Home Business or Work at Home Job - Which Is Right for You?
Many people often want to work from home for a variety of reasons. Maybe you just had a child and want more work-life balance, or perhaps you have an illness that makes it difficult for you to get out of the house. Or maybe you just like being home and want the freedom to work your own way.
Whatever the reasons you want to work at home, you’ll need to choose whether or not you want a job from home, or you want a business from home. Here are eight questions to help you decide.
- Are You Self-Motivated?
If you want your own business so that you can set your own hours, you will need to be very self-motivated. You’ll need to take time out of your day for marketing, interviewing clients, closing the deal and then doing the work too. You’ll be 100 percent responsible for delivering the work, billing and collecting. You’ll even be responsible for deciding the methods you’ll use to do the work. To do that you’ll need to be a very self-motivated individual.
- What Skills Do You Have?
Take a piece of paper and write down a list of the skills you currently have, based on what you’ve already done in the past. Can any of these translate into a business? Label them appropriately. Do any of these translate into common work-from-home positions such as call center agent or transcriptionist? Some skills cross over into both, but which side of the list gets full faster?
- What Sort of Lifestyle Do You Want?
With a work-at-home job you’ll be required to “show up” for work on time each day that you’re scheduled, and you may have little control over that schedule. What’s more, with work-at-home positions it’s a lot harder than typical jobs to call in sick, whether it’s you or a child who is sick. Often the first 90 days you cannot miss your schedule at all if you want to keep the position. Are you ready for that? Or, would you prefer a more family-oriented type of schedule that can be adjusted more easily and is more deliverables-based than hourly-based?
- Do You Already Have a Business Idea?
If you have already researched a business idea, and feel as if you want to do that instead of working for someone else, can you pull it off? What steps do you need to take to make it a reality? Are you the type of person to be able to organize and take the steps needed to get your business off the ground? Can you find and afford help if you’re not sure what to do to get the business going? Does the thought of all this stress you out?
- How Do You Feel about Punching a Clock?
For some people the idea of clock punching is relaxing, for others it feels like a nightmare. Neither feeling is right or wrong as it takes all types of people to make this world work. If you know up front that you are fine with punching a clock and you’d rather someone else tell you when to be someplace and what to do, then a work-at-home job is best for you. If that feels like prison to you, then a business is probably better if you can do what it takes to get it going.
- Do You Have Money to Start a Business?
Starting any type of business, even an online business, requires an investment not only of time, but also of money. Have you worked out a business plan and do you know how much money you need to get started? Do you have that money available? If not, do you have a way to get it? Perhaps working at a job first, while you save for and work on your business on the side, is the way to go if you don’t have the funds to start.
- Do You Need Training and Education?
Both working at a job and owning a business sometimes require skills that you don’t have yet. But that’s okay. Decide if you want to invest in the training yourself to get your business off the ground, or if you would like to try to find a work-at-home job where they will train you from the ground up even if you have little experience and due to that the pay may be low.
- What Is Your Biggest Dream for Your Life?
When you think of the future, what do you see? Does it sound relaxing to get up in the morning, have some breakfast, and move to your home office where you sign in to work at your job, taking a break when needed by telling your manager that you have to use the restroom, or go eat lunch and so forth, then when you get off work you’re totally and fully off? Plus, each week you collect a certain paycheck? Or, do you like the idea of being able to do what you want when you want (and likely working more hours than you ever thought you could) but without the surety of income each week, knowing you’re forging your own future?
Whatever you decide, neither is right or wrong. They are both good choices for you. Whether you want a work-at-home job so you can sign off after the day and focus 100 percent on your family, or whether you want a business that will cross boundaries into family time and vice versa but that puts you 100 percent in charge – both are good choices and choices that you are fortunate to have in this age of high speed internet.
Common Work-at-Home Positions You Can Apply For
Working at home sounds like a dream come true to most people. No tromping out in the cold weather, no need for business clothes, and perhaps a way to truly have integration of family life and work without being fired. But, what sorts of positions can you find that you can do at home?
