Working from home is becoming an increasingly feasible and common option in this modern
wired world. Whether clerical work, freelance writing, crafts and assembly, online research and reviews,
consultancy, or other types of work, the chance to make a living while avoiding the daily commute has never
been easier. Often enough, all that is required is a computer, a broadband connection, and a suite of office
software. Such work as Internet research, data entry, and secretarial services may be performed this way.
Add transcription software and a foot pedal to control the playback, and you can offer
transcription or translation services. For those who do skilled work with their hands, opportunities can be had
with either reputable manufacturers (piecework, although beware numerous scams) or through online markets (as a
vendor). Programming jobs, Website design, proofreading, freelance writing – all may be done from home. If you
have a skill, chances are good that you can find a homeworking job that uses it.
There are a number of options for finding work to do from home. You can often find
appropriate listings on general job search sites such as monster.co.uk – just enter a search term such as “work
from home”. Freelancers can find listings on sites specific to the market such as www.freelancers.net, or,
globally, Elance or Guru. These will vary in practice between those who offer listings freely, and others who
use a bid for hire system (sometimes for a fixed commission on the contract price, and occasionally collecting
the contract price from the supplier to be held in escrow for the completion of the job – check the terms and
conditions for a given site). Additionally there are a number of sites that deal specifically with homeworking,
for example, the Homeworker job or Remote Employment. (The latter is a subscription service.) Be wary: not all
homeworking sites are equally honest.
Which brings up one of the pitfalls of searching for homeworking jobs - scams. A very simple
rule of thumb applies here: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of piecework jobs that
appear to require little in the way of skills. “Get rich quick” schemes that require you to pay an initial
“investment” will certainly make someone rich; it just won't be you. Homeworking takes an investment in skills
and hard work to pay off, and it can take time to build a respectable income.
If you set up a business for yourself, you will want to consider aspects such as
advertising, networking and taxation. At a base level for the first item (advertising), consider free
classified ad sites such as Ad Trader. Paid options vary immensely; you'll need to work out what best suits
your requirements. Freelancers will find that they may list their services on sites as listed above, as well as
find and bid on available contracts. Do not underestimate the value of business networking sites such as
linkin.com – contacts with clients and colleagues are always valuable for generating business. And consider
that, if you are self-employed, it affects how you pay tax, National Insurance and VAT. You can find help
working out your status here.
Working from home is not for everyone, but for those who desire part-time employment,
supplemental income, or those hardy souls who prefer to work for themselves, homeworking can be a viable
alternative to regular employment.