Some of the “gotcha” job offers from the past include check-cashing schemes, mystery shopping, medical billing “jobs” that require you to purchase expensive computer software, and craft-making jobs that ask you to pony up the cash for materials before you get started. And let’s not forget about the famous envelope-stuffing scam that was nothing more than a pyramid scheme designed to siphon money from as many people as possible.
The online application process for these jobs—or perhaps “gigs” is the better word, since they're all for independent contractors—is pretty simple and straightforward with very little required of candidates. Some of these opportunities—like the micro-jobs—you could very well apply and start the same day. And these jobs require very little commitment and can typically be done on your own schedule.
More than ever, writers are needed to formulate news articles, create content, and come up with the creative ideas that fill the pages of nearly every site on the Internet. And although many bigger sites have in-house writers, a growing number of sites outsource their content and hire freelance writers and content creators. Writing experience is very helpful, but what you really need to get started are drive, ambition, and the ability to find a unique angle on events that happen every day.
This particular work-at-home opportunity takes a little more work experience in general than the other four on this list, but it pays better too. Search engine evaluators examine Internet search results and give feedback as to whether they are accurate, relevant, and spam-free. To do this, the evaluator must be knowledgeable about current culture and the Internet, with good communication skills. Sometimes a college degree is required or preferred, but direct experience as a search evaluator is usually not.
A work from home job can be any position that does not require you to be in an office. There a wide range of work from home jobs. Some companies offer opportunities for employees in traditional roles to work remotely for all or some of their workweek. These jobs often use technology for meetings, assignments, and collaboration. This practice is called telecommuting. Other work from home opportunities may include jobs such as customer service representatives for which companies will hire remote workers, or part-time virtual assistants to manage work which does not require a physical presence in the office.
This is a job with much potential, in part because the title description covers many things. “You can fit your offerings to what you know how to do,” says Stephanie Foster, a former medical transcriptionist who runs the website HomeWithTheKids.com. One can own a virtual assistant business or work from home for a company that makes you available to other employers or clients. HomeWithTheKids.com, for example, currently features several such companies.
FlexJobs CEO Sara Sutton Fell was profiled as the Fairygodboss of the Week, and she said remote work helps her get outside and stay active: “I live in Boulder, Colorado, with my two boys, so when I’m not working, I love to get outside for some activity, either with them or for a little solo time. We mountain bike and hike, and I also love hot yoga.”
Companies might also retain more employees if they enact a work from home benefit. Stanford professor, Nick Bloom, conducted a study to evaluate the benefits of working from home. He found workers were more productive, got more done, worked longer hours, took less breaks, and used less sick time than their in-office counterparts. These employees were also happier and quit less than those who went into the office on a regular basis. He estimated that, on average, the company saved about $2,000 per every employee who worked from home.
“I love being a part of TTEC@home because of the flexibility of the schedule. There are way more benefits to working from home than most people realize. I save money on transportation and clothing. I save time. I have a tax write-off. And I have less anxiety. The bonus of working with TTEC is that I’ve met some great people and have learned new skills.”
How to Get It: Customer service is the biggest work-at-home field, with companies including Spiegel, Hilton, Best Western, HSN, 1-800-FLOWERS and many others using at-home reps. Fill out an application with staffing companies such as Arise, Alpine Access, VIPdesk, LiveOps, and Convergys, all of which vet the companies who are hiring through them. If you need benefits, search through a staffing company that will hire you as an employee (Alpine Access, VIPdesk and Convergys do this) rather than an independent contractor. If you're a contractor, you may be asked to pay a small fee (between $15 and $35) for a background check. While a fee can be a sign of a scam, independent contractors are responsible for their own expenses.
In this increasingly digital world, there has never been a better time to work from home. At-home jobs are the perfect opportunities for those struggling to secure a local gig, need to stay home for health reasons, have to care for a loved one, or simply don't relish the thought of dealing with a hectic commute every day. FlexJobs reported in their The State of Remote Jobs survey that, as of 2017, 43% of U.S. workers now work remotely — even if it's just a part-time side hustle to supplement their income. For remote jobs, you'll need a computer, some basic skills, and a can-do attitude. Click through this list of remote employment areas that are booming right now, plus find even more ways to make money from home.