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Looks like we’re going to be working at home for a few more months. The coronavirus is not abating at all (in fact, cases are rising) and in my area there are no signs that office buildings will be opening any time soon. As someone who has worked from home for many years, I’ve found a few tips that have made everything run smoother, especially when there are no other options. 

1. Get a really powerful laptop

My first and best tip is to think seriously about replacing your laptop. I’m testing out a MacBook Pro right now, and it is a game-changer for me because it’s my primary system at home and when I leave the office for temporary work sessions somewhere else. This system has one of the clearest and brightest displays I’ve seen and the keyboard is a joy for typing. 

2. Find a second place to work

One key for success while working from home is to actually leave home once in a while. This is tricky for me. My favorite coffee-shop near my house only has a drive-through for now and even the patio area is closed. One trick I found is to work at a campsite. I used the Tentrr app recently and worked for several days at a remote campground. I loved being so private and yet sleeping in a real bed (in a tent, no less).

 

3. Splurge for a really good keyboard

At home, I use the Apple Magic Keyboard which has helped me type faster. It’s a bit more expensive compared to the bargain bin models, but when I can type faster it means I am more productive and have time for other things. I also use a Lenovo full-sized keyboard (KU-0225) because I like the larger keys.

4. Stop texting from your phone

There’s no reason to text from your phone when you are at home. I love the Messages app because I can type my texts on a real keyboard (sent through my iPhone), which is way faster. This is possible on many Windows laptops and desktops these days, including an HP EliteOne 800 model I’m testing.

5. Use apps to remind you not to work

I’ve written before about the Forest app and still use it. It helps me stay attuned to my computer usage. Mindfulness apps help you stay focused while you work and break you out of a work mode using reminders and prompts. Experts say intentional scheduling is the best way to avoid working too many hours at home.

6. Change your task lighting

Lighting impacts your mood while you work, and you can’t rely on a string of sunny days (as I write this, there’s a dark cloud moving into my area) for productivity. I like the Dyson Lightcycle models because you can adjust the color and intensity using an app. It’s a task lamp I can use for reading, signing contracts, or just sitting and doing nothing in what seems like bright sunlight.

7. Stand up once in a while

I’ve mentioned how I’m a big fan of standing desks a few times before. I use a Teknion model that adjusts to a standing height with a quick lever pull. During the pandemic, it’s nice to be able to stand up and make phone calls, then sit for longer typing sessions when I really need to focus. The up-and-down gives me more pep.

8. Eat differently

One key to success has to do with what you eat. At home, it’s tempting to choose sugary foods and snacks as a way to motivate you and build energy. It doesn’t work. I like the company Freshly because you can pick meals that are filling and healthy at the same time. The meals arrive ready to heat up.

9. Write in a journal

Here’s an interesting tip from someone who has journaled for the last 20 years almost daily (minus the days I forget). Starting your day by writing out your thoughts and plans is wise because it settles your mind. I like the Kairos journal, the new Rocketbook smart notebooks, and I’m looking forward to testing the new Remarkable 2 tablet because it feels exactly like writing on real paper.

10. Use a personal whiteboard

I also like using personal whiteboards — I have two at my desk right now — because I can jot down notes easily. Fluidstance just introduced a new model called the Slope. Few of us need actual whiteboards mounted on a wall to brainstorm ideas, but if you’re in a Zoom call everyone can whiteboard together.

[Source: This article was published in forbes.com By John Brandon - Uploaded by the Association Member: Issac Avila]

Categorized in Work from Home

Mobile Monkey CEO Larry Kim shares his tips for staying productive while working remotely.

It can be hard to make the most of your time when you’re working from home, especially when you're wearing a lot of different hats and trying to complete a lot of different tasks. There are others who have been there, and they've found some methods to improve productivity.

Keep reading for tips on how you can up your productivity while working from home.

1. Have a single focus

If you're someone who wears a lot of different hats at work, multitasking might seem like a good idea. Whether you're doing multiple things at once or switching back and forth between tasks, chances are, none of the projects you're working on are getting the attention they deserve. It might feel like you're being more productive, but in reality, you're diminishing your productivity and stressing yourself out. Research suggests that multitasking actually negatively affects productivity and brain health. Being "in the zone," so to speak, has a psychological term associated with it—flow. A flow state is simply a mental state in which you perform whatever activity you are doing while extremely focused; you are fully involved in the process and completely immersed. You want to reach your flow state at work. So, drop one (or two, or three...) of those tasks, and just focus on one at a time. It'll improve the quality of your work and help you manage stress.

2. Block out distractions

We're all guilty of this—after all, distractions are everywhere. Sure, breaks are a necessity, but sometimes we let these things get in the way of our productivity. It's far easier to block out distractions than it is to pull yourself back to the task at hand after getting sidetracked.

Here are my tips to stay on task while working from home:

  • Take breaks as necessary
  • Close the chat windows
  • Put your phone on silent
  • Put in some headphones
  • Move to a quieter location

It can be easy to become distracted when you're not sure what tasks you have to complete. Using the Action Method by Behance is a good way to block out distractions and make sure you're getting projects done by organizing all of your ideas on paper. There are templates available that can be used in whatever method is most helpful to you. Eliminating distractions will make your productivity skyrocket, and you'll be able to get more done quicker in the end.

3. Set a time limit

Do you have a lot of tasks to complete, and no idea how to manage them all? We already discussed working on one thing at a time, but the reality is we sometimes have too much to do. It can be almost impossible to do only one thing from start to finish when we are incredibly busy at work. Here’s another solution: Set a time limit for each task you work on.

A great example of this can be found in the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique is when you break up your tasks into 25-minute focused blocks of time. After each block, you take a five or 10 minute break, but after four blocks (equaling one hour total of focused work time), you take a longer break, around 15 to 30 minutes. With the Pomodoro Technique you can eliminate multitasking while getting more done. This will help those of us who are wearing multiple hats at work to manage our various responsibilities, while keeping up the quality without getting overwhelmed.

4. Set up productivity rituals

What are productivity rituals? They are whatever you want them to be. As a busy worker, you know what does and does not work for you. So why not make a ritual out of it?

Rituals aren't quite like routines. While routines are typically a specific set of things done at the same time every day, rituals are more like malleable versions of routines that you can do any time of day to help boost you forward. They don't have to be specific to work, either; you can have rituals for all parts of your day and week.

Here are some examples of rituals that you can use to increase your productivity at work:

  • Have a breakfast that you enjoy and that energizes you
  • Write down your most important To-Dos
  • Meditate as a break from projects
  • Go for a quick walk
  • Brew a cup of coffee or tea

One way you can incorporate rituals into your work week is by following the lead of David Allen's book, “Getting Things Done.” This method involves moving tasks and projects out of the mind by recording them in a physical list and then breaking them into actionable work items. List making in the GTD method can be a ritual that you do when you need to consider which tasks need completing. Rituals help us shift our focus from task to task and improve productivity through an element of magical comfort.

 

"Rituals aren't quite like routines. While routines are typically a specific set of things done at the same time every day, rituals are more like malleable versions of routines that you can do any time of day to help boost you forward."

-Larry Kim

(Photo credit): Gettyimages.com/agrobacter

5. Get up early

It might not be what any of us want to hear, but it's true: Waking up early can improve productivity. Aside from the simple fact that waking up early gives you more time to accomplish more tasks, it also gives you more time to care for the most important part of your day: you.