Inbound Call Center Agent
An inbound call center agent takes calls using their home phone and computer system from the comfort of their home office (or kitchen table), taking orders for products and services. For example, you may work on a project for well-known home shopping networks or food chain establishments. You’ll be trained, and have practice calls before you get started. You will make between $8 and $20 dollars per hour from home doing this. Some positions are independent contracting and some are full-fledged employees.
Outbound Call Center Agent
An outbound call center agent makes outbound calls to a list of leads given to them by the company they work with. They will try to sell something to the person they are calling such as magazine subscriptions, vacations, or even provide political information during election season.
It will depend on which company you choose to work with what type of calling you will do. You’ll be trained, provided a script, and learn to be a professional at this type of calling. Typically, on these positions you’re required to hit a certain level of sales to keep your position. The highest earners make about $60,000 per year.
Every year you likely get fundraising calls. Well, they hire people who work from home to do the fundraising. The pay is usually hourly, from $8 to $20 per hour depending on the program you’re involved with. With less experience you can expect to earn less money since some of this is based on time on the phone and funds collected. Phone work can be challenging, but with more experience you’ll always earn more money.
Believe it or not, colleges and universities contract with adjunct professors to teach and or grade their online courses. If you can get your foot in the door there are a lot of opportunities with online teaching at the college level. You will typically need at least a master’s degree in the area you want to teach, and a doctorate definitely will expand your opportunities.
This is a lot like some of the call positions mentioned above in terms of pay, but instead of dealing with sales you’ll be answering for businesses and taking messages and/or transferring calls as needed. You could be answering for various doctors’ offices, apartment complexes and other businesses during their lunchtime and off time. You’ll do this from your computer set up right from home.
Customer Service Rep
A customer service rep can work in a variety of ways such as via phone, text, email, chat windows and so forth. You would be trained thoroughly on the products and services and likely need to pass a test for each business you’ll be serving to handle customer problems and issues remotely. The pay can range from $8 an hour to $20 an hour.
Online K-12 Instructor
You may not realize it but there now fully online schools, and also some land-based schools that offer some of their less popular courses online. If you have a teaching certificate in the areas needed and experience teaching, you should have no problem finding an online teaching position. The pay is depending on the school. Some schools make you a full employee, and others work you as if you’re an adjunct contractor.
Yes, travel agents still exist and companies are hiring travel agents (sometimes called travel consultants) to answer phones and help customers plan their trips. Usually you get paid a combination of base pay, and/or a percentage of sales with these types of jobs. So, you might have to make a lot of sales to make enough money as usually you don’t make more than 10 percent or so per sale. But, many travel agents love what they do and often get travel perks too.
Many types of businesses use transcription services. There are many work-at-home opportunities for transcriptionists. Most of the time the transcribing is medical based but there are also opportunities for other types of transcribing. A good transcriber can make about $45,000 a year right from home. Sometimes you’re an independent contractor for several companies and other times you will be an employee, depending on your choice of company.
Many businesses such as the insurance industry need appointment setters. As an appointment setter you’ll be calling leads who have expressed interest in meeting with someone to discuss the product or service being provided. You’ll simply call the prospect and make the appointments for the business owner adding to their calendar. You may also call back to confirm the appointments 24 hours in advance. Pay can be hourly, or on an appointment-by-appointment basis.
There are many work-at-home positions that you can find today due to the advent of high speed internet and the relatively inexpensive cost of making long distance calls today. It’s important to check out any company before committing or offering your information to them before you get started, to avoid being scammed. Typically, other than buying and providing your own technology, you should not have to give the company any money to get started.
