Would you like to say goodbye to your daily commute and work free from distractions, to a schedule that suits you? Then you might want to consider working from home.
Everyone will have their own personal reasons why working at home suits them, whether for health reasons, the need to fit work around caring responsibilities or simply to reduce stress levels. Whatever the reason, many say that by simply cutting out their daily commute, they find themselves with more time and energy to do more of the things they love.
So with that said, here are 10 roles where you can work from home…
1. Customer Service Representative
Are you a people person who can connect with strangers easily? Would you like a home-based role where you can provide support to others? It’s very likely that at some time or another, you have become frustrated by poor customer service and considered how you would do things differently. As a Customer Service Representative you can help to improve customer satisfaction rates by making sure that each person you speak to goes away feeling as though their voice has been heard and their needs have been met.
In a home-based role, you’ll usually provide support to customers via phone or email and may deal with anything from general customer queries, through to complaints. Customer Service Representatives could be working in any field where there is a product or a service being sold e.g. internet providers or delivery services.
Can you type quickly? Do you have excellent attention to detail and great listening skills? If yes, you may be able to find work as a Transcriptionist. Transcription jobs involve listening to and converting voice recordings from sources like conference calls, podcasts and other voice recordings into written reports. Competition for transcription roles can be quite fierce, but if it’s something you think you’d be particularly good at or would enjoy doing, then keep persevering.
Websites like Transcription Divas and Take 1 Transcription regularly recruit home-based Transcriptionists to take on work on a casual basis. If you’re looking for a more permanent position, then some employers also recruit full and part-time Transcriptionists – so keep an eye out!
3. Data Entry Clerk or Assistant
Data Entry is pretty much what it says on the tin. It’s the process of inputting data or information into a computer from sources like hardcopy forms and/or outdated computer files. Although it may not be the most exciting job in the world, it can be a great introduction to home working, as it requires very little specific training – so you may be able to get started fairly quickly. You don’t necessarily need to have any experience in data entry to land a remote position, but you will usually need to demonstrate that you have a basic knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets and databases, and may be tested on your keyboard skills and accuracy in entering data.
The best way to get a remote position as a Data Entry Assistant or Clerk is to regularly check job boards. Whilst many employers advertise for Data Entry positions in-house, many offer the option of home working – either exclusively or several days a week. You may also find freelance Data Entry work on sites like Clickworker or Upwork – sometimes clients will need a one off job doing, whilst others may need several data entry tasks to be completed over a fixed period of time. Once you start building up a rapport with clients, chances are they will offer you work again in the future.
Whilst there are many genuine job adverts out there, it’s important to be aware that there are also a lot of scams – with job adverts promising that you can make several thousand pounds in a couple of hours. Always make sure you do your research, and if a company asks you for any upfront costs (however small) for things like training packages etc, then it’s almost certainly a scam. If you’re ever in doubt over whether a job ad is genuine, it’s worth getting hold of the contact details of someone who works there and trying to speak to an actual person about what the role entails.
4. Online Tutor
Would you love to help others have that “light bulb moment” where something they’ve been struggling to understand finally clicks? Well the great news is, you can – from your very own living room! Websites like Tutorful and Tutorfair now make it possible to find and tutor students online using tools like video chat, email and online messenger.
Tutoring a child or young person is an extremely rewarding way to give back to the community, and usually has an hourly rate of between £20 and £40 per hour. As a Tutor, you’ll get the chance to watch your students grow and progress with each tutoring session. There are opportunities to tutor individuals in most subjects, so it’s up to you to choose your area and level of expertise. You may hold relevant qualifications in this area or you may have built up substantial knowledge in a particular subject area through other means. The number of hours you choose to work are completely up to you and the role is fully flexible and you can take on as little or as much work as you like.
5. Virtual Assistant
As technology continues to advance and improve, so do the types of jobs that we can do from home. Once upon a time, when technology was slower and less advanced, it was much easier for people in Admin or Executive Assistant type roles to work in the office, close to the person or people being assisted. However, with facilities like conference calling and instant messenger now in place, it has become much easier for people in these roles to work from the comfort of their own home.
With that said, a Virtual Assistant or VA is someone who provides administration support to companies, entrepreneurs and anyone who needs help with routine tasks – without leaving home! Responsibilities can be quite wide-ranging which means that chances are, no two days will ever be the same.
You have a couple of options when it comes to starting out as a Virtual Assistant. You can start by looking for Virtual Assistant roles on job boards, as some employers and Virtual Assistant agencies advertise for full or part-time positions on a regular basis.
You could also decide to go it alone and become self-employed. You’ll first need to decide what kind of services you’d like to offer your clients and whether you will charge per task/project, or per day/hour. Once you’ve done this, you then need to start making your online presence known, so that people know you are available to be hired.The best way to start networking and meeting clients is to join websites for freelancers, such as People Per Hour, where you can list yourself as a Virtual Assistant and start applying for jobs. Some people will need help with one-off tasks whilst others may need help on ongoing projects, or may be able to offer more regular work.
6. Pet Sitter
Are you animal mad? Do you have a lot of love to give? If so, then you may be able to turn your passion for animals into a paw-fect career.
For many people, getting to hang out with animals on their day off is a luxury, but what if you could hang out with several furry friends, all day, everyday and get paid? PDSA estimate that there are 9.9 million dogs, 10.9 million cats and 900,000 rabbits kept as pets in the UK, which means there are plenty of animals out there just waiting to be cared for whilst their owners are away.
Starting up a pet sitting business from home is relatively straightforward and start-up costs are low as clients usually provide their own pet food, toys, bedding etc. Many pet sitter’s do invest in insurance to protect their business from any costs that may result from a pet becoming injured or unwell whilst in their care – the price of which will vary depending on your individual circumstances.
