Not all work from home jobs are created equal – so before jumping in, consider the type of role you’re after and leave that commute behind for good. We’ve broken down the pros, cons, and personality types best suited to different roles.
Many companies, particularly startups are allowing customer service representatives to work from home. They recognize that employees don’t need to be in the office to do this work and more often than in the past, inquiries come via email and chat.
Pros – These positions allow you to work full or part-time in many cases. Since they can be offered by larger companies, this is an option that is much more likely than others to offer benefits to their employees. Another pro is that you are likely to have steady work once your schedule is set.
Cons – One of the benefits to the company having people work from home is being able to offer much more coverage time. This likely means that you will have to work hours that others don’t typically want to work. Think early morning and late night. Depending on your situation, this could be problematic. Another con may be the work itself. Think repetitive questions and dealing with upset customers.
Personality fit – If you love helping people and don’t mind repetitive work, this may be a good fit for you. However, if you are looking for challenging work that offers a super flexible schedule this may not be a good fit. It also won’t work well if you are looking for a lot of autonomy in your work.
Virtual assistants are changing the face of administration – especially as more offices go paperless, or outsource specialist admin skills like digital data management, advanced excel and project management. This can include everything from answering customer emails to writing blog posts and managing social media.
Pros – VA’s are a hot new field and one that is sure to continue to grow. The job offers a ton of variety and allows you to use your creativity. In most cases you will have an extremely flexible schedule, allowing you to work when you want.
Cons – Most VA work is freelance or part-time. If you are looking to make a full-time income you will need to work with a few different clients. Another issue is the consistency of those clients. Some of them may have regular work while others may only need VA work at certain times. This can make it difficult to know what your income will be.
Personality fit – People who are ok with some client interactions, but also ok with the interaction being virtual will like this. You will also need to be comfortable with social media and have skills to help grow the company’s following. Many VA’s also write blog posts, so you will need to have good writing skills to write compelling posts.
If you love to write and want to focus solely on writing blog posts, researching and writing articles, or even writing a book, freelance writing is another option. News publications are moving more and more to online formats and writers now have the ability to self-publish books. This makes it easier than ever to work completely from home as a writer.
Pros – Freelance writing is a very flexible job. You are completely working for yourself and have the ability to work wherever and whenever you want. You will have a variety of work and you can write about any topics you are experienced in. Because you work for yourself, you can also set your own rate. As you become more experienced, you can give yourself a raise!
Cons – Work is not too steady in this option. You will have many different clients and will probably need to start off charging lower rates until you have more experience. To find clients you will need to pitch potential clients and will face a lot of rejection. You may have periods where you are extremely busy and other periods where you are pretty slow. This can make it difficult to plan your income each month.
Personality fit – Freelance writers need to be optimistic, hardworking, and have a thick skin. This field is for people who love writing so much that they can do it all day long. There won’t be much interaction with people, other than talking to your clients about the articles. If you are someone who doesn’t like working independently, this probably wouldn’t be enjoyable.
Sales jobs are an excellent option for working from home. You can do online demos for clients from your home office, which is great for companies allowing you to work from anywhere.
Pros – Flexibility is an industry where you can work really hard and make a ton of money in commissions and bonuses. Depending on the company you work for, you can often work the hours you want and have a lot of flexibility and autonomy.
Cons – Some companies require sales agents to work completely off of commissions. While you could make a lot of money based on your hard work, this also means you could make nothing. You can also have a good month, followed up with a terrible one.
Personality fit – Sales agents need good emotional intelligence and the ability to persuade clients to sign up. You need to be able to hear no and keep going. With commissions being all of your salary or a big chunk, you will need to be able to be self-motivated to work hard and keep up your sales efforts. Many sales jobs also require a high amount of travel, so you will need to be okay with that.