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Is a Work From Home Lifestyle The Right Choice for You?
Thanks to advances in connectivity, communications, and cloud technologies, working from home has never been easier.
Even before coronavirus put the UK into lockdown, growing numbers of employees were bidding farewell to their costly commutes and onerous offices. Now that almost everyone has experienced some form of remote working, we can make more educated decisions about where we should actually spend our business hours.
This begins with understanding the main benefits and drawbacks of working at home. From there, we’ll briefly discuss the current state of remote work before exploring the best jobs and how to find them. You can also pick up some tips for staying productive and motivated later.
Here’s what you should know about the work from home lifestyle and whether it’s the right choice for you.
Work From Home Pros and Cons
The advantages and disadvantages of working from home that are relevant to you depend on your circumstances.
For example, you probably won’t be swayed by the premise of lower childcare costs unless you have children. The drop in social interactions can appeal to introverts, while having the opposite effect on extroverts who enjoy their casual conversations with colleagues. So, keep your own preferences in mind as you compare the following pros and cons:
- Comfortable and private environment
- Closer proximity to family and home amenities
- Expenses such as lunch can be eliminated or reduced
- Flexibility and freedom to create your own schedule
- Potential to improve work-life balance
- Time and money are no longer lost to travel
- True independence
- Communication challenges can cause difficulties in teams
- Initial investment may be required for hardware and software
- Productivity can fall in the face of unmanaged distractions
- The line between professional and personal life can dissolve
There are a few other benefits to working from home. It’s healthier for the environment as reduced commuting lowers air pollution, for instance. You might also have more job opportunities if you aren’t constrained to an organisation. What about salaries? The next section details average work from home earnings, along with some additional figures.
Work From Home Jobs UK Statistics
The median salary for an employee who works from home is estimated to be £52,500 per year. It appears that your income can vary significantly based on your location. Remote workers in Southampton, for example, make the least at £32,500 per year, while those in Derby, Glasgow, and Watford earn the most at £67,500 per year.
- April 2020 saw almost half (46.6%) of all UK employees do some work at home
- Approximately ⅓ of them worked more hours and roughly ⅓ worked less than usual
- Jobs with higher skill and experience requirements were more likely to offer remote positions
- More than half of the London population (57.2%) worked from home
While some have returned to their normal offices, many people have committed to working from home either part-time or permanently. Let’s see what kind of occupations are genuinely suitable for this approach.
The Best Genuine Work From Home Jobs UK
This is another factor that depends on your circumstances, namely your current level of experience and qualifications. Of course, you want to be doing something that you genuinely enjoy. It’s also important that the career path provides advancement opportunities or some form of room for growth.
When it comes to work from home jobs, almost anything that can be performed effectively with an internet-connected laptop likely fits the bill. Listed below are a few examples of popular occupations for remote working.
- Audio transcription
- Content writing/editing
- Data entry
- Customer support
- Graphic design
- Market research
- Social media management
- Travel agency
- Video editing
- Virtual assistance
- Web design
This list is by no means extensive and continues to grow each day as new technologies are released. Take a good look at your resume and identify any areas for improvement. Once you’re ready, you can use the websites in the next section to search and apply for full-time jobs.
How to Find Legitimate Work From Home Jobs UK
If you want to work for a specific company, be it part-time or full-time, the following websites can help:
- Universal Jobmatch
- Work in Startups
Before applying to any listing, remember to tailor your resume to the specific position. Focus on accomplishments that are quantifiable and relevant. You might also want to invest some time into building an online presence. This can include building your professional network on LinkedIn and showcasing your work through an online portfolio on your site.
Granted, these tasks aren’t necessary for all traditional jobs. On the other hand, they’re often instrumental to your success as a freelancer. Read on to learn more about freelancing and working from home.
Genuine Work From Home Jobs for Freelancers
What makes work from home jobs so great is that almost all of them can be turned into freelancing careers. Just as you can be a bookkeeper for an accounting firm, you can also head out on your own and provide bookkeeping services independently to a growing range of clients.
The same is true for graphic design, marketing, video editing, web design, and other common work from home jobs. Foremost among the challenges of this approach is figuring out how much you should charge. After all, only you can decide, and you don’t want to overcharge or undervalue your work. Make sure to account for these expenses:
- Business insurance if applicable
- National insurance and tax
- Equipment (hardware and software)
- Holiday and sick pay
- Your home rent and utilities
- General living expenses
There are countless websites where freelancers can find work and start building their portfolios. This includes Fiverr, Upwork, Toptal, Crowded, PeoplePerHour, and Freelancer. Look out for platforms that specialise in the services you offer. For example, writers might head to Writer Access, while designers should consider DesignHill and 99Designs.
Genuine Work From Home Data Entry Jobs UK
Jobs like data entry are perfect for beginners who want to get a taste for what it’s like to freelance or work remotely.
The barrier to entry may be lower than other technical professions, but that doesn’t mean data entry is always easy or menial. Your success relies on accuracy and speed, which is predicated on hardware and software proficiency. Having a high typing speed and knowing how to use hotkeys instead of switching peripherals is key. It also helps to:
- Determine when you’re most focused and work in those hours
- Prioritise research to ensure accuracy and avoid amendments
- Learn multitasking shortcuts like splitting windows
- Keep files on your computer organised
- Take care of your mental and physical health
Tips for Genuine Home Based Jobs UK
While we’re on the topic of making the most out of your freelancing career, it’s a good idea to discuss some general tips for working from home. After all, there’s a lot to learn and your experience is largely dependent on your approach. Here are a couple of basic guidelines to keep in mind if you decide to adopt the work from home lifestyle.
- Choose a dedicated space for your home office and keep it organised
- Create a morning and evening routine
- Download software that helps you work efficiently
- Invest in capable and reliable hardware
- Maintain separation between personal and professional life
- Follow a healthy diet and drink enough water
- Stick to specific times for falling asleep and waking up
- Use ergonomic furniture and peripherals in your workspace
Touching more on your home office, it’s vital that you spend some time on it. Your environment plays a significant role in affecting the way you feel and subsequently perform at work. Make mindful decisions about the elements and layout. From the colour of the paint on the walls to the amount of natural light, there are several aspects worth researching.
How to Stay Productive in Genuine Jobs Working From Home UK
For many people, improving or even just maintaining their productivity is a primary challenge when moving into a remote position. Our homes are full of distractions and we associate them with rest and relaxation, which can make them challenging environments for staying focused and efficient. These suggestions can help:
- Create a schedule and stick to consistent working hours
- Eliminate distractions such as televisions and social media notifications
- Exercise regularly and get ample sleep to improve concentration and energy levels
- Get dressed and ready each day as if you’re going to the office
- Maintain balance and avoid overworking yourself
- Prepare to-do lists and planners to stay organised
- Allow yourself to unplug and unwind when it feels necessary
Make an effort to follow these guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to more productive workdays at home.
So, have you decided whether a work from home lifestyle is the right choice for you? Take some time to consider the decision and look towards the future. Chances are that remote working is here to stay.