Top Ten Legitimate Companies That Offer Work-at-Home Jobs
It’s important to be careful when looking for work-at-home jobs in order to avoid scams. Hopefully this list of ten legitimate work-at-home companies can help you find a job and avoid being ripped off. Remember, even with this list, be sure to check out everything and do your due diligence to avoid feeling used. You want a job that pays enough to make it worth it to work, and you want a job that values your experience too. One of these might fit.
- Nuance Transcription Services – With a focus on medical transcription, this is a real job as an employee doing transcription. They offer extra training for experienced transcriptionists and are often looking for qualified transcriptionists.
Link - http://www.nuance-nts.com/
- Orion Transcription Services – If you’re experienced with transcription, this is a good place to apply for a job. You must be U.S. based and have at least two years of experience to get one of these medical, legal or other transcription jobs.
Link - http://www.oriontranscription.com/career-opportunities-contact-form/
- Tigerfish Transcribing – If you’re new to transcribing, you can take the test and apply with Tigerfish Transcribing. Plus they direct you to free software to use for practice to help you with passing the test.
Link - http://tigerfish.com/employment/
Call Center Agent
- LiveOps Agent – With this company you can do many different types of positions from inbound calling to insurance sales, claims, and more. They work with many well-known companies and hire educated and experienced sales professionals.
Link - http://join.liveops.com/
- West at Home – This inbound calling center will hire beginners after giving a small voice test, if you pass the background check. It’s a good place to get started if you want to be a call center agent.
Link - http://apply.westathome.com/
- Sykes Home Powered by Alpine Success – This company prides itself on hiring military spouses, retirees, and parents to work at home answering calls. They also hire in Canada, and are especially looking for bilingual workers.
Link - https://jobs.alpineaccess.com/
- Working Solutions - You get to start your own business while also having the comfort of knowing you have a big business behind your success. You are a contract worker with training and once you schedule your hours you know you’ll get them.
Link - http://www.workingsolutions.com/work-at-home-agents/
- Ed2go Network – If you have a degree, you can teach. In this opportunity you can write and develop courses as well as online teaching jobs. What’s available depends on the time, but they are always taking applications. How much money you can make will vary but even they say on their site not to quit your day job. But it can be combined with other opportunities to make a full-time income.
Link - http://www.ed2go.com/TeachWithUs.aspx?tab=Introduction
- Elevate K-12 – If you have a teaching certificate and teaching experience, you can teach online. While you do have some control over your schedule, they ask that you are available between 8 pm and 4 pm each day.
Link - http://elevatek12.com/careers.html
- ETS – Writing, scoring, and even fellowships are available via ETS. You’d be scoring advance placement tests, and other types of proctored tests that students take for advancement or certification. If you’ve always wanted to be involved in helping shape testing given to students, this is your chance.
Link - http://www.ets.org/careers
Two Bonus Opportunities
- Blue Zebra Appointment Setting –They offer different positions such as appointment setter in which you might perform cold calling to try to set appointments for another sales professional to talk to the person again. They also sometimes hire virtual administrative assistants. All positions are independent contract positions.
Link - http://www.bluezebraappointmentsetting.com/Careers.aspx
- Travel Outlook – If you want to work in the exciting world of travel, this is the chance. You would be working taking reservations for hotel rooms and sometimes other duties such as touring local venues for clients. They want people with experience at least with customer service and working from home to ensure that you’re self-motivated. They say that some of their agents make over 40K a year and you are an employee.
Link - http://traveloutlook.com/jobs/
These are all legitimate companies. There are many more but these offer opportunities that are real. Some take experienced workers while others will take new people too. Hopefully, you can find something that will work for you.
Top Ten Home Business Ideas for Parents
Parents have to make special considerations when it comes to starting a home business. They need to be able to work without punching a clock or having to available at particular hours, otherwise they’ll have to get a babysitter. Parents who want to start a business from home may have special challenges if they don’t want to hire help. But, it’s not impossible. In fact here are the top ten home business ideas for parents that don’t require clock punching, or answering to anyone but yourself.
