With more and more people working from home, there has never been a better time to start freelancing or move your business online! Our article, How to Start Working From Home: Tips & Tricks for Freelancers, looks at some of the most popular remote careers and explores some tips and tricks to set yourself up. Read on if you want to start your journey towards remote work!
Workplaces are changing rapidly in the year 2020. Improved telecommunications and virtual technology, as well as the pandemic situation, have led to a boom in people taking their work home with them.
Others are turning away from office culture altogether and creating startups and businesses that can operate from home.
Like everything though, working from home has its ups and downs and it’s well worth doing your research before you start.
You need to develop a work strategy and know the best tools to own for your home and business.
So, whether you’re moving an existing career online to work from home or branching out into a whole new industry, pay attention to our expert tips!
Pros and Cons of Working From Home
Before we get started on the ins and outs of setting up your own home business, let’s talk about some of the pros and cons.
Working from home certainly suits some people more than others and its good to think about your reasons and motivation before you start.
Here are some of the benefits and downsides that people who work from home often cite:
- Pro: Set Your Own Schedule
Although some remote jobs require set hours, many jobs that can be done from home allow more flexibility to set your own hours and schedules. One of the benefits of working from home for independently minded people is that they are no longer tied to someone else’s routine.
Unlike office culture, if you want to sleep in or work until 2 am you’re free to do that as long as you get the work done. This flexibility can work great if you’re job involves travel or if you have family or other professional commitments to fit your schedule around.
- Con: Requires Self-Discipline
This is not a con for everyone – some people thrive in a more autonomous work environment – but some people struggle with this. Rushing into the decision to work from home, expecting endless leisure hours of freedom, is not the right approach.
Working from home remotely still involves work and is often even more of a grind as you are totally responsible for yourself and your own productivity. Assess yourself carefully before you decide to make this change.
Be honest with yourself about whether you thrive in externally directed or self-directed work settings.
- Pro: More Professional Freedom
Many working from home jobs allow you to choose which projects you take on and how much work you take on.
This allows you to specialize and focus on your area of interest and allows you to choose projects and clients who share your professional goals.
Working from home online also allows you the freedom to travel and take breaks from work as and when you choose.
- Con: More Responsibility
Once you run your own business or work as a self-employed freelancer, all the risk and responsibility that comes with this fall on you alone. This means more financial responsibility which can pile on the pressure over time.
If you’re a driven person who thrives in a competitive environment, you will probably enjoy this. If not, it may be time to reconsider.
How to Make Money Working From Home?
Now you’ve thought about the pros and cons of working from home, consider what type of remote career you’d like to build for yourself. Surprisingly, there is a vast and diverse range of ways that you can support yourself from home.
Let’s look at a few of the top options:
1. Working From Home: Writing Jobs
Freelance writing is one of the best ways that you can earn a living working from home. Remote writing jobs encompass a vast range of skills and can be adapted to your specific area.
If you’re a whizz with words and can write quickly and on a variety of topics, content writing is a great option for you. If you have a background in marketing or media, you can build a lucrative career copywriting as a freelance advertiser.
Technical and science writing are also great ways to use highly specialized degrees or qualifications and can help you make an effective transition from academia to self-employment.
Wordsmiths can also be found making money working from home as editors and proofreaders or writing legal briefs or business contracts. You can even make money publishing your fiction by working from home for amazon e-book sellers.
2. Content Creation and Video Editing
Vlogging is huge and those with content creation skills can put these to great use working from home. Many influencers and brands outsource their editing to freelance content creators.
As well as video editing, content creators can also find work creating logos and art for brands, creating music or soundtracks, or writing and researching video scripts.
If you’re feeling adventurous and you have a larger than life personality, you can even pick up the camera yourself. Vlogging can be extremely lucrative and is a great way to organically build an audience around your area of expertise.
Many people in highly-skilled industries eventually turn to work from home for the freedom and control that it offers. Setting up your own business as a consultant in your chosen field can also be highly profitable as, instead of taking a cut, you keep your own profits.
Consulting or running your own business is something that is recommended after you have gained experience in your field. You can then draw upon contacts you’ve made and offer a high end, specialized service which people cannot get elsewhere.
Self-promotion is the key to success when it comes to consultancy businesses so be sure you’re ready to upsell yourself.
4. Online Retail
Online retail is a burgeoning industry, and the pandemic has tipped things over the edge. Even established high street stores are investing tons of stock in taking their businesses online.
The great advantage of running your own retail business from home is that it gives small companies a real chance to compete in competitive markets.
If you manufacture products yourself and can afford to set up ordering and postage services, you have all the tools you need.
This is a great option for working from home for moms who manufacture a unique product and want to be in charge of their own income.
Work Solutions: Work From Home Necessities
So, you know you’ve got what it takes to work from home. You’ve also carefully developed your product, brand, and business model. You’re ready to go! Now we’re going to talk about what tools and equipment every freelancer needs when working from home:
- Good Internet Connection. Online communication, advertising, and social media presence are vital tools that a freelancer will always make use of. If you’re setting yourself up to work from home, make sure your internet connection is 100% reliable. If it isn’t, try changing your provider or consider renting a space where you have a good internet connection.
- Relevant Tools. As a freelance writer or content creator, your home computer or laptop is your personal toolbox. Make sure you have a fast, up-to-date computer working from home or you could soon run into trouble. Remember, the best laptop for working from home is one you feel comfortable with and that you love to use. You’re going to be spending a lot of time there so invest in a new one if you need it. It will be well worth the money. The same goes if you’re a videographer and you need a new camera or sound equipment. Treat these types of purchases as business development tools.
- A Designated Work-Space. When working from home you need to designate a space in your house which you associate with work. This can contribute to how productive you feel and can boost your mood and your self-discipline. A good workspace is one where you feel comfortable and where you will not be interrupted. A noisy or messy workspace can make you feel chaotic and overwhelmed. Try to avoid distractions or temptations in your workspace to optimize productivity. Working on your couch in front of your TV, you’re more likely to waste hours than if you sit at a desk where you feel professional and business-like. Whatever suits you, your workspace should feel slightly separate from your home environment. This allows you to compartmentalize your home and work and can help you focus your energies.
- A Support System. Working from home can be a challenge and it’s great to have networks of friends or other professionals who understand. Check out remote worker message boards to talk to like-minded people or schedule regular meetups with friends. Loneliness can be a problem in the freelance community so remember to look after your mental health.
Working from home can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience. Online work also provides a host of new opportunities for skill development. Approach your online ventures as an investment in yourself and your future and don’t be afraid to sometimes take risks and try new things.
Have you always wanted to work from home? What’s your ideal freelance career? What do you see as the pros and cons of working from home? Let us know in the comments!
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Alex Green is a copywriter with 3 years of experience. He is fond of healthy living and knows everything about home improvement. In his spare time, Alex likes walking with his golden retriever, meeting with friends, and attending the gym.
Also published on Medium.