In the past, working from home was only for the lucky few who worked for organizations that allowed their personnel to telecommute. Other than that, the work from home industry was filled with a lot of big dreams and empty promises. Advertisements were often found in the back of magazines and newspaper classified ads promising big money for doing things like taking surveys and stuffing envelopes. For the most part, these positions were fictitious. Fast forward to 2012 and the work from home scene is much different.
Working from home is now a viable option for many workers and organizations. Technology has allowed people to be productive even away from an office building. Labor data shows that the work from home population has increased tenfold over the last few years. Work from home employees can be full-time employees of organizations or freelance contractors. Typical careers include:
Virtual assistants – VA’s typically work full-time hours, and engage in the same type of support functions that regular assistants do. They often answer phone calls, type work documents, and help their manager stay organized. These positions typically require a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree.
Freelance writers – Freelance writers engage in several different types of writing assignments from web content such as blogs and web pages. They may also engage in writing press releases, eBooks, reports, sales letters, magazines, and more. Many organizations outsource their communication and marketing materials to be written by freelancers because it is more cost-effective. Freelance writers come from a variety of backgrounds such as journalism, communications, English, business, marketing, or education. Obviously they need to be strong writers, but should also be business savvy, and very organized.
Web designers – Freelance web design has been around a long time. Freelance web designers working from home may own their own business or work for an IT company. The skills needed include programming, WordPress, Drupal, Ecommerce solutions, and data management just to name a few. Freelance web designers typically have at least an associate’s degree in an IT related field.
Graphic artists – Graphic artists also may own their own design company or work for an employer. They typically engage in a variety of design functions and need to possess both creative and technical skills. Their work often ends up on the web, brochures, posters, signs, and more.
The work from home market is exploding, and according to most industry experts, it is not a fad. In fact, many believe over 25% of the workforce will be working from home in the near future. Those with a college education will still have the advantage over those who do not.