Is a Work-at-Home Job Right for You?

A work-at-home job is ideal for some people. It can provide a good second income for a family or a range of options for a self-employed business. But it brings with it a few possible situations and potentials for domestic conflicts of interest that you need to deal with before you even apply for one of these jobs.

Work-at-Home Job Realities

Working at home requires the right domestic environment. That environment may be fine for your situation, or it could be a problem. These are the usual major issues regarding working at home:

  • Disruptive environment: Kids, social situations or other environmental factors can make a mess of a work schedule. Many people lead complex, active lives which they must rearrange in order to work effectively at home.
  • Domestic requirements: Unavoidable realities of working at home include dealing with the ongoing domestic routines. These can easily take several hours out of a working day or stretch yours working hours considerably.
  • Personal commitments: Balancing studies or other commitments can add a further degree of difficulty to the work schedule. You may have to work around them or drop those commitments totally.
  • Customer service jobs: The work-at-home customer service job can be like a call center and administrative job combined. Employers specifically ask for your commitment to work during particular hours. If your domestic arrangements disrupt that commitment, you can lose the job. Many also require a quiet work environment, another hazard if you live in a noisy area or experience frequent traffic of people in your home.  
  • Income issues: Good work-at-home jobs are usually contract jobs. Payment is arranged on a set schedule. There are no vague areas regarding timing of payments or the amounts paid. (Important note: Not all-work-at home jobs are up to this standard. You should check out prospective employers and research any incidents of non-payment before you apply for any work-at-home job. The Internet also has many regular complaints about bogus employers, so researching these issues is easy to do.)
  • Equipment and personal liabilities: Some employers provide equipment like software and hardware, but it remains their property. Information security may also be an issue with some employers who require a “non-disclosure contract,” which you should read and understand thoroughly. Always check to ensure you fully understand your responsibilities and any legal issues before you sign a contract.  

Finding the Right Work-at-Home Job

These are the criteria for the right work-at-home job:

  • A secure work area where you won’t be disturbed while at work
  • A quiet work environment, free of interruptions, which will allow you to keep your commitments to your employer
  • A job which doesn’t infringe on your unavoidable commitments
  • A job which returns a reliable income
  • A clear contract defining your role, payments and responsibilities.

If you are in any doubt at all about a job’s requirements, contact the employer and get a response in writing to your questions so you have a record of the information you receive.