Some very busy people might be tempted to wake up early and finish up some work tasks that they didn't have time for the day before. And, sure, this will make you productive—to an extent. What will make you more productive during your actual work day, however, is taking the extra time in the morning to unwind, prepare for the day, maybe exercise and eat a nutritious breakfast.

6. Group your interruptions

We spoke already about blocking out distractions to increase your productivity at work. But sometimes blocking out distractions until you finish the task at hand simply isn't realistic. You've got a phone that's gathering notifications, you've got a grumbling stomach, and you've got coworkers that want your attention, either because they need something, want to ask a question, or simply want to chat. You can't just block all of these out all the time; we're not robots. What you can do, however, is group your interruptions so you deal with all of them at the same time.

For example, dedicate a portion of your day to checking your phone for messages and notifications, checking your personal email and dealing with coworkers' requests. If a coworker interrupts you while you're working on something, kindly ask if they can send you an email or speak to you during whatever time you allocate to your interruptions and distractions. Then, take that chunk of time during the day to deal with all of it at once. This will allow you a break from your work and a chance to catch up on non-work-related tasks or issues.

7. Outsource chores

If you're someone who's running a business, you're just starting a business, or you're simply very busy all the time, you might want to consider outsourcing some of your tasks. Outsourcing isn't reserved for huge corporations that can afford to hire people overseas or send jobs elsewhere. Realistically, outsourcing is paying someone to do a task that you can't or don't want to do yourself. And if you don't have enough time in the day for all of your to-do's, it's a great option to boost productivity.

 

There are a number of tasks that would be good to delegate, such as design work, research, managing phones and setting up appointments. The most common method of outsourcing is, of course, hiring people to do these tasks. But sometimes, busy entrepreneurs don't have the means to hire straight away. Consider using a chatbot as a virtual assistant to outsource tasks that would normally be done by a personal assistant or office manager, such as answering client questions, booking appointments, giving you reminders, and more.

8. Set up email rules

Email eats up a lot of time, especially when you have hundreds of emails coming in a day. But there are solutions to help you increase your productivity. Email rules will help you manage the beast that is work email and allow you to get more important projects done with your time. To start, consider scheduling a couple times each day to check your email.

For example, you could check in in the morning, just after lunch and before leaving for the day. You can also turn off your email alerts, so the constant noise notifications don't create distractions.

Consider setting up rules in whatever email service you use; this will help by flagging emails and automatically moving certain emails to various folders.

Finally, don't send emails that you don't have to send! Could it be sent in an instant message if your company uses something like Slack? If you're sending emails, think through the process and make sure that the emails you're sending are straightforward, necessary, and serving a purpose without simply decreasing your productivity level.

9. Learn from others

The best thing that anyone can do for their productivity is to try new things and see if they work. Not everyone is the same, so these tips might not work equally across the board. But there are people that have been there already; there are people that have started businesses, grown businesses and worked their way up the ladder. Those people have been through it all, and they likely have different insights as to what works and what doesn't. Learning new productivity tips from others is a great step towards increasing your own productivity.

10. Gamify productivity

People perform best when there is instant gratification, rewards, or feedback—that's why people enjoy video games so much. You complete a task in a game, and you're instantly rewarded for your efforts. How great would it be if that was what happened while you were at work? Gamification at work isn't necessarily about turning work into a game, but more about creating an environment of fun and enjoyment at the job. It builds bonds between employees and gets them having fun—and employees who have fun on the job are more likely to perform better.

There are a number of existing apps that are used to boost productivity through gamification; consider exploring some options to make work fun for your employees and improve overall productivity.

Perfect productivity takes practice

Nothing good comes straight away. Like anything else, managing your time and improving your productivity takes practice. You'll likely need to try a number of different things before you find the methods that work for you and help you boost your own productivity. Just keep practicing. Finding the tools to work with will benefit you for the rest of your life.

 

[Source: This article was published in eastwestbank.com By Larry Kim - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jasper Solander] 

Categorized in Work from Home

These are the stocks that are winning because you're working from home

The novel coronavirus closed offices around the globe in March. Ever since, we’ve all been working from home. Demand for remote work solutions has soared. So have work-from-home stocks.

Make no mistake. Working from home is not a fad that will go away once Covid-19 disappears. For many, remote work is a permanent lifestyle change that will stick around long after this pandemic is old news.

Why?

 

Because it’s 2020. Because we have the internet, smartphones, tablets and computers. All of which can be installed with cloud-hosted productivity and communication software. And this software enables employees to do all the work they were doing in the office from the comfort of their own homes.

And if those employees can be just as productive at home as they were in the office, then why would a company pay big dollars for office space?

It’s a win-win situation. Employees get to stay home. Businesses get to cut expenses.

Of course, not all companies will embrace the work-from-home trend. Many physically cannot. Think restaurants, retail shops or hotels.

But enough will that today’s work-from-home stocks will stay red-hot for the next several years.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at 10 work-from-home stocks that are beating the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020:

  • Slack (NYSE:WORK)
  • Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM)
  • RingCentral (NYSE:RNG)
  • Twilio (NYSE:TWLO)
  • Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA)
  • Inseego (NASDAQ:INSG)
  • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
  • DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU)
  • Dropbox (NASDAQ:DBX)
  • Atlassian (NASDAQ:TEAM)

Work-From-Home Stocks: Slack (WORK)

A Slack (WORK) sign on the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California.
Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

One of Wall Street’s favorite work-from-home stocks has been Slack.

The enterprise communications software provider has seen demand for its services soar thanks to remote work tailwinds. Last quarter, the company reported 28% customer growth and 50% revenue growth.

Wall Street has cheered the results. Year-to-date, WORK stock is up 44%.

But chasing this rally here and now seems risky.

Work-from-home tailwinds will persist over the next several years. But from where they sit today, they will likely moderate in the back-half of 2020 as some offices reopen. Indeed, Slack’s second-quarter guide calls for decelerating revenue growth to  roughly 43%. Worse yet, the full-year guide calls for revenue growth to slow to roughly 37%.

Amid slowing growth trends, the extended valuation on WORK stock (26 times forward sales) may start to rear its ugly head.

Zoom Video Communications (ZM)

zoom (ZM) logo on a building
Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com

Another one of Wall Street’s favorite work-from-home stocks has been Zoom.

When offices closed and business people stopped traveling, Wall Street recognized that demand for video teleconferencing software — which allows companies to conduct business without travel — would soar. Zoom is widely considered the leader when it comes to high-quality enterprise video teleconferencing software. Consequently, Wall Street bid up ZM stock with a fervor over the past six months.

Year-to-date, ZM stock is up about 280%.

Much like the rally in WORK stock, the rally in ZM stock has come too far, too fast.

Yes, video teleconferencing software is on its way to reaching global ubiquity. Also, yes, Zoom is the leader in the market, and will see its customer base, revenues and profits soar over the next several years.

 

But this is now a $70 billion company that’s slated to do less than $2 billion in sales this year.

That valuation is simply too rich. Eventually, the story here will show some cracks, probably as demand trends slow thanks to more widespread office reopenings in the coming months. When it does, today’s valuation friction will rear its ugly head, and Zoom stock will drop.

