“To be able to work at home successfully takes all the following qualities: motivation, perseverance, work, good habits, accountability, work-life balance and actions.” - Byron Pulsifer, motivational speaker.
It has always been every employee’s dream to work from home, an ideal work lifestyle that allows us to earn money while staying at home. Indeed, most of us would associate working from home with lying on the sofa, snacking, or avoiding supervision from bosses! No doubt, the new flexible work arrangement is more fun and less stressful than working in an office.
Before you decide to work from home and ditch the dull office, perhaps considering understanding remote working environments, possible flexible work arrangement opportunities, and listing down your current priorities would be a great idea as well.
What is work from home opportunities?
In general, work from home opportunities refers to a chance of employment that allows working from an employee's apartment rather than being bound in the office. A remote work policy will lead you to be hired as a full-time, part-timer, or freelancer as such it provides flexible working hours that will bring convenience to your schedules.
- Agile working arrangement - It refers to an organization to empower its employees to work flexibly in a specific location such as an open office concept. Giving employees the freedom to decide where they will work to optimize their work performance and increase innovative creation too.
- Flexi work arrangement - Flexible working refers to employment that suits an employee’s working hours and schedule including work from home, gig economy jobs, or remote working.
How did agile working arrangements change the working society?
Open Office Concept
The influence of flexible working arrangements has indirectly cultivated this best practice by introducing flexibility in the workplace. Do you know one idea that Google, Twitter, Whole Foods, YouTube, and Red Bull all have in common? It’s the fact that those companies have great open offices.
Although the idea of having an open office concept could be quite contradictory, we could say that the approach to an unorthodox open office style does create a better work environment. As such, employees tend to feel less stressful which will lead them to productive efficiency and obtain higher work-life satisfaction.
With the idea of an open office layout coming to mind, it makes communication and interaction between employees seamless. As mentioned, flexibility in the workplace improves productivity through brainstorming with your co-workers. In addition, an open office doesn’t constrict you to just stay in one location. If you are comfortable working on the sofa, go ahead!
How did flexible working arrangements change the working society?
Work From Home / Remote Working
Since the 1980s, companies have been tapping into the area of flexible working arrangements. Back then the famous computer manufacturer, IBM, sent up individual computer terminals at their employee’s homes for them to test out flexible working arrangements. The working model has since been adopted by them and during 2009, IBM reported cost savings on 78 million square feet of office space and an amount of $100 million throughout the years.
Today, working from home is becoming a new norm since the pandemic strikes. However, companies such as Twitter have already started to test out the concept of working remotely for the past two years before allowing employees to work from home permanently. The reason behind the decision is that the increase in productivity experience by their chief executive, Jack Dorsey.
Building work around life allows employees to better manage their work commitments without having to short count on their personal life. It provides a better work-life balance for them which increases the overall work performance.
Gig Economy Jobs
In the traditional context of employment, people would only have one full-time job. Over the years, people recognized that the gig economy has contributed to the country’s economy. The transformation of the gig economy has influenced the traditional mindset by accepting gig careers as one of the employment paths. Now, workers can earn extra money through different working options such as freelancing, work from home, and flexible work arrangement (FWA).
Since the early 2000s, many technology platform companies have ventured into the gig economy industry with websites or apps that act as a platform to connect consumers and gig workers. For instance, in 2010, Uber was established to help consumers in getting a ride and letting passengers know the estimated fare beforehand.
Nowadays, individuals are turning into gig workers to earn extra money casually, that covers part of their daily expenses. Moreover, more people would consider this non-traditional employment route to earning “boardless” income.
In specific, these alternative work arrangements could be beneficial for students or parents who are interested in getting gig economy jobs from home to earn extra money against their life commitments.
What are the benefits of working remotely?
As companies are starting to be more open-minded in engaging services with potential employees on a flexible job basis, it leads to more remote job opportunities available in the workforce. Moreover, due to the advancement of technology, businesses could implement productivity apps or product management software to make communication effective and efficient.
So, here are some benefits that make working from home much more attractive!
Healthier Dietary Habits
Working from home means that you would have flexible work schedules and hours which allows you to adopt healthier dietary habits. While working from home, you can choose your food options and meal timing which drive healthier eating habits. Furthermore, there is no need to eat vending machine food or late meals due to endless meetings anymore.
Earn Extra Money
Due to globalization, individuals are facing tough competition in finding or securing a job. In such situations, it’s going to be harder to find a job that is not too far away from home. As mentioned, the flexible work arrangement created more job opportunities through gig economy jobs.
Now, people who work from home can take up multiple gig jobs derived from flexible work arrangement opportunities globally to earn extra money against flexible schedules. Do note that you are encouraged to apply for more gig jobs as long as the job scope is manageable and you can submit the deliverables on time. Working remotely wouldn’t be a problem, you can consider applying for those gig jobs to make money online!
