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The 20 Best Work-From-Home Jobs You Should Consider Taking

The 20 Best Work-From-Home Jobs You Should Consider Taking

As someone who works from home and runs an LLC writing business from the comfort of her own living room and bedroom, I can attest that having one of those much ballyhooed “zero-second commute” work-from-home jobs comes with plenty of benefits.

If you’re ready to delve into the work-at-home world, consider these job options – some of which require self-employment, others representing positions within firms that allow their workers to telecommute.

1. Author

A bevy of self-published author millionaires, such as writer Hugh Howey, are leading the charge and showing others that by bringing in more than $1 million in book sales via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing system, the from-home task is nothing to scoff at. His author earnings reports have readers salivating over how they, too, can become the next rich author – especially as the online retail giant makes it easier and easier for everyday folks to publish their tomes from Microsoft Word documents straight onto the Kindle platform.

2. Administrative Associate

The average salary for an administrative associate is $45,000 – and the duties tend to include a wide variety of skills based on the industry. However, most folks filling this position need excellent interpersonal skills, as well as a high level of organization and communication. Companies like Dell allow their administrative associates to work both on campus and remotely.

3. Business Development Executive

Expect to come equipped with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree for this position, with certain firms such as Xerox preferring a master’s level degree for the role that requires developing strategies to sell products and services to others. The average salary range is $80,000 for this role.

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4. Virtual Assistant

The role of virtual assistant exploded onto the scene when author Tim Ferriss described how he hired folks from all over the world to perform everyday tasks for him. Whether you find yourself researching the best CD rates for a client in Australia, or scheduling appointments for a business owner in New York, you can find a plethora of virtual assistant jobs on sites like Upwork with a wide range of pay.

5. Travel Counselor

Surprisingly, large firms like American Express offer full-time, work-at-home jobs (see jobs.americanexpress.com) such as that of a travel counselor, which focuses on taking customer calls and helping to create “memorable travel experiences” for cardholders. The salary range for such a position is reportedly anywhere from $35,583 to $51,000 annually.

6. Customer Service Representative

Companies like Enterprise Rent-a-Car have work-from-home positions available starting at $12 per hour, with paid virtual 4 -to 5-week training classes. It makes sense that more firms would seek out professional, detail-oriented workers for jobs like these that may require lots of phone contact with customers, but don’t require the overhead expense of all of their customer service reps needing to be under one corporate roof.

7. YouTube Video Creator

Before you skip down to the next tip, consider the fact that Felix Kjellberg, better known as “PewDiePie” to his almost 30 million YouTube fans, raked in $4 million in 2013 from the ad revenue generated by his viral videos. It’s time to pick up your smartphone and start uploading.

8. Software Developer

The information technology field led the charge when it came to offering work-at-home positions, and these days, firms like IBM offer the potential for certain employees to work from home if necessary. Based on the level of programming language knowledge, software developers can earn anywhere from $55,190 to $138,880 annually.

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9. Illustrator

If you have a penchant for drawing, you could get your feet wet by selling your services from home for anywhere from $5 per drawing on sites like Fiverr – all the way up thousands of dollars once you develop a following and reputation to provide artwork to clients willing to pay a lot more for your craft.

10. App Developer

Games like “Make it Rain” have made a pretty penny in the iTunes App Store and via others across the online world, at one point pulling in $50,000 per day. Users might be shocked to learn that you don’t even really need to know how to code in order to open up an app development company from your home. Websites like Udemy offer online courses that not only provide the basic code for various gaming apps, but also teach users how to “re-skin” them to make the code their own prior to submitting it to the app store and hopefully creating a cash cow.

11. Instagram Print-Selling Photographer

These days, photographers like Daniel Arnold can decide to sell his Instagram photos as prints and make $15,000 in one day. He’s not the only one turning IG pics into profit. Ryan Parillo is only 15 years old, but his stunning photos are commanding fame as well.