- Stock Photographer – Stock photography is used in numerous applications, from websites and blogs to print ads. The demand is quite high for good and unique photographs to use for these reasons. Therefore, most stock photography companies allow independent contractors to upload pictures for sale on their websites. You can also start your own website offering the images for use.
- Graphic Designer – Designers are needed everywhere; the demand is high. If you’re good with using creative software to make webpages, advertisements, banners, book covers (eBook and paper) and more, you can work for many companies at the same time performing these services. While it's deadline based, you can still work at 3 am if you need to.
- Freelance Writer – As a freelance writer there are many different opportunities today based on your skill level. You can write for so-called content mills, individuals looking for writers, as a copywriter writings specific sales copy, or you can write for yourself and publish your own books as PDFs or via Kindle Direct Publishing.
- Arts and Craft Seller – If you’re artsy and like creating art, you can do more than just create. You can sell, and you can make bank. Sites like Etsy.com, DeviantArt.com, and Art.com make it easy for individuals to upload pictures of their work to sell. You are responsible for shipping it on time, and you’ll give a percentage of sales to the website you list on. You can also start your own website but usually you’ll make sales faster working through an established and trusted venue.
- Amazon Seller - Fulfillment by Amazon has started a trend in individuals selling both new and used merchandise through their service. Leaning how to sell on Amazon can take a little time but there are people who are making six plus figures doing it, and you can too. This is something you can do on your own time, with your children in tow.
- EBay Seller – Selling on eBay is a little harder than the other choices, but many people do it successfully as a full-time job. If you have access to the right products, you can do it too. Again, this is something you can do on your own time. The only thing that might take a lot of work on your part is packing and shipping.
- Life Coach – You’ve seen a coach at a football game, but did you know that some people hire “life coaches” to help them with everyday life? Some people need help with parenting skills, whilst others need help getting through a life challenge like divorce. You can become a life coach with no experience. The hardest part is setting up the process, marketing your business, and getting new clients. There are also courses that you can take to help.
- Lifestyle Blogger – You’ve likely seen the movie, “Julie & Julia” right? Well, Julie started out as just another blogger, blogging about her adventures cooking from Julia Child’s cookbook. She became very popular, sold the rights to her story, and a movie was made. She made money off the deal, of course. Today, bloggers blog about all sorts of things and earn money through advertising, affiliate marketing, and product promotions. You can, too.
- Herb Gardner – This work-at-home business takes a little time and work, but it’s healthy, the children can help, and you can make about 60K a year from your back yard if it’s allowed in your area. You can sell at farmers’ markets but you can also sell directly to restaurants if you plan and market right.
- Online Teacher – If you have a degree in teaching you can teach at online K-12 schools right from home. You can also, if you have at least a master’s degree, teach college courses online. What’s really great is most of the time you can sign on when you want to, from anyplace with an internet connection to do your job, as long as you meet certain minimums.
Working from home is often a parent’s dream. They can be near their kids, not have to work by someone else’s clock, and still earn enough money to not only pay for needed items but the wanted items as well. What could be better?
How to Tell Legitimate Opportunities from Scams
One thing about trying to find a work-at-job or business opportunity that turns people off or frightens them away from the idea, is the prevalence of scams. One thing you have to realize is that work-from-home scams have been around long before online work-from-home scams existed. They were often advertisements in various magazines that promised millions for doing nothing, just send in your money to find out how.
Here are some ways to tell whether a business opportunity is real, or simply too good to be true.
- No Way to Contact the Business – If the opportunity is real, they’ll have a real business website with a real business email address at the minimum, not a Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail address. You should easily be able to look up the people and the name of the business to find out more information.
- Promises of Riches Overnight – Any plan that claims you’ll become rich overnight is a scam. It’s just not going to happen. Working from home at a job, or running your own business, requires skill, work, and more work to make money. You’re not going to just set up a business and do nothing and get paid.
