Remote work, remotely, from home, is here to stay. As a result, more and more people see themselves operating from home and at the same time continuing to grow as professionals.
The telecommuting opportunity exists for both employees and freelancers.
In this post, we will see the different modalities of work from home, and we will analyze the opportunity in depth, looking for fundamental skills and attitudes to be able to work at home in the most productive way possible.
I will list the most wanted profiles of workers from home, and we will end up reviewing about 65 portals – Spanish or English speaking – that will help you find this long-distance job of your dreams.
The three main types of work from home
THE EMPLOYED WORKER
In this case, you are an employee. And you will have all the benefits and social rights that the employees of your agreement/company have.
The only difference is that you don’t go to the office every morning, because you have it in your home.
The different types of employment contracts (temporary, for works, fixed) exist and apply to this remote job.
I don’t have reliable data on telecommuting jobs, but they are a very small minority today. I’d say below 3% of total employed employment.
The rate of companies that authorize their employees to work remotely from time to time is much more critical. Indeed around 35% in Spain.
But for me, the deciding factor is that the job is mainly from home. The vast majority of the time hired. And it is not the case of this 35% of jobs labelled as “telecommuting “.
As you can see, working from home is very rare. It is likely that in the services sector, it will consolidate rapidly.
The trend is real and it was already growing fast.
We have to anticipate that, with the lessons of the Coronavirus crisis, we will see rapid exponential growth now.
Companies are always looking for strategies to mitigate risks.
This new paradigm of a global viral pandemic has opened their eyes …
THE SELF-EMPLOYED WORKER
The vast majority of work from home is done on a freelance basis, on your own.
These freelancers and digital nomads usually work for clients for projects. The most protected have loyalty to a couple of clients who pay them a recurring monthly fee in exchange for a series of agreed services.
In other words, most of these employed workers work in a one-person microstructure with 1 to 5 clients who have captured with Boca an Oreja in their network of contacts over time.
It is a young and well-prepared group that surfs on a lasting trend in the labour market: more and more flexibility and less and less permanent work.
All studies agree to say that freelance work is only going to grow and could end up representing almost more than a third of the total workforce in Spain.
This trend is led from the USA.
Where in 2025, freelance workers are going to surpass employed workers.
In Spain, there are many freelancers, but they are not usually freelancers from home.
The employability profiles are opposite between the traditional self-employed of a lifetime, omnipresent in demanding sectors such as Tourism or services to people, and the digital self-employed, better prepared for a more technological and digital future.
THE DIGITAL ENTREPRENEUR
There is a third tribe in the work-from-home sector; they are digital entrepreneurs.
They manage their own digital business, have a web platform and attract online customers: bloggers, marketers, consultants, coaches or trainers who sell their online courses, e-commerce owners.
These people want to lead their professional life, reconcile their time as they wish and have the ambition to create a project capable of making a difference in their close universe: they carry a message inside that they want to share with the world. They want to transform many lives for the better.
These people operate natively in the digital world. They are like Freelances and also have an entrepreneur and manager profile. The most successful manage their team on a network, without offices.
If you are interested in becoming a digital entrepreneur, I recommend that you consult these 2 posts about online business ideas and profitable Internet businesses.
Why do people want a work from home?
There are two main motivations:
- Flexibility, freedom
- The desire to build something of your own
ADVANTAGES OF WORKING FROM HOME
The main benefits of working from home are as follows:
- Greater time flexibility: Many work for objectives with their clients and can also organize their working hours as they wish. It assumes that from time to time, they can work on a Sunday and then enjoy two days off, a Tuesday and a Wednesday; they are another reason than: “Because I want to and because I can.”
- Better work-life balance: it is a direct consequence of controlling your time. They can take better care of home affairs and support their partner.
- Geographic Freedom – Many professionals can work just as well in the field or on the beach.
- Less work-related expenses: goodbye car or goodbye transport pass. Eating at home, you will spend less. Beyond the economic aspect, both issues (travel and food) tend to influence people’s well-being: stress and overweight negatively.
If you also choose to work on your own, you can enjoy:
- Higher remuneration: Generally, these professionals charge more than those who work for others in the office. It is normal because they also assume a more significant risk and do not enjoy many social rights. The overall effect is usually neutral. But money is not your motivation. Freedom is the main engine.
