The Marine Corp experimented with teleworking over a decade ago.

How to work from home? All you need to know

Being able to work from home is a dream for millions of people. Whether you’re employed or self-employed, the freedom to choose your schedule and reconcile your professional life with your family or personal life is priceless.

I have been working from home for several years, first as an employee and then as an entrepreneur, and I recognize that there has never been a better time to do so than now.

In this article I am going to give you the keys so that you can also get a salary from the comfort of your home, starting with a list of the best jobs from home for their employability and economic potential and ending with the main websites where you can find job offers remotely.

Types of jobs that allow you to work from home

Before we start, let’s clarify what types of work from home exist: those in which you are employed, or self-employed.

A. Employed

Let’s be real, most jobs still are not viable to allow employees to sit at home, at least all the time.

The few jobs that allow this are usually related to customer service or sales, such as a tele-operator or sales agent. It is also possible to find jobs in writing and content auditing, although these are very rare and usually part-time.

In the United States, where 35% of employees enjoy teleworking, there are rankings of the best companies with remote jobs. In many other countries there are still no such reports, but it is a good idea to look at the American ranking to see which companies are also present in your country.

Surely the work philosophy is similar, and so you make sure you are sending your resume to a company that will give you facilities.

Advantages of working as an employee from home:

  • You have a stable payroll, which gives you some security.
  • You enjoy a paid vacation.
  • You have unemployment benefit: you will be paid if you are unfairly dismissed or your contract runs out.
  • Your social security contributions are usually higher than those of the self-employed.

Disadvantages of working as an employee from home

  • Fixed schedule: even if you work from home, you usually have to stick to a schedule in which you must be 100% available.
  • Greater difficulty to grow professionally: not being “visible” will play against you when there are promotions or salary increases.

B. Self-employed

Most often, people who work from home still do so as freelancers.

New technologies have created emerging business models, and the self-employed are often the first to jump on these new opportunities. Many companies also benefit from outsourcing these new functions so that they do not have to incur costs in hiring or renting space.

In addition, the process of becoming self-employed in Spain has become simpler and cheaper, making it the first option for many professionals who want to work remotely.

Viable Jobs to Work at Home

Having clarified these points, we will see which are the best home-based jobs today in terms of employability, economic potential and viability.

1. Virtual Assistant

One of the new professions most in demand with the rise of the Internet is that of virtual assistant. In the vast majority of cases they start out as self-employed, although there are more and more cases of indefinite contracts, especially by small entrepreneurs.

The functions of the virtual assistant consist of giving remote support to bloggers, youtubers, digital entrepreneurs or companies in relatively simple or mechanical tasks, so it is not a profile that requires great technical skills. If anything, it requires conviction to put up with repetitive tasks.

These are some of the usual tasks of a virtual assistant:

  • Managing email
  • Management of social networks
  • Organization of the agenda
  • Billing management
  • Design and image retouching
  • Writing newsletters and blog posts
  • Video and/or podcast editing
  • Organization of on-site events

Who is the virtual assistant job for?

 

For organized and proactive people, with the ability to manage several tasks at once.

What do you need to be a virtual assistant?

In addition to excellent organizational skills and a minimum level of English, you will need to have basic knowledge of office programs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), as well as team management tools (Trello, Slack).

In many cases it is also advisable to know how to use the main social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin) and have notions of video editing and blogging (WordPress), as this is a profile that is in great demand by both Youtubers and bloggers.

How to get a job as a virtual assistant?

The easiest way to start as a virtual assistant is as a freelancer, looking for private clients:

  • Connect directly with entrepreneurs, bloggers or small companies and present your services. It’s a good idea to give a demonstration of your skills, for example by sending a mockup video or showing a social networking campaign.
  • Be on the lookout for virtual assistant requests from popular bloggers to their subscribers.
  • Sign up for popular freelancing platforms, including Fiverr or Upwork. Many entrepreneurs post virtual assistant offers there.

 

How much does a virtual assistant charge?

The fees for a virtual assistant can range from 10 to 30 dollars per hour worked, although some very experienced assistants can charge more. Those in developing countries can be stiffed with much lower wages, but having diverse skill sets may make up for it.

