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How to Work from Home: Finding and Succeeding at Work-from-Home Jobs

In this article

  1. 5 work from home jobs
  2. How to find work-from-home jobs
  3. Pros and cons of working from home
  4. How to work from home
  5. FAQs
  6. Go big and go home

Remote work swept the nation during the pandemic, and now it's a deal breaker for some. Here's how to find the right work from home job for you.

Haley Rogers • March 21, 2023

The work-from-home wave grew exponentially during the pandemic, with nearly a third of employees working remotely. Now that the world has had a taste, most workers desire some form of remote work – with many willing to leave their jobs if they don’t receive at least a hybrid option.1

What is remote work? It’s anything you can do from a location other than a central office, usually involving a computer. Sales, freelancing, recruiting, coding, and graphic design are roles you can easily do from home. Here are some typical work-from-home gigs and how to set yourself up for success in remote work life.

5 work from home jobs

Interested in working with words as a freelance writer? Obsessed with numbers and want to thrive in sales? Now that remote jobs are more common in the U.S., odds are you’ll find something that fits your experience, skillset, and pay expectations.

The compensation for the jobs below varies based on years of experience, location, and abilities, but we’ve included the average salaries across the U.S.

1. Virtual assistant

Average pay: $43,720 per year, according to Glassdoor.2

If you consider yourself a skilled writer and communicator, this may be a good role for you! Virtual assistants do a lot of written and verbal communication for their clients. In some cases, they can be customer-facing.

As a type of administrative assistant, virtual assistants answer emails, book appointments, and send invoices. But you may also complete basic research, fact-checking, and digital marketing tasks.

2. Online chat agent

Average pay: $39,735 per year, according to Glassdoor.3

Online chat agents are today’s first line of defense regarding customer service – 41% of customers prefer live chat over other customer service options.4 As an online chat agent, you’re a virtual problem solver, answering customer questions and coming up with solutions in a time-efficient way.

You primarily work through an instant messaging platform on the company’s site or via a mobile app, but you may also do some emailing. If you like to help others and think critically but aren’t a fan of face-to-face customer service, this could be a nice compromise.

3. Insurance sales agent

Average pay: $53,687 per year, according to Glassdoor.5

Understanding insurance of any kind can be tricky for the average person. Whether you’re selling auto, health, or life insurance policies, you can help people learn the ins and outs of different insurance types and help them find the best coverage. While this role doesn’t require a college degree, it may be an opportunity to get some business or finance courses under your belt and complete your state’s formal training for licensure.

4. Medical transcriptionist

Average pay: $48,215 per year, according to Glassdoor.6

If you’re a speedy and accurate typist with a gift for auditory comprehension, consider a job as a medical transcriptionist or healthcare documentation specialist. In this role, you transcribe recordings from phone and video conferences between various medical professionals and turn them into formal written reports. You may also review medical records to make sure they are accurate and up to date.

5. Graphic designer

Average pay: $44,644 per year, according to Glassdoor.7

For creative thinkers who do their best work in the comfort of their own homes, becoming a graphic designer is one work-from-home option. In this artistic yet tech-centered role, you’ll use a variety of design elements, techniques, and software to create unique visual assets for businesses. Whether billboards, social ads, brochures, websites, or logos, graphic designers can build a solid aesthetic portfolio that’ll lead them up the artistic ladder.

How to find work-from-home jobs

Working from home or on the job, payday hits the same. Sign up for Chime to get paid up to two days early with direct deposit.8

These days, there are more remote job opportunities than ever. So where do you begin looking?

First, check with your current employer to see if there’s any flexibility – especially if you already like your job. They might let you transition to fully remote if you make a good case or at least move to a hybrid approach. If not, or if you want to switch up your career, here are some tips on searching for remote jobs:

✓ Refresh your resume and cover letter, so these are ready when you start applying.

✓ Create an online profile (on LinkedIn, for example) and a portfolio showcasing your talent and best work.

✓ Start with some of the most popular job-search websites, like LinkedIn, Indeed, Remote.co, or FlexJobs.com (the last two are specific to remote work).

✓ Narrow your search with relevant filters or terms like “work from home jobs,” “telecommute,” or “remote work jobs.”

Be careful of scams

Where there’s money or personal information involved, there may be scammers. Be cautious as you conduct your search. Thankfully, certain job search engines, like FlexJobs, are safe and trusted – someone screens all job opportunities to ensure the post is legitimate. U.S. News and World Report also has a list of the most legitimate work-from-home job sites you can start with.

Tips for spotting a job scam:

✓ You’re offered the job almost immediately without them verifying your work history

✓ You’re asked for personal financial information early on

✓ The post uses phrases like “part-time jobs with full-time pay”

✓ You’re asked to pay up-front expenses

✓ The job listing is full of spelling and grammatical errors

Pros and cons of working from home

With the freedom that comes with at-home work in some form, researchers expect to see 36.2 million U.S. employees working remotely by 2025.1 Here are both sides of the coin regarding working from home.