12. Freelance Writer

Forget the image of the starving artist, waxing in a state of depression all Hemingway-style with a glass of bourbon next to his typewriter. (It should be a mojito next to a MacBook Air.) Writers these days are finding so many clients seeking quality content that “Valerie M.” of Words You Want shows earnings of $427,601 in the last 12 months – and more than $2 million total and counting – as of this writing brought in through her words that clients obviously want.

13. Graphic Designer

The average graphic designer makes approximately $50,450 per year to create a wide array of graphics that may appear as logos on packaging or bucolic scenes on brochures. The job generally requires being creative and adept at softwares like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and others – and can involve you setting up shop and hanging out your own shingle, so to speak, in order to make yourself known via word of mouth or on job posting sites like Upwork and oDesk.

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14. Healthcare Worker

Choosing the option to “search career opportunities” on the Humana website and then selecting the “virtual/work at home” checkbox beneath their “work environment type” field turns up a bunch of jobs where working from home – at least a portion of the time – is a definite possibility. Certain positions listed include a compliance risk advisor, whose salary is approximately $62,000 per year. Other virtual roles listed, like an applications consultant, may command a salary of $77,400 on average.

15. SEO Specialist

Indeed states that SEO experts can bring in salaries of approximately $100,000 per year, and the great part about being a person who knows their way around the “search-engine optimization” field is that there are many people who are willing to pay them to help increase their website’s rankings and visibility in Google. Being very tech-focused, it’s a job that can be done from home as long as the SEO clients keep pouring in.

16. Google Trusted Photographer

Not all jobs being touted on the web as related to Google are scams. I personally know of one photographer who was accepted as a Google Trusted Photographer, and was able to earn an income by photographing various businesses to be displayed on the search engine’s results. Reports of these certified photographers earning $500 for one photo abound, along with the additional business that can come their way when local businesses want to buy more images and additional services.

17. Actuarial Consultant

Companies like Aetna hire actuarial consultants to work from home, as long as they are exceptionally equipped to handle the high level of strong analytical and in-depth data mining skills required for the job, which can pay from $52,000 to $112,500 per year.

18. Virtual Tutor

Websites like Tutor.com help connect people with a boatload of knowledge to share – such as experts in math, English, science and other subjects – with those who are willing to pay people to tutor them or their children, even on a virtual basis, because Skype has opened up a huge world for online teaching. While some tutors average approximately $16.20 per hour, reports of much higher amounts being paid have gone viral.

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19. Amazon Virtual Jobs

It sounds too good to be true, but Amazon actually has work-from-home jobs, those pegged with the “virtual location” text, whereby folks who live near the stated areas may garner a job as a regional brand advisor or a content acquisition manager, for example.

20. Telephone Representative

If you’re great on the phone, firms like Nestle still have work at home jobs for those willing to sell Gerber Life Insurance products. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the media pay of customer service representative jobs akin to these are $30,580 per year, or $14.70 per hour.

With so many virtual jobs available and opening up due to the Internet bringing all the tools a person needs right to their home to successfully complete their work from within the walls of their own home, there’s almost no excuse not to begin a journey into working from home. Just change out of those pajamas, okay?

Featured photo credit: KaronBT via bigstockphoto.com

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Last Updated on December 5, 2018

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

Being an efficient manager and a charismatic boss at the same time can seem like an impossible task. Is there a way to deliver the desired results for your business while remaining liked and respected by your staff?

We all know bad examples of team leaders who seem to fail at one aspect or the other, or even at both. But we’ve also heard of awesome managers who seem to juggle both things well enough.

How do they do it?

By sticking to few proven ways that let them maintain a positive karma score while remaining efficient. In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 smart management tips on how to lead a team and become something more than a boss – a leader.

1. Find a Management Strategy and Stick to It

There’s nothing worse than a boss that keeps changing his or her opinions and assignments depending on their mood or a book they read this week. Chaotic decisions increase the insecurity and frustration of your team, so you better find your strategy and stick to it.

If you do find some new methods you want your staff to follow, make sure they don’t contradict the general direction you are taking. Otherwise, you risk making your team take one step forward and two steps back.

