The changing face of homeworking

Homeworking is not what it used to be. A much wider swathe of jobs is now being offered on a homeworking basis. Could you take the plunge?

At Working Mums, we often get asked what are the best jobs for homeworking. For many struggling with constant illnesses and school events, homeworking seems to be nirvana. But are you in the right career for homeworking and do you have the right temperament to withstand hours with only your own company?
A look through the Working Mums jobs currently on offer shows some surprises. Increasingly sales and call centre jobs are being offered on a homeworking basis.
Arise Virtual Solutions UK Ltd is advertising for home-based customer service workers. It says its sister company in the USA has contracted over 7,500 home-based virtual customer services jobs servicing over 40 Fortune 1,000 Companies.
It adds that “worldwide there are 47,000 home based customer service agents today”, with research company DataMonitor predicting this number to almost quadruple by 2012 as “home agents rapidly become main-stream”.
Posts are offered on a self-employed basis, cutting the administrative input of the company and providing them with savings so it is a win win situation.

Advertising execs
In addition to sales and customer services jobs, there are the traditional homeworking options like running a franchise and freelance journalism. However, there are also a large number of other jobs now being offered on a homeworking basis: posts such as home-based estate agents, advertising executives, travel consultants, recruitment consultants and marketing positions. Many are advertised on a self-employed basis and some state that training will be provided and some travel to the head office is necessary for keeping in touch.
Working Mums is one example of a business founded entirely on homeworking. All employees in the company work from home, although there is regular contact through email and conference calls and every couple of months there are face to face meetings which enable staff to catch up on what everyone else has been doing and to plan ahead.

Temperament
Not everyone is suited to working wholly from home. It can be lonely and you do need a good deal of self-motivation to get you through the day. If you are likely to be easily distracted by the washing pile or the lure of Daytime TV, perhaps homeworking is not for you. But you can have the best of both worlds – if homeworking suits your circumstances, but you feel that you need a bit of outside contact to make it through the week, many firms are now offering employees the ability to work a day or more from home. For most homeworking posts, whether full time homeworking or home/office work, most firms specify the need for broadband access if the post is computer-related. If you are self-employed, you will also need to ensure you have some kind of computer support. Firms like Scooter Computer provide advice on common computer problems.

More tips on homeworking

Do you know of any untraditional posts which are being done through homeworking? Email mandy@workingmums.co.uk

Read more
Working life – working mums’ profiles and homeworking case studies
Advice and careers – how to do well at interview and how to deal with workplace stress
News and views – blogs and a weekly round-up of news





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