- Greater diversity of projects: Freelancers tend to work on relatively short projects, about three months on average. Customer churn allows them to discover many different experiences. This intellectual satisfaction contributes to the positive perception they have of their work.
- Greater control over clients and collaborators: your boss is given to you, your work colleagues too. The relationships you have in your day-to-day life are decisive in your professional well-being. If you are a freelancer, you can choose who you work with. And if you don’t like it, change it in no time.
DISADVANTAGES OF WORKING FROM HOME
Working remotely is not a panacea either. The main disadvantages are:
- Loneliness: the loss of social relationships is a direct consequence of working from home. If you are a hypersocial person who needs a high dose of daily interactions, perhaps this way of working is not your best option
- A sedentary lifestyle has long-term health problems: being overweight, backache, etc.
- Loss of job opportunity: in a world where work for others prevails in the office, the closer and more visible you are to your boss, the better. It shouldn’t be that way, but management mindsets haven’t changed that much.
- The mix between the professional and the personal can generate a situation that impacts family life. If the professional is always connected and cannot establish a routine with precise work schedules and clear plans to be present with their loved ones.
Those who have chosen to be self-employed, in addition, will have to solve the recurring problems of all entrepreneurs:
- Income fluctuation: freelancers generally operate their network of contacts and little else. They base all their commercial activity on Boca and Oreja. In the absence of a reliable attraction and sales system, revenue fluctuates.
- Customer acquisition: due to lack of experience, freelancers usually take a long time before closing their opportunities because they let themselves be carried away by the customer. Because they don’t invest time in their visibility, they suffer from a chronic shortage of job opportunities.
- Negotiating with clients: the worst freelancers have. Lower your rates repeatedly every time the customer needs it because of his incompetence. It is now easy to solve if you learn to master some basic sales techniques, and if you work on a mental level, your relationship with money and the value you make to the customer. Zone of maximum fear!
- Administrative tasks of your business: You have to run after certain bills, sometimes suffer delinquencies, and you have to make quarterly closings of activity to comply with the obligations of the self-employed state regime. Nothing impossible, but they are a few hours to be contemplated.
These problems are real, as freelancers are often excellent technicians and lousy communicators/salespeople.
Without this thing, you will never be able to earn money from home
What do you need to be able to work from home?
BE ABLE TO ADD VALUE
Most remote workers are highly qualified people with careers who continuously invest time and money in their skills to upgrade or become a better professionals.
Because if they cannot provide a tangible and demonstrable value to their customers their business relationship could stop.
It is even more important for freelancers who are employed.
They usually make up for an organizational deficit of their client. For example, this client often a small or medium structure job that this client could not fill with a full-time paid position.
For example, an SME hires a Community Manager to execute the organization’s content marketing strategy.
As long as, month by month, this Community Manager can demonstrate with numbers and facts that the result of his actions generates more money than what the employer pays him, this freelancer can sleep peacefully.
If the company owner is not clear about it, it is likely that, in a few months, he will decide to terminate the relationship established with the freelancer.
The freelancer must be able to contribute much more than what he bills.
And the smaller the client, the more acute this problem becomes.
Client selection should be a highly strategic activity for a freelancer.
Unfortunately, in practice, there is hardly such a thing …
YOUR ONLY ALTERNATIVE IF YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO ADD VALUE
And what if you are not as prepared as these super professionals?
Can’t work from home?
Yes, of course, but everything will be more complicated.
- Your rates will be lower and you will have to compete for more for prices.
- Your availability will have to be greater, to deliver your orders to your customers faster. Yes, you will have to do more hours than anyone else, 7 days a week.
Millions of workers work below the minimum hourly wage in a project like Amazon Mechanical Turk.
They do data entry, minute translations or minute audio transcripts. For less than € 1 the project. Or from 6 to 7 euros an hour.
And they are not only workers from emerging countries, China, India, Southeast Asia. For example, millions of remote workers in the US compete for price with Indian or Filipino workers.
The digital world doesn’t change that much from the traditional world, as you can see.
Either you are new different … or you are cheap.
