When the pandemic and resulting lockdowns hit, the idea of a 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday work week dissolved. Many companies realised their staff didn’t physically need to be in offices to work, and often, productivity soared as a consequence.

While COVID-19 restrictions are now behind us, the reluctance to stick to strict work schedules remains – and today, more and more people are seeking flexible jobs.

There are many reasons why flexible jobs are a good idea. You might be looking to cut down on your hours and move towards part-time work. Or, you could be a carer for a family member and need flexibility to provide for their needs.

Perhaps you want to spend more time with loved ones and enjoy a better work-life balance. Or you might just be a night owl who enjoys working on a different schedule from everyone else!

Whatever reason you might have for wanting a flexible job, the good news is that it’s something that’s suited to multiple careers and professions.

To get you inspired, here are 11 flexible job ideas.

1. Massage therapist

Massage therapist

Another health-based career that doesn’t require a degree yet provides plenty of flexibility is massage therapy. Massage therapists can work in hotels, resorts, clinics, gyms, or other health facilities, and while some masseuses are full-time, many are part-time and choose their own hours.

Additionally, you don’t have to work for anyone else to become a successful massage therapist. You can be an independent masseuse, visiting your clients in their own homes – or, if you have the space, you could use your own home as your base (as long as it’s quiet and clutter-free!).

To become a massage therapist, you’ll need to be good with people and know how to manipulate muscles and soft tissue to alleviate tension and pain.

There are no actual fixed massage therapist training requirements, but if you’re just starting out and need to find clients, having a qualification will give people more confidence they’re in safe hands.

There are all kinds of massage courses available – many of which are online – and you can get accredited by professional bodies, which also goes a long way in building trust.

Average starting rates for massage therapists begin at around £12 per hour, but if you have lots of experience, or specialise in a certain type of massage, e.g. sports massage, then your hourly rate can be well over £40.

Keen to work in massage therapy?

2. Web designer

Web designer

If you have a talent for tech and coding experience, an ideal flexible job could be a web designer.

Web designers create and design websites for clients – and while computer code was always used in the past, today there are innovative new no-code web builders like Vev that allow you to design the website of your dreams without using any code whatsoever.

The importance of having a good website can’t be underestimated, and if you have the skills and creativity to design eye-catching, memorable, and unique websites, work won’t dry up any time soon!

If you work as a freelance web designer, you can also pick your clients and your hours – and because it’s web-based, you can work from anywhere. Just like copywriting, hourly rates for web designing can vary greatly based on experience, but £15 is usually the base rate.

To apply for a web designer job, you’ll need some type of computer qualification, and to have a broad knowledge of computer operating systems.

If you have some experience but not much, there are many free online learning resources for programming and software development. For example, check out these web design courses and tutorials from Codecademy.

To find out more about careers in tech, head over to TechSkills and The Chartered Institute for IT.

Interested in becoming a web designer?

3. Dog walker

Dog walker

If you love dogs and are looking for an easy, enjoyable, and flexible job that will also improve your health, then you might want to think about being a dog walker.

It might not be the most lucrative of jobs, but if you get enough clients, you’ll be able to make a decent amount of money; most jobs charge around £14 an hour.

As well as being a flexible job where you’re usually able to choose your hours, you’ll also increase your step count at the same time. Because we know that walking benefits both physical and mental health, you can view a dog walking job as one where you’re getting paid to improve your own health – while hanging out with four-legged friends at the same time!

Plus, while you might start off with just one or two clients, as you grow your client base and make a name for yourself, you may have the opportunity to start your own business and make a long-term career out of dog walking.

If you’re looking to get started, it’s worth signing up to Tailster to start connecting with dog owners in your local area. You could also try making leaflets to advertise your services and dropping them through people’s doors and posting them on local notice boards.

Start building up dog walking clients

4. Virtual assistant

Virtual assistant

In today’s digital world, what it looks like to be an assistant looks very different than it did a decade or so ago.

A virtual assistant is an assistant who works remotely and is responsible for providing admin services for businesses. Common tasks usually include handling emails, making and answering phone calls, scheduling meetings, and data entry.