- They Ask for Money Up Front (and Now) – Many MLMs (Multi-Level Marketing) do ask for money up front, which is a business investment. Even if you do not like MLMs, some of them are legitimate companies with real opportunity. However, some jobs or opportunities only want your money. You should have plenty of time to do research before giving anyone money. Never pay for a job, although an investment in a business opportunity is considered normal.
- You Feel Pressured to Act Now – If you’ve been contacted by someone making a lot of promises to you about making tons of money and claiming you must act right now or lose out forever, it’s a scam. A real opportunity is going to be there tomorrow.
- It Has Anything to Do with Western Union – Sorry to name a place like this but it’s true; if you need to use Western Union to send money to anyone, run. In fact, any type of money-changing, bank-involved delivery system is usually a scam and it’s not only that; it’s illegal and you could end up in jail.
- It Sounds Too Good to Be True – You know it in your gut that it’s just too good to be true, but you are tempted. Stop. Take some time to research the company and not just the people and places they give you to research. Do your due diligence and walk away if you can’t prove they’re legitimate.
- Random Email Offering Position You Did Not Apply For Directly – This happens sometimes when you apply for or fill out real job opportunities online. They get the information online and then they send you unsolicited jobs or offers of advice for a fee. It’s no different than a phone call during dinner making you promises. Delete.
- They Offer Outlandish Pay for Low Wage Position Titles – This is a common sign of a scam. You’ll see the advertisement on a seemingly legitimate website that promises a lot of money for many different positions that just do not earn that kind of money. Be realistic. You’re not going to make $45 dollars an hour as a receptionist.
Above all, pay attention to your gut. If it feels fishy, it probably is. Some of these scammers only want you to fill out their applications so they can steal your identity. To protect yourself if you’re in the USA, get a free employment identification number (EIN) from the IRS so that you don’t give out your social security number. Other countries may have similar set-ups, but you’ll have to check. Otherwise, don’t blindly give out this information to strangers.
How to Talk to Your Family about Working from Home
When you first realize the possibilities about working from home, it’s normal to get super excited and believe everyone else will be too. But often times the family isn’t as happy as you are, nor as trusting. They think it’s just a pipe dream, or worse, a scam. They haven’t done the research you have so they do not realize the true possibilities and potential surrounding the idea of working from home.
Provide Your Research to Them
Many times your family just cares about you so much that they simply want to protect you. But, if you show them the research that you’ve done, they may quickly realize that you’ve done your homework, and that you’re not going to get scammed.
Give Examples of Others Doing It Successfully
More than likely, at this point you have a circle of influence that includes work-at-home success stories. Let your partner and family in on the fact by talking about how so-and-so is making x dollars and all from working from home. Explain what they do, and put the bug in their ear of the possibilities and potential.
Write Out a Business Plan
Banks want business plans to ensure that you’ve looked at all aspects of the business you plan to run. They want to see the numbers, and how you plan to make more money in the short term and the long term. Your family will feel better seeing these numbers, too. Even if you don’t plan to get a loan for your business, showing them everything down on paper will impress them.
Transition Slowly Timing Is Everything
Don’t expect everyone to be on board from day one. The idea takes time to sink in for some people. Mostly out of concern for you, but sometimes also from fear. Spouses fear what they don’t understand and not everyone is entrepreneurial or likes taking what they see as risks. Even though telecommuting has been around a while, it’s still rare enough that people are shocked to find out that their home shopping orders, or pizza orders are being taken by someone in their home office.
Work after Hours to Show Them the Money
If you’re not getting any place with discussion, you might want to start working after hours to show them the money. Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character in the movie, Jerry Maguire, had it right. People think differently about many things when they see the cash. If you have a spouse or family like that, you can work around their schedules doing something to earn money and then show them by paying for something fun, like a family vacation.
