If you’re having a difficult time juggling all the travel back and forth from home and the office then you’re not alone. Often parents of small children will have to leave work once a month to pick up a sick child from school, or call out to take care of the sick child. Add more children and you add more sick days. And even if they’re not sick, you still have to run out the door right at 5:00PM so you’re not late picking them up from daycare. Most daycares will have a “per minute” late fee system. So this tends to get quite expensive for those of us who put in a lot of hours at the office.
Work from Home at Your Current Job
Many employers don’t realize that a lot of your workload can already be done at home. So it’s your responsibility to bring it to their attention. If you have a good enough relationship with your boss, and you’re having trouble making it to work on time or staying there due to child rearing issues, then it couldn’t hurt to bring up the idea of working from home. If you have to leave early to pick up a child, ask if you can bring some of the workload home with you, and not have to use your personal time for the lost hours. This could really add up in the long run, as many parents find themselves out of sick days long before they’re out of sick kids for the year.
If your employer is conducive to this idea, then try it out for a while. If you’re able to show that you can get all your work done from home, then they may be willing to let you stay there. Even if you can’t do it for the entire week, just one or two days a week will really make a difference. Think of the gas you’re saving by not driving to the office 5 times a week.
Online Job Banks and Telecommuting
There are tons of jobs waiting for people who have certain skill sets. So the answer to “where can I work” may be as simple as logging into a computer. If you have a working knowledge of computers and computer applications, you can find work doing everything under the sun. There are a lot of websites dedicated to matching clerical and technical contractors with employers looking to get this type of work done.
These online jobs come in so many shapes and sizes. You can do web research for companies trying to find the best way to advertise their products. You can write articles and ghost write books for people who have great ideas, but no desire to sit in front of a computer. You can even do the same data entry that you were sitting in your office doing yesterday. Only this time, you can do it from your own home, or McDonalds, or wherever you can find an internet connection. There are also many different technical and web sourcing positions waiting for people who are able to think like a computer.
You can also do customer service from your own home, on the telephone. Many companies hire phone help and answering service employees that don’t actually go to an office for the answering service. As long as you have a room in your house that’s quiet and a dedicated phone line, you can do tech support or be an answering service for companies all over the world.
Where Do I Not Work
There are always scams in every industry and the workforce arena is no different. People are always going to try getting something for nothing. So when you ask yourself ‘where can I work from home’ please beware of scammers. Here is a couple that I have researched and can advise against:
- Home Assembly – These are the jobs that promise big money for assembling necklaces, earrings, or hair bows and anything else that needs to be assembled before sale. You receive the material, assemble it, and send it back. Then you get a huge paycheck. Well, not so fast. There are two catches to this scheme. First, you have to pay for the initial packet of information and materials that you’re going to assemble, and you have to pay for the shipping. But nearly 40% of the people who fall for this scam will assemble hundreds of trinkets only to have a fraction pass inspection. This means all your ‘rejected’ hair bows can still be sold in the store and you never received payment.
- Lists – Whether it’s foreclosures or mortgages or bank interest, there are companies compiling lists for you to cold call off of. The problem is that you pay for the list, the same list that hundreds of others are paying for, and call the same people that hundreds of others are calling. You’re a telemarketer with information that’s sometimes outdated by years. And the commissions are horrible anyway.
The best answer you can give yourself to “Where can I work from home” is going to be to work where you would normally work anyway, just do it from home. Use your current skills and abilities to keep you employed while still keeping you out of traffic. Don’t fall for ‘get rich quick’ schemes or completely change your career just to be able to stay home. Also, be sure that you can actually juggle working at home and a screaming baby before you quit your day job.