If you think working at home means stuffing envelopes and answering phones, think again. Today's telecommuting workforce is enjoying many options when picking positions that appeal to them not only in terms of the work but how it helps meet their families' needs. After all, telecommuting is a must for working parents. Regardless of the industry you're in, here are five types of ways you can successfully work at home.
A growing number of positions now offer the flexibility of working at home full-time. From nurses to nannies, lawyers to linguists, you can probably find a full-time position in your area of interest, earning a full-scale salary with benefits.
Benefits: Working a full-time telecommuting schedule will allow you to not only earn more money, but it also gives you a more stable schedule. It's ideal for moms who are looking for more consistency in their work life, (i.e. working when the kids are in school). It also saves you from having to take on a second job to supplement your income, if need be.
Maybe you were working in a traditional office and scored a two-day work at home schedule. This type of position might require you to head into the office a couple of days a week, and then work the rest of the time remotely.
Benefits: Having a flexible schedule is ideal for someone who craves a little office interaction. It requires a bit of juggling, as you'll technically be working in two offices, so organizational skills are a must. It also allows you the opportunity to have face-to-face contact with your boss, which is always a good thing.
The vast majority of telecommuting positions are part-time. Working from home only half-days (or only a few full days a week) gives you the chance to pursue other passions, or even go back to school to advance your education.
Benefits: Part-time work is good if you have other obligations to take care of (i.e. young children or an aging parent) but still want to earn an income. Having hours--or days--off might make for a perfect work life balance for you, as you'll be contributing to the household but with an easier time commitment.
A freelance job or assignment generally is a niche job, meaning that the work itself is very specific in nature. Most likely you have studied in this field or even have worked in this industry before. For example, you might have freelance writing assignments or graphic design work. Freelance work can be assigned on a regular basis or be a long-standing working arrangement.
Benefits. Freelance work tends to revolve around something that you're passionate about. People freelance when they don't want to make specific time commitments but still want to work in their industry of choice. Or, you might freelance at a company until a full-time position opens up. The hours you work as a work at home freelancer generally are up to you, making it ideal for moms with young families or robust days filled with their kids' extracurricular activities.
Typically project-based, contract work has a definite start and end date. You might be hired to help a company overhaul their website and social media presence. You'll be given a contract to sign which states the premise of the project, your pay rate and how long it should take to complete.
Benefits: Similar to freelance, contract work often relates to a specific skill set that you possess. It's great for someone who is looking to keep their toes in the workforce, doing what they love, but without a major time commitment. When you finish a project with one company, you might have to look around for a similar position with another brand.
There are many opportunities to pursue your passion, earn extra income and be the parent you want to be--all while working from home. So search for jobs (and avoid the scams!) that meet all of your requirements and your work life balance will be, well, in balance.
Jennifer Parris is the Career Writer for FlexJobs, an award-winning service that helps job-seekers find professional opportunities that offer work flexibility, such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time or alternative schedules. To learn more about Jennifer, visit FlexJobs.com or tweet @flexjobs.