Working from home sounds even more glamorous now that gas prices are sky-high. But weeding through what's out there to find legitimate work at home options can be tricky. I've been impressed by the scope of jobs now available -- everything from customer service agents to virtual assistants to web developers. The pay can vary widely and so can the start up fees. An article in the Wall Street Journal this week details the pros and cons of specific work-at- home employers.
The Journal article says, "If you have professional skills and experience, and are prepared to slug it out for clients in the global marketplace, a freelance site may be for you. Elance.com and oDesk.com each link clients with about 90,000 skilled freelancers apiece, roughly half of whom are in the U.S.''
The article also notes companies that outsource call center services pay home agents from $8 to $17 an hour. Some of those include West Corp. (West.com), Live Ops, Arise.com and AlpineAccess.com. If you are more interested in being a personal assistant from your home, you might try TeamDoubleClick.com. Remember, it also is possible to work for yourself from home -- lots of moms are making big dough with Ebay businesses. From what I have read, stay away from companies that offer to pay you to do surveys from home.
If you have spent money and time on a work-at-home program and now believe the program may not be legitimate, contact the company and ask for a refund. Let company representatives know that you plan to notify officials about your experience. If you can't resolve the dispute with the company, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraud and deception. Call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or log on to www.ftc.gov.
If you already found a legitimate work at home option and find yourself lonely, one of my favorite blogs has been the work at home blog. It suggests you find a support network. The first obvious choice would be to find a forum specific to your niche. If you are a webdesigner then somewhere like DesignersTalk would be perfect. Or, you could find yourself a nice general Work From Home Forum. Even better, check out the MomsMiami forum!
Does working from home appeal to you? If you already work from home, does it take more discipline that you expected? Has it paid off?