Working from home job ideas
If your current employer doesn’t embrace a work-from-home staff, you may find a bridge to your next job — or even a new career — working in the gig economy.
Flexible work-from-home jobs
Today’s freelance job marketplace, as well as an expanding array of full-time contract work, can provide side-hustle money, part-time income or full-time work flexibility. Here are some ways to turn your skills into at-home work:
- Rent out a spare room.
- Perform duties as a virtual assistant.
- Freelance for companies like Upwork and Fiverr.
- Offer fitness training or personal improvement coaching.
- Start a babysitting or pet walking service.
- Launch a garden and yard maintenance or housecleaning business.
Sell stuff online
Maybe you found a product line or merchandise niche and don’t mind spending nights and weekends packing and shipping. Or perhaps you’ve found a reliable drop shipper to supply and send out products for you.
It all started with eBay, the original mom-and-pop-to-consumers marketplace. But now there are many more choices: Amazon, Etsy, and even Facebook, as well as a multitude of open-your-own online store platforms.
Consider all of your online sales options and decide on one that’s best for you.
It helps to follow a personal passion, buy smart (and low) and sell at an ample profit. Popular items to sell online in 2022, according to the e-commerce platform Shopify, include:
- Books and e-books
- Vinyl records and CDs.
- Belt buckles.
- False eyelash accessories.
- Household cleaning supplies.
Of course, an online boutique selling your favourite, hand-selected style of clothing and accessories is always a favourite startup option.
Some of the most profitable current web stores include those selling health and beauty products; subscription services; and food and beverage businesses, Shopify says.
To get an idea of just how viable selling stuff online can be, do some quick calculations:
- Find out what your inventory costs might be. Locate wholesale suppliers for the products you want to sell and multiply each item’s cost by the number you want to stock.
- Calculate your potential revenue by multiplying your sale price by the number of items you’ll stock. A typical markup is twice the wholesale cost.
- Consider additional costs such as website hosting (if you’ll use your own website), advertising and marketing, taxes and payment processing, such as through PayPal or a merchant account.
Subtract the expenses totalled in No. 1 and No. 3 from No. 2 (revenue) for a rough idea of your projected profitability.
Become a social media influencer
Social media influencers are powering many work-from-home opportunities. Most of the money is made through product promotion of one kind or another. For example:
- Sponsored posts on blogs.
- Affiliate partnerships are shown in images or with swipe-up posts on Instagram.
- Podcasts featuring advertising or sponsor plugs.
- How-to videos, product reviews, fashion hauls, interviews, comedy and a variety of other programming that simulates mainstream TV shows on YouTube.
- Viewer donations and brand partnerships on video game platforms like Twitch.
In the earliest days of online promotion, a blog could feature content targeted to a specific topic and make a decent amount of cash simply by plugging in Google ads. That strategy has become more difficult over time as consumers have developed a tendency to ignore such traditional advertising or are deploying web browsers with ad blockers.
Working from home tips
For those of us who initially set up working quarters on a side table in a bedroom or at the breakfast bar in the kitchen, long-term productivity will require some work-from-home essentials, such as:
- A comfortable chair and sit-stand desk.
- A well-lit environment.
- The ability to control or reduce noise.
- Surroundings that are free from distractions.
- Enough structure to your schedule to provide a transition from being at home to being at work.
Work-from-home job scams
When anything comes along as alluring as making a living while working from home, there are going to be scammers.
The Federal Trade Commission offers some big tipoffs that an opportunity you’re considering may be on the shady side:
- You have to pay money upfront to get the job, perhaps for training or materials.
- The job offers high pay with extremely low effort.
- Your employer issues you a check but asks you to use a portion of it for another purpose.