With technology constantly evolving, it's no longer necessary to physically be at work to be a productive member of the team. Technologies like Skype, Facetime and cloud computing are just a few ways employers can keep their employees at home. This may increase job satisfaction while also saving the company money in overhead expenses.
But not all work at home jobs involve first working for a larger company. Many people serve as freelancers, choosing to form their own businesses and work as contractors. If you're looking to work from home, you may want to consider these options.

SEE: Be Your Own Boss By Freelancing

Virtual Assistant
Think of a virtual assistant as an off-site secretary. A traditional secretary comes with many expenses to a company, and if the company is small, they may not need a full-time secretary until the company grows. Virtual assistants work from home, often communicating with the boss via chat, Skype or another real time service. They can do most of what a traditional administrative assistant does, but at a lower cost.

International companies need translators all the time. They may translate files and documents, and transcribe and translate conversations and conference calls. People who speak uncommon languages are even more in demand, and these home-based jobs are plentiful. The median salary is approximately $21 per hour, with much higher wages paid by large corporations.

Call Center Representatives
If you've seen those Capital One credit card commercials with "Peggy," the less-than-hospitable call center representative, you may understand why some companies are trying to find more call center workers from America. Some customers have trouble communicating with offshore call center representatives who speak English as a second language.

However, there are companies that don't want to pay the large expenses associated with U.S. call centers. Instead, they hire work-from-home representatives to get an "American voice" and save on costs such as workspace and equipment. The pay is often by the minute, so don't expect to get a big paycheck while you surf the Internet. If you like customer service, this may be the perfect opportunity for you.

If you thought journalism was dead, then browse the Internet. Traditional newspapers are under pressure, but the online media business is booming and the Internet needs more writers with talent. Like all businesses, be prepared to climb the career ladder. At first, you may have to work for less than you think you deserve, but eventually you could command a much higher wage as your skill and notoriety increases.

Avoid the Scams
For every legitimate work-from-home job, there are 57 scams, according to a study conducted by The Rat Race Rebellion. Anybody looking to earn a living without leaving their home has to be very careful. First, do some research to make sure that the company is established. If you can't find evidence that the company has a physical address and sells a product or service, then it's best to avoid it.

Next, there should be an application and probably an interview process. Anybody who is legitimately looking to hire an employee wants to know that the job will be done at a superior level. Lastly, you shouldn't have to pay anything. If a work-from-home job requires an investment, then it's probably a scam. (For more information, read how to Recognize And Avoid "Work At Home" Scams.)

The Bottom Line
If you have the discipline to work from home, then there are a lot of opportunities for you. However, earning a full-time wage by working from home will still take hours of uninterrupted hard work. You may still need to hire a babysitter. As any home-based employee will tell you, it's not easier to work from home, it's just a different location. (To learn more about work-from-home jobs, check out the Top 4 Financial Jobs You Can Do From Home.)

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    Top 10 Side Jobs You Could Start Now

    Ways to make extra cash in your spare time.
  2. Entrepreneurship

    Millennials Guide: Freelancer vs. Employee

    How to decide if joining the gig economy is right for you.
  3. Entrepreneurship

    Top 10 Jobs That Allow You to Work From Home

    Here are some top careers where you'll find work-at-home job opportunities.
  4. Entrepreneurship

    Work-From-Home Scams: How to Avoid Them

    Learning when a lucrative opportunity is – and isn't – legitimate.
  5. Entrepreneurship

    The Pros & Cons of Working from Home

    Look before you leap into the ranks of employees who work from home. There are pros and cons you need to check out thoroughly before taking the plunge.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    Employment Negotiations: What To Ask For & How

    Improving their first offer: What you should know
  7. Entrepreneurship

    How To Talk To Headhunters

    8 tips on forging a fruitful relationship with an executive recruiter.
  8. Personal Finance

    8 Ways To Seriously Blow It With A Headhunter

    Job hunters, beware. These are the 8 things that blow your chances with headhunters. So pay attention to your behavior when you're being interviewed.
  9. Entrepreneurship

    7 Ways To Make Executive Recruiters Notice You

    Yes, you can go after executive recruiters – but take a sophisticated approach. Here's how.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    The Job Hunter's Guide To Headhunters

    Corporations often turn to these outside consultants to fill their executive vacancies. Here's what you need to know about how they work.
  1. Digital Nomad

    Digital nomads are people who are location independent and use ...
  2. Small Office/Home Office - SOHO

    A business that is operated out of a business owner's residence ...
  3. Virtual Assistant

    An independent contractor who provides administrative services ...
  4. Principal Place Of Business

    The primary location where a taxpayer's business is performed. ...
  5. Home Office

    An office located inside the taxpayer's home that serves as the ...
  6. Home Office Expense

    Expenses incurred from the operation of a business or the performance ...
  1. What are some commonly missed deductions for business owners?

    If you own a business, you are eligible to deduct certain business-related expenses. These include deductions for the following: Home ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!