Since 2010, the gig economy (a fancy term from the number of people working for themselves or freelancing) has grown by over 70%. In fact, recent figures estimate that over the next five years, 50% of the UK work force will be self-employed. Every year, an increasing number of people reject the 9-to-5 in favour of the flexibility and independence of work from home jobs.
If you’re considering work from home jobs – maybe you’re a mother looking to balance time with your children and your career or somebody bored with humdrum office life and looking for a new challenge – then you’re in luck. With the internet and a whole host of easy-to-use tools, it’s now simpler than ever to find (or start your own) work from home jobs.
3 of the best work from home jobs
Before we begin, let’s be clear that this list is a little subjective and arbitrary. If you’re an expert in something completely unique – sub-particle physics or the cultural history of Micronesia, for instance – then this list probably isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for a few broad tips and pointers on where to find work from home jobs, this is a good place to start.
How we picked the best work from home jobs
Although it’s subjective, we did have some rough criteria in place before we put this list together. Every job we listed had to be:
- Flexible (what’s the point of working from home if you can’t reap the benefits?)
- Achievable (we’re not going to tell you to try and become a work from home stock trader with no experience, for example.)
- Sustainable and profitable (There has to be money in it – short term and long term. Otherwise, there’s no point.)
Without further ado, here we go…
Freelancer (or consultant, guru, ninja, Rockstar – whatever you want to call yourself.)
If you work in an office – or have a skill that professional businesses can use – then you can make a lot of money freelancing from home. Whether you’re a marketing pro, a dab hand with words or an expert at graphic design, there’s a market for your work. Lots more businesses are turning to freelancers for support, and you can capitalise on that.
You don’t even need any experience – if you’re looking to switch careers or get started, you can pick up entry level jobs on places like Upwork or People Per Hour and build yourself a portfolio from there.
Full disclosure – it’s not easy. The first six months are tough – you’ll fight for every penny, but once you’ve established yourself, there’s nothing better than being your own boss.
Start selling online
Are you a crafty person? Perhaps you’re a whizz with a needle or a paintbrush or a pro at making clothes that people love to wear. Whatever your crafty talent, you can make money online selling it. From upcycling furniture to making cushion covers, there’s a market for almost everything online. Pick a platform (eBay, etsy and Amazon are common starting points) and see where the road takes you.
If you’re looking for a place to start, FounderU – a website dedicated to helping people start online businesses – is a goldmine of information. There’s everything from in-depth pieces on how to convert abandoned shopping carts to entry level pieces on starting to sell online. (Start with the last one, but be careful – you’ll spend hours on that site.)
Become a virtual assistant
Although it might sound like something from Star Wars or Blade Runner, a virtual assistant isn’t half as high-tech. Instead, it’s a work from home job that allows you to act as an administrator, secretary or administrative assistant from the comfort of your own sofa, bed or kitchen table.
In short, a virtual assistant does a wide range of tasks – from answering phones and sending emails to word processing, sending letters and book-keeping – to help small businesses that can’t afford a full-time member of staff. (Or their staff work from home, too.)
If you’ve got prior administrative assistance, you can earn up to £25 an hour working from home. And you don’t have a commute (or annoying co-workers to share an office with!).
To find out more about how to get started, check out this comprehensive breakdown by Money Magpie.
Three ideas not enough for you? In that case, here are 99 working from home job to get your brain whirring. There has got to be one on that list that makes you go ‘oh, I could do that’.
Or, if you’re looking for a more traditional role that you can work from home, check TimeWise Jobs. Although it focuses on part-time jobs, the site also features a large amount of work from home jobs too. Plus, lots of remote roles are great opportunities at companies that vary from large charities to little businesses.
And remember, you don’t have to jump in with both feet. If you’re not sure that you can make a living from it to begin with, dip a toe. Take on one project at a time, sell a few things or teach a few classes and see what happens. We bet that you’ll catch the bug in no time.