In the last post we talked about working from home and some ideas to get started. Today I’d like to share some work from home tips and resources that hopefully make working at home a rewarding venture.

Organization

The biggest challenge to life for some, can be a little more intense in work at home situations.

Calendar

As always, this is your greatest start. You can have any type of calendar that works for you. Divvy up your time and prioritize urgent tasks and less urgent tasks. Also use the calendar to note how long repeated tasks generally take so you know how much time in the future to account for the task and have a more effective calendar. The first month will be just feeling things out and figuring out the best schedule.

Meals

Don’t forget about eating! Schedule not only time for eating, but time to make a meal as well. Especially if you’re doing it for more than just yourself. If you don’t already, have others in your family pitch in on making meals and cleaning up. While you can do it all on your own, it’s not something you should do often as this will wear on you greatly.

Be Honest and Realistic

We all want to be able to handle everything. But taking on too much, even at a job outside of your home, is the quickest way to lose sense of order and get disorganized. Don’t run the risk of disappointing clients by promising more than you can deliver. Learn to say no when you need to say no.

Stay Focused and Motivated

It is a bit more difficult to do when you work from home and have distractions you wouldn’t normally have at a job outside of your home. This can include any little thing, so it’s important to limit these where ever you can. But as is expected, life will happen.

The Right Job

If the goal is to just pull in money and you’re taking on jobs you’re not happy with you will burn out. Of course you can do what you want and earn good money with it. But this will entail finding the right work at home job. Look at topics you enjoy (customer service, IT work) and use skills you enjoy using. But remember that being good at something doesn’t mean you want to be doing it all day.

Establish a Routine

Working in or out of the home, routines help keep your grounded. Get up at the same time every day, get to work the same time every day. No matter how you want to work, do it the same time every day. This also helps you know when you can schedule fun activities or if you can drop things and spontaneously go and do something.

Stay On Target

Not only good advice when taking out a Death Star, but keeping those distractions to a minimum helps you get through tasks. You may think you are spending two hours writing an article, but if you take in account how many times you checked email, Facebook or twitter, how often you responded to a text or even took an unscheduled break you may find you didn’t even spend an hour on it.

Ask for Help

Do reach out and ask for help where ever you need it. Even if that means having someone ask about progress you are making, or not making. If you need someone to cover for you somewhere, ask. Just because you are your own boss, doesn’t mean you actually have to go it all alone. Having a support system in place is quite important.

Be Your Favorite Boss

Give yourself time off and frequent breaks. But make sure you crack down when things aren’t getting done.

Everyone Wants to be a Success

It doesn’t matter what you are doing, you want to be a success at it. Why would working at home be any different type of venture? Like every success story, it didn’t just happen. Steps were taken to get there. Successful people never do it alone or come up with the magic formula.

Social Networking

Use this to your advantage! There are Facebook groups and other online communities that support work at home workers. Some are free to join, but some do require a fee. The communities are made up generally of work from home people who like to share tips and support.

Technology

Not just smartphones, computers, routers and modems, but web presence. Twitter, Facebook and Google are some great places to do some advertising. It may take a bit of learning and trial and error, but it may just be worth it in the end. Especially if you have done some research into your marketing campaigns.

Do What You Love and Love What You Do

People usually have a great passion for what they become successful in. Rarely if ever do you hear of someone hating what they do but becoming successful in it. Motivations tend to diminish when you do not like your job. Which is why finding something you enjoy if not outright adore is important.

Decisive

Uncertainty and distractions. Two biggest pitfalls to success as a work at home employee. You should be absolutely sure that you want to do this particular type of business arrangement before venturing into it. Research and ask questions completely and make sure what you choose in the end is going to be able to cover your expenses. If you run into problems, you need to be willing to reach out for help. You don’t want to create a website that can make you money but have no idea how to promote it.

Make it Personal

Biggest complaint people have, especially when contacting customer service is the lack of human contact. Whether or not you are actually talking to someone on the phone or in an email, you want to have it feel like the person on the other side is in fact in contact with an actual human and not just another machine that copies and pastes the answers to a question.

Balancing It All Out

Like with any type of job, you need to balance work, home and family. It’s generally a question that every employee has asked themselves at one time or another. There is no perfect way to do this, but there is an internet filled with tips and suggestions.

Organize Your Time

It might seem that everyone is going to want a piece of your time since you are home. Some people don’t really understand exactly that just because you work out of your home, you can’t always just drop things and go do something. It can be daunting just for you to get things organized and balanced. List everything you need to do for work in a single week. Arrange it by priority and schedule the higher ones into times you believe will have the less distractions. Make these times non-optional work hours. Plug the other activities among what you need to do with family or home.

Everyone Loves the Weekend

Take a couple days off every five days. People who work out of the home have a weekend, you should too. If not two days than no less than 24 hours. Some down time is just as important as client time. Even if you have to schedule it in, make sure it is there.

Resources

Here are some legit businesses who hire people to work at home, some good programs for those who wish to work for themselves and a few places to get more ideas and support from others.

