According to the latest surveys, commutes are today longer than ever. The average worker will spend in his lifetime two whole years commuting. And that’s only for the lucky ones who can get away with the relatively short 26-minute commute. Those of you who have to endure 90 minute-plus one-way trips to get to work (the dreaded and increasingly popular mega-commute) could waste seven years waiting for the traffic lights to go green.
These are terrifying news. Fortunately for those of you who’d like to optimize your time, there’s another way: work from home.
Though work from home has been frequently maligned in the past, the Internet has shaken up things beyond recognition. Telecommuters, web workers, road warriors and mobile professionals are on the rise. Many of them make more than 10k a month.
However, potential remote workers are often discouraged. For those outside of it, the work-from-home crowd seems like a very select group, one that is impossible to break into. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Working from home is much easier than you think. Here are the main ways to do it:
The most obvious and time-tested way to earn money from home is investing. Yes, investing has recently been reviled as a seedy business for gamblers and con-men. However, if used wisely, investing is still one of the smartest ways to earn a passive income – and now, thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever. Information about the state of the stock market is available at the touch of a touch-screen. You can now check Forbes for the hippest trends, the most current tips and the occasional motivational quotes on the screen of your phone while you eat your morning cereal. Being stupid is getting harder and harder thanks to the web.
But investing is not the only classic remote job the Internet has revamped. Writing, in the past a glamorous profession reserved for a few lucky New Yorkers, is now much more democratic than it used to. Whether you are a journalist, a novelist or – God forbid – a playwright, the Net has summarily eliminated the many physical hurdles between you and success. More and more top-earners in the business are giving up traditional publishing in favor of self-publishing. New freelancers routinely choose to use online telecommuting platforms rather than traditional, location-specific recruiting. Amazon has turned housewives into millionaires. And all without moving from their living room.
Finally, several professions in the finance sector, like accounting, bookkeeping or data-entry, are starting to go online. If you have experience in any of these fields (or not even, if you are looking for a data-entry position) finding remote work should be pretty easy.
The New Kids in Town
Besides the classics, there are many newly-minted remote jobs the modern online world has made possible. Some of them sound absurd. For example there are plenty of growing online businesses that will pay you to watch their videos – mostly advertising. Given that this is what many people do in their free time in their first place, it sounds like a real bargain.
Surveys are another way to make a quick buck online. Filling out forms may sound dull, but it’s a way to make a quick buck without taking off your pajamas. Similarly, writing reviews is a growing business which can get you a fair amount of money without demanding great effort and no skills at all. And many using the infamous Amazon Mechanical Turk are making as much as 2k a month for doing menial online tasks.
However, the most popular and lucrative online source of income is affiliate marketing. Granted, it’s not as quick or easy as the previous methods, but if you manage to get a following, be it from your blog, social media, or any other online platform, you can get a decent income from advertisers.
So, as you can see, there are plenty of ways to make money online, some of them with zero entry barriers. Why, then, the widespread fear for work-from-home jobs? Probably scams are to blame here. Indeed, it’s easy to get duped in the Internet if you’re not careful.
Thankfully, it’s very easy to avoid scams if you’re careful. Plenty of online sites and tools, such as Money Crashers, are dedicated to help you avoid any of the pitfalls you can find on the road to financial freedom.
To sum up: be cautious, follow the advice and tips you can find in trustworthy websites, and finding a source of income that won’t disturb your sedentary lifestyle should be easy as pie.
Bio: Rachel Summers is a freelance writer whose passion is helping students get the most out of their learning journey. She started out as a writer and journalist in the newspaper industry, including Top Canadian Writers, before breaking out to go freelance and follow her own passions. Her writing is designed to help you get the most out of college.