Want to learn how to start working from home? We’ve got you covered with our best work-at-home tips. Plus, we’re going to share with you a list of must-have tools for anyone who works from home.
“Work-at-home jobs are scams.”
“You can’t really make money working from home.”
We’ve heard all of the cliches about working from home and can testify most of them are the farthest thing from the truth. In fact, working from home continues to gain popularity across the globe. With more businesses jumping aboard the “remote train”.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released an Economic News Release for 2018 on workers in the United States. We’ve listed a few key points from the news release below.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Economic News Release 2019 Key Points
- 23.7% of United States workers worked from home in 2018
- The majority of work-at-home workers in 2018 were Men with Full-Time job positions.
- Women who worked from home in 2018 shared a healthy mix between those who work part-time and those who work full-time. With full-time being the common statistic.
- Most workers working from home held only a single job instead of having multiple jobs.
As you can see, people are landing legit work-at-home jobs. They must also be making money from these jobs because a high percentage of work-at-home workers only hold one single job.
How to Start Working from Home
Now that you’ve seen the stats, let’s talk about how to really start working from home. We don’t plan on leaving anything out and are going to cover the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of working from home.
First, ask yourself the following questions. This will help you ensure that you are absolutely prepared for the journey of working from home. The journey before, during, and after begin working remotely.
How will you care for your overall health while you working from home?
Keep in mind, many companies offering work at home job opportunities do not offer remote — or part-time — workers medical insurance. Which means you will need to have your own health insurance in place.
Staying healthy should be your top priority. Take a look at health insurance prices and consider if you can afford this extra expense.
Another part of your overall health is your mental health. In order to be your best and succeed as a remote worker, seeing clearly has to be a top priority for you. Realize that working in a home office is far from what others portray it as.
Such as a super quiet and stressfree environment while you’re sitting in your robe sipping coffee. While somedays may portray this, this is a rare situation. Especially if you have multiple clients, multiple kids, or multiple pets.
Working from home can have many stressful days. Trying to meet deadlines and speak to clients on a totally different time zone than you. Juggling doctor appointments, sick kids, and barking dogs. While staying professional and sane.
Working from home can stretch your mental calm to the max.
Another impact a work-at-home job can have on how you feel is how lonely it can actually be. Concentrating on deadlines is tough when you’re enjoying brunch at a local restaurant. Many of your workdays will, in fact, involve little to no contact with others. It can be a lonely world.
Can you safely afford the costs associated with working from home?
Going into debt is never a suggestion for any situation. So, keep in mind, if you’re serious about working from home, there will be some costs associated with it. Unless you get lucky and already have everything you need.
Plenty of factors tie into what your finances should like during your career. Including the life you want to live, your ideal comfortable lifestyle, your current savings or lack thereof, your income, and the obligations you have to payout.
As we stated above, having your own private health insurance is one possible cost you may incur. Other costs include technology costs, subscriptions, and current and future planning needs. We will discuss each possible cost more in-depth down the road.
How to Start Working from Home: Before You Begin Your Search
One of the questions you answered above covers your ideal lifestyle as a remote worker. What do you plan on achieving as a remote employee now and later down the road?
We would all love to become a millionaire due to working in our pajamas. On the other hand, some of us don’t have time to put in the work required to reach that level.
Depending on where you want to be is where you need to set your schedule as someone who telecommutes. Below are a few tips on how you can set boundaries and live your best life before you start working from your home office.
Pick a Schedule and Stick to It
The top myth we need to nip in the bud right now is the following statement.
“When you work from home you can set your own schedule and work whenever you want.”
This is false and bad advice for anyone entering the remote workforce. The truth is, while some people can work when they want, most work-at-home workers find themselves overworking themselves and not setting any schedule boundaries.
Basically, before you start working, ask yourself what schedule can you work and be honest with yourself. You will find during your job search that many companies actually require even their virtual employees to be available and working for them during a set time.
If you decide to take a different route such as freelance writing or blogging, you still need to give your clients a set schedule. This will let them know that if they try to contact you out of your set “business hours”, that you won’t be available.
