Fancy working from home, being self employed, but not having to find your own clients? Arise is an organisation which provides customer services and sales work to self employed homeworkers from a broad range of clients.
It began life in the US, mainly focusing on disabled workers. People can choose the hours they want to do, whether full or part time. They have to create their own limited company and do a short online training course fllowed by client classes. These are paid for by the worker, but refunded once they have completed the course.
They are then directed to the Arise portal where they are matched up with the work that suits their skills and experience. They are paid per call. Unlike in a traditional call centre they are only paid for the time they spend on the phone. All calls are incoming and are scheduled for the time the worker has booked to be available. Arise’s software locks down their computers so that it is secure for clients and workers are focused on the job. Workers can deduct broadband and line rental costs as business expenses.
Workers give their availability in two-week blocks and half hour segments. They can swap their hours with colleagues through Arise’s portal if they have a last-minute emergency. They are not alone. In the corner of their screen they are connected to their local performance facilitator and other agents in case they need support with a call. Working mums who have chosen to join Arise include a woman who used it as a second income to pay for her son’s karting hobby and another who enjoyed the flexibility it gave her to work while she finished her degree.
Lindsay from Cheshire joined the Arise network in 2014. She had returned to full-time work as an accountant after the birth of her second child. Her husband left his job to stay home with the children and looked at Arise for him at the time. At the time the family decided their home wasn’t suitable for the peace and privacy needed so he did something else.
A year later Lindsay was diagnosed with a tumour on her kidney. She had surgery to remove the kidney in 2013 and had a few months to contemplate life. She says: “I hated my job, it made me miserable and I missed my children. I struggled to get to my daughters assemblies and parents evenings and was watching my girls grow up via Facebook whilst eating lunch at my desk!”
She resigned, but knew she still wanted to work. Her husband returned to a career change which meant a pay cut and she really wanted to have an income of her own. She remembered Arise and registered. She works with RAC members.
She says: “I adore servicing. I never expected that, I thought it would be a means to an end. I really care about meeting the needs RAC Members who call. It gives me satisfaction.”
It also allows her the flexibility to be around for her children and she pays no childcare bills. She says: “I can go from baking cakes with my three year old, do 30 minutes of work and go back and eat the cakes with her!” She can pick work in 30 minute slots so if she knows she has a bit of time each week day she may just choose 30 minutes and do a lot a weekends or she can choose to work at short notice if her husband is home unexpectedly and takes the children out for the day.
Another bonus is that she has no commute, which was a big factor before as she lives in a rural area. She advises anyone seeking to follow her example not to quit their job if they are going to rely on their Arise revenue to pay the bills until they are set up and working. She says: “You may not like the client or the hours might not be where you want them to be.”
She adds that it is important to commit to the training in the early stages which is intense as it prepares you well for taking calls and to talk to other Arise workers to avoid isolation. Also, she says, it is important to choose carefully the right business model for you.
Although she admits that her earnings are a quarter of her hourly salary in her old job, she says she is 100% happier. “I get to talk to some lovely people, have made new friends with people I’ve learned and worked with and the flexibility is fantastic,” she says. She has no plans to return to an office job any time soon.