A few years back, I decided to leave my corporate job. The job itself was great, but I didn’t look forward to rush-hour traffic and having to run from one meeting to another. I still remember the day I decided to quit the corporate rate-race: I was stuck in traffic, and it took me half an hour to move just a couple of miles. I resigned that day, and I’ve never looked back.
Of course, I didn’t just make the jump without any clear plan. But instead of working in a big office with harsh lighting and noisy coworkers, I decided to work from home. The internet has made work from home careers totally possible. I’m surprised there aren’t more people doing this – and that’s what this article is for.
If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional office-based work, I’ll be showing you a bunch of legitimate work from home jobs. Now, most of these online jobs won’t make you rich on their own. The key here is to take multiple jobs. That way, you multiply your earnings. Also, some of these jobs will still require you to leave the house (your base of operations will still be your home). But whatever your preferences are, there should be something on my list of work from home jobs that will suit you!
In addition to showing you my favorite jobs you can do from home, this article will also have a segment dedicated to giving general tips and information. The information in that part will be relevant no matter what job (or jobs – the great thing about working from home is you can juggle multiple jobs) you end up doing. So let’s start with the first part – the top work from home jobs you can do.
- Be a Remote Personal Assistant while you work from home
- Take Care of People’s Pets
- Transcribe Audio Recordings as an Online Job
- Design and Sell Merchandise Online
- Rent Out Your Spare Room
- Engage in Cashback Shopping
- Deliver Package for Online Shoppers
- Haul People’s Cargo
- Be a Private Shopper
- Do Mystery Shopping
- Beta-Test Websites and Apps while Working from Home
- Answer Surveys on a Rewards Site
Be a Remote Personal Assistant while you work from home
This is one of the most rewarding online jobs from home – and by rewarding, I mean both professionally and financially. It’s even one of the best online jobs for college students. Clients will be willing to pay top dollar for highly-skilled and professional personal assistants. Unlike traditional assistants, a remote personal assistant services their clients offsite. Most tasks that clients require can now be done through the phone or internet.
These tasks will vary depending on your client’s needs. I once assisted a high-ranking executive. She was too busy for personal matters, so I attended to details like paying for her kids’ school bus service, ensuring that her food delivery arrived on time, and even reserving movie and concert tickets for her.
I recommend talking things over with a potential client before coming to an agreement. That way, you can manage expectations, and know what your scope of work will be.
The skills you’ll need: Great time-management skills; problem-solving abilities; professionalism
Necessary equipment: Desktop computer or laptop; reliable internet connection; landline; office supplies
Take Care of People’s Pets
If assisting clients remotely sounds high-pressure, that’s because it is. If you prefer something more chill, you can walk dogs or pet-sit. This is one of the most enjoyable jobs you can do, because who doesn’t like spending their afternoons with lovable pooches?
The job usually includes walking dogs, and pet-sitting. Sometimes, a job will require one or both. Dog walking is just that — walking clients’ dogs. These clients are usually busy people, and they hire others to do the dog walking for them. With pet-sitting, you will have to take care of the client’s pets while they’re away. The pets you’ll have to look after are pretty varied and may include dogs, cats, fish, and birds.
This is a pretty fun job, but you still need to be professional and responsible — after all, you’ll be responsible for the lives of your furry charges.
The skills you’ll need: Patience; ability to walk long distances; love for animals; a willingness to clean up;
Transcribe Audio Recordings as an Online Job
Working as an audio transcriptionist is a great way to make money from home. Some of the work from home opportunities I listed here are good as part-time jobs or side hustles. But transcribing audio can be a real career if you’re good at it.
The job involves listening to voice recordings, and writing down whatever is being said. Most of the recordings I handled came from academics and journalists — basically anyone who does a lot of talking, and needs a written document based on said talking. Your output will be a text document.
Some of the recordings will be less than ideal. You will still be required to produce a transcription based on it. And that’s where your skill comes in. If a certain word is unclear, a really good transcriber will be able to figure out that word, based on context clues.
