it may be a picture of the desired vehicle. These visual reminders of the purpose behind working from home are good ways to remain motivated.

What are disadvantages?

  • Before making the determination to leave a full time job to opt to work from home, one must consider the disadvantages that are possible for those working from home.
  • The income stream from working at home can be very unpredictable, depending upon the job.
  • In most cases, the income derived from working at home depends upon the individual’s effort, which means that the individual must remain motivated and focused.
  • Another disadvantage is that it is easy to become distracted which takes away from the work effort; therefore, it is necessary to minimize distractions in order to maximize the time dedicated to work.
  • Yet another disadvantage is that the work may ebb and flow depending upon a variety of market influences.
  • Someone marketing products from home may discover that there is an abundance of orders during the holidays; this is great for enhancing work hours and productivity, but it may take time away from family.
  • The unreliability of income can prove devastating for a family relying solely upon income earned at a job at home.
  • An additional disadvantage to working from home is the lack of a social environment in which to work.
  • For some people, this is not a disadvantage, but for others, it is a serious problem.
  • For those who miss the social interaction inherent with a brick-and-mortar type business, it is imperative to find other ways to socialize with others to minimize this particularly disadvantage.
  • Despite the problems that can arise from the choice to work at home, many individuals find that the advantages far outweigh any problems.

What are advantages?

  • One of the biggest advantages to working from home is to eliminate the commute to work.
  • For many people, traveling a long distance to work actually decreases their quality of life.
  • There are also expenses involved with putting gasoline in a vehicle to get to work and maintaining a vehicle.
  • Another advantage is that those who work from home are able to arrange their work schedule to suit their lifestyle.
  • This flexibility allows an individual to determine their own hours and work around the needs of family members.
  • For example, freelance writers can choose as many or as few assignments each week as they can find.
  • This enables them to earn a great deal of income one week and take the next week off if necessary.
  • Another advantage for people who work from home is the ability to determine their own income, to some extent.
  • Individuals who work from home can find a job that suits their talents and abilities in order to earn the desired income.
  • Still another advantage to working from home is that the individual is working in a relaxed environment, substantially lowering one’s stress level.
  • This benefit can prove advantageous to one’s physical as well as mental health.
  • Many individuals who choose to work from home find all of these advantages to be true, in addition to many others.

Why work from home?

The decision to work from home varies from person to person. For some, the idea of going to work on a daily basis does not suit their lifestyle. Perhaps the commute to a major city for work makes it unreasonable to work in a traditional setting. For others, having the freedom to stay at home while earning money at the same time is an attractive option that appeals to their personality and abilities. In some instances, the choice of job is one that cannot be done in a traditional work setting. One example of this is freelance writers. A freelance writer provides written material and articles for websites, magazines and others. There is no real workplace for this type of employee. A freelance photographer travels around to various events and then sells photographs to different markets; again, in this type of situation, there is no brick-and-mortar type employer typically available to employ such a person. These types of jobs are perfectly situated for stay-at-home individuals. Circumstances of life can play a major role in determining why certain individuals decide to try working from home. The need to earn an income, a desire to contribute to society or even a need for personal fulfillment can all be reasons that someone may be drawn to work from home. The internet makes it possible for almost anyone with an internet connection to work from home no matter what their surroundings or location. The variety of individuals working from home enables employers to utilize internet resources to set up a well-rounded multicultural workforce that enhances the availability of goods and services worldwide.