2. Set Goals​ and Track Progress in Reaching Them

Set individual and collective goals​ for your team and track the progress in reaching them. This might sound obvious at first, but too often we find ourselves stuck between daily customer requests and monthly reports, and the bigger goal or vision seems to fade away.

According to Elon Musk (and many other successful CEOs around the Globe), it’s crucial to have a clear and motivating aim to where the company is heading. His aim for the space transportation company SpaceX is “to make humankind a multi-planetary species”.[1] That’s a huge goal but the company is slowly moving closer to it by reaching smaller steps and milestones, like launching self-landing rockets. This is also a very inspiring and meaningful goal that helps employees endure the company’s extremely high expectations and 60 to 70-hour work weeks.[2]

Even if your goals are not as grand, setting and reaching milestones will give you a clear insight into the team’s overall efficiency and daily progress. With time, you will be able to see the weak spots and improve your results.​

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3. Demand Learning from Your Team

CEO of print on demand startup Printful, Davis Siksnans, believes that:[3]

“The key for a company going through rapid growth is to empower your employees’ self-development.”

His company with 500 employees spanning two continents demands a culture of learning and provides all the tools necessary to do it.

Their idea is –  as the company scales, people have to grow in their positions too, which means that they have to be constantly learning. Siksnans says:

“We try to hire people for what they might become, but they need to have that drive.“

Alternatively, you can provide educational courses for your employees or invite informal lecturers to educate and inspire your team. You can also encourage peer-to-peer learning by asking employees to teach their particular experience or skill to co-workers.

4. Invest in a Pleasant Work Environment

Studies show that a well-designed office environment can increase your team’s overall performance by as much as 20%. You’ll be surprised to see that even very small interior tweaks that don’t require major investments can improve your workers’ performance.

Some ideas for a more productive and pleasing work environment:

  • Invest in modern furniture – offer ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and individually arranged workplaces​.
  • Start an in-house library – reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is proven to be enough to become more effective at work,[4] improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.​
  • Play jazzy office music – rhythmic background music will help workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.​
  • Set up entertainment or break rooms – being able to relax and have fun at work creates a strong commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts productivity.​
  • Bring in uplifting office decor – it’s been found that art in the workplace can boost productivity,[5] lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate.​
  • Decorate the office with live plants for freshness and a welcoming feel. Furthermore, plants are found to ensure better air quality and increase workers’ productivity by 15%.[6]

5. Be Kind and Sincere to Your Team

Did you know that 50% of employees quit because they dislike working with their manager?[7] In fact, most times when people leave their jobs they actually leave their managers. Being friendly and sincere may not be enough to be a successful manager, but it’s a big part of it.

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Some ways to show you appreciate and care for your staff:

  • Celebrate the progress and achievements of your employees. And don’t be shy to simply say thanks.​
  • Talk to your employees regularly and really listen to what they have to say. Address their concerns, help them reach their goals and do your best to improve their work and daily life.
  • If you’re having a bad day, don’t pour out your stress and anger on the staff. Instead, try to recharge yourself by appreciating the achievements of your team and setting the next goals.
  • Try not to overload your team with work. Every company has rush periods when it’s okay to have more work than usual. But remember that people cannot work under prolonged pressure and stress.
  • Don’t be selfish – it can be very demotivating to see that the manager only focuses on what you can do for him and doesn’t care about your goals and well-being.​ As the CEO of Xerox Anne M. Mulcahy put it,[8]

    “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”

Whenever you are having doubts about your kind attitude, remember – satisfied employees are productive employees which lead to satisfied customers and eventually – success for your company.

6. Offer Flexible Work Hours

The traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job is beginning to slip away. Increasingly more people are working remotely or having flexible work hours, and we can expect this trend to continue. To adapt to these changing habits and remain competitive in the labor market, more employers are offering the chance to choose your own work hours, work from home or even from another city or country.

Offering flexible hours is a powerful way to inspire your existing staff and give them intrinsic motivation. Why not let your employees choose their preferred working hours while keeping the 8-hour day? For example, night owls are unhappy and unproductive if they have to come to work before 10 AM, while others might prefer to start at 7 and finish earlier.