The skills you’ll need: Good hearing; fast typing; good grasp of language; additional training, if you want to handle medical and legal clients.
Design and Sell Merchandise Online
If you’ve got a creative streak, you can make and sell designs for merchandise such as t-shirts, tote bags, wall prints, and phone cases. As a former art director, I know designing can be a challenge, but getting stuff produced, selling them, and shipping them out is a whole new can of worms. But don’t let that get in the way of your dream of selling merchandise.
There are websites (which I’ll be linking below) that allow you to sell designs on their platform. When someone buys the design, the website handles production and shipping. All you have to do is produce great designs! This lifts a lot of pressure off the designer’s shoulders. Designers can focus on what they’re good at (designing) and let the websites handle the messy stuff like production and customer service. Of course, the site gets a cut whenever someone buys your design. But it’s totally worth it.
The skills you’ll need: Design skills, a good grasp of trends, knowing how to create the appropriate design for specific products
Necessary equipment: A desktop computer or laptop capable of handling graphic design; a graphics tablet; design software; paper and pencils
Look for work here: RedBubble
Rent Out Your Spare Room
Okay, I know that in some places, an apartment with an extra room and space is next to impossible to find. But if you’re lucky enough to live in a city with a housing surplus, chances are you have a spare room (or two) that isn’t being used. Instead of making them a dumping ground for old junk, why don’t you rent them out? The sharing economy has made it possible to connect people willing to rent out their spare rooms to travelers. And while it’s called “sharing economy” people do get paid, of course.
Renting out your space will require you to be service-oriented – this isn’t as simple as kicking the door open and leaving letting people in. You will have to ensure that your guests are safe and comfortable during the entirety of their stay in your place.
The skills you’ll need: People skills; time and money management; being proactive; being service-focused
Necessary equipment: A spare room; a spare bathroom for your guests; clean beddings; supplies to keep the room clean and well-maintained
Look here: Airbnb
Engage in Cashback Shopping
Okay, this isn’t a job per se. But doing cashback shopping is a great way to save. And when you’re juggling multiple jobs (some of which will have varying pay rates), it’s good to have a way to save money on shopping. Cashback shopping is exactly that – you use an app, which lists down a bunch of offers from specific shops. When you shop at those establishments, you get a percentage of your money back.
Sometimes, the app will list a shop or establishment you haven’t tried before. In my book, this is actually a good thing. I tend to get stuck in my shopping routine. But a cashback app incentivizes me to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. Even going to a different grocery store has a profound effect on my shopping. Being in a new shop, I get to try new products and discover cool brands. And I get to save in the process? Yes, please.
The skills you’ll need: The willingness to try new shops
Deliver Package for Online Shoppers
While working from home is way better than crowding into a noisy office, cabin fever is definitely a thing that happens to all work from home peeps. As much as I love working from home, I still get restless sometimes. If you’re that type of person, you can deliver packages for Amazon. The site promises super-fast delivery speed to their Amazon Prime customers. But Amazon on its own can’t keep up with all the packages that need to be delivered. And that’s why they hire third party contractors (that would be us) to deliver packages for them.
When a person receives a notification on their Amazon Flex app, they will have to drive to an Amazon warehouse or fulfillment center to pick up the package, then deliver it to the customer within a set time period – usually on the same day. And yes, you will have to use your own vehicle for this. But don’t worry, you will be given a set location, and you won’t be asked to deliver stuff past the limits of the area.
The skills you’ll need: A good sense of direction (although you will be using a navigation app); promptness
Necessary equipment: A well-maintained vehicle
Look for work here: Amazon Flex
Haul People’s Cargo
Here’s another job you can do without being glued to your desk. Instead of making package deliveries, you can instead get paid to haul furniture and other light cargo. The job is extremely physical, and you’ll need to own a truck capable of hauling these items, but if you’re fit and strong, this is the job for you.
The process follows other sharing economy gigs: you get a notification on an app, you drive to the client, you haul the stuff, then you get paid. Simple as that. You will have to factor in the wear and tear on your truck, but if you like to do physical work without getting tied to just one company, you should get this a try.
