For many people, the costs associated with a daily commute to a distant work site can be daunting. If children are involved, then there are the added expenses of professional childcare while the parent is at work. The cost of maintaining proper business attire can also be a challenge to those just starting out in their career fields. One solution growing in popularity is telecommuting, or work at home jobs.
Some stay at home jobs are extensions of household duties already being performed, such as laundry services, childcare and food preparation. Stay at home parents with suitable skills can operate their own daycare centers for working parents, for instance. They may need to obtain proper business licenses and/or professional certification, but childcare services are often in great demand and is an ideal home-based business for experienced parents.
Other work at home jobs can be more creative in nature, such as the creation of specialty crafts or foods. Some people who prefer to work out of their homes will spend their time creating marketable craft or food items during the week and either sell them directly on weekends or consign them to established merchants for retail sale. Some investment in specialized equipment or supplies may be necessary, but many people discover they can easily market their homemade products through online auction websites such as eBay.
Many of the at home jobs available today, however, are generally more technical in nature. Some workers may be able to set up satellite offices in their homes and perform their regular duties by telecommuting. Data entry jobs which require substantial keyboarding but little interaction with co-workers or customers can often be performed in a home environment. The telecommuter can receive his or her assignments through email, process the files and upload the finished work back to the company through a secure Internet connection. Not all jobs are suitable for this kind of telecommuting, but a surprising number of routine office jobs can be modified to at least become part-time at home jobs.
Some people have found employment as customer service representatives or other telecommunication workers, which allow them to choose their own hours of availability by logging in and out of their home phone system or an Internet connection. Many companies are eager to hire or subcontract with home-based telecommunicators who are fluent in their native language and can be trained to handle routine communications such as reservations, tech support and customer service. These jobs may be advertised in magazines and online websites dedicated to stay at home parents and others who need to telecommute or work at home.
At home online jobs have also become more popular as the Internet continues to expand. Some people find work as content providers or editors for research websites such as our very own wiseGEEK.com. Freelance writers and editors can bid for these online at home jobs, which can provide residual income if their work is associated with online advertising such as Google's AdSense program. Competition for these online at home jobs can be substantial, but many website owners are willing to pay good wages for quality content from experienced writers or experts in the field.
Telecommuting is not always an ideal solution for those who prefer to remain in the loop in a standard office environment, but for those who need to stay at home for personal reasons or prefer to work with minimal supervision, many at home jobs can prove to be just as satisfying as making the long daily commute to an office or factory. Having the option of a thirty second commute to the home computer or the freedom to work in your pajamas can also be appealing in its own way.