Remember to stick to your schedule as well as a remote worker. IF you give a little slack and respond to an email at 2 AM, they will continue to expect it.
Know the Value of Your Skills
When you’re really broke, it’s hard not to accept any offer that comes your way. Even if it means working 10-hours a day and only being paid $25. (Guity. I was here when I began as a freelance writer.)
Stop shortchanging yourself and put a value on the skills you have. Set your worth and the people you will want to work for will respect your value and will be willing to pay it.
Aside from the money talk, also know what job you intend on working from home. Are you a pro at customer service? Can you type like it’s nobodies business? Find out what you’re good at and stick to it. Don’t try and do everything. That is just a bad idea.
Be Honest with Yourself and Potential Clients and Employers
It’s important that you are honest with yourself and whoever may hire you from the very beginning about what you can and can’t do. We all know it’s easy to make anything look good on paper. But, proving it can be a different story.
Be honest about the skills you have and how good you are at them. Tell the truth the education and training you’ve been through.
Just be honest. It’s okay not to know everything and being dishonest only wastes valuable time for everyone involved.
How to Start Working from Home: The Must-Have Tools to Succeed
The main goal here is to learn how to work from home, enjoy working remotely, and make money, right? Well, you know the old saying. “You gotta spend money to make money.” It’s somewhat the truth.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the must-have tools you will need to start working from home. We promise, if you don’t already have them, they are worth the investment.
A Place to Really Call Your “Office”
When I’m working, I tend to get distracted pretty easily. So, in order for me to be successful while working at home, I need a complete distraction-free area.
I use a spare bedroom we somewhat transformed into an office space for me. There is a door I can close to keep out distractions (kids, pets, etc.) and a lock for when I’m on an important phone call.
We all think the work-at-home dream is sipping a Mimosa while staring out at deep blue water while we type away on our laptop. Well, if you decide to work for a large company like Apple as a remote worker, you’re going to need an office space more like my setup.
This is because almost all big companies who hire remote workers require a quiet workplace to work-from-home. With most remote job opening posts stating that a distraction-free and quiet area is a must for a job offer.
Another perk of having an actual home office is you have everything you need for any project or assignment right there. While things are becoming more and more portable, an office just offers more room to make sure you cover all your needs.
Fast, Reliable, and Secure Technology
Ensuring that all technology you use to work from home is fast, reliable, and safe is a must for anyone working from home. This will save you time and give whoever hires you peace of mind that their information is safe with you.
Larger companies who hire virtual employees often have very strict criteria on what you must have technology-wise in order to work for them.
The most popular requirement is that you can not complete the work over any wireless network. Instead, they require you to hardwire your computer to the internet.
The upside to these technical requirements is that more companies are beginning to supply the technology that meets their criteria.
Also, some companies, instead of providing the technology, they give new remote employees a sign-on bonus. This bonus goes towards the cost of setting up the new employees home office.
Below are a few technology options we definitely recommend for working from home.
- Reliable and updated laptop or desktop computer
- All-in-One Printer/Fax/Scanner
- High-quality microphone
- Updated Webcam
How to Start Working from Home: Finding a Work-at-Home Job Position
Don’t let all of the details of how to start working from home overwhelm you. In the scheme of things, just like any job, remote jobs have their positives and their negatives.
Some remote jobs show flexibility when it comes to scheduling. While those that are actual full-time, part-time, or salary jobs as an actual employee and not a contractor with companies aren’t so lenient on the remote worker schedule.
The most important thing is to decide what will work best for your situation. If you need a schedule with a lot of wiggle room, you may want to consider life as a remote contract/freelance worker.
On the other hand, having a regular 1st, 2nd, or 3rd shift may sound good to you. You’d do great as a virtual employee for maybe a company like Apple.
To help you out on your remote job search, you will definitely want to check out our post on legit and free ways to make money online. The list has 35+ ways to make either a little money or start a career as a virtual worker.
If you think you have what it takes to work from home and can block out all of the extra distractions we say go for it.
Cut ties with the daily work commute and start working wherever you feel the most productive at.