You don’t need a degree to become a virtual assistant, and depending on who you’re working for, you don’t necessarily need any customer service experience either. However, you’ll need to show you have strong communication and organisational skills, as well as a keen eye for detail.

While some companies want full-time virtual assistants, others will only require part-time employees. But whatever hours you choose to work, you’ll be free to work from the comfort of your own home – and while some organisations like the idea of virtual assistants popping into the office occasionally, others are more than happy for their assistants to work digitally only.

Average UK salaries for virtual assistants are just under £30,000, and hourly rates are around £15 per hour. Once you’ve decided what kind of services you’d like to offer, you can start browsing online job boards. If you’d like to work on a freelance basis, it’s also worth checking out websites like Upwork and People Per Hour, where you can apply to take on projects.

Get started as a virtual assistant

5. Nutritionist, nutritional therapist, or dietician

Nutritionist, nutritional therapist, or dietician

If you’re passionate about food and healthy eating, then a job in nutrition could be an ideal flexible job.

In the past, dieticians or nutritionists often worked for hospitals and clinics. But, these days, many work independently, supporting their clients through private sessions, and often working remotely too, via video sessions or phone calls.

So what’s the difference between the two roles?

  • Dieticians usually help people improve their health and manage certain conditions by making adjustments to their diet. To qualify and start working, you’ll need to complete a three-year nutritional program accredited by the British Dietetic Association.
  • Nutritionists are usually more focused on helping people feel stronger and healthier, or supporting them achieve a specific body goal – for example, losing weight or building muscle. Like dieticians, you’ll also need a degree in nutrition approved by the Association for Nutrition.

In both cases, once qualified, you can start applying for jobs, or you might want to set up on a self-employed basis.

If you don’t like the sound of getting a degree – particularly if you’ve already built up lots of experience in nutrition – then you could consider becoming a nutritional therapist.

Nutritional therapists aren’t regulated by law and there are no specific requirements to become one. Nutritional therapists make diet recommendations to improve health but ones that are often based on personal opinions and beliefs, rather than scientific evidence.

If this option appeals, then registering with an organisation like the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) is a good place to start, as this shows you hold high standards of practice and helps you build trust with clients.

You can have as many or as few clients as you like, and because so many nutritional therapists work remotely these days, you can help people improve their health and lives from the comfort of your own home while choosing your own hours. Starting hourly rates usually begin at around £12.

Interested in working as a nutritional therapist?

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6. Copywriter

Copywriter

If you enjoy writing and have a creative streak, you could consider a copywriting job.

Copywriters create content that’s usually used to promote products or services, from explaining how to use a new gadget to describing why a particular shampoo will make your hair especially strong and lustrous!

While most companies looking for copywriters require experience, not all do, particularly if you can display examples of your writing skills. You’ll need to have excellent spelling and grammar, an ability to switch up your writing style, and be able to meet deadlines – so if you can demonstrate this to employers, you should be in with a chance.

To boost your chances of getting a copywriting job, you can create an online portfolio using sites like Wix or Issuu, and if you need to gain more experience, the best way is to join freelance writing sites like Upwork, where you can apply for jobs. Many copywriting jobs are also freelance, which means you can not only choose when you work, but how much work you take too.

Hourly rates for copywriters vary greatly, and depend on how much experience you have, but if you’re just starting out, you can expect a rate of around £16 per hour.

Start winning clients

7. School caretaker

When you think of working at a school, roles like teaching and teaching assistant might come to mind. However, there are plenty of other options to consider – some of which can offer a greater degree of flexibility.

For example, why not put your DIY skills to the test as a school’s site manager, caretaker, or premises officer? TIB Services are currently recruiting people who are proactive, helpful, want to make a difference, and are confident with DIY tasks to take on rewarding work within friendly school environments.

Responsibilities vary from role to role but may include things like security (opening and locking up), setting up meeting rooms, checking fire escapes, and carrying out minor repairs and maintenance. Alongside permanent positions, TIB Services also offer agency and contract work. Their flexible temporary roles are well suited to people from a range of professional backgrounds.