You can go even farther and hire remote workers – this way you’ll be able to recruit from a global talent pool and even save money on office expenses like desks, stationery, electricity, etc.[9]

7. Track Your Team’s Productive Time

Not monitoring your employees’ progress and efficiency can result in poor performance and slacking. Instead of letting things go with the flow, you should consider installing time-tracking software on your employees’ computers and see who’s doing great and who might need a productivity boost.

But don’t get it wrong – there’s no need to become big brother and watch every step your employees take. If you use the time-tracker as a spying tool, you will only see increasing suspicion and insecurity around you, and your employees’ happiness levels will drop.

On the contrary, choose software that allows employees to mark private time that won’t be tracked. In addition, consider these time-management tactics:

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  • Allow flexible work hours. (see Tip No 6)
  • Encourage breaks – studies show that employees who take regular breaks are more productive than those who don’t.[10]
  • Enable remote work to show your employees that you trust them and that they can work from home or even from another country (if they can maintain sufficient productivity).
  • Consider offering bonuses to your most productive employees (those who show productivity levels above 90 or 95%).

8. Use Only Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism means offering valid and rational opinions about the work of others, involving both positive comments and remarks about what should be improved. Constructive criticism is usually expressed in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

When you evaluate your team’s work, give them feedback that’s helpful, specific, and sincere. Don’t be shy to praise, but also be direct and even strict when necessary.

9. Don’t Give Special Treatment to Yourself

The boss’s actions are – directly or indirectly – observed by your team. This means that your employees look up to you and often mimic your attitude towards your work and the company – especially if your actions don’t show commitment. Nobody wants to work for a leader who doesn’t go all in or inspire motivation.

What you should do is lead by example. If you expect your employees to arrive at work on time and work 8 hours, do the same yourself. If you want them to show initiative, show it yourself and encourage others to do the same.

Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn – a company of 3,000 employees that consistently ranks as one of the best workplaces with a 92 percent employee-approval rating.[11] Weiner’s workdays are reported to be equally long or even longer than those of his employees, allowing him to stay “extremely credible as a leader.”

10. Empower Your Employees

Here’s a common mistake many managers make:

They don’t motivate their staff and assume they simply love to work for their company.​ Such belief can result in painful losses for the company – especially these days when many companies are in desperate need of a reliable workforce.

Instead of directly thinking about bonuses and perks, consider intrinsic motivation. For example, enable flat organization in your team and listen to your employees’ ideas when they come up with opinions and suggestions. Your company might actually benefit a great deal from the feedback, and the unique ideas employees come up with.

You can also start an initiative where employees can freely share or pitch their business ideas to you or the founders of the company. If the idea is accepted by the management, the project can be developed, and the employee can have equity options.

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If people feel they have an impact in the company, they become more motivated, engaged and interested in the company’s growth.

11. Nurture Your Company Culture

Company culture is the personality of a company that defines the overall work environment and relationships between teammates. It also includes company mission, values, ethics, and goals.

Some examples of company cultures are the Horizontal corporate culture (collaborative and equal; popular among startups and free-spirited businesses) and Conventional corporate culture (a more risk-averse and hierarchy-based approach common in traditional companies).

However, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing boxes when creating your corporate culture. You might think of your team as a family, a sports team, or even a hippie camp if it fits your business and purpose. But keep in mind that by the time a company’s size reaches 20 employees, the company culture is set,[12] and any changes will need to be implemented in smaller teams.

Whichever personality you choose for your company, make sure to live by it and nurture it. Some things that might help:

Team building events, relevant books in your office library and proper on-boarding for the new employees to get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

Be a Leader, Not a Boss

Using the words of Printful’s CEO Davis Siksnans, the ultimate goal is to “Hire great people who don’t have to be managed.”

However, when you do need to demonstrate some initiative and control, act as a leader rather than as a boss.

In other words, don’t be afraid to show the personality behind your role. And keep these 11 tips close to your heart.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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