Work at Home Opportunities

Amazon

Recently, Amazon has announced that they will be raising their minimum wage to $15/hour for all US employees, part time, full time seasonal and temporary. They also hire a lot especially in September/October for the Holidays. There are a few types of jobs to choose from, some may be area specific so make sure to read all the details to see if you qualify and how to apply.

AirBnB

This is for those who have spare space, love meeting new people and know some hot spots in town. You can sign up on short term rental sites and list your property for guests from out of town vacationing in your area. Sites to check out are AirBnB, VRBO and HomeAway.

Petsitting

While it’s easy enough to let the neighborhood know you’ll watch their dog while they are out of town or are available to walk people’s dogs. You can also join sites like DogVacay, Rover or Wag.

Consultant or Direct Salesperson

Avon is not the only work at home company of this type out there anymore. Mary Kay, Pampered Chef and a whole website of companies are always looking for new sales oriented people. Direct Selling Association only lists companies that have agreed to abide by a code of ethics that require only legitimate opportunities. You may have to make a small investment to get started, and sometimes pay a fee for merchandise being sold.

Virtual Assistant

Touched upon briefly before, these are the people that many companies may hire to save employment costs. Typical office duties such as replying to emails, managing calendars, data entry, social media account assisting and other duties that can easily be done from home. Sites such as PeoplePerHour, Upwork and FlexJobs list opportunities for virtual assistants.

Transcriptionist

You do not need much prior experience to listen to audio files and type out what you hear. Many companies don’t have a long list of requirements for transcriptionists beyond computer and headset. The information transcribed can vary and most companies do allow you to set your own schedule. Check out Quicktate, TranscribeMe and TranscribeAnywhere for job listings.

Corporate English Trainer

English isn’t the easiest language to learn, and global companies need native English speakers who have basic computer skills and some office experience. You help people in other countries who are looking to practice their English with someone. Sessions focus on making professional small talk, running meetings and getting a general grip on the English language. As a trainer you will be taught specifics on how to teach topics as well as two days training. Lessons take place on the phone or services like Skype. You do not need any degrees to apply, just enthusiastic and articulated. Check out GoFluent and iSpeakUSpeak for more information and to apply.

Customer Service

Beyond Amazon there are staffing companies that vet companies that hire through them. Alpine Access, VIPdesk, and Convergys, all offer benefits as they will hire you as an employee of their company. Arise, and LiveOps just vet companies that hire through them and you are considered an independent contractor. As such you may be asked to pay a small fee, usually no more than $35 for a background check.

Nurse

If you have a nursing degree and wish to work from home, places like Humana, Aetna and UnitedHealth Group will hire nurses to perform duties like case management, treatment authorization and patient education. Medical Jobs Online, The Judge Group, and MedZilla are all major medical job placement firms.

Search Engine Evaluator

Google and Yahoo have to know if people are finding the right information when they do online searches. They will give you information that you will need to do a search for then you tell them how close the results were in comparison to what you searched for. Appen Butler Hill is where places like Google hire through for this type of job.

Teacher

You don’t have to do a normal classroom routine any more. K12 and Connections Academy offer various benefits depending on where you live. There will be background and reference checks in addition to interviews. Some states will require you to be licensed.

Tutor

Just like a regular tutor, places like Sylvan Learning, Tutor, Tutor Vista and Tutorzilla offer good cross section of remote-based tutoring jobs. As with any job involving children of any age, background and reference checks will be required before you are hired.

Real Ways to Earn Money Online

A blog that has been around since 2010 that helps people find legitimate online jobs and extra money earnings. There is a ton of information to look through for that next online job, extra money idea or general work from home resources and information.

Helpful Programs and Websites

Account Sight

A program to keep track of time and billing services for people who have their own business or work for themselves. There are free and paid accounts and it is web based. It offers time trackers, expense trackers, invoice creation and management plus other great features.

Dropbox

A cloud based storage site that you can keep all your files and projects safely without fear of a computer failure taking out everything. You can also share files with others and collaborate on projects. There are free and paid accounts each with their own amount of storage capacities.

Watch Out for Scams

While there has been an influx of legitimate work from home jobs filling the internet, there are still scammers out there looking for easy prey. There are simple red flags to keep in mind while looking for that next moneymaking opportunity.

Lack of Contact Information

Any legitimate business has an about page where you can find information on the company or CEO. It should offer phone numbers, address or contact email information. Call the phone numbers to see if anyone answers.

Too Good to be True

That old adage certainly rings true here. You will not make thousands of dollars a week at home. Steer clear of any place that has testimonials that suggest they did just that as well as any that do not offer how they made that type of money.

Complaints

Research the company with the word scam to see what pops up. The Internet is filled with people who have been taken for a ride and they will name the company that did them wrong. Make sure to read the complaints to make sure it’s not an unhappy customer.

Unusual Fee

With some exceptions, most legitimate companies do not charge you to sign up or be part of their team. If you do not know what the fee is for, it’s best to look elsewhere.

Hopefully you find that perfect balance whether it’s with a company or on your own. Working from home as it’s benefits and its drawbacks. What’s your favorite thing about working at home and have you ever worked from home on your own or with a company? Let us know in the comments and see you next week!

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