Do you dream about being able to work from home? Working from home – and not dealing with the time, costs, and stresses related to commuting and preparing for a day at the office – seems ideal to many people.
There are many opportunities for people to work from home. Although most remote jobs have traditionally been in the tech industry, the opportunities are expanding into real estate, human resources, accounting, pharmaceuticals, education, and many other industries. Flex Jobs, an online company specializing in flexible jobs, reported a 20% spike in these industries in the last year.
Work from Home Self-Assessment
Although work from home opportunities are growing and these jobs seem like dream jobs, make sure you think through what is involved before you jump in. As you explore your career options, honestly assess your work style, abilities, and personality to find a job and work environment that you’ll succeed in. Ask yourself:
Am I self-motivated?
If you’re a self-starter and able to stay on task, working from home may be a good fit for you. If you’re more productive when working with and around others, or when someone is checking on you, you may have more success in a more traditional work setting.
How social am I?
Working from home can involve many hours spent alone. If you’re comfortable being alone for the majority of your work time, you may enjoy and benefit from working from home. If not, look for a work from home job that involves social interaction, like customer service. Or, you may feel happier overall in a more social, traditional work setting.
How organized am I?
Not everyone is able to stay focused when working from home. Pets, laundry, and ringing doorbells are just a few of the things that can distract from work tasks. Good organizational skills are essential to staying focused on work during work hours. If you’re easily distracted, you may be more successful working in an office or other setting where others can remind you to stay focused on work.
Do I have good communication skills?
Most employers will want to communicate with their work-at-home employees on a regular basis. Working from home may require you to be able to reliably and clearly communicate about work and scheduling issues as they occur. Being comfortable communicating by phone, email, or skype is important to maintaining good relationships with your employer and co-workers.
SSA’s Ticket to Work program recently published “Make Working from Home Work for You.” The article describes how working from home helped two Ticket to Work program participants advance their careers and shares tips on how to be successful in establishing and maintaining a work from home career.
Working from home may be a work situation in which you’ll thrive. Before you decide, take the time to honestly assess if you have the work style, abilities, and personality to make working from home a dream come true for you.