Three essential skills to qualify for a work from home
The fact of operating away from the offices of your employer or client presupposes that you have acquired skills that make you more productive in a digital environment.
Here are the 3 most important skills in the new digital paradigm if you bet on work to do at home.
# 1 – UNDERSTAND NETWORKS AND THEIR COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS
You are going to network all the time. Capture customers online. Deliver what is sold online. Do customer support also online.
Digital communication has its own codes that you will have to learn and master:
- Written communication is critical (and the source of many problems in organizations that work remotely).
- Producing content is essential to operate commercially online.
- Social networks are here to stay. Each one has its codes that you will have to master.
- Closeness, personality, history, and values are essential to recreate an important social fabric in the digital world. You previously protected and hid things must now go out into the public sphere.
- Your mindset changes from protecting/hiding to connecting / sharing. And believe me, it is tough to unlearn years of education with a now-obsolete model of hyper competition and Win-Lose. Online, the companies that stand out operate on a Win-Win model. We are talking about cooperating with your direct competitors rather than competing. Collaborate and share, “cooperate”, if you prefer.
# 2 – BE ABLE TO PROGRAM OR BE AN ADVANCED ADEPT OF DIGITAL DIY
Technology is your friend. You have to learn to work with it and create things on your own, without the help of anyone.
The truth is that we have it more accessible and easier because thousands of online platforms have emerged in recent years that allow you to carry out part of your operational processes – directly online – at a minimum cost, a monthly payment.
These platforms, called SaaS services, allow any user, at the click of a button, to perform tasks that previously required the intervention of a programmer.
So, yes or yes, you have to become adept at digital DIY. And little by little, integrate various online services with bridging applications such as Zapier or Automate.io.
If at this time you see yourself as a “technolerdo” and fear technology more than a cat of water, you will have to invest time and money to change these limiting beliefs.
But there is a higher state in the digital nomads, who are the native digital professionals.
Who are they?
They are the programmers or creators capable of designing their binary responses.
- A programmer can interconnect applications.
- A designer can create a website.
- A video editor can produce and modify videos alone.
Young people will be increasingly enabled to work with this source code of the digital world. For example, my girls do programming exercises, robot programming projects, etc.
I’m not saying you have to transform yourself into a born-digital professional.
Your mission is to get money to hire them when you need them.
Hence the enormous opportunity for these professionals to be better prepared than the mass of the workforce.
# 3 – SPEAK ENGLISH FLUENTLY
What is this about now?
Why this skill is important in the digital world.
For 2 important reasons:
- There are more remote jobs in English than in Spanish and of better quality.
- All innovation in the digital world is done in English. If you want to anticipate future trends, you will have to be an “Early Adopter”, one of those who surf these waves first.
The Internet is a great opportunity, as long as you master the # 1 language on the net: the language of Shakespeare …
I want to work from home! Do you have these three essential attitudes?
I already see you convinced with your professional reinvention in digital and working from home. Very well. Let’s see a bit if you’re on the right foot to transform yourself into a productivity beast in your home office.
There are three attitudes that I consistently find in all the best telecommuters on the market:
# 1 – PROACTIVITY
Teleworking is based on trust in your collaborators and the ability to set intelligent goals weekly so that the teleworker can establish the ad-hoc work plan to reconcile as much as possible between work and personal life.
This presupposes that the telecommuter does not expect a 100% face-to-face type of leadership, in which a boss tells him what to do every hour.
This collective capacity is essential to have initiatives and anticipate needs.
The greater the digital skills, the greater the autonomy of the teleworker.
# 2 – THE DISCIPLINE OF WORK ROUTINES
Motivation is overrated.
Routines are the essential piece of remote productivity.
And for these routines to work, it is key that the home worker is precise:
- Its whys. In this case, the lifestyle of the home worker is usually a compelling motivation.
- That the mission of the company is aligned with its vital purposes.
- The avatar of the person this teleworker wants to transform into executes these routines 365 days a year. A musician practices with his instrument several hours a day, it is his identity.
- The best productivity goal is to give the best you can at all times, and try to improve yourself by 1% more every day of the year.
- That energy management involves sleeping better, exercising and eating better, 365 days a year.