RingCentral (RNG)

The RingCentral (RNG) mobile app is displayed on a smartphone screen.
Source: OpturaDesign / Shutterstock.com

A cloud unified-communication-as-a-service (UCaaS) company, RingCentral has won big in 2020 as enterprises of all shapes and sizes have pivoted toward digital communications amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the first quarter of 2020, RingCentral reported impressive 33% year-over-year revenue growth.

This demand surge won’t slow anytime soon. The future of enterprise communication is digital. The cloud UCaaS space will continue to see significant growth over the next several years, long after Covid-19 passes and offices reopen. Companies like RingCentral who provide cloud UCaaS services will continue to see their platforms grow.

Having said all that, the valuation on RNG stock is rich. At 23 times trailing sales and 300 times forward earnings, RNG stock is not cheap.

Investors can probably wait for a better opportunity to buy into this red-hot growth stock.

Twilio (TWLO)

The Twilio (TWLO) logo is displayed over a white background on a smartphone screen.
Source: rafapress / Shutterstock.com

Cloud communications leader Twilio has morphed into one of the strongest work-from-home stocks in the market because demand for its cloud communications APIs has become increasingly mission-critical to enterprises in a world where physical offices are shut down.

On the back of increased demand, TWLO stock has risen 130% year-to-date.

I think this big rally can continue. For two big reasons.

First, fundamental growth trends will remain strong. Twilio’s cloud communications APIs allow for enterprises to seamlessly and instantaneously communicate everywhere, all the time. That’s a huge value add. Both today, in a world where offices are closed, and in the future, in a world where offices reopen. Thus, Twilio is less of a work-from-home play, and more of a “making enterprise communication more efficient” play.

The former tailwind may moderate. The latter won’t. Thus, by aligning itself with the latter, Twilio is guaranteeing itself strong growth for the foreseeable future. The news flow will remain overwhelmingly positive. Earnings reports will continue to smash expectations. Management’s guides will continue to impress. The company will broadly keep firing on all cylinders.

Second, the valuation on TWLO stock isn’t extended enough to offset robust fundamental momentum. Sure, the 24 times trailing sales multiple is rich. But many of the other work-from-home stocks on this list — like Zoom — trade at 50-times-plus sales multiples.

TWLO stock should be able to shake off minor valuation headwinds over the next few months and keep pushing higher.

Okta (OKTA)

A magnifying glass zooms in on the Okta (OKTA) logo.
Source: Lori Butcher / Shutterstock.com

Okta has essentially created a novel cloud security platform, dubbed Identity Cloud, which is the perfect security solution for enterprises in the work-from-home environment.

Okta’s Identity Cloud is built on the idea that all you need to do to secure a workplace, its data and its workflows, is secure its employees. So, as opposed to building a castle of security around a company’s data and workflows (which is the traditional security standard), Okta uses its Identity Cloud solution to outfit each employee with their own body armor.

Why do this? Because it enables employees to leave the “castle” and still be safe. They can securely access important company workflows and information from anywhere, at any time.

Of course, in today’s Covid-19 world, this security solution is mission-critical. But, bigger picture, once Covid-19 passes, Okta’s demand tailwinds will remain robust, because employee mobility and workflow flexibility are of increasing importance to the enterprise.

To that end, Okta will see demand for its breakthrough Identity Cloud platform soar both now, and for the foreseeable future.

At present, OKTA stock isn’t richly valued enough to offset these favorable long-term growth prospects. Consequently, OTKA stock should stay in rally mode.

Inseego (INSG)

WiFi symbol on smartphone screen with button to connect to wireless internet, close-up of hand holding mobile phone, computer in background.
Source: Shutterstock

Inseego is different from the other work-from-home stocks on this list in that the company actually provides hardware which enables a more seamless work-from-home experience for employees.

That is, Inseego makes things like fixed wireless access (FWA) routers and mobile hotspot devices which improve at-home WiFi and internet connectivity for employees.

Obviously, demand for these devices is surging as remote work trends gain traction.

But, the more interesting upside driver here is 5G. Inseego is a specialist when it comes to making 5G FWA routers and 5G mobile hotspot devices. Demand for these devices will surge over the next few years, boosted both by remote work trends and increasing standardization of enhanced 5G connectivity.

 

Inseego has a bright future over the next few years. During that stretch, INSG stock should outperform.

Microsoft (MSFT)

Image of corporate building with Microsoft (MSFT) logo above the entrance.
Source: NYCStock / Shutterstock.com

The biggest company on this list, Microsoft, also doubles as one of the strongest work-from-home stocks in the market.

Across the entire work-from-home spectrum, enterprises provide cloud-hosted solutions which enable and optimize the remote work experience. This includes cloud-hosted infrastructure through Azure, cloud-hosted productivity solutions through Office 365 and cloud-hosted communications through Teams.

Demand for all these solutions is currently soaring and will continue to soar for the foreseeable future.

As it does, Microsoft’s overall cloud business will continue to fire on all cylinders.

Historically, as go Microsoft’s cloud businesses, so goes MSFT stock. I suspect this will remain true for the foreseeable future. If so, then MSFT stock will keep grinding higher on increasing cloud momentum.

DocuSign (DOCU)

docusign (DOCU) logo on building
Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

As offices across the globe have closed over the past several months, enterprise demand for DocuSign’s digital contract management solutions — which enable companies to digitally create, edit and sign documents — has soared. In the first quarter of fiscal 2021, DocuSign reported 30% customer growth, 40% revenue growth and 60% billings growth.

These strong demand trends have paved the way for DOCU stock to rally 165% in 2020 to all-time highs.

 

But such strong demand trends will likely weaken over the next few quarters for two big reasons.

First, demand here is front-loaded. It’s now been five-plus months since offices have closed. Most savvy enterprises have already signed up for digital document solutions by now.

Second, the global economy is slowly normalizing. In places where the virus is “under control” — like New York City — employees are returning to the office, albeit slowly. This gradual flow of employees back into the physical workplace will somewhat undermine the company’s strong remote work tailwinds that were unobstructed for several months.

As such, over the next six to 12 months, I see DocuSign’s growth narrative meaningfully decelerating from where it was in the first quarter. That’s a problem for DOCU stock, which is trading at 33 times trailing sales, 270 times cash flow and 420 times forward earnings.

In other words, DOCU stock is priced for absolute perfection. Meaningful deceleration is not absolute perfection. Consequently, the convergence of slowing growth on a rich valuation could cause significant pain in DOCU stock over the next six to 12 months.

Dropbox (DBX)

an image of the dropbox website
Source: Allmy / Shutterstock.com

In my opinion, the best work-from-home stock to buy right now is Dropbox.

That’s because, despite its secure storage and project management solutions being very important to the remote work environment, Dropbox stock has significantly lagged peer work-from-home stocks in 2020. Plus, it trades at a significantly discounted valuation to the group.

The likes of Atlassian and Slack are up more than 50% year-to-date. Twilio and DocuSign are up more than 100% year-to-date. Zoom is up more than 250%.

Dropbox, by comparison, is up just 13% in 2020.

Meanwhile, DBX stock trades at 28 times forward earnings. WORK stock trades at nearly 30 times forward sales. TEAM stock trades at 130 times forward earnings. ZM stock trades at 205 times forward earnings. DOCU stock trades at 420 times forward earnings.

In a sea of richly valued work-from-home stocks, DBX stock stands out at as the one attractively valued name in the group.

This attractive valuation coupled with year-to-date underperformance lays the groundwork for Dropbox stock to outperform meaningfully in the second half of 2020.