Productivity and Efficacy
Will the productivity rate really increase? This is a common question employers would already have doubts about. Well, productivity and efficacy differ for individuals. While some of us are night owls and others could be an early bird, we tend to stay concentrated and focus at different hours.
Working from home is more likely to be productive since it avoids distractions. You tend to spend less time participating in meetings, unnecessary conversations with neighbouring colleagues, and travelling to the workplace. As such, you can focus on on-hand tasks and ensure that deliverables were completed punctually.
Read More: 6 Productive Benefits To Work From Home
What are some jobs you can work from home to earn extra money?
Everyone will agree that having extra savings in our bank account gives us a sense of security. It prepares us in cases of emergency, purchasing desired products, or even going for a dream vacation.
No matter if you are a student, working adult, or retiree, being able to earn extra money is empowering. Luckily, there are many ways available for everyone to diversify their income sources either through making money online remotely.
Online Paid Surveys
Most brands and companies want to understand consumers’ reactions towards their products or services. In exchange for the time and honest thoughts on a product or service, they will reward survey respondents with incentives for participating in paid surveys as a token of appreciation.
Additional Tips: Online paid survey is one of the common ways individuals can take up to earn extra money. In fact, there are many people who do earn money from surveys. However, it does not happen overnight as it requires time and delegation invested.
You can join many survey panels that may widen your survey-taking opportunities and fasten the speed of redemption of rewards. You may also consider PanelPlace.com, a marketplace with various survey panel brands. It helps users to find and discover various survey opportunities and sites online. For instance, Jo Cooper, a PanelPlace member from Australia, has viewed PanelPlace as a personal assistant for paid surveys. She loves the convenient concept PanelPlace.com has offered to their community by organizing many survey sites at one central platform which allows her to keep track of her paid survey opportunities effectively.
Online Courses Tutor
Do you love sharing your knowledge with others? If you do, you can teach through online platforms. For instance, if you are proficient in English and do not have a professional teaching certificate, maybe you can start posting lessons on online learning platforms that welcome experts to share their knowledge. While you enjoy the process of helping others out, you can earn extra money from home too!
Additional Tips: If you are looking for some online learning platforms to start your tutoring journey, you can consider these options such as VIPKID in the United States and Canada.
VIPKid is a global education technology company that has 100,000 teachers available to connect with children for English immersion learning online. Other than the benefits of earning extra money as an online teacher at VIPKid, classes are conducted based on your availability, and teaching materials are provided.
Freelancing jobs can be referring to self-employed individuals who take up contracts or project works assigned by a client. For example:
Freelance Customer Support
Many employers choose to outsource their live chat customer services to freelancers. They can work from home after attending basic training organized by the hiring company. These job openings are available in most freelancing websites such as Upwork or PeoplePerHour. Freelancers can earn between $10 up to $50 per hour depending on job experiences and responsibilities given.
Freelance Writers or Editors
If you have a talent in writing stories or enjoy editing of content, maybe you can put it to good use and earn extra money as a freelance writer or editor. Many online platforms like Problogger offer relevant job openings for you to sign up. On average, freelance writers or editors earn between $14 to $50 per hour.
Additional Tips: As a blogger, perhaps we may need an extra pair of eyes to vet through our article to ensure minimal writing errors. Grammarly can be one of the grammar checks you can download to assist you! The free writing tool has an automated grammar checker that will correct any grammatical errors and reports that reflect the quality of articles. This really ensures you to enhance the clarity and effectiveness of your online writing productivity.
After looking through the list above, you may realize that there are lots of options available for you to earn extra money. On a side note, you can take up more than one idea listed here, especially if you have a flexible schedule while working from home.
What are some freelancing websites to work remotely?
As mentioned, through a flexible working arrangement, both students and mom could consider it as a flexible job to earn extra money. Moreover, to those that are seeking online jobs, these freelancing websites could be a source of job opportunities as well.
For all designers out there, this may be an oasis for you. 99design is a global creative platform that makes both clients and designers work easily online. Since 2008, the freelance community has accomplished millions of customizable projects for thousands of genius entrepreneurs, savvy businesses, and brands.
Through Fiverr, you could take up jobs anytime you want with no strings attached. Not only that it’s flexible, but these sites are also able to connect you to businesses easily.
Freelancers use Fiverr to offer services in more than 150 categories, to customers worldwide. Currently, Fiverr lists more than three million services on its site. Fiverr gives you instant access to millions of Gigs from people who love what they do, in just a click.
Is it too late to become a YouTuber? Well, we don’t think so. We have seen many people leave their jobs and become great YouTubers. A kickoff tip to become a YouTuber would be if you are passionate about a certain topic or theme such as music and fashion, you will definitely do great.