# 3 – POSITIVITY IN THE FACE OF LONELINESS
Some people demand a lot of social interaction daily. For these people, having a home office is an enormous challenge, especially if they are single.
Your dose of human interaction is going to be tremendously reduced with telecommuting.
For this reason, the remote worker must get along with himself and the loneliness that this form of work entails.
There are many initiatives carried out by teams that work remotely to recreate this lost social fabric in the online channel, such as virtual “Daily Stand-Ups”.
A meeting in which all the team members appear to say hello, present their plan of action for the day and coordinate.
Five jobs to do at home when you barely have a career.
While it is true that it will be easier for you to work from home if you have a career and professional training that is highly demanded in the market, the reality is that today you can work from home doing tasks that do not require much qualification.
The only ‘but’ of these activities is that their days are numbered for me.
Artificial intelligence robots will carry out these activities at some point.
Today we need humans to make up for the deficiencies in current technologies. Still, it is enough to see how Google’s translation robot has improved in recent years to realize that technology is advancing very fast in the contextualization of language, the primary current deficit.
And that robots are trained and improve 1% more every day of the year …
The needs for creating databases or managing databases are still enormous. However, the lack of global standardization, and the low cost of “Offhore” work (emerging countries) means that many of these tasks continue to be more productive when performed by a human being.
The Offshoreation of expense reports is another data entry activity that you can find in the digital market.
UP-TO-THE-MINUTE AUDIO TRANSCRIPTS
The world of transcripts is transforming fast now, with the advent of artificial intelligence.
All the main actors work with robots “video-to-text” or “audio-to-text”.
But the highest quality services are delivered by human beings in crowd-producing.
Imagine a 1-hour video.
The transcription provider makes 60 cuts of 1 minute, and they propose it to their community of remote workers,
A 1-minute block can be ready in no time if the worker is free right now.
Once all the pieces have been delivered, the original part is rebuilt, quality control is carried out, and the final product is ready for the customer, usually in less than 24 hours.
Here are five sites for online transcription:
- Transcribe me
- AccuTran Global
- Casting Words
- Daily Transcription
The modalities may vary and differ a bit from the case of transcriptions, but there are many platforms where you can collaborate as an online translator.
- The app
- Language Line
- Language Service Associates
- Transparent Language
- World Lingo
- Pacific Interpreters
The language combination you will work with is key to your remuneration. And if you do not specialize (Health, Industry, Finance, Legal, etc.) you will likely have to compete with many potential workers online.
High supply and Low demand = Low prices for translators.
CUSTOMER SUPPORT TELEMARKETER
More and more remote customer support is being carried out.
It has been done for years in Call Centers for telephone support.
And now, this support activity is increasingly developed through email and chat.
As an example, the French Renfe ( SNCF ) allows members of its community to respond to its users and charge for processed requests.
PLAY VIRTUAL MYSTERY CLIENT
The “Mystery Shopping” is nothing new, and it is a widespread practice in the retail trade of a lifetime.
It is about sending infiltrated buyers to do an accurate audit of the sales processes in a store.
Now, you can become a Mystery Customer and audit e-commerce sites from home.
Beware of the scams of making money without doing anything …
Not all that glitters is gold.
I have to make this mention about “opportunities from home” that are not:
- Marketing Multi Nivel
- “Safe” investments
- Gambling online
- Fill out surveys
- Poker online
It is straightforward, anything that looks too good (guaranteed money without doing anything) is a scam, and you should stay away from it.
Focus on helping people, well you, directly with your customers. Or through a company with which you can collaborate.
- You will have a mission, tangible tasks that you do for others, on a recurring and consistent basis over time, that justifies your salary.
- You will have work hours.
- It won’t always be fun.
- Your salary will be at the height of what you can contribute to this company.
Come on, what you already know when you look for a traditional job of a lifetime.
Watch out for shiny virtual objects.
You are warned!
25 best jobs to do from home:
I will briefly introduce you to the 25 most demanded jobs to do from home in the market.
The web editor or copywriter produces the texts of the web, the announcements or emailing, the blog posts or the updates for the social networks.
- COMMUNITY MANAGER
The community manager promotes the brand’s content to increase visits and interaction with the brand. Your # 1 responsibility is to grow the mailing list with appropriately qualified prospects. That is, people are genuinely interested in the brand’s solutions.