Atlassian (TEAM)

Atlassian (TEAM) employees stand at a convention booth in Hanover, Germany.
Source: flowgraph / Shutterstock.com

Last, but not least, on this list of strong work-from-home stocks beating Covid-19 is Atlassian.

The Australian enterprise software company has seen demand for its digital workflow management tools — which broadly help companies manage and collaborate on projects, regardless of location — soar amid physical office closures.

In the big picture, this is a winning company.

Atlassian sells huge value-add solutions. At a time when demand for those solutions is soaring. The business model, built on word-of-mouth recommendations and a land-and-expand growth strategy, is genius. The financials are attractive, with gross margins up above 85%. So is the market opportunity, as Atlassian has identified 1 million businesses who could use its solutions (and the company only has roughly 171,000 customers today).

But TEAM stock is also richly valued. This is a $40 billion company that’s slated to do less than $2 billion in sales next year. So beware of valuation risks. And don’t let fear of missing out drive you into the right stock at the wrong price.

Luke Lango is a Markets Analyst for InvestorPlace. He has been professionally analyzing stocks for several years, previously working at various hedge funds and currently running his own investment fund in San Diego. A Caltech graduate, Luke has consistently been rated one of the world’s top stock pickers by various other analysts and platforms, and has developed a reputation for leveraging his technology background to identify growth stocks that deliver outstanding returns. Luke is also the founder of Fantastic, a social discovery company backed by an LA-based internet venture firm. As of this writing, he was long TWLO, OKTA and MSFT. 

[Source: This article was published in investorplace.com By Luke Lango - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jasper Solander]

Categorized in Work from Home

The lingering COVID-19 pandemic has driven many businesses to reimagine how both their workforce and consumers will interface in the future. For employees, working from home has presented new challenges and opportunities.

The lingering COVID-19 pandemic has driven many businesses to reimagine how both their workforce and consumers will interface in the future. For employees, working from home has presented new challenges and opportunities. Time previously spent commuting is saved, while communal areas of the home have been re-purposed into makeshift office space, and the daily wardrobe is dictated by scheduled video-conferences. For consumers, the slow migration away from brick and mortar stores has become a sprint, largely mandated by local health orders closing stores. Even stores that remained “open” have implemented online or remote/physically distanced measures to connect with consumers. Buying groceries, clothing, food for delivery, and even dating and other social interactions have moved almost entirely online. As daily “living” moves online individual privacy rights have garnered more attention...

Read More...

 

[Source: This article was published in law.com By Bradford Hughes - Uploaded by the Association Member: Robert Hensonw]

Categorized in Work from Home

With more people working from home, business is booming for companies selling livable sheds.

When James and Meg Wilson began working from home in March, they realized their house in Oakland, Calif., would need a proper home office in a hurry. Mr. Wilson, 36, works in finance, and Ms. Wilson, 36, is a nurse practitioner engaged in telehealth.

“And we have a little guy at home,” Mr. Wilson said, noting that work can be a challenge when their 1-year-old son, George, is running around. “For a few weeks, we were just all on top of each other, trying to juggle working from the dining room table and his bedroom.”

They thought about building an addition, but knew that would be disruptive, expensive and time-consuming. Browsing online, they found what seemed like a better option: an inhabitable shed from Studio Shed, made of prefabricated panels, which could be built, shipped and assembled in their backyard in a matter of weeks.

 

After exploring the options on Studio Shed’s website and talking to one of the company’s designers, they settled on a 100-square-foot model with an angled, flat roof, a glass door, transom windows and charcoal-colored, fiber-cement siding. Inside, the shed would be finished like a house, with insulation, drywall, electrical wiring and laminate flooring — yet it was so small that it wouldn’t require a building permit.

oakImage-1594329673789-superJumbo.jpg

The components were made in Louisville, Colo., shipped to Oakland and assembled in a few days on a pier foundation by workers from Blue Rock Home, one of Studio Shed’s general contractor partners, who also dug a trench to run electricity from the Wilsons’ house.

“From the time we hit ‘order’ to the time the shed was installed was a little over four weeks,” said Mr. Wilson, who put the total cost at $31,000.

The Wilsons have been using their home-office shed since late April, and expect to be working from home, at least part of the time, well into the future. “It’s given us a lot of flexibility. I can make calls from here late night or early in the morning,” Mr. Wilson said, without worrying about waking up their toddler.

Of course, the Wilsons aren’t alone in trying to find work-life balance at a time when both work and life now happen at home for many. Millions of people are in the same space-constrained situation, where it’s often difficult to find a dedicated space to focus on work. As a remedy, a growing number of people lucky enough to have a backyard are finding their way to companies like Studio Shed, Kanga Room Systems and Modern Shed, which build small stand-alone structures that promise a little separation.

Since the pandemic struck, Studio Shed’s sales have taken off, said Mike Koenig, the company’s president. “Things just got really fast after Covid-19.”

In March, he said, “We beat our forecast and easily doubled our sales over last year. In April, it was four times over last year, and May was even more than that.”

Read More...

 

 [Source: This article was published in nytimes.com By Tim McKeough - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jasper Solander]

Categorized in Work from Home

Whatever your skillset may be, there's sure to be a job that you can find online. We take a closer look at the top freelance websites for different skill sets (with pros and cons) and tell you how you can build a profile that will get accepted and land you an online gig.

With the digital nomad culture on the rise, more and more people are becoming their own bosses. You don’t need to have a billion-dollar idea and trillion-dollar funding to do that; all you need is the right skillset. A freelancing opportunity will help you find and do the rest.

The freelancing industry is so robust that it is expected that freelancers will comprise about 50 percent of India’s workforce by 2020. If you have a skill, chances are, you are more likely to survive and thrive better on your own than working under someone.

 

But you don’t just need to possess the right skill set; you also need to have a good profile to back you up. In fact, landing a freelance IT gig has become tougher today than it was a mere three years ago.

Getting a freelancing gig

While freelancing can be done in any profession, the IT sector is one of the most popular yet tough to land a freelance job in. Projects for web design, content writing, SEO, graphic designing, coding, app development, book-keeping, etc., are getting harder to land day by day.

freelance

A lot of websites offer freelance opportunities for professions other than the IT sector, be it carpentry, dance, art, masonry etc., but these are mostly categorized in end-to-end freelance sites. They do not have specialised websites as such.

Irrespective of the kind of job, as I have mentioned earlier, the first and foremost challenge a freelancer faces is to getting accepted by these websites. I will focus on how you can build such a profile at the end of this article, but let us first take a closer look at the top freelance websites in various domains along with their pros and cons. 

The top 5 freelance websites

1. Upwork 

upwork logo

Upwork is one of the top-rated websites in the world when it comes to freelancing and freelance jobs. It has about 50 lakh registered businesses and 1.2 crore registered freelancers for more than 30 domains. The jobs range from writing, designing, marketing, sales, customer support, ethical hacking, accounting, and much more.

Upwork charges about 20 percent of the total fee you would be charging for your services for the first five jobs, after which it charges about 5 percent of the fee. While a few argue that there are hidden charges, there are hardly any valid Indian stories to back this claim.

Upwork is mostly for top-rated professionals and getting a profile approved can be daunting. The key to getting approval is being genuine in your application.

I shall get more into detail about this at the end of the article.