Landing your first few clients can sometimes take a bit of time, but once you get the ball-rolling, you’ll usually pick up new business via word-of-mouth. The main thing they’ll be looking to see if that you’re reliable, trustworthy and will care for their pet as if it was your own. A great place to start meeting clients are websites like Tailster* and Pawshake. They’ll take a small cut of your earnings, but in return you’ll get free insurance cover, which means that you won’t have to worry about purchasing your own insurance until you decide to go completely solo and start finding clients on your own.
Childcare is a huge industry, which provides many opportunities for home working – and a chance to rediscover your inner child! There are many different childcare options out there including hiring a nanny or making use of nursery schools – but many families also take their children to a childminder.
Childminders will usually look after several children at one time in the comfort of their own home. Parents will usually drop children off, or childminders may collect children from school and take them back to their home where they will feed them, help them with homework and run activities, until their parents collect them. Working with children can be a home-based career option, that can offer a refreshing break from a more serious office environment. After all, how many opportunities have you had to play with Lego or dress up as a fairy at work over the years?
If you decide that you’d like to become a childminder and get paid to care for children in your own home, then you must first become Ofsted registered – which you can usually do for a small fee. To complete your Ofsted registration, you’ll need:
- A UK criminal record certificate, which you can apply for here.
- Criminal record certificates for anyone aged 16 or over who also lives in your home.
- First aid training which is relevant to the age group that you’ll be looking after.
- Childcare training – which can usually be organised through your local council.
- A health declaration booklet.
- Contact details for 2 references.
Once you’ve submitted all your information to Ofsted and your application has been accepted (which, if successful, usually takes about 12 weeks) you’ll be added to the Ofsted register. The best way to start building up a client base is through friends and family, or on websites such as ChildCare.co.uk. Once you have a handful of regular clients who feel they can trust and rely on you, it’s likely that they’ll start recommending you to other people.
8. Airbnb host
If you love the comfort of your own home and would consider sharing it with others, then why not consider becoming an Airbnb host? It’s a great way to start spending more time at home, whilst earning a living.
Airbnb is an online marketplace which allows people to rent out anything from their whole property to a spare room for short periods of time. You can list your property for free and will be in total control of your availability, prices, house rules and how you choose to interact with guests. The flexibility of Airbnb can be appealing to people who don’t want a full-time lodger but would be happy to open up their spare room for a few days here or there. Some people also choose to rent out their whole home whilst they themselves are on holiday to help towards the costs of the trip.
It’s important to remember that whilst renting a room in this way is becoming increasingly popular and can be a great earner, it doesn’t come without risks – so make sure that you are completely comfortable with how it works before signing up to use the service.
If you’re keen to know more, then the Airbnb website will tell you what you need to get started and how much you can earn each month, which will largely depend on what area you live in.
If you have a flair for writing and you’d like to start working from home, then copywriting could be an appealing option, because all you need is some creativity and your computer. Copywriters create content – also known as “copy” – that could be used to promote products or services, or help show people how to use a product or service. We often don’t notice a lot of the copy around us and tend to take for granted that it’s there, for example, the description on the back of your shampoo bottle, your weekly horoscope or the advice on the back of your dog’s food packet – but they all had to be written by someone; namely copywriters!
Whilst many employers who hire writers will prefer you to have experience, not all require it. Companies will be more focused on the quality of your writing, and how good you are at meeting deadlines. If writing is something you enjoy doing in your spare time, chances are you will have enough pieces you can put together to create an online portfolio using a site like Wix or Issuu, which you can use to showcase your writing style and quality to prospective employers. To reap the benefits of working from home as a Copywriter, it’s often easiest to work on a freelance basis – as these positions are nearly always remote.
Once you’ve created a portfolio to showcase your work, the best way to get started – if you’ve got little or no paid experience – is to join freelance sites such as Upwork, where you can apply for a range of one off writing jobs. Once you’ve had a few paid jobs, you’ll be able to start building up a network of regular clients, who may also recommend you to other employers – and so on.
If you’re organised and you enjoy working with numbers, then you could consider helping companies to keep track of their finances as a Bookkeeper. They’ll keep a record of a company’s incoming and outcoming payments and will sometimes issue invoices to customers. It’s not uncommon for people to get Bookkeepers confused with Accountants – but to put it simply, bookkeeping mainly deals with the accurate recording of financial information, whereas accountancy involves analysing and interpreting that data.
In order to become a Bookkeeper, you don’t need a degree, but you will need some training, which could be on-the-job or through a course. However, if you’re planning to start by working from home then you’ll usually need to gain the AAT Level 2 and Level 3 Bookkeeping qualifications before you can start landing clients. Once you’re a licenced AAT Bookkeeper, you’ll need to find a way to advertise your services which is easiest to do by creating your own professional website (which gives information about you and what makes your services different), applying to postings on job boards (some employers offer remote working) or building up a client base using sites like Upwork and/or People Per Hour.
Whilst the roles in this list should hopefully get you thinking about the different ways you could start working from home, it isn’t exhaustive. Plenty of employers may not advertise job roles as “work from home” opportunities, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t have the option to work from home once you’ve landed the job. Before dismissing a job posting, it’s worth getting in touch to ask whether home working could be an option, even on just a couple of days a week – you might be surprised at home flexible some employers can be!
Additionally, if your current role has so far required you to travel in everyday but you’re keen to transition to working from home, it might be worth having a discussion with your manager about whether or not it’s feasible for you to do so. If your employer is hesitant about the idea of home working, then you could suggest trying it on a trial basis for one or two days a week. If you can demonstrate to your employer that you can be just as productive (if not more productive) at home, then they are more likely to be comfortable with the idea.
Have you had success working from home? Do you have any other roles suggestions to share with our members? We’d love to hear from you at [email protected].