Millions of people were already working from home regularly before the global pandemic of 2020, and an increasing number of workers had already said goodbye to their arduous commutes. It’s no longer necessary to work from an office 9 to 5, thanks to constantly developing technologies like Skype, FaceTime, Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts, authenticator apps, cloud computing, and texting and email. From a home office, many types of work can be completed just as efficiently, if not more so.
Employees find work from home appealing, but employers also see the advantages from their perspective. According to recent Harvard Business School research, organisations with work-from-anywhere policies can increase employee productivity, lower turnover, and reduce organisational costs.
Very complex jobs that don’t require a lot of social interaction or collaboration can be performed more effectively by work-from-home employees than by office-based employees.
A distributed workforce is also better able to maintain operations in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, even if some members of the group go offline.
How to Do Work From Home
It’s crucial to make sure that your setup suits your needs whether you’re working remotely a few days a week or full-time, either out of choice or due to a health issue or weather event.
A successful work-from-home experience requires a dedicated workspace with the appropriate technology, such as videoconferencing, child care arrangements, pet care, and a schedule that allows for the social contact and stimulation that typically come from being present in a workplace with others. Here are some ideas and advice for working remotely.
Understand the guidelines
Is a nine-to-five schedule required by your employer, or is there flexibility? The necessary tools, including a laptop, network access, passcodes, and instructions for remote login, including two-factor authentication if required, must be provided by your employer. Make sure to conduct a test run and resolve any issues that might hinder your work.
Create a Usable Workspace
It’s important to have a private, quiet space for your work even though not everyone has a dedicated home office. If you can, keep your workspace separate from your personal spaces and utilise it solely for work-related tasks.
Purchase the Hardware You Need
Determine the technology tools you’ll need, such as Zoom, Slack, or Microsoft Teams apps, including laptops, software, and internet speed. Are you unsure if your favourite website is accessible? Check out isitdownrightnow.com to see if important websites and services are up and running.
Noise-cancelling headphones may make a barking dog disappear, and planning your schedule around that of your family can help to ensure that you get the dedicated time you require for work.
Even the most introverted among us might feel claustrophobic after a few weeks at home alone, though some people love the idea of working alone. Plan some time for social interaction with others, such as lunch dates or a fitness class.
Where to Find Work From Home Opportunities?
Businesses of all sizes and in a wide range of industries have been encouraged to increase work-from-home opportunities due to advancements in technology, reduced overhead costs, and the impending global pandemic in 2020.
Work-from-home, hybrid, and flexible jobs are researched, vetted, and posted on FlexJobs. The business compiles a list of the top 100 employers with the most work-from-home job openings each year.
A list of the top 30 companies without regard to location is also compiled. The list for 2022 featured a variety of sectors, including computer and IT, education and training, marketing, accounting, and finance.
Work From Home – Friendly Companies
According to a survey conducted by FlexJobs in 2021, 58% of workers said they would look for a new position if they were unable to continue working from home after the pandemic. The Great Resignation is referenced in the survey caps. Here are five of the Top 10 companies with the most anticipated job openings in 2022, reflecting the continued demand for work-from-home opportunities and flexibility:
- BroadPath, Outsourcing industry
Industry: Customer Service. Sykes
- SAP. Sector: Business Software
Varsity Tutors Sector: Education
Industry: Technology • Dell Technologies
Additional Work-From-Home Possibilities
While many employees of big businesses now have the option of working remotely, freelancers and small business owners also have telework options. In order to fill a variety of positions, many businesses are outsourcing and using these independent contractors.
Here are a few of the work-from-home options that are most popular and expanding quickly.
While some are entry-level jobs, others call for specialised education and experience.
Traditional administrative tasks like email management, the creation of business documents, client contact, appointment scheduling, social media updates, bookkeeping, and data entry are offered by virtual assistants.
Work-from-home workers transcribe and translate conversations and conference calls, as well as files and documents.
Customer Service Personnel
These independent contractors must have strong interpersonal and communication skills as they manage both incoming and outgoing calls while assisting clients with orders or account information.
Entry of data and transcription
Data entry is the process of entering numbers and facts into spreadsheets or software, such as payroll information, catalogues, or inventory items.