Pros:

  1. A vast number of jobs across various domains
  2. Trusted by millions
  3. Transparent payment methods
  4. High profile value

Cons:

  1. High commission charges
  2. Profile approval is not instantaneous

2. Fiverr

Fiverr Logo

Fiverr was founded in 2010 on the concept of buying and selling of freelance services globally, starting at just $5. The prices would go up depending on the complexity, skill, demand, and the duration of the job. It soon grew in popularity and is now actively used by millions of users to offer and use freelance services in more than 30 different domains.

Fiverr has a “gig” culture where you, as a client, post a gig for a certain requirement. A freelancer with a relevant skillset can bid for this and "get the Gig". It works extremely well for beginners of different and vocational skill sets to start searching for gigs in domains such as writing, dancing, editing, painting, and coding, among various other niches.

 

Though simple and easy to use, Fiverr has always been controversial due to its low pay rates and professionals globally complaining about the quality of the work being delivered. Be sure to bid well and deliver quality work while you’re at it.

Pros:

  1. Simple to use and get started
  2. Has a wide range of niches and domains
  3. Ideal for beginners too

Cons:

  1. Low rates

3. Freelancer.com

freelancer

Freelancer, as the name suggests, is most straightforward and is used by a lot of IT freelancers, majorly in India, the UK, the US, and Pakistan. It has a presence in about 247 countries and a total user base of 24 million.

One can find a wide range of freelance jobs on this site: coding, web development, graphics, accounting, data entry, writing, sales, and marketing.

From time to time, Freelancer hosts a range of bid competitions apart from the usual gig bidding. There are substantial cash prizes for winning these competitions.

While jobs on this site are genuine and up to the mark, Freelancer has a history of getting into legal trouble over how it handles personal data.

Pros:

  1. A vast number of jobs and easy to find
  2. Easy profile registration
  3. Great for IT sector
  4. Competitions for cash prizes

Cons:

  1. Bid wars
  2. Issues over sharing sensitive information on bidding zones

4. Guru

guru

Guru.com is one of the oldest freelance platforms on this list. It was founded in 1999 as eMoonlighter.com and then rebranded as Guru. This platform allows users get paid not just by the hour or by the tasks but also based on milestones and recurring payments.

While it is still among the top websites, the competition has certainly made headway in recent times. This, actually, is good news if you are a freelancer as it means that you have comparatively lesser competition when compared to giants such as Upwork or Fiverr.

However, there is one major drawback - how the website handles client accounts and user funds. There have been reports of account suspensions, and it's important that you proceed with proper caution.

Pros:

  1. Less competition
  2. Can get paid by four different parameters (recurring, by tasks, by the hour, by the milestone)

Cons:

  1. Account management

5. PeoplePerHour

 PeoplePerHour

 As the name suggests, People per Hour is an online marketplace for hiring talent on a per-hour basis. It also has a unique collaborative feature. Collaborative streaming of projects allows freelancers to pool in human resources and work as a virtual team to finish their goals. This not only helps freelancers do a better job, but also helps them grow their network.

People Per Hour, apart from helping create a peer network, helps you build good client relations that may help you secure future jobs.

Like Fiverr, this site does not deal in localised currency. While Fiverr deals in dollars, People Per Hour deals in pounds and pays out in the same currency. This might be a minor inconvenience for freelancers taking up international projects.

Pros:

  1. Good pricing
  2. Great networking opportunity
  3. Portfolio management
  4. Team collaborations

Cons:

  1. Payment is usually done in pounds (or euros)

6. UrbanPro

  UrbanPro

UrbanPro is an online tutorial portal, which has registered and verified teachers in every domain possible. Here, one can learn anything from basic mathematics to playing the cello.

If you are talented and capable of teaching people of any age group, you could sign up and start teaching them online or offline too. All you need to do is create your profile, bid for the best, have a conversation with your would-be student, and start your classes.

Pros:

  1. Good reputation of having high-quality trainers
  2. Premium plans to give freelancers more visibility and branding

Cons:

  1. Customer care service

7. Broxer.com

 broxer 

Broxer is the perfect way for beginners to start their freelancing careers. One can start offering services such as writing, graphic designing, coding etc., for as low as Rs 250 per hour.

Signing up and getting this experience can also help you build a better profile for high-end freelancer sites.

Pros:

  1. Low commission rate
  2. Free registration for job seekers and employers

Cons:

  1. Less popular than other websites

Best 5 freelance websites for content writing

Content is king, and will always be. One of the biggest problems in India is that there is a huge demand, but a paucity of good writers. In this list, I’ve included a few international websites dedicated to the writers' community.

1. Listverse

Listverse Logo 

I’m going to start this with my favorite one. Listverse is a website with great content. But the website is content-scarce and ready to pay any writer $100 for any new list.

The condition is simple - keep it original. The best part about this is that there is no specific topic and you are also not given any specific guidelines. Choose any topic under the Sun and generate engaging yet fact-rich content, and you are good to go.

There are no upper limitations to the word count, but keep the list to at least a minimum of 10 per article. By personal experience, I would say that each article should easily cross a 1,500-wordmark.

 

The one and only major roadblock for is the payment. You NEED to have a PayPal account as Listverse does not allow payments on any other network. So ready your listicle, sign up for PayPal, and you are good to go.

Pros:

  1. The freedom to write about anything under the earth
  2. No deadlines
  3. Fixed pay of $100 per article

Cons:

  1. You need to have a PayPal account to get paid

2. ContentWriters.com

 contentwriters logo  

Next on this list of writer-centric freelancer websites is ContentWriters.com. This is an enterprise-level content writing services firm dedicated to providing high-quality content.

The best part of working with ContentWriters is the huge knowledge repository you will be exposed to, allowing you to climb up to the next level of your professional writer journey.

ContentWriters is a serious website and accepts only professionals; the pay reflects that as well. Also, you would be working with some top professionals, which would enhance your knowledge. Apart from signing up as a writer, you can also sign up as an editor too. This has its own perks and large pay cheques.

Pros:

  1. Professional freelancing opportunities
  2. Work with big brands along with the company
  3. Good pay cheques
  4. Can work either as a writer or an editor

Cons:

  1. Ideal only for professional writers and editors and not for beginners

3. Crowd Content

 crowd content  

Crowd Content is an online content writing services firm that, even with its team of in-house writers, heavily relies on outsourced content.

Though a small website, Crowd Content offers two more things.

Writer’s University: An online knowledge repository where you can further sharpen your skills or writing content/copy.

Pricing Table: This can be leveraged and stated as your standard pricing once you have a substantial experience working with their formats and if you want to branch out.

Crowd Content has an application limitation and uses this for filtration. But you can apply and await approval.

Pros:

  1. Good knowledge repository
  2. Great pay
  3. A good way to start

Cons:

  1. Limited opportunities

4. Freelancewriting.com

Established in 1997, Freelancewriting is a dedicated platform for freelance writers to bid and get the best available writing gigs in their area of preference.

All you need to do is sign up and create a profile to get started. The payout at FreelanceWriting is neither too high nor too low, but is competitive with most freelance websites.

But the best part are the writing competitions the website holds. These will bring out the best in you and keep up your writing spirit while winning you more projects and cash prizes.

You can also access the best of writing resources available on their website to amplify your ability to write better.

