Before 2007 I would commute sixty miles round trip five days a week to get to work. I was so frustrated by the time I cashed my check and realized how much of that check was already spent just to drive to and from work. I had internet and was very interested in working from home but every time I searched I came up with scams or pyramid schemes. Times have sure changes and there is a wealth of information on the internet about legitimate work from home jobs. There are so many fortune 500 companies that are hiring for work at home. The work at home trend seems to be exploding. I have seen well known companies in the retail, phone, internet, satellite, cell phone and cable industries that are hiring for work at home. I now work for a company full time from home trouble shooting phone and internet issues. I have worked or a few work at home companies since then and am now determined that I will never again pay ridiculous gas prices to get to work.
I began searching in November of 2007 for virtual call centers and found many websites that list companies that hire from home. The process was pretty simple and fast. I began with a company called West at Home LLC. The application was the first step which was pretty straight forward. It helps to have a resume on file because some of the websites will pull the info from your resume to auto complete the application. After the application I was sent some assessments to test my skills and knowledge. These assessments for the most part were easy and consisted of some basic math and typing tests along with a computer skills test. The next step in the hiring process was the phone interview where the recruiter calls to screen your personality and knowledge for a good job fit. After the interview they may set up a webinar which is a meeting using both a chat room and a phone line to communicate with the company's program ready trainers or staff leading the job offer meeting. It is a good idea to keep a copy of a notarized I9 form if you are applying for more than one company, because you will need to send proof of your identity and working privileges. Of course there are the other normal hiring forms to fill out such as the W4 form and any other company forms such as employee contracts. Some companies hire independent contractors in which you are required to file your own tax forms. (A 1099 is a tax form for independent contractors that shows how much they made from a certain business). I personally prefer to work as an employee so I don't have to deal with filing my own taxes, but if that is something you are comfortable with, independent contract work might be a good choice for you.
Many people have asked me what they need to get started. I respond by explaining that each company is different and usually has a requirements page that is accessible to view before submitting an application. Some companies will have you run their specific system tests to make sure that you have the required set up to be successful with the company. The basic technical requirements for most companies are an up to date computer, dsl or broadband internet service, some companies require a landline while some require a usb headset for taking calls via voip (voice over internet phone). Naturally you will need a comfortable chair and desk in a quiet area of your home, as you may be sitting for eight or more hours a day. Some employers require you to use a desktop computer and others allow you to use a laptop. Most companies require that you are hardwire to your modem or router. Very few companies allow wireless connections. I have paid an extra fee to have a second landline which is usually less than $20 a month just to have a phone line dedicated strictly for my work. It is not necessary for all companies to have the second line. Headsets can be purchased for less than $40, but that is all about choice.
Once you have gotten past all the pre hire requirements it is time to set up your system for taking calls. Some companies set a day or two up for on boarding before the training to download and install any call taking software and knowledge bases. During the on boarding the leader will confirm all necessary documents have been received. Most companies will pay you to train from two to six weeks. Following training they will have a nesting period that lasts a week or two where you will begin to take calls and there will be extra support to answer any call related questions during this time.
Having worked from home for almost six years I can definitely say there are many perks. I get to work in my pajamas if I am not feeling well. My dogs are never left for eight to ten hours at a stretch. I save lots of money every week by eating at home. The money I save on gas and wear and tear on my vehicle every month is great. If you think working from home is something you would like, I encourage you to search virtual call centers, also wahm.com is a website that has a wealth of information, opinions of employers and the work itself as well as good job leads and links to those leads. I found that website by searching work at home message boards. Happy job hunting and good luck!