As long as you could create an interesting video that many viewers can enjoy, YouTube would be a great fit. On the plus side, you could shoot it anywhere and anytime you want! If you’re not comfortable with people seeing your face, dubbing is an option. One great point that YouTube has would be how surprisingly welcoming the viewers are and how big the support they will give you towards it!
What are some work from home tips to improve productivity?
Although at first thought working from home seems fun, there are actually lots of remote worker burnout or overstressed due to unable to properly work and live concurrently. As such, here are some work from home tips for you to achieve work-life balance while managing your work schedule productivity.
1. Allocate An Office Space
Many have the impression that those who work from home do it while lying everywhere and anywhere. But, that’s not the way to get things done. You still need a proper space for work, separated from leisure. This way, it helps you to keep away from distractions and focus on your job. Furthermore, it will be good to create a suitable and conducive environment for your working space as well.
A piece of advice from work from home professional, Elizabeth Gibson, has also emphasized the importance of remote workers separating work and leisure time at home.
“As a writer and marketing consultant for a legal forms company, communication is at the center of all I do. Like most people, I had imagined that working from home would mean I do keep up with laundry, have a pot of soup always bubbling on the stove, and tackle other little chores during breaks. None of that happened! In fact, a definite downside when your home is your office is that all those undone chores are always at the periphery, nagging you in their undone state. I stay sane by having a dedicated workspace. I ignore laundry, clutter, and chores while I work. Then, I do the reverse when the workday is finished. It can actually be quite tempting to catch up on work when I'm 'off' and I have to work at separating work and leisure time.”
2. Set Office Hours
Although working from home means there is more flexibility in regards to working hours, there’s still an importance in setting a fixed time to get work done. Here’s why: If there is a fixed time for a certain task to be done, it’s more likely that you will finish the task. Otherwise, there’s no time gauge or guide for you to keep to, which means it’s easy for you to spend too much time on the tasks.
3. Plan An Agenda For The Day
Before you start the day off to work, it’s important that you plan and list out the agenda for the day. Having a to-do list will help you immediately see what are the things that need to be done, so you can prioritize and plan the day. It also gives you a ‘timetable’ for you to follow, ensuring you are on track with your daily objectives.
As quoted by Denise Supplee, an author, having a proper routine is essential for work from home practitioners.
“My office is my space which means I can make it as quiet and focus producing as I need. No worry about other co-worker’s music, chatter, or even the clicking of the computer keyboard, which believe it or not, can throw my concentration off. To stay motivated, it is important to maintain a routine. No different than waking up, showering, reading, and then off to the office. The difference, I do not fight the morning traffic or the rush hour debacle. This means more time to get things done. Setting goals for each day is important as well. The downfalls are that it can get lonely at times especially those times that technology fails.”
4. Avoid Personal Tasks
During your working hours, try to avoid doing personal tasks like checking your personal email, household chores, or other hobbies and interests. Try to treat your work time just like you would behave when your boss is around. Once your personal tasks start blending into your work, it’s hard for you to focus on your job.
Do remember when working from home, we have to avoid exposing ourselves to entertainment such as Netflix and social media platforms which are probably the best distraction worldwide. Although it does reward us with short-term pleasure, it does affect our quality of productivity negatively when working from home.
5. Start Being Tech-Savvy
With the advancement of technology, makes working from home easier than before. Therefore, make sure you equip yourself with some basic online search and communicative tools like email, google, and even Skype which prove to be extremely useful for video/ messaging chats. Be more tech-savvy! As most home jobs now are online, these useful tools can help you improve communication with your clients or coworkers, making work easier.
6. Bring Your Best Work Attitude With You At Home
Even when you are at home, try to keep out those personal phone calls and messages away as much as possible when it’s work time. You will have to act as the boss of yourself here so make sure to step up and bring out the best work attitude you got.
7. Take A Short Break In Between
As you work from home online, don’t forget to give yourself a couple of breaks to freshen up your mind, as well as to do a stretch or two! Sitting an entire day can wear out your body and in the long run, your body will experience fatigue and poor circulation.
8. Be Flexible While You Are Working At Home
Being flexible helps stay-home parents who need to take care of their child or elderly. They need to be at their every beck and call, therefore it’s necessary to be flexible. However, it does not mean that they do not need to have fixed work hours. It’s just that the hours are shorter, so they can break their tasks into shorter periods and be able to tend to and check on their family.
9. Be Thrifty, Save Money On Supplies
Even though you save up on coworker’s birthday gifts and all that, working at home means you don't have benefits like subsidized office supplies. Therefore, try to save on supplies including stationery, toilet supplies, equipment, and electricity.