Pros:

  1. Dedicated platform for writers to post and get jobs
  2. Good pay cheques
  3. Knowledge repository
  4. Writing competitions

Cons:

  1. None to mention specifically

5. Kolabtree.com

Kolabtree is a medical and scientific freelancer platform where you can hire and consult with top-level scientists and science professionals all over the world.

While this is not the place for regular content writers, it is a good platform for someone with a science degree in almost anything. There are projects that require medical writing by professionals and if you are someone with a Bachelor's or a Master's degree, or a PhD in the relevant projects, you are up for a bid.

Bids and projects range from chemistry, biology, and doctorates to over 2,400 different fields of science. It is possible to find PhDs and veteran scientists from every discipline here.

Pros:

  1. Good for academic and scientific writers community
  2. Can collaborate with other scientists
  3. Good pay

Cons:

  1. Only ideal for PhD or highly educated writers; not for regular writers

6. Publoft.com

Publoft is a marketing services startup dedicated to providing startups and businesses with inbound marketing strategies.

The freelance programme at Publoft promises great prices for your content with biweekly payouts. Editors at Publoft will handle your work and help you with any necessary corrections and clarifications.

Your payout is likely to increase as your association with the website grows. The startup is at a nascent stage, and promises a great journey as it grows.

Pros:

  1. Biweekly payouts
  2. Dedicated editors to aid in editing
  3. Pay appraisals with an increase in loyalty

Cons:

  1. Nascent stage startup

Best 5 freelance websites for web developers and graphic designers

Designers, both web or graphic, not just add colour, but seem to breathe life into everything on the internet. Graphic designers and web developers are some of the most in-demand people today.

There exists no company that does not need a designer nor a startup that does not need a web developer. Listed below are the top sources of gigs for developers and designers.

1. Behance.net

freelance services

Starting off our list for creativity is Behance, an online platform owned by Adobe for showcasing and discovering creativity. Famous for the talent it curates and projects, Behance is the perfect way for designers to not just showcase talent but also find great opportunities.

One can also find full-time and lucrative opportunities from around the world. However, given the discovery nature of the platform, the pricing of the projects is entirely client dependent. But, there is no bidding on this platform.

Pros:

  1. High profile value
  2. Great talent discovery and collaborating opportunities
  3. Discover full-time opportunities with great brands

Cons:

  1. Cannot bid for projects; you need to either apply or wait for a search to hit your profile

2. 99Designs

 

types of freelance jobs

Designs is an online creative marketplace that works as an intermediary for designers and clients who post requirements about logo designs, websites, book covers, and pretty much anything related to visual designing and editing.

With over 1.7 lakh designers from over 192 countries, it is highly trusted by the creative design community all over the world. The USP of 99Designs is its highly famous design competitions where competitors bid and compete for projects and clients.

Clients can either browse and pick profiles that they find interesting or just create a contest where contestants can enter and try to win the project. The pricing is non-uniform as this is a competitive platform and you have to be extremely talented and competitive to rank on top.

Pros:

  1. Helps build a good profile
  2. Can get you interesting competitions and projects

Cons:

  1. Non-uniform pay model
  2. Ideal for pros

3. Toptal.com

best freelance websites

A pure IT and tech talent-centric platform, Toptal is a dedicated community website that caters to coders, web developers, app developers, and UX/UI designers of the world.

Apart from coding and tech development projects, it also acts as a platform for non-tech IT jobs such as project management, finance, accounting etc.,

Great for networking and pricing, Toptal contributes immensely towards the development of its registered talent by offering many tutorials and research blogs. However, getting in is tough. As the website suggests, it only accepts only the top three percent of the cream crowd. Screening is done rigorously through a series of filtrations of your application.

 

Pros:

  1. Great profile value
  2. Good knowledge repositories
  3. Ideal for designers, developers, finance, and product profiles

Cons:

  1. Highly selective filtration policies  

4. Codeable.io

freelance websites designer

Now this one’s an interesting website. Codeable is a web platform that is dedicated to Wordpress developers around the world. This simple platform ensures that clients need not search for individual developers and check their credentials. An algorithm does all the job of searching if you enter your requirements.

As a WordPress developer, all you need to do is create an impeccable profile, bid correctly and deliver satisfactory work. This ensures you end up ranking for every search related to your expertise and skill set.

Codeable pricing follows a no-bid strategy. You can set your own price; this essentially eliminates pricing competition and puts the focus on talent and intuition.

Pros:

  1. Exclusive Wordpress developer community and service platform
  2. No more bid wars. Only one pricing for your services

Cons:

  1. Need to improve your profile
  2. Pricing should be organic so you rank for relevant projects

5. Dribbble

best freelancing websites in india
Dribble, yet another platform owned by Adobe, is a community for creativity. Users can post questions, answer queries, ask for help, and do much more. Think of it as the GitHub for the creative community.
Clients can post their requirements to find the right talent for their requirement on Dribble Jobs. This is a brilliant opportunity that can be leveraged if you are a seasoned designer.

Similar to Behance, Dribble has no bid culture. The pricing is either task-dependent or client dependent.

Pros:

  1. Easy to use interface
  2. Great community of talented designers for collaboration
  3. Great opportunities
  4. Acts as a portfolio too

Cons:

  1. Cannot bid for a job; you need a good profile to get noticed

6. Envato Studio

 freelance gigs

Every WordPress developer and design professional knows this vast repository of creative themes, but did you know that Envato has a separate platform that serves as a marketplace for freelancers?

The Envato studio enables clients from around the world to search and hire not just talented WordPress developers and designers, but also online marketers and app developers.

Best freelancing sites for students to work and earn

When you are in college, you have the energy and time to climb a mountain but not the money. The best and the most rewarding way to make good money is through freelancing. There are a lot of websites that offer internships or part-time jobs, but most are not satisfactory.

You need to have a good certification to back up the bucks you earned. We list the two best available platforms for students to make some money and learn a thing or two in the process.

1. Gradbee.com

Gradbee is the best website for students to register and get hired by companies for freelance jobs.

This not just gives students cash for their services but also helps them increase their corporate network and gives them a glimpse of how corporates actually work.

With good pay and decent work domains, internships range from basic coordinators, sales interns to copywriting, social media executives, full stack, mean stack, and web development. Gradbee helps you build a portfolio that could be leveraged for further career enhancement.

Pros:

  1. Easy signup
  2. Good portfolio development
  3. Diverse domains for internships
  4. Gives you real-time experience
  5. Provides you with proper internship certificates

Cons:

  1. May not have pay equal to professional services

2. Stumagz

best freelance websites
StuMagz is a new digital media platform that aims to connect students from different colleges. The new internship interface allows students from various domains to apply for and get internships, and earn while they learn.
Apart from academic opportunities, StuMagz also has a wide range of vocational and talent-based opportunities for students to connect, collaborate, grow their network, and also their portfolio.
Pros:
  1. Good platform to learn and grow
  2. Good for academic relations and networking
  3. Portfolio development

Cons:

  1. Needs to increase the number of opportunities available on the platform

[Source: This article was published in yourstory.com By Sanjay Shenoy - Uploaded by the Association Member: Eric Beaudoin]

Categorized in Work from Home

Are you an information junkie?

We just found three gigs that could be perfect for digital natives who know how to find the answer to any question online.

These flexible online research jobs let you work from home. They could be a fit whether you want to make a full-time income or just a little extra money around classes or taking care of kids.

They’re also a fun, interesting way to make extra money while you learn about an array of new topics!