Plus, you don’t need any related qualifications or prior experience working in school environments to apply and get started.

8. Cleaner

Cleaner

If you’re someone who enjoys cleaning and gets a unique feeling of satisfaction from leaving surfaces sparkling and carpets spotless, then you might want to consider a cleaning job – particularly if you’re looking for part-time work.

You can sign up to a cleaning agency and specify the times you want to work, or you can become an independent cleaner, placing your own adverts, or answering private requests for cleaners.

General tasks include vacuuming, dusting, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, emptying bins, and doing laundry, while some clients ask for extra services, like ironing.

While it might not be thought of as an especially lucrative job, rates can be as high as £20 an hour, and if you do a good job, clients usually spread the word, as you may end up with far more clients than you initially intended! Or, if you join an agency, you can decide whether you’re looking for short-term, part-time work, or something more long-term.

Ready to apply?

9. Online tutor

online tutor

If you have expertise in a certain topic, be it languages, maths, music, or English, then why not think about becoming an online tutor?

While in the past most people preferred to be tutored in person, the pandemic shook up the whole field of teaching, and today, there are countless sites where you can teach students of any age.

There are literally hundreds of sites where tutors can offer their services to students all around the world, although Tutorful and Superprof are good places to start. There are usually opportunities to teach many different subjects and at many different skill levels, so you can choose your level of expertise based on your knowledge.

Generally, you’ll need a degree in the subject you’re teaching, but you can also establish yourself with certifications and experience. You also won’t need an English degree if you’re doing a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course.

As an online tutor, how much and when you want to work is totally up to you. Hourly rates usually start from around £15, but can go much higher.

Want to inspire others and change lives?

10. Childcare

Childcare

If you love spending time with children and would like a flexible job that allows you to choose how many hours you work, then you might want to think about working in childcare.

Childcare isn’t only a chance to connect with younger generations, but it’s also a great way to connect with your own inner child! You can become a childminder, babysitter, or a nanny, and work with an agency or independently.

To look after children, you’ll need to become Ofsted registered, which you can do for a small fee. It involves applying for a UK criminal record certificate (and a criminal record certificate for anyone aged 16+ who lives with you), completing a health declaration and first aid training, and doing some childcare training – which can usually be arranged through your local council.

You don’t need to own your home to become a childminder, although if you rent, you’ll need written permission from your landlord, or the council if they own your property.

While it may take a while to become Ofsted registered, if you love spending time with kids, it’s worth it. Tasks involve helping with homework, running activities, and providing meals, and hourly rates usually start from £11.

Ready to start a rewarding, flexible childcare career?

11. Graphic designer

If you’re a creative type who’s a dab hand at art and design and has plenty of technical knowledge, becoming a freelance graphic designer could be a great flexible career path.

Graphic designers are typically tasked with developing branded visual materials and product concepts, as well as designing illustrative materials, and visualising and creating graphics.

While most graphic designers used to work in-house, working independently means you can choose your hours and work on projects that actually excite you. You can choose smaller projects, like designing logos and business cards, or work on bigger projects related to advertisements or websites.

You’ll need experience with digital design tools, and if you don’t have formal qualifications, you’ll need to show off some real-world experience in a portfolio.

You can find clients on sites like Upwork or Fiverr, and if you’re freelance, you can choose a rate that suits you. Base hourly rates usually start from £20 per hour.

Unleash your artistic side as a graphic designer

Final thoughts…

While a nine-to-five job with a fixed schedule usually offers more stability – and predictability – there are many reasons why people are increasingly looking to move to more flexible jobs.

As the past three years proved, you don’t need to be in an office to do a good job. Plus, with the rise of communication software like Zoom and Slack, you can stay connected no matter where you are in the world.

Whether you’re interested in a part-time job for a company, a job that allows you to work remotely, or going fully freelance, there are all kinds of jobs that can be flexible – from creative careers to tech-based positions and health-focused jobs. And these examples above are just 10 of them!

For more inspiration, you might want to read our articles, 10 career change ideas for over 50s or 10 roles where you can work from home. Or why not check out some of our career guides for further ideas, or visit the careers section of our website?