Prior to the internet, work-from-home jobs were much harder to find. People would often have to stuff envelopes, sell something or have a creative job to even have a chance at working from home. It wasn’t until recently that companies started seeing the cost-saving and productivity benefits associated with allowing employees and contractors to work remotely.
Given the increasing prevalence and desire for remote work, you might be wondering how you can find the right work-from-home opportunity for you. We gathered a few tips to help you find your perfect work-from-home job.
The rise of work from home
During the 2010s, industries like digital media, government and tech started offering more telecommuting roles. When the pandemic hit, work-from-home jobs became even more commonplace. As of early 2022, remote work accounts for almost 15% of all high-paying jobs (that pay more than $100,000).
Many workers enjoy remote work, too. A report by Owl Labs found that 56% of respondents said they’d be more likely to choose an employer if that employer offered remote work opportunities.
Look in your field and in similar areas
There are work-from-home opportunities available in most fields—you just might have to adjust your job responsibilities slightly to find a remote opportunity. Owl Labs reports the industries with the most remote opportunities are healthcare, technology and financial services, but you can find remote opportunities in any industry.
Let’s say you’re a trade worker, for instance (think construction worker, plumber, etc.). You could switch to remote work by using your trade knowledge in a telecommuting position such as consulting, project management, automation managment or content creation. You can also run your own business using available online resources. Joining sites like Thumbtack, TaskRabbit or Houzz will also allow you to run a trade business from the comfort of your own home.
Consider your passions
One of the toughest things about working from home is you have to self-motivate. Without going to an office full of workers, you have to force yourself to stay on task and on schedule. This can be much more difficult when doing a job you don’t particularly like. But if you choose something you’re passionate about, it’s much easier to motivate yourself to work everyday, even when it’s from your own home.
Use the right resources and learn work-from-home applications
Use platforms that can help you find remote work like FlexJobs, LinkedIn and Indeed. Search for jobs in your desired field, and use location terms like “US,” “remote” or “work from home” to find opportunities that allow you to work at home.
Many companies use communication and organization tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, Trello, Jira, Asana and Google Docs. Familiarize yourself with these applications before applying for work from home positions.
Take advantage of networking
The majority of jobs—85%, according to a LinkedIn survey—are filled through networking.
Work-from-home jobs are no different. If you connect with someone on social media, have a connection from a past job experience or have associations through your education or a professional association, this can help you get your foot in the door.
This is why it’s important to attend career-related events, connect with people on LinkedIn and to keep in touch with coworkers.
Consider freelance employment arrangements
If you can’t find the perfect full-time or salaried remote position in your field, consider contract work. In fields such as writing, photography and transportation, freelance work is quite common.
Intuit reports that 44 million Americans are self-employed, with 57% of these proprietors working in professional services, repair and personal services, construction, retail trade and administrative services.
Many freelance workers choose this type of work for the schedule flexibility it offers. You can usually set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want. Some freelance workers—54%—also work a traditional job and do freelance or gig work on the side.
Research opportunities and beware of scams
Some employers may be hiring for remote opportunities but only in certain states. Read the job’s description carefully to note any location restrictions or other factors that could hinder your eligibility for the position.
It’s also wise to be on the lookout for work-from-home scams. According to the Better Business Bureau’s 2020 Employment Scams Report, the No. 1 reason people pursued the job opportunities promised by scammers was the opportunity to work from home, with 53% of respondents citing work from home as their motivating factor.
How do you spot a work-from-home scam? Indeed says there are seven signs to look for: The job just seems too good to be true; there is little or no published information about the company; you cannot confirm the job offer with another contact at the company; there are warnings about the job being a scam online; the employer seems too eager to hire; the employer doesn’t communicate well; or you have to pay to work.
Although telecommuting roles may pay the same or more than in-person roles, some remote positions might pay a bit less. Before accepting a remote role, consider all of the costs associated with going to work every day versus the cost of staying home.
FlexJobs reports remote workers save around $4,000 annually on costs for commuting, clothing and food outside of the home. On the other hand, there are also emotional costs that come along with working remotely. While FlexJobs also reports 86% of people think working at home reduces stress, it can also come along with isolation, marital discord (suddenly too much time with your spouse in a finite environment) and less face-to-face interactions with coworkers.