1. Wonder Researcher

Wonder helps customers save time by providing research and resources to answer a variety of questions.

The company is recruiting freelance researchers to work from home and complete customer requests. You’ll set your own schedule, choose which and how many research requests you complete, and get paid per request.

Wonder says “top researchers can earn up to $20-$30 per hour.”

 

We know from former researcher and TPH staff writer Jamie Cattanach that typical pay is $13 and up per request. The time it takes to complete the research is up to you, but could mean you make around $13 an hour.

“You have to complete a research project gratis to qualify, and that’s about a two-hour time investment,” Cattanach points out. But overall, “It’s not bad. And if you’re genuinely interested in learning, it’s awesome.”

To apply: Start your application here. You’ll fill out your basic info and why you want to be a researcher. Then you’ll complete a trial research assignment.

2. Research Analyst With Animalz

Content marketing startup Animalz is looking for a “highly analytical and organized” research analyst to join its 18-person team.

Animalz writes about the tech world for software companies and entrepreneurs. Your job would be researching and compiling the information for these articles.

You’d also copy edit and check articles for SEO before they go to the customer.

The company is looking for someone comfortable with online research who can “find compelling and significant arguments and data” to conceive and support articles. You should be a skilled editor, but also able to “wear many different hats” to work with the startup team.

To apply: Email your resume, cover letter and work sample to this address.

3. Expert With JustAnswer

Through JustAnswer, you can offer your services as an expert in one or more of over 175 categories, like health, legal, pets and one called “homework.” You can apply in as many categories as you want, and required credentials vary by category.

Once accepted, you can set your own hours and work as much or little as you want.

Users will post a question and choose what they’re willing to pay. If your answer is accepted, you’ll receive 20%-50% commission via PayPal, according to The Work at Home Woman.

To apply: Choose your categories here, and submit your application and credentials. You should receive a response within 5-10 business days if you’re in the U.S. or Canada, but it could take up to 20 days if you live anywhere else.

Source: This article was published thepennyhoarder.com By DANA SITAR

Categorized in Work from Home

It’s no exaggeration to say that a large portion of the working class would absolutely love to work from home. No traffic, no meaningless water cooler chat, no extraneous distractions to deal with. Sounds like a dream come true.

But is there really money to be made working in your pajamas? You bet. You just have to get in the right industry, and you’ll find you can create a steady cash flow regardless of whether or not you got dressed in the morning. Some of the best paying jobs that allow you to work from home are:

1. Clinical Regulatory Affairs Director

As a regulatory affairs director, you’ll be tasked with planning, preparing, and submitting products that have been clinically tested and approved to the national and international markets. Working from home, you’ll document the trial process, as well as create the marketing documentation to accompany the product being sent for approval. Snaring a position as a work from home affairs director will also snare you a lofty $150K a year.

 

2. Supervisory Attorney

Not all lawyers spend their days in court. Many people with law degrees who are also members of the Bar opt to simply act as advisers to those in need of legal assistance. These attorneys may focus their efforts on other aspects of the law rather than criminal cases, such as tax or real estate law. By making themselves available through telecommunications, they can reach a far wider clientele than if they were to practice locally. You’d still need to be a member of the Bar in the state in which you plan to practice, though. Going this route would earn you around $117K per year.

3. Senior Medical Writer

Like many technical writing gigs, senior medical writers can work remotely as they review medical information and translate it into various medical documents. They also may be tasked with reviewing and editing documentation created by peers and supervisors, proofreading for typographical and factual errors. Attention to detail is an absolute must when dealing with medical writing, and you also must have a medical or science degree to your name to be considered for the job. If you’re qualified, you can end up making $110K a year as a senior medical writer.

 

4. Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers aren’t necessarily homebound, but most of their paperwork can be done from anywhere they please. These engineers design and assess pollution reduction and prevention approaches and plans, and analyze the best course of action for municipalities to take. As mentioned, they will often have to work in the field while conducting research and collecting data, but they’ll be able to take the information home with them to study and report on from the comfort of their own living room. Like medical writers, environmental engineers’ salaries fall around the $110K mark.

5. Director of Quality Improvement

Regardless of the industry, all companies strive to be the best they can be. A quality improvement director works to design and develop best practices related to systems administration and data architecture. If that’s too much jargon for one sentence, basically these employees analyze what a company is doing well, and what it could improve upon, and reports back to the managers and CEO. Quality improvement directors are natural leaders who have knowledge of on-going trends regarding quality, safety, and reliability within the industry. Working remotely on quality improvement could net you $100K a year.

 

6. Senior Software Engineer

It shouldn’t be a surprise that computer programmers can work from their home computer. Software engineers develop and design software, maintain oversight of programs, manage development teams, and troubleshoot issues colleagues face throughout the process. Collaborating online may actually be more effective for software engineers, as they won’t have to leave their work stations to discuss progress, and can continue to work on their projects seamlessly. A talented software engineer can bring home around $100K for his contributions to a company.

7. Director of Business Development

As a director of business development, you’d be tasked with managing large sales territories and maintaining steady revenue, while simultaneously researching ways in which to increase your business reach and income. You also would collaborate with directors in other territories and develop programs in order to increase coherency throughout different areas. Directors of business development will often have to travel and make in-person sales pitches, but a majority of their work can be done remotely. Working as a director can earn you around $100K or more, depending on your success.

 

8. Research Biologist

One advantage of working from home as a biologist is you’ll never be pressured into saving a beached whale. All kidding aside, research biologists usually specialize in a specific area of biology, such as microbiology or wildlife studies. They conduct research and analyze test results, then report back to their company regarding their findings. Like environmental engineers, research biologists will sometimes have to go into the field to conduct research, but can do the rest of the work from anywhere they feel comfortable. Although not as hefty as some of the other salaries on this list, research biologists can earn around $93K a year working mostly from home.

Source: This article was published on lifehack.org by - Matt Duczeminsk

Categorized in Work from Home

A good part-time job that you can do from home and still make money? Sounds like a come-on from an Internet scammer. But such gigs do, in fact, exist.

When online telecommuting jobs resource FlexJobs surveyed almost 1,100 parents, it found high demand for part-time and home-based work. Good jobs that meet those requirements are hard to come by—and so appealing that they’ve been used for years as bait for work-from-home scams. (You can find a list of the most common ones here.)

With FlexJobs’ help, we identified eight legitimate options for people who want to work from home on a part-time or occasional basis. To determine pay ranges for each job, FlexJobs incorporated salary data from Payscale.com and Glassdoor.com.

The list that follows consists of established employers and legitimate open (or recently open) positions on FlexJobs, for a look at the best opportunities now in the part-time, work-from-home market. Of course, as with any job, applicants for these gigs should thoroughly vet any company before signing on.

person writing with pen on notebook
Jeremy Frechette—Getty Images

Writer

Hourly rate from Payscale: $10.17 - $57.49

Writers with specialized knowledge can use their expertise to write columns, blog, and perform other regular work. One company hiring such writers is About.com, which educates readers about more than 70,000 topics. In April 2016, About was hiring guides (writers with professional background or expertise in a subject) for celebrity gossip, dairy-free cooking, and Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

Another is GolfLink, which pays for articles about golf articles ($40 - 65+ per article).

