Working from Home

As technology improves and becomes more ubiquitous in American homes, remote jobs have become more and more popular.

While working from home used to seem like a luxury afforded to very few, it has become an increasingly popular work options for both employees and companies. Those who are searching for jobs that allow them to work from home and set their own schedule can do so without sacrificing their careers, as it is now possible to find remote or virtual work in most fields. Read on to learn more about work from home opportunities and how to find them.

Today’s Virtual Workers

In today’s job market, working from home usually means working virtually. Remote jobs have become increasingly popular among workers and employers, as it reduces the costs of maintaining a larger office space, as well as daily commutes. Working a virtual job comes with many benefits, but it also comes with some disadvantages. Before deciding to work from home, there are some important factors to consider.

Working from home can be a great opportunity for most, but it does come with some difficulties that should be considered before opting for a remote position. Most remote positions require that workers provide their own equipment, much of which can be expensive. Necessary equipment can include anything from a telephone on a landline to a computer and internet connection. While many workers may already own these kinds of equipment, it might be too expensive to purchase all the equipment at once should a virtual worker not own any of it.

Besides providing their own materials, virtual workers must be self-directed and know how to manage their time. Working remotely usually requires workers to set their own schedules and adhere to them. Not following a schedule could mean not completing the required work hours or assigned projects, which could end up in being dismissed from the job.

Keeping a schedule can be most difficult for stay-at-home parents or caretakers of elderly family members, as caring for others often causes interruptions or delays. College students working remotely may also find it difficult to juggle classes, studying and maintaining a work schedule.

Common Work from Home Jobs

Work-from-home jobs are abundant on the job market and are available for many different fields, but can still be difficult to come by, as the remote job market is highly competitive. However, for those who are looking to work from home, being familiar with the most common work from home jobs can help in finding the right remote position.

Those who find themselves more on the creative side have many remote job options to choose from. Writers looking for remote work can search for freelance writing jobs. While these jobs come under various job titles, they are one of the most commonly held remote jobs. Freelance writing can be done on a contractual basis, where only a certain number of projects are completed for a company, or through traditional long-term hire.

Remote web design jobs have also seen an increase in demand, as more and more companies put a great emphasis on their web presence. While most web design jobs require a bachelor’s degree, some positions may only require an associate’s degree, industry certifications or work experience in the field.

One of the most common remote jobs on the market is for at-home call center representatives. Remote call center positions are much like those that would be held at a physical call center, where representatives provide customer service and support over the phone or through online chats.

These jobs are relatively easy to come by, as they typically require very little experience or education of job applicants. However, like with many other remote jobs, workers are required to provide the equipment necessary to complete the job, such as a working computer, landline telephone, and internet access.

Professional Development for Virtual Workers

For remote workers, professional development can be of the highest importance. Moving forward in a career when working remotely can prove to be more difficult than when working in a traditional workplace, but developing the right skills and online presence can help a worker advance in the most restrictive of fields.

The most important tool in a virtual worker’s professional development plan is his or her online presence. Creating a professional website that acts as an interactive online resume helps employers get a better feel for a candidate’s work experience, as well as his or her personality. With a great professional website, a remote worker has a greater chance of impressing potential employers and landing the remote jobs he or she wants.

Having good job references can also be helpful in finding online work. Many employers request work references from job applicants, especially for remote positions. Speaking to an applicant’s professional references can help an employer gauge whether or not the applicant is a good fit for the position. Including good references from former clients, employers or other professional contacts that are sure to provide a positive reference can be a great way to ensure a better chance at receiving a job offer.

Moving forward in a career can be very difficult when working remotely. Most workers have trouble finding better jobs or receiving promotions when working virtually. Not working in the context of a traditional workplace, it can be especially difficult to develop relationships with managers or supervisors, which can hinder a worker’s chances at promotion, not matter how much progress he or she has made. Making a concerted effort to build relationships with those who have the power to promote workers can mean moving forward in a career.

Resources for Working from Home

The process of finding a remote job and actively working from home can be difficult, especially as it comes to finding the right job and maintaining a good work-life balance. Using the resources available to remote workers or those who are looking to work from home can be a helpful tool in overcoming the obstacles that come with working remotely.

Those who are new to working from home may find it difficult to adapt to working outside of the parameters of a traditional job. Freelancers can have an especially hard time, as they usually must create and keep track of their own work schedule. Learning how to freelance successfully before beginning work as a freelancer can help in avoiding the pitfalls of working remotely.

Balancing the responsibilities of being at home with the requirements of a remote job can also be challenging. Stay-at-home parents and caretakers of family members who also work from home have to find the time to complete work projects while meeting the needs of their family. While this situation can be difficult, there are many resources available that can help in maintaining a healthy balance between family and work.

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