Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.
So you want to work from home? So life’s thrown you a curveball? You have to quit your daily commute for an even more uncomfortable chair and the four walls of your home. Maybe life hasn’t thrown you a curveball and you choose to work from home.
Either way, here are my top 10 things you’re not told about working from home. There’s more, but I’ve managed to cover the top 10 complaints, both from personal experience and second-hand complaints.
10. You’ll Still Need Childcare For Most Agencies
You read that right. Agencies like Arise, Conduent, Kelly Services, LiveOps, will require you to maintain some sort of childcare schedule. Conduent and Kelly Services are incredibly adamant about this, as they are predominantly phone support. If a child, or any background noise for that matter, is heard during your scheduled work time, you will be written up and warned immediately. If it continues to happen, they will let you go and you’ll be back at square one.
The reason for this is both Conduent and Kelly Services are mainly W-2 employers, with sporadic I-9 or W-9 contracted employers. It’s just as if you had to physically report to a place of work, these employers consider your home office, which MUST have a door that closes, your physical place of work.
9. Most Remote Jobs Require Higher Education While Paying Entry Level Wages
Job boards from Flexjobs to Indeed are littered with employers requiring a Bachelor’s Degree for basic call center customer service, to include three to five years experience on top, for $9-$11.50 an hour. Some jobs that require a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience ( four years or more) do pay a little bit more, but there is absolutely no work-life balance.
I’ve managed to find some jobs that require a Master’s degree for $15 an hour.
Wayfair is infamous for this.
Wayfair is very select about where you have to be located in order to even think about applying to them, but their starting pay ranges from $13 an hour to as high as $16 for most CSRs. However, what they don’t tell you is you’re working 10-11 hours days without consecutive days off in a back-to-back, no downtime to wrap up, call queue slaughterhouse.
The reality is, most of these “entry-level” jobs won’t even pay for the daycare they’ll probably require in order for you to work remotely.
8. Your Resume Usually Never Makes It To An Actual Person.
With the massive influx of remote work, the likelihood of your resume actually crossing the desk of a living breathing human is slim to none.
When a job is posted, the recruiting team or the organization has a screening process that separates phrases and put them into “piles.” If your resume doesn’t have any of the pre-screened words and/or phrases, it’s tossed in the digital waste bin. Nothing against you, your possible experience, and quest to work from home, it’s just that resume isn’t as strong as you think it is.
7. Large Platforms Never Have Hours Or Work Availability.
LiveOps, Working Solutions, and Arise are infamous for this. With Lionbridge and Appen following quickly in their footsteps. Since hours with these staffing agencies who are mainly independent contractor based — if your metrics don’t add up, you don’t get hours.
They overhire and when there isn’t enough work (hours) to be passed around, you just sit there twiddling your thumbs until something opens up. Work/hours may never open up, and you just wasted money on the certification, background check, and drug test.
And since they are independent contracting jobs, you have to pay for your phone bill and possibly long distance, internet, computer maintenance, and your typical household expenses. With the added expense of no benefits.
You work from home. Your home is your office. Your toilet is your office. Doing the dishes is your office. Your bedroom is your office. If there’s a place with WiFi (if allowed) is your office. So when do you disconnect?
Since you’re not rushing out of the office to beat the traffic on your commute home, you don’t really have anything to tell you, “Hey get off!” So you tend to bring your work home and let it live in everything you do.
If you’re struggling to combat disconnecting, do what I do. Go into your bedroom and put on a movie. Just that little bit of alone time or time away from the computer will help you make it a regular occurrence.
5. You Have To Pay For Everything.
When you choose to do remote work, you have to pay for everything. You have to usually pay for your certifications if you are an independent contractor. And even if you’re considered an employee, you very rarely get a stipend for your internet and phone.
We’ll use Arise as an example for pay for everything.
So you sign up for Arise, whether that’s as a business or under a business and you complete all the steps. You finally have access to all the clients they have available for you to certify for. These certifications range from $49 to as high as $249. The best part, you can pay that money to complete the course and end up failing. So you’re out of pocket the invested cost.
So let’s say that you qualified and you can start working, which congratulations by the way. However, if you signed up under a business, every pay period (two weeks) you have to pay Arise $19.95 to use their platform. Which is broken usually, forcing you to not even be able to work because of constant technical issues. So an extra $40 out of your already mediocre check, on top of, paying the business $25 every pay period to work under them as well.
Even though these fees are only deducted if you work, it’s still slightly insane to pay to work.
4. Scams, Scams, Scams, Galore.
With the rise of working from home has come the rise of the work from home scams. Scammers requesting personal information on fraudulent Google Docs, requesting resumes for non-existent job listings. Requiring you to pay a large sum upfront to start working a job you don’t actually work because it doesn’t exist.
Asking you to lick envelopes and pay for all the supplies required. And probably the most dangerous, well compared to stealing your identity, the check-cashing scam.
So I urge you, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Ensure you’re using legitimate work from home job boards and websites. Also, do your research. If it looks suspicious it probably is.
3. You Have To Pay For Most Job Searches.
So you’re looking to work from home and you need a solid place to start. Well, most legitimate job boards you have to pay a subscription to access their thousands of job listings.
Flexjobs requires a fee of $14.95 a month. HireMyMom.com depends on what tier of subscription you would like, but the basic is $29.95 per quarter. While these don’t seem like a lot, but it adds up quickly. Especially if you’re not getting any bites or experiencing any luck on either platform.
There are free alternatives, and the one I highly recommend is RatRaceRebellion. You just have to stalk their job postings, which are daily to get the see the best jobs before the employer closes it.
2. Remote Jobs Are High Skills And Location-Based.
Your ability to find a decent remote job depends highly on your skillset and location. As a lot of employers do not hire from specific states due to their labor laws regarding independent contractors and employee status.
So if you live in New Jersey, New York, California, and I believe it’s a few others, some companies are completely off-limits to you. Not the most ideal of situations, but it is what it is, as we’re in an employer’s market, not employees.
Another thing to note is the remote job market is flooded with the salespeople, engineers of all types, and CSR. With engineers being paid the highest among all of them. So if you do not have an actual skillset, it’ll be even harder for you to find a decent-paying remote job.
1. Extra Money Gigs Aren’t Any Better.
Those extra money gigs you always read about, Swagbucks, surveys, Crowdsurf, Rev — all of those are just extra spending money. Is it possible to make decent money from them, yes, very much so. However, it depends on your ability to multi-task, qualifying for the high paying surveys, and promotions.
However, with services like Crowdsurf and Rev, you’re competing with horrible audio quality, incredibly long dry spells, ESL, lack of cohesive guidelines, and a low payment threshold. Also keep in mind, it’s really easy to lose your quals on either Crowdsurf or Rev, and without warning.
So there’s always a way, it just comes down to what are you willing to deal with to make the impossible possible?