Technical, grant, and curriculum writing, advertised on the education website Schmoop, calls for more experience and training. However, there’s also writing work out there for generalists with less experience and less specialized training.

editor
Getty Images—iStockphoto

Editor

Hourly rate from Payscale: $10.75 - $43.26

 

As with writing, editing jobs run the gamut from demanding specialized knowledge to simply needing general knowledge. Editing work may involve exclusively editorial editing, management of writers or content, copy editing, or proofreading -- or a combination of those. The language services company Cactus Communications is hiring editors for academic manuscripts, paying $1,200 monthly. Other recent part-time work-from-home editor listings include everything from technical editing and news editing to a social media editor responsible for managing social accounts and writing press releases.

tutor
Steve Debenport—Getty Images

Tutor

Hourly rate from Payscale: $9.69 - $40.32

Tutoring is another skill that people with specialized knowledge can parlay into part-time work. The option to do it online from home makes it much more convenient than traditional in-person tutoring. Online tutoring jobs can be found in SAT/ACT testing, English, nursing and calculus.

Companies hiring tutors include Kaplan (which offers up to $600 per tutoring assignment), Achieve Test Prep, and Rosetta Stone.

home bookkeeper
Steve Weinrebe—Getty Images

Bookkeeper

Hourly rate from Payscale: $11.05 - $24.49

Workers with accounting experience (and Quickbooks, and Microsoft Office products) can take it to the bank by helping clients or employers with payroll, accounts payable and receivable, monthly reporting, or closing at the end of the year.

Companies hiring bookkeepers include the specialized staffing services provider Robert Half, which is hiring a remote part-time bookkeeper for a telecommunications company paying $13.46 - $17 per hour. Another virtual employer in this category is the church accounting services provider MAG Bookkeeping, which was hiring a contracted remote part-time bookkeeper in April 2016.

research interviewer on phone
Amy Eckert—Getty Images

Research Interviewer

Hourly Rate from Payscale: $8.69 - $20.54

Here’s one of interest to people who like talking on the phone, and have a reliable phone connection and quiet workspace at home. Research interviewers help companies gauge customer experience and their interactions so they can improve their business.

Companies hiring research interviewers include industry giant Nielsen as well as Maritz CX, which starts customer experience employees at their state minimum wage, then offers a .50 cent increase after 30 days of perfect (from home) attendance, with more raises at review times (2 months/6months/1 year) -- and offers paid time off.

person on phone with headset
James Tutor—Getty Images/iStockphoto

Customer Service Representative

Hourly rate from Payscale: $9.31 - $17.89

 

Customer service workers may find themselves selling, providing tech support, tracking down answers or lost orders, and taking complaints or product orders, or a combination of those roles. To do so from home, they will need their best phone manners as well as good phone service and a headset, a quiet workspace, and computers that meet their employers’ processing and Internet requirements.

Companies hiring customer service representatives include the upscale cookware retailer Williams-Sonoma, which is hiring care center associates for all shifts and paying $10.75 per hour, the call center outsourcers Working SolutionsSitel and TeleTech.

data entry on computer
Robert Churchill—Alamy

Data Entry

Hourly rate from Payscale: $9.18 - $15.76

Speed, accuracy, typing skills, and a tolerance for what can be dull work are required for data entry positions. Data entry applicants must have a computer up to the employer’s specs as well.

Companies hiring for data entry positions include SportsDirect, which has an evenings and weekends gig inputting scores, as well as the tech startup Ibotta, and the healthcare diagnostic company Alere.

stylist showing clothes to client
Morsa Images—Getty Images

Stylist

Hourly rate from Glassdoor: $15.03 - $15.24

Fashionable folks can enjoy a little glamour and profit, while providing fashion advice and personal shopping services for people who go out a lot . It works via online platforms like Stitch FixRocksBox, and Bombfell, which is hiring a part-time men’s online stylist with a 30% employee discount.

Source : time.com

Categorized in Work from Home

Freelancing can be a risky business if you have bad clients. If you want to make sure you get paid, and paid what you’re worth, you need to see the warning signs of a bad client before you agree to work with them.

Some clients are bad on purpose, while others are oblivious to what an inconvenience they really are. Here are a few signs to help you spot both types:

1. They’re vague

Communication is key to a positive client relationship. The more details they can give you about the project, the better you can cater the work to their needs.

That’s the problem if a client is vague. They don’t know what they want, and they don’t give you much direction. Sometimes, you can deliver something perfect that they’ll be happy with. But in most cases, they’ll only figure out what they actually want after they see your finished project.

Clients like this almost always want revisions, wasting your time and the value of the project for you.

2. They micro-manage

This type of client is one that doesn’t seem to trust you to do your own job. They want to be involved in every step of the creative process. Say a client requests an outline, revised outline, draft, and revised draft of a writing project. If they hired you to write a book, that’s reasonable. If they hired you to write a 700-word article? Not so much.

Keep in mind that the more involved a client is in your work, the more time it will take you to complete it.

3. They change the game

Say a client gives you clear instructions to design a simple, 10-page website with HTML. You quote a price and agree on the terms. Then later they start shooting you emails. They want to add 2 more pages. And can you do the schema markup for them?

In the freelance world, this is called scope creep. They keep adding new tasks to the project that seem like no big deal, but they add up. After you’ve finished the project, you realize you should have charged double for the work you did.

4. They don’t like to pay up

This is probably the scariest type of client you can come across. So many novice freelancers fall into the trap of agreeing to payment after submission. Then the client never follows through. Or they pay a portion, 3 months late.

Coming across a client who’s reluctant to pay a percentage in advance is a red flag. It means either they don’t trust you can deliver the right work, or they never had plans to pay in the first place.

5. They’re forgetful

Your client could be a nice person and pay you well. But if they’re forgetful, they’re still a bad client.

A forgetful client may ask you to include a new element to a project, then later ask why you did that. Then you’re stuck sifting through old emails to prove to them that they asked you to.

 

A forgetful client can also think they paid your invoice when really they didn’t. And again you have to do the dance to prove them wrong.

All this wastes your time, and doesn’t earn you any extra money.

What to do about bad clients

Here’s what you should do if you find yourself working with a bad client:

1. Set boundaries

If a client wants to micro-manage your projects, try to set boundaries. Tell them straight out you’re not available for a 3-hour phone call to brainstorm their logo design, but you’re happy to make revisions if the finished product doesn’t suit their needs.

2. Charge extra

Tow a hard line, and don’t agree to a single piece of extra work unless they’ll pay you for it. If you do something for free one time, then the expectation will be that you’ll always do it.

3. Insist on advance payment

There’s no way to know if a client plans to cheat you out of your money. To avoid inadvertently working for free, always insist on advanced payment. Or you can use a tool like Escrow to hold funds for you until the project is complete.

4. Tell them they’re a bad client

Many clients might not realize they’re being a pain. Sometimes, all you need to do is tell them that they’re being too vague on project guidelines, or they’re too controlling. Some clients will get angry, but others will take it in stride and improve their behavior.

5. Don’t ignore your gut

In many, many cases, no matter what you do, a bad client is a bad client. It’s better for you to be picky and refuse to work together than deal with someone who’s difficult. So don’t ignore your gut.

As a freelancer, time truly is money. No matter the circumstances, you can’t justify working with clients who waste it.

Author : Abdullahi Muhammed 

Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/abdullahimuhammed/2017/02/28/how-to-spot-a-bad-freelance-client-and-what-to-do-about-them/#6b58f08a788d

Categorized in Work from Home
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