Explain to the Children about “Work” Time
You’re going to have to talk to the children a lot about work time. You might even have to with your spouse. It’s a myth that you can work in chaos and constant interruption. You need a place you can work, and that people realize to leave you alone when you’re doing it. You can use a sign on the door, timers, and other incentives to get everyone on board and understanding. As for family that live outside your home, just don’t answer the phone or door when you’re working. Everyone will get accustomed to it eventually.
Make Your Family into Partners
As they start to get on board with the idea of your working from home, reward them by making them part of your business. You can hire family members and spouses on a contracting basis and pay them, and deduct if from your business taxes. Plus, they will start making money too and that will make them really get on board. Children can file, spouses can sometimes do what you’re doing or offer technical help.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
The most important aspect of talking to your family about working from home is to keep the lines of communication open at all times. You want to be honest with what is working and what is not working, and you’ll be surprised at how much your family is on your side with the goal of your working from home.
Family can sometimes be a hard sell, but it’s not because they don’t love you. It’s because they do love you. Also, sometimes it’s just because they’re ignorant of what working at home means. This is especially true of older individuals who may not understand technology. With them, you might want to let them see you working so they get it.
Nine Ways to Show Your Expertise When First Starting Out
When you first start out wanting to work from home and start your own business, it can be frightening and even seem impossible. It’s the old conundrum about how you can get experience without having experience. But, when you start an online business, you can make your own experience and prove your expertise with just a little work, and this is how.
- Blog Regularly Toward Your Audience - Start a blog on your website and blog directly to your audience with many forms of content, discussing many issues that the audience has. It’s a great way to get traffic, but it’s also a great way to demonstrate expertise.
- Write a White Paper about a Problem – A white paper is a long report that addresses a problem and then offers solutions to the problem. If you write a paper or two about individual problems your audience has, you’ll be able to show your expertise even though you’re just starting out.
- Publish a Book about Your Expertise – Writing a book and authorship is always a great way to show your expertise. Direct the book to your target audience and answer questions they may have. Address one problem and solve it and then you’ll get more respect that you do know what you’re talking about.
- Make Checklists to Help Your Target Audience – If you know the types of things that your audience has questions about, you can create helpful checklists, cheat sheets, or tip sheets that are available for view and/or download on your website or blog.
- Share Answers Freely on Social Networks – Social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and even forums and message boards are great places to answer other people’s questions in a way that highlights your expertise.
- Become a Contributing Writer - Blogs, websites, newspapers and magazines all want more content and will take well-written, expertly delivered articles. Some of these will even pay you for the content. Write originally for each and rely on your bio to send traffic your way.
- Get on a Speaking Circuit – Create a couple of presentations that you could easily turn into public speaking fodder. Practice by putting that information on video on your blog, YouTube, and other places that take video. Make a “one sheet” which is one downloadable 8x11 sheet that tells about what you’ll speak on and your prices.
- Create a Dedicated YouTube Channel – Many people have become famous because of YouTube, and you can too. Use YouTube as a way to demonstrate your expertise on the topics of interest to your audience.
- Host a Free Webinar or Teleseminar – Technology enables you to do a lot to spread the word about your knowledge and expertise. You can do “how to” videos, and tip videos and more to show the world and most importantly, your audience, what you know.
These ways to show your expertise when first starting out don’t require you to have a huge client roster, or even a following yet. Doing them will help you gain a following, improve search engine optimization (SEO) and help you build the work-at-home business of your dreams.
How to Make Money before You Have Products to Sell
If you’ve decided that you want to work from home running your own business, you may need to have a form of income while you finish creating products and developing your business infrastructure. There are a number of ways in which you can bring in some income while you get your business off the ground.
- Provide a Service – If you plan to make your own products and sell them, you likely have skills that other people will want to use. Try finding out if anyone needs the types of service you could offer. Perhaps you’re good at graphic design, database management, transcription, or something else entirely. Put it out there and people may buy your time.
- Get a Part-Time Job – If you can’t wait for services to take off, you can get a part-time job. Sign up to be a substitute teacher or a temp at an agency, or head over to your nearest fast food place and you’re likely to be hired on the spot.