The skills you’ll need: The ability to lift heavy loads; caring for other people’s items; promptness
Necessary equipment: A truck capable of carrying large items
Find work here: Dolly
Be a Private Shopper
Private shopping sounds like something you’d need detective or spy training to do. But it’s actually pretty mundane. Private shopping simply involves you going to an establishment (such as a supermarket) and buying stuff for a customer. You then deliver the items to the customer, and you get paid for the service.
Private shopping is slightly different from simply making deliveries. With deliveries, the shop gives you the items, and you take it to the customer. With private shopping, you’re the one who actually goes to the shop and picks the items that the customer has listed down. This adds a human element to the process. With regular deliveries, the customer might not be able to pick specific items. But a private shopper will be able to pick the best pieces. This is especially valuable when the customer wants veggies, or fresh produce picked. And that is why most private shopping jobs are for grocery shopping.
Customer book private shoppers via certain apps. Like the previous two jobs, this involves heading out and interacting with the outside world. If you like rendering services in person and seeing people smile when you provide that service, this is the perfect job for you!
The skills you’ll need: The ability to lift bags of goods; knowing which pieces of produce to pick; being service-oriented; promptness
Necessary equipment: A car capable of carrying several bags of groceries
Do Mystery Shopping
Here’s another job with a strange sounding name. Companies will hire you to do “mystery shopping” in their establishments. This means going to the shop (or sometimes, restaurant – which means you get to eat and earn at the same time!) and testing the crew. The word “mystery” is used because the crew shouldn’t know you represent the business owner, and basically taking note of your experience in the establishment. If they knew you were reviewing their performance, there’s a big chance they would give you better than usual service.
This involves doing whatever regular customers do. Sometimes, you will have to look out for specific things that the business owner wants to be evaluated. This could involve checking if the establishment is clean, if the staff offer a specific product, or if the store’s facilities are working. Some owners will even want to test if their store staff will sell cigarettes or alcohol to customers without proper ID.
The skills you’ll need: Being observant, the ability to write down notes clearly and accurately
Beta-Test Websites and Apps while Working from Home
From physical work, let’s go back to deskbound work. Websites and apps are complex creations. With so many little details, it’s possible that a few bugs and mistakes would get past the development team. And that’s why companies hire outside people to do beta testing. Beta testing involves, well, testing a website or app before it gets released to the public. A malfunctioning product could spell disaster to the company. And that’s why they hire people to test it first.
Your actual job description may vary, but generally, your job will include checking if the site or app does everything it’s supposed to. You don’t need coding experience for most jobs. Most of these jobs will ask you to use a website as a regular person would.
The skills you’ll need: Attention to detail; basic computer knowledge
Necessary equipment: Desktop computer or laptop; a mobile device with the prescribed operating system
Answer Surveys on a Rewards Site
The earning methods I’ve listed here vary in difficulty and challenge. The jobs that require you to make deliveries or haul heavy cargo, of course, more difficult than ones you can do from the comfort of your own desk. Answering surveys on rewards sites is an even easier way to earn. With this earning method, all you have to do is just that – answer surveys. When you sign up on a rewards site, you will get a notification when a survey is ready for you. When you answer it, most rewards sites will give you points. You can then exchange these points for cash or gift cards once you’ve earned the minimum amount.
This is a great way to earn some extra pocket money. You could even do this while working on other jobs. For example, if you work for Amazon Flex or Dolly, you can answer surveys in between deliveries. If you do personal shopping, those long lines at the checkout counter are the perfect time to answer a few surveys.
You’re probably wondering why a rewards site pays people just for answering surveys. It turns out, people’s opinions are extremely valuable to companies. They want to know what their markets or target audiences want. Doing market research on a large scale is super tough, even for big companies. And that is why they hire rewards sites. The rewards site will distribute surveys to its members. And since the reward site gets paid, so do the members who answer the survey. Simple as that!