- WEB / INTERFACE DESIGNER
The web designer makes your online platform and your online school a reality.
In some cases, the translator translates and certifies the veracity of his translations.
- CONSULTANT / ADVISOR
Any professional capable of solving complex problems that their clients have, based on their previous experience.
The coach accompanies his clients towards making the best possible decisions at all times.
The mentor accompanies his clients through training, has created a relationship of trust that favours the achievement of results.
- GROWTH HACKER
The growth hacker makes a brand known through guerrilla marketing strategies, essentially digital, with hardly any budget.
- SALES CLOSER
The sales closer helps the brand sell its solutions through a phone or video call.
- ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
The account executive is a prevalent sales profile in consultancies and/or agencies. Boost an existing customer portfolio to consolidate the relationship and increase billing per customer.
- PRODUCT MANAGER
The Product Manager is the global coordinator of a solution, as an internal entrepreneur in charge of a line of activity of a business.
Another traditional sales profile, the hunter, contacts potential new customers through intelligent digital strategies.
SOURCE: “The situation of Freelancers in Spain” – Malt, 2019
- PERSONAL TRAINER (SPORT, HOBBY, MEDITATION, YOGA)
The personal trainer accompanies his clients remotely, from home, gives advice, reviews the excellent implementation of technical movements and, ‘in fine’, the excellent execution of a training plan to reach a goal: a race, loss of weight, or body transformation (strength, flexibility, concentration, etc.).
- DISTANCE TEACHER
From school support to professional training, the range is extensive for all teachers from home. The mission is the same as the professional who executes it from his class in a traditional, face-to-face school.
- VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
The right arm of the CEO or entrepreneur. Filter # 1 in your plan guarantees the leader’s maximum productivity, which extends its field of action to all Back Office activities: Administration, accounting, finance, human resources, etc.
This is a classic Customer Service profile. You can operate by email, by chat or by videoconferencing, depending on whether you are a level 1 technician (email, chat) or level 2 or 3 (support tickets and video responses).
- PROJECT MANAGER
The project manager is a management profile capable of coordinating the excellent execution of several projects of a different nature.
- FINANCIAL CONTROLLER
The financial controller is an expert profile capable of digging into the organization’s numbers to help the founder make better business decisions.
- PROGRAMADOR FRONT END
The front end programmer is an expert in the layout of the interfaces visible to the clients of a web platform.
- PROGRAMADOR BACK END
The back end programmer is an expert in programming and optimizing a web platform—the owner of the web platform engine.
- SYSTEMS ARCHITECT
Another technical profile capable of designing safe and scalable systems reduces the cost of updating and maintaining an IT solution, whether internal or on the Internet.
- EXPERT IN A HIGHLY SPECIALIZED TECHNOLOGY
You are usually a back-end programmer who has dared to a maximum specialization with a computer language or a salesperson. It is a rare super expertise. A few of these profiles work on the stock market to optimize solutions that make decisions almost in real-time or in the world of Artificial Intelligence. Big money… (but the responsibility is also great).
- ONLINE DOCTOR
Although regulatory environments will do everything possible to prevent this, global crises such as the Coronavirus or poor health care in many rural areas push society towards telemedicine. In addition, the Internet of Things will make it possible, within a few years, to have remote sensors that monitor patients at home and allow doctors to improve their diagnoses in quality and time.
This trend is unstoppable because remote technology leads us to better medicine.
There are already web platforms to make online inquiries or request a second opinion. The future of medicine will also be made on the Internet.
- ONLINE LAWYER
Another highly regulated profession. It sunk in the most profound misery because of the excessive administration of all these processes.
The world is becoming more and more complex, and the digitization of life brings new problems (privacy, cyberbullying, cyber attacks, etc.).
The day the courts are digitized, the activity will essentially be done online.
We speak perhaps of a sector of activity rougher of the states. It will take longer, but this digitization will come. It is the only way to shorten the average time per process without exponentially increasing the budget items assigned to the Justice.
The therapist is a professional – not certified by the Ministry of Health – who masters a technique related to health and well-being. Sometimes we fall into spirituality. In many cases, it is an ideal trade for the digitization of an activity.