Pros:

  • Work-life balance: While it’s helpful to maintain some form of schedule when working from home, the flexibility makes it easier to balance things like appointments, kids, emergencies, and some tedious day-to-day tasks.
  • Increased productivity: For some, working from home can eliminate common in-office distractions, like talkative coworkers and office noise. In fact, around 44% of workers say working from home has made it easier to meet deadlines.9
  • Living anywhere: Fully remote jobs allow you to choose where you want to live, rather than your job determining where you and your family reside.
  • Tailored work environment: At home, you can make your home office what you want and need it to be – aesthetic and comfortable to improve productivity and eliminate distractions.
  • Cost and time savings: While you may have to invest in home office equipment upfront, working from home may cost you less. That’s less money spent on eating out with coworkers, gas, and car maintenance – perhaps money better spent building an emergency fund.
  • Mental health: For those who work from home to some degree, 77% have said they’ve found it easier to manage their mental health, and 84% said it’s made them happier people overall.10
  • Reduced carbon footprint: While it may seem small at first, having millions of people reduce their commute time means less environmental impact due to greenhouse gasses. You may find some federal or state energy-saving incentives.

Cons:

  • Tendency to overwork: It can be easy for work hours to blend into home hours since you’re living and working in the same space.
  • Getting overlooked: Fully remote workers may be overlooked for accomplishments or may not be pulled into as many projects or spontaneous conversations that lead to promotions.
  • Feeling disconnected from coworkers: Working from home can create a barrier to connection and collaboration that often takes place in the office.
  • At-home temptations: When you leave one set of distractions, another set may replace it. The home can have temptations, too, like socializing with your family or roommates, tackling a list of chores, or watching your favorite show.

How to work from home

Follow these work-from-home tips to help you function at your most productive while working remotely.

Set up your workspace

If you have a home office, great! If not, you’ll need to find a private, well-lit area to call your own (natural light is good for mental health). That way, you can keep work and home life somewhat separate. Next, set up your home network with the equipment you need – like a laptop, monitors, desk, office chair, and desk lamp. And then add your personal touches, like plants or art.

Set and stick to your schedule

You can benefit from the flexibility of remote work, but to stay productive, set a schedule for yourself. Do you do your best work early or later in the day? Consider setting meetings for the morning and getting busy work done in the afternoon. Plus, a schedule will help you know when to start your day and when to unplug.

Set boundaries for work and home

If you work from home with a partner or a roommate, ensure everyone understands your working hours. It can be easy to get distracted by the people you live with, as well as household chores and social media. Set boundaries for how many chores you try to accomplish (hint: don’t overdo it), and give yourself a limit on how many social media breaks you take throughout the work day.

Get ready for the day

We don’t blame you if you don’t want to wear a suit at home. But an excellent way to get your mind ready and yourself motivated is by dressing the part or putting on something different than what you slept in. This can signal to your brain that it’s time to work.

Make a to-do list

Whether you’re a write-it-down type of person or you function well with your notes app, give yourself a list of to-do’s to accomplish by the end of the day – or week. It’ll keep your productivity on track and in perspective.

Take a walk and breathe

Living and working under the same roof can give you a case of cabin fever. Give yourself time to step outside, breathe the fresh air, and remove yourself from your work mindset for a bit. Come back to your desk refreshed.

Try a new work spot

Shake things up! Try a local coffee shop or the library to give yourself a different environment and see how it impacts your productivity. If you don’t feel like you can work in a public place, move spots throughout your home and try working outside if you have a balcony, patio, or yard.

Communicate with your team

Be intentional about connecting with your coworkers. Sure, it may take a few more steps to get in touch than just popping over to a friend’s desk, but keeping your work experience and relationships healthy and supportive is worth it.

FAQs

What jobs can I do from home?

A lot! You can be a virtual assistant, online chat agent, freelance writer, graphic designer, web developer, and many other roles that can be done with the right home office setup.

Is working from home a good idea?

It depends on your priorities. Working from home has many benefits: work-life balance, cost- and time-savings on gas and commuting, and more opportunities to live where you want to.

What are the pros and cons of working from home?

Working from home allows you to set your schedule and save time and money on commuting. However, some have reported feeling disconnected from coworkers and find it difficult to end the work day.

What is the easiest job to do from home?

Any job that only requires a computer. Examples include virtual assistants, data entry, transcriptionists, coders, writers and editors, social media specialists, and online customer support.

Go big and go home

How does the work-from-home life sound? With so many companies offering some form of remote work, there’s sure to be an opportunity that resonates with you. At the end of the day, it’s all about your quality of life, and if you can find that balance by taking an online or remote job, we say go for it.

If you line up an interview for a work-from-home job, follow these tips to negotiate a good salary.

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1 Information from Zippia compiled research, “25 Trending Remote Work Statistics [2023]: Facts, Trends, and Projections" as of March 2023.

2 Information from Glassdoor, “Virtual Assistant Salaries" as of March 2023.

3 Information from Glassdoor, “Online Chat Agent Salaries" as of March 2023.

4 Information from Kayako survey results, “Live Chat Statistics: Live chat trends and insights from 400 consumers and 100 businesses" as of March 2023.

5 Information from Glassdoor, “Insurance Sales Agent Salaries" as of March 2023.

6 Information from Glassdoor, “Medical Transcriptionist Salaries" as of March 2023.

7 Information from Glassdoor, “Graphic Designer Salaries" as of March 2023.

8 Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

9 Information from Pew Research Center's article, “COVID-19 Pandemic Continues To Reshape Work in America" as of March 2023.

10 Information from FlexJobs Career Pulse Survey and article, “Work-Life Balance or Better Pay? Two-Thirds Choose Balance" as of March 2023.

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