2. Digital Editor

Every self-respecting company must have a presence on the Internet, and for that it needs content. Whether it’s website texts, blog texts or social network publications, writing for the Internet is a booming career opportunity.

Although many professional writers are self-employed, more and more are joining online marketing companies, so it is a profession that can also offer some stability.

Who is the job of a freelance writer for?

For people who are comfortable writing, with a good level of general culture and looking for a job with some creativity.

What do you need to be a copywriter?

The main thing is to write well. It seems obvious, but you still see a lot of texts on the Internet with spelling mistakes or structure problems. Besides, it’s recommendable:

  • Learn something about SEO. Especially if you focus on writing for blogs, because the goal of these posts is usually to position yourself in Google and attract organic traffic.
  • Specialize. Although being a generalist writer is not bad, if you focus on a certain topic or sector is much easier to make a place in the market.

Copywriting is about writing to sell. For that you need some knowledge of marketing and persuasive writing techniques.

Being a copywriter allows you to significantly increase your rates and get out of traditionally underpaid sectors such as SEO writing or social networks. In addition, it opens up a whole field of job possibilities: texts for websites or sales pages, advertisements, email marketing, video scripts, ecommerce, etc.

For this, there are already specialized courses for copywriters that give you the basis to start your career.

How much does a digital writer charge?

In general, a writer’s fees are between 2 and 10 dollars per 100 words. This rate can be much lower or higher depending on your education level, experience, and ability to market yourself.

In an increasingly globalized world, many companies and entrepreneurs need translators to enable them to internationalize and reach other markets.

 

Freelance Translation

There is currently a great demand for translators, but most of them work at home on a freelance basis as it can be difficult to become part of a company’s staff. Even so, it usually pays well.

Who is the online translator job for?

For people who are bilingual or have knowledge of several languages, who can express themselves well in writing and who enjoy working without too much contact with customers.

 

What do you need to be a translator from home?

To master your language. You don’t need to have a university degree such as philology or translation and interpretation, but you do need a high level of knowledge of your native language. Come on, write without spelling mistakes and stuff.

Mastering a foreign language. Usually you are asked to be a native speaker of one of the two languages you will be working with. Or at least be bilingual and have lived in the country of reference for a while. In both cases, you need to have a good command of grammar and a large vocabulary.

Optional: knowledge of a language that is not the majority language. It is not compulsory, but it will allow you to differentiate yourself. There are many translators in English, German or French, but not so many in Russian or Arabic, which are booming languages.

How can I get a job as an online translator?

To start with general texts you can start with platforms like Gengo or Textmaster. Their great advantage is that you can choose which jobs you do and organize your schedule, which gives you enormous flexibility to work from home.

However, to access better fees, the ideal is to create a website where you offer your services to attract customers, deciding what kind of translator you want to be:

A literary translator. The image of the literary translator is bohemian, but it’s probably the least profitable option (unless you have a name and work for big publishers) next to the subtitle translator.

Technical translator. In addition to more general texts, there are certain sectors that need specialized knowledge. Legal, scientific or technological texts, for example. This includes sworn translations, which are legally valid and require a degree and passing an official examination. This may be a somewhat repetitive job, but because it is so specialized the rates are quite high.

Advertising translation: To move a marketing message from one country to another, it is not enough to know the language: you need to understand both cultures. This type of translator is very sought after, so if you feel you have the skills to do so, don’t hesitate.

How much does a professional translator charge?

Although rates vary greatly depending on the type of text and language, the minimum is usually 5 euros per 100 words.

As an example, some time ago Netflix opened applications to find people to translate their series online through their Hermes program. For the translation from English to Spanish they paid 12 dollars per minute translated, which is not bad at all.

And if we’re talking about advertising translation, the fees can be even higher.

 

Community Manager

The community management or social network management is one of the most demanded jobs in online marketing. But until recently, many companies fell into the hands of the sober manager, thinking that they could manage it themselves and did not need to pay a professional.

Fortunately, this belief has changed, as running a company’s network presence is no joke. The community manager seeks and provides quality content that responds to a clear strategy, and must offer measurable results.

 

Who is a community manager for?

For fans of social networks with marketing knowledge, who have no problem being hooked on the mobile phone at (almost) all times.

The community manager must be online practically all day long.