10. Keep Your Social Interactions Active
Lastly, try to engage in some social interactions each day! Cooping up at home is not the best way to get new ideas or keep sane. A chat with your neighbors, a friendly call, or a casual lunch with your friend or coworker can give you an energy booster and keep your communication skills alive!
What are some habits to cultivate to work from home effectively and efficiently?
In relation to the quote by Byron Pulsifer, working from home is never an easy flexible work arrangement opportunity to come by as it takes lots of valuable qualities including perseverance, accountability, and expertise.
Despite the time management skills and technical skills, you should cultivate the following good habits while working from home effectively and efficiently.
Able To Multitasking While Working Remotely
Multitasking is certainly nothing new and we always do it daily. While we often allow ourselves to be interrupted by others out of courtesy, concurrently, permitting them to do as multitasking is achievable. In fact, multitasking is a quality most of us try to develop and an ability employers often value in new hires.
Although there is a doubt multi-tasking may affect the quality of work since the speed switch between tasks can cause the brain to burn energy and mentally exhausted. Unwantedly, the toll gained from multi-tasking between work may lead to mistakes.
Well, multitasking may not be that bad at all. There is an interesting trivia stating that individuals who tend to multitask would absorb more information than us. This is known as “leaky attention”, which is often exhibited by successful creative people for brainstorming purposes. Who knows, the random information you unknowingly absorbed may one day turn out to become your next big idea!
Read More: 6 Things You Need To Know If You Multitask
Strong Concentration And Focus To Enhance Productivity
Sadly, on average, we could concentrate effectively for a maximum of three hours. Despite this, it is widely known that concentration and focus are key for individuals to work productivity. You might be thinking, “how can I strengthen my concentration?”
Well, coffee definitely is by far, the most preferred beverage when dealing with concentration and focus. Despite the short adrenaline rush, consuming too much coffee is harmful to our bodies. So, why not consider a healthier option such as green tea that helps in improving concentration too?
In general, green tea includes both caffeine and L-Theanine. The caffeine works as a way to increase focus and the L-Theanine increases the alpha-wave activity. Through that, it is clearly seen that green tea is a better and more efficient way for you to focus. Moreover, green tea does help you lose weight naturally. So those who want to shed some pounds, go right ahead now!
Read More: 6 Myths And Tips To Concentration
While everyone tries their best to manage a work-life balance, there are thousands of working adults having work-related stress, anxiety, or depression.
Although taking care of your own mental health may sound easy, staying calm and taking a deep breath is critical to prevent impulsive actions. It is important to take care of your own wellbeing, therefore self-care is a must.
If you dwell with work and not take a short break, one day you will physically or mentally break down. As such, taking a deep breath may help you to rethink everything that’s going on and it also is the quickest relaxation method to deal with toxic emotions.
Read More: 5 Ways To Deal With Toxic Emotions At Work
What do bosses care about when employees work from home?
There are many reasons why people work from home, it could be a fresh startup with no physical office or expertise calling in from different countries. Well, there is no doubt that in order to earn flexible work arrangement opportunities certainly require trust before bosses can hire you. As such, what are some possible reasons bosses check when you work from home?
Staying Committed Even Working Remotely
It is true that everyone may face certain family problems that will affect their work productivity which includes work from home practitioners. Most bosses look at the amount of completion of those employees. If they seem to work vigorously for several days, then slowing down on the others definitely makes things worse on their performance rate. Although there are emergency matters that are family-related, there is a slight chance that their bosses are aware of this, unless they notify their employers.
Other than loyalty, trust is much more important between work from home employees and their bosses compared to in-site employees. This ties to procrastination and the work performance of the employees. Some companies let their workers work from home for several days. Those ones need a lot of persuasion and trust. If a person who is in that scenario slipped and broke their trust, there is a high chance that they are not going to have the same opportunity ever again. Be careful for all of you out there that are trying or are doing this.
As a person works in the office, there are times where their thoughts float around. There are also times where work-from-home practitioners may be missing in action or literally very unresponsive for the whole day, there would be one moment where their bosses are wondering whether they are alive or not. Basically, their bosses are curious whether they are doing well or need help at all with their work. Whether they can pull off the right strings to get their assignments in and their well being in general.
Let's Start Being More Productive While Working From Home!
After all of these work from home tips, are you prepared to start afresh and see how your efficiency rate grows?
Well, there are many advantages to working from home, but it may not be for everyone. So, if you do not have the self-discipline and organizational skills, then it might not work out for you. However, it might still be worth a try! If it worked well for you, the convenience and other benefits you reap shall be very rewarding.
On the other hand, if you are already working remotely, why not try out those tips and implement them in your daily work from home routine? We hope that it can help you be more productive in your online work from home journey!