Different rewards sites will have different payout procedures. On GrabPoints, members can request a payout when they’ve earned at least 3,000 points (which is worth $3 in real money). They will have the option of getting that money in cash – which will be sent to them via PayPal – or as a gift card. While most people may prefer cash, gift cards are still a great way to get your earnings. Gift cards are really convenient to use, and you can give them away as, well, gifts.
You won’t get rich answering surveys on rewards sites. It’s just not possible. I’m mentioning this to manage your expectations – and help you avoid all the scam rewards sites out there. Scam sites will tell you can get rich and afford that fancy vacation just by answering surveys. You won’t, and that site would probably run away with your financial information. So stay with legit sites, even if they don’t make outrageous promises about how much money you can earn through them.
They key is to use a site that pays quickly and reliably, such as GrabPoints. GrabPoints processes payouts within 48 hours. That means you can rely on your earnings for important errands or bills.
The skills you’ll need: Willingness to share your opinions (which is basically all of us, right?)
Necessary equipment: A desktop computer or laptop; mobile phone; steady internet connection
Look for work here: GrabPoints
A Few Basic Work from Home Tips
Now that I’ve given you a list of my top work from home jobs, it’s time to give you a few tips you should keep in mind. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to building a rewarding and lucrative home-based career.
A stable internet connection is essential
All of the jobs I’ve listed here require an internet connection. When your livelihood depends on your internet connection, downtime can be costly. So make sure you have a stable connection at all times. I’ve even gone so far as to have two internet connections – a fiber internet plan as my “main” connection, and a basic pocket wifi unit as a backup. It’s up to you if you’d like to go this far, but I totally recommend it.
Dedicate space in your home for work
When you work from home, it might get tough to compartmentalize your work and home lives. And I know “work-life integration” is the new buzzword, but I still think keeping the two separate is key to both a great career and a healthy family life. The key to maintaining those is to have a dedicated space just for work.
I know physical space is a luxury for most people. Your home office doesn’t have to be an entire room – a desk in the living room, or even a nook under the stairs will be enough. Basically, you’ll want a dedicated space because it gives a cue to your subconscious that you’ll be entering work mode. And when you leave that space, you switch to family mode. This is basically the opposite of working in bed. When you work in bed, your mind gets confused – why am I working in a spot that’s meant for rest? Keeping things compartmentalized will make you more productive, and more rested, when needed.
Set a regular work schedule
This follows the same logic of the previous item. Since you already have a dedicated space for work, you’ll also need dedicated time for it. Just because you work from home, that isn’t an excuse to work whenever you feel like it – trust me, you’ll never “feel like it.” So you need to train yourself to get up and go to work (or in this case, walk towards your workspace) and get cracking. This way, you condition yourself to be productive during a specific span of time.
And when you’re productive, you can end your workday on time. And when you end your workday on time, that gives you more time to spend with your family.
As a work from home worker, you will still be working with people. These people will most likely be miles away, and chances are you will never interact with them in person. Just because your colleagues are on the other side of the screen, that doesn’t mean you should neglect to be professional. This is home-based work, but it’s still work. And that means treating everyone on your team with respect. And when you treat people with respect, you can expect respect to be returned.
Don’t forget to exercise!
This is purely anecdotal, but I think home-based workers are more sedentary than their regular-office counterparts. I was totally guilty of this during my first year working from home. I never had to get off my chair, since I could eat at my desk, and nobody would complain. I even had a small personal fridge under my desk. While not feeling stressed from commuting is a good thing, being sedentary isn’t so good either.
So don’t neglect physical fitness. If you manage your time correctly, you should have enough time to go to the gym or go for a run around the neighborhood. But even if you’re totally swamped with work, you can do a few light stretches or pace around the room. A little movement is better than no movement, after all.
And that ends my guide to working from home. I hope the opportunities I’ve listed here are enough to inspire you to give a home-based career a shot. And even if you’re not into the jobs I’ve listed, you can use them as a starting point for your search for that perfect home-based job.
There will be challenges along the way – this is still work, after all – but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.