What do you need to be a community manager from home?

A computer with an Internet connection and some portable device (smartphone or tablet) that allows you to monitor what is happening at all times, especially if you have to manage a crisis.

Although it is not 100% essential, it is highly recommendable to have taken a course in community management (there is a huge offer, both face to face and online), and in addition many of these programs also offer internships in companies.

The work of the community manager basically consists of two tasks:

  • Generate quality content in different formats. Each social network has its own rules and objectives that you should be aware of. It is also recommended that you have notions of photo and video editing.
  • Attract followers and generate a relationship with them, resolving doubts and responding to their comments.

In addition to having some knowledge of online marketing, to perform these tasks you must achieve a tone of communication adapted to the brand, know how to cure content and control the statistics of each platform.

You must also be up to date with what’s new: social networks evolve very quickly, and in six months everything can change a lot.

How do you get a job as a community manager?

Most generalist portals, such as Freelancer or Indeed publish community manager offers, in many cases to work remotely. In Working Nomads you will also find them, and very good ones, but in English.

To increase your chances of being hired, lead by example: have a presence in several social networks, be active and have a reasonable number of followers. This is the best letter of introduction.

How much does a community manager charge?

It will depend on your experience and the type of client. If you have several company profiles at the same time, it is important that you agree on the number of posts per month and the time you will be available to respond to comments.

Ideally, you should calculate your price per hour and a minimum per customer (for example, 200 euros for managing an SME profile). For you to have a referral, a full-time community manager usually charges between 900 and 1,800 dollars per month in developed contries.

 

The reality of working from home

Once we’ve explored all the possibilities, I’d like to make you see that working from home has great advantages but also hidden traps, so I don’t recommend it for everyone.
The advantages of working from home

The main one is the feeling of freedom. That doesn’t mean you’re going to make use of it (you’ll probably end up working more hours than you should) but the fact that you don’t feel tied to a place is a very comforting feeling. If this is your main motivation, look for a remote job.

Other interesting advantages are:

  • Freedom of schedule. You organize your time as you see fit. You can go to the gym in the morning, pick up the kids from school or go to the supermarket when it’s half empty.
  • You are your own boss. Even if you work for someone else, you have a lot of leeway in setting your own time, priorities and how you do your job. Once you get used to it, it costs a lot to have a boss again.
  • Geographic mobility. Digital nomadism is a growing reality and, although it requires discipline on your part, it is possible to live with your office in your backpack.
  • You avoid having to move around. You save the time and money you used to spend going to the office, and the stress of traffic jams or the burden of public transport at rush hour.
  • Reconciliation. It allows you to take care of your children and sick or dependent relatives. Or simply make a lot more of your life at home, something that can be complicated if you’re away for ten hours a day.
  • Job placement. Working from home is a great option for people with mobility problems or certain illnesses that complicate work at home.

 

The disadvantages of working from home

Working from home also has a dark side that no one talks about and many of us suffer.

  • The loneliness. You can’t socialize with your colleagues, the coffee break is on your own and you have no one to ask any questions. I really miss those little human contacts.
  • Your social life suffers. It is the consequence of the previous point, and you must be careful because you can become confined in your unsociability. Take care of your relationships and do not miss the opportunity to attend real encounters.
  • It is difficult to disconnect. Having work and personal/family life in the same space makes it difficult to separate the two. It is not uncommon to find yourself working at night or on weekends.
  • You have more distractions. You get up for a moment to put on a washing machine and get busy with a soda. Those little distractions are a waste of time that you have to control. And if you live with more people, it can be hard not to be bothered while you’re working (especially the kids).
  • You need discipline. The house is full of procrastinating traps. From taking a longer than normal nap to playing Netflix when it’s not playing. You have to be very strict if you want to get the job done.
  • Lack of social esteem. A lot of people will look at you funny when you tell them you work from home, and more than one will think you do it because you haven’t found a “real” job.

Final Words

In this increasingly digital world, there has never been a better time to work from home. Remote working is the ideal solution for people who value freedom above all else, need to stay home for health reasons or have a loved one in charge.

If you’ve been dreaming of working from home for a while, stop and start looking. There are more remote jobs than ever before, and there will be even more in the future. Don’t be left behind.