The research is in: your daily commute is literally the worst thing you'll do all day. Driving to work has been shown to take precious time away from our home lives, our relationships, and healthy habits like eating a balanced diet and exercising.
Meanwhile, a study from Georgia State University found that telecommuters working from home sleep 44.7 minutes longer and spend 63% more time exercising than extreme commuters who spend upwards of 3 hours getting to and from work.
As a remote worker, you'll also gain independence, the chance to develop marketable skills of your choice, and reap major savings on transportation, work clothes, and food.
A few decades ago, telling people that you worked at home was like admitting you were unemployed. At that time, the best you could do was swing shady jobs selling makeup, mystery shopping, and envelope-stuffing pyramid schemes.
But in the Internet age, working from home is the new normal.
Today you can search online and find legit remote work in health, finance, tech, and writing of all kinds. Now everyone from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Amazon, and Wells Fargo are hiring remote workers.
Short-term freelance contracts are plentiful on websites like Elance.com and Upwork.com, but you’ll also find employers looking to hire full-timers and offering benefits. Data from Global Workplace Analytics shows that these regular work-from-home positions have grown by 103% since 2005.
Ready to board this rocket? Check out these awesome work-from-home jobs:
1. Graphic Designer
Median Salary: $47,600
Every business needs a website and a constant flow of catchy promotional materials and graphics to stay current. There’s a growing trend of hiring freelance graphic designers who are good communicators and can get the job done with minimal supervision.
Working remotely is often a natural transition for graphic designers who have the tools they need to work from home. Create your own website to showcase your portfolio to prospective clients from across the web, then head over to a site like Upwork.com to get your first jobs!
2. Web Developer
Median Salary: $66,130
Web development is one of the fastest-growing occupations out there, with a projected growth rate of 27% in the next 10 years, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Like graphic designers and content writers, web developers will have plenty of work in the Internet Age, thanks to the expanding worldwide adoption of mobile devices and e-commerce. This is one of those Goldilocks work-from-home jobs that's in high demand and often comes with a full-time salary and benefits to boot.
3. Freelance Writer (Web)
Median Salary (full-time): $35,400
It's a good time to be a writer! All businesses need one or more writers on hand to create engaging content, articles, and marketing campaigns and to keep their social media presences thriving.
While big media sites tend to have in-house writers, many companies hire freelance writers to fulfill their needs. This is great news for aspiring work-from-home writing pros! The greatest challenge with this lifestyle is having the motivation, ambition, and creativity necessary to search for interesting jobs and come up with new ideas every day.
Making a good living as a freelance writer really depends on becoming specialized. Focus your job search on one field, like technology, health, or finance writing, and use these projects to build your specialized writing portfolio. Upwork.com, Freelancer.com, and Media Bistro are just a few places you can start looking for work right now.
4. Call Centre Customer Service Representative
Median Salary: $32,300
Not so tech-savvy? No problem! Huge firms like Amazon, General Electric (GE), and American Express have established customer service departments manned by people working on their phones at home. For many of these jobs, all you need is a landline and short-term training from the company to get started. The customer service industry is projected to grow at a faster than average rate over the next 10 years- so get in while you can!
5. Online Educator
Median Salary: $34,000
English is a world language and web-based English teachers are in demand! Many companies are expanding their businesses to meet the growing demand for English speaking classes for clients living across Asia and Europe. These language schools have a strong preference for native English speakers from the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Usually all that is required to begin teaching online is native English speaking ability, a good internet connection and headset, and completion of a short training program that sets out the school's core goals. This is a rewarding career for those who value their work-life balance, love teaching, and who can work early in the morning to sync up with time zones in other regions.
6. Virtual Assistant
Median Salary: $37,320
As more companies function entirely online, there's a growing demand for remote admin assistants. Virtual assistants (VAs) can be hired as full-time remote workers with benefits or can function as independent contractors who work from home, supporting multiple clients. Unlike traditional onsite admin assistants who are expected to greet and call people, virtual assistants often do more writing than calling. VAs also tend to have more interesting and varied responsibilities as employers may also rely on them for graphic design, blogging/writing, and marketing.
Median Salary: $46,120
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics gives a rosy outlook for these language pros: employment for interpreters and translators is expects to grow 24% in the next 10 years. Native language proficiency in a language pair (ex. English and Spanish) is usually the major requirement for working in this field, although job prospects are best for those with professional certifications.
Many translators already work from home, and the internet offers wider access to clients than ever before. As with other writing and communication jobs, specialization pays: the top 10% of translators can earn upwards of $83,000. Translators and interpreters can focus their work in a particular field like healthcare, science and technology, or government and policy.
8. Social Media Manager
Median Salary: $40,000
Social media marketing is an emerging field that could be a dream job for Facebook and Instagram junkies with an interest in business and writing. Social media allows businesses to reach their clients directly without having to pay for traditional ads in TV, radio, or print. This job is so new that there is little official data about median salaries and growth predictions—but consider that people are regularly paid to produce the massive amounts of social media content you see everywhere. As more companies are understanding the amazing reach and marketing power of social media, it's a safe bet that this field is on the up and up!
9. Travel Agent
Median Salary: $36,460 (full-time)
If you love to travel, research, and plan itineraries, then this could be the remote job you're looking for! The global travel and tourism sector continues to boom as incomes rise around the world. According to data from the World Travel & Tourism Council, the worldwide travel and tourism sector employs more people globally than financial services, mining, and car manufacturing combined. Most travel agents work for agencies, but you can build your own travel business and client base online!
10. Data Entry
Median Salary: $32,920
Here's a reliable job that you can do from home and make a darn decent living at, too. Businesses of all sizes need people to log data into their systems. You can find data entry work in fields like shipping and inventory, measuring performance, and in business development. Basic computer skills and fast typing abilities are usually the main skills required for this chill work-from-home job. You’ll see plenty of data entry jobs available on sites like Upwork.com and Simplyhired.com, among others.
Working from home is one of the best things to come out of our modern tech-driven era because everybody benefits. Workers gain autonomy and a better work-life balance, and employers have access to a much wider talent pool.
While the list above offers examples of jobs that are in high demand now, the reality is that you can translate practically any skill or interest into a remote job. The Internet is a massive marketplace that will only continue to grow.
Take advantage of this trend by working for someone else or by starting your own venture!
No matter how you slice it, your work-from-home success depends entirely on how much effort you put in. So, get organized, get focused, and prepare yourself to make a gracious exit from the office grind.
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