- Get a Work-at-Home Job – There are also work-from-home jobs that you can get pretty quickly if you have experience, education and skills. Look for call center work, and you could be bringing in money within the month.
- Sell Stuff on eBay – Have too much stuff in your house? Try selling some of it of it on eBay. You can also buy from stores on sale, and then sell for a higher price on eBay. Believe it or not, everyone isn’t able to get to the same sales you can.
- Sell Stuff on Amazon – Sort of the same idea as eBay, but you may not be aware that you can sell your old books and pretty much any items that Amazon sells, right from your home office. You can even ship some qualifying items to their fulfillment service and you then just collect checks. Look up “fulfillment by amazon”.
- Have a Yard Sale – One of the fastest and most tried and true methods of bringing in a little cash is the old-fashioned yard or garage sale. You can still do that, and if the weather is not right, look on Facebook for groups dedicated to online yard sales in your area to make quick cash.
- Sell Your Body – Seriously, you can sell your blood, plasma, breast milk, sperm, and hair to appropriate locations. Sometimes it’s not very quick, such as with sperm and breast milk which require a lot of tests, but with blood and plasma you can walk right in, answer a few questions, give and get paid on the spot. With hair, you may have to locate a hair broker, or try selling it on eBay.
- Babysit or Dog Sit – One of the fastest ways to make a buck is to babysit or dog sit, but make sure you do it in their house or you’ll have to worry about licensure. Tell everyone you know that you’d like to babysit or provide animal care or both in their home, and your fee. You’ll be amazed at how many will jump at the chance.
- Return Stuff You Don’t Use – Have you made recent purchases and the tags are still on them? Do you have the receipts? Typically you can take those items back for a full refund. If you’re not using them right now, why not take them back. Most of us have far more stuff than we need anyway.
- Rent Out a Room – Do you have an extra room or two in your home? You’ll get more money if you rent out the master bedroom offering the renter their own bathroom. In some places you can earn close to a grand a month offering something like this.
- Join a Medical Experiment – Human trials and studies are often conducted right in your area at your local hospital. You can usually find out which studies are being done with a quick search on the net. You’ll be paid for your time, and get free healthcare for the associated issue.
There are always ways to get cash when you need it while you get your business off the ground. It just requires you to set your mind to looking around at what is out there, and thinking of things in a whole new way.
How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work Part Time from Home
Everyone is after more work-life balance. Some jobs are better than others at allowing at least some work-life integration possibilities, but some business owners are slow to catch on. If you have a job that would make it simple to work part time from home, then you’re in a good position to try to convince your boss to let you work part time from home by following these steps.
Figure Out the Logistics First
Before even approaching your boss about the idea of working from home, you’ll need to figure out whether it’s possible. What tools do you need at home that you have at the office to make it work? Are you willing to come out of pocket and set this up for yourself, or are you going to ask your boss to foot the bill?
Provide a Well Thought-Out Plan of Action
If you can demonstrate exactly how everything will work, including showing up at meetings on time, then you’re half way there. Create a report for your boss about how you will do each area of your job while you’re at home so that they can visualize the potential.
Provide Supportive Research
Include supportive research that shows people who work from home at least part of the time are more productive, instead of less productive. Be ready to prove this by increasing your productivity when you’re given the opportunity to change your work location.
Develop a System
Set systems in place well in advance so that you know they work. Test them out before approaching your boss so that you know they will work 100 percent. Ensure that you won’t have dead spots in your house when you answer your phone, or that household sounds like the TV won’t interfere in calls.
Provide Assurances about Required Meetings
If meetings are planned in advance there should be no issues about you getting to meetings on time. But, if your place of business often has last-minute meetings, that could be a problem. You could set up technology to help with this, but it will require help from others. Alternatively, if you live close to work you can state that you can be at any meeting within an hour or two if they’re important.