Work in transcription entails producing written materials from audio files, typically for corporations that require meetings, workshops, conference calls, or podcast documentation.
Project managers’ responsibilities vary by organisation and sector. For project manager careers, a management undergraduate degree is frequently necessary, but it is becoming more typical for employers to demand a master’s degree. Project managers can earn professional certifications as well. Typical job titles
When applying for work-from-home positions, do your research and get to know the employer. Use online resources like LinkedIn to verify and validate contact information.
There should be an application process and probably an interview for any opening. Anybody who is sincerely interested in hiring someone wants to meet—or at the very least speak with—its candidates.
Advice for Work From Home
Although the concept of working from home, being flexible, and having control over your own schedule has merit and advantages, it also has some disadvantages for both independent contractors and telecommuting employees. A national health emergency, such as the pandemic of 2020, can cast a pall over it, adding to the discomfort and unpredictability. Here are three suggestions to help you find a good balance.
Maintain a Regular Work Schedule
Even though the pandemic has helped to change that dynamic, everyone who has worked from home at some point will have to deal with the lack of understanding from those who don’t understand work from home is also work. You must decide on your working hours, keep to them, put in the required amount of time at those times, and refuse to let anyone convince you otherwise.
Unfortunately, distractions from home life can waste time and delay important projects for well-intentioned homeworkers. Personal boundaries will continue to be pushed, in addition to the usual interruptions in the nine-to-five (vendor calls, power outages, accidents, pet or child needs).
Family members who are close to you need to understand that you can’t move them during the day or even just talk to them on the phone for an hour. On the plus side, showing kids that you put a lot of effort into something you enjoy—even at the parts you don’t—can positively affect their choice of careers and overall outlook on work.
Watch out for workaholic tendencies.
Along with shorter hours (imagine what you could accomplish with eight uninterrupted hours of a keyboard pounding, free of emails or daily staff meetings), efficiency and flexibility are some of the main benefits of working from home.
However, there is such a thing as having too much flexibility. It’s challenging to simply shut the door and act like you’ve gone home for the day when your office is constantly open and waiting for you, and that deadline hangs over your head. Because it’s there and they can’t ignore it, many home-based workers discover that they are working more hours, not fewer, and logging in work time on the weekends and evenings.
In fact, many people who work from home maintain a five-hour day rather than an eight-hour one. This does not, however, imply that they work any less. Hours are frequently calculated as “billable hours,” which means that many minutes are spent on unpaid administrative tasks for every hour spent performing a task for which they charge.
Bet against saving money
It might appear that working from home will help you save money because you won’t have to pay for lunches, a daily commute, or office-appropriate attire. But unexpected costs can arise. Laptops, printers, internet access, cellphones, business cards, web hosting, office services, and software may all be included in the cost of setting up an office. If you intend to deduct the entire cost of each piece of equipment from your taxes, forget about using it for your business. To comply with tax law, personal and business purchases must be kept apart.
To begin with, you are only eligible to claim a home office deduction if you work independently or as a contractor. Since the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), you are no longer able to deduct any home office deductions if you are an employee.
It is therefore crucial to make an effort to have your employer pay for any additional expenses.
Don’t try to write off the entire cost of your internet or the first half of your mortgage as “office rent” just yet. What can be claimed as deductions or credits on your return is subject to strict restrictions. Only the portion of legitimate work-related expenses that were actually used for work can be written off. Therefore, you can only deduct the (estimated) portion of the cost that is exclusively related to work-related matters if you pay for an internet service that is also used by your spouse, children, and yourself for non-work-related purposes. The same is true of office supplies, phone charges, and utility costs.
Independent contractors are responsible for paying their own Social Security tax (also known as the self-employment tax) and payroll taxes (an expense that most employers pay half of).
Although you can write off the employer portion of your payroll tax as a business expense, a sole proprietor won’t typically experience significant tax bill reductions.
If you are honest about the advantages and disadvantages, working from home can be exciting, empowering, and even profitable. It’s a way to avoid the daily commute grind, whether you’re a freelancer, a part-time employee for a company, or a full-time worker who simply doesn’t show up to work on some days or at all.
Added obligations, however, come with freedom, as well as preparation, foresight, focus, and, yes, hours of nonstop labour. Working from home is simply a different location, as many employees who do so will attest to.