Call in Sick
Prime your boss before approaching them by calling in sick but working from home while you’re sick. Just state that you don’t want to infect them, but you’ll get your normal work done from home. You can actually wait until you’re really sick to try this so that you won’t get into trouble for lying.
Ask for a Trial Run
Once you present the idea to your boss, ask for a trial run. Say that you’ll work two days a week from home such as Thursday and Friday, which are usually low meeting days anyway. Then if you get the permission, do a great job.
Be prepared to up your game if you do get the go ahead to work from home. Make sure you find ways to connect with your boss, and show them what you’re doing so that you won’t be seen as someone not even needed. Deliver more results once you’re home, and your boss will be pleased and maybe even make it possible for more people to work from home.
Working from home does have its good side and downside, so be prepared to have to work out some kinks and perfect your systems as you go. Many bosses are keen on having some of their employees work from home these days, so why not you?
Pros and Cons of Working for Yourself
Working for yourself isn’t all plusses. Sometimes there are huge minuses. It’s up to you to determine whether the plusses outweigh the minuses. But, it’s good for you to know in advance what the pros and cons of working for yourself are so that you can be realistic about what you’re getting yourself into.
- Work and Home Life Often Collide – Due to the lack of regimen, and no clear delineation of work versus time off, you’ll find yourself working odd hours to accommodate the needs of your family; thus feeling as if you never have a day off.
- You’ll Do a Lot of Work for Free – Much of the work you do for your business is not billable, therefore will feel like free work until you start making a profit. It can be hard to push yourself to do things that aren’t producing income right now, but you must push through so that you can keep your business running smoothly.
- Family Will Ask You to Do Stuff (since you’re not doing anything) – Not just family, but sometimes friends will start to depend on you being there for them for everything. They’ll ask you to do their chores like watching their sick kid so they can go to work. Your spouse and children will stop helping out around the house as much, since you’re there anyway. It never ends.
- You’ll Crave Being out of the House – Sometimes, when you go out, as you’re on your way home you’ll get the distinct feeling you’re going to jail. You will want to do anything but go home, even grocery shop.
- Stuff Will Distract You – Without supervision, even the most studious and organized individual can go off the rails due to the internet, television and stuff that is around to distract you from work. It’s up to you and only you to set up a good working schedule to help you avoid this.
- No More Living by the Clock – If you arrange your business right you can wake up naturally without an alarm forcing you to get up when your body isn’t ready. You can also go to bed when you want to as well. It’s freedom not to always live by the clock.
- No More Traffic Jams - One of the best perks is not having to be caught in a traffic jam during rush hour when you need to pee. You won’t have to do that anymore and it will be a relief, most especially on bad weather days when everyone else has to trudge through the snow or the heat wave.
- Fewer Work-Related Interruptions – Office chatter can get overwhelming at times and it can be difficult to get work done due to it. Not to mention office meetings. Be honest, did you ever really get work done due to a meeting? During the meeting you’re thinking about how you could be getting work done right now instead of talking about it.
- You Really Can Work in Your PJs – Oh yes you can. You can wear PJs, yoga pants, or a moo-moo; no one cares. You can even get inspired right out of the shower and work naked if you want to. It’s your business and your house.
- A Flexible Schedule – If you have a parent-teacher meeting you don’t have to ask permission to go. If you want to get your hair done, go for it. Whatever you want to do during the day is up to you as long as you find time to also get your work done so you can get paid. Your schedule is your own.
- You Can Eat Healthier – Going out to work often causes everyone to eat out for lunch five days a week. That can not only be super expensive, but it is also very unhealthy for everyone to do it. Now you can prepare healthy lunches for yourself or eat leftovers from dinner the night before. Save money, and save your life.
Working from home offers many benefits and even a few drawbacks. It’s up to you to determine if you have the personality for it. You’ll need to rein in family and friends who want to take advantage of you, as well as yourself, to stay on track for creating a healthy and profitable home business.