Statistics show that more people than ever are working from home. Is it because work is hard to come by, because working from home is more profitable, or for some other reason?
We all know the economy is in trouble and jobs are scarce. Many people have lost their jobs due to outsourcing or companies closing down. A large part of the population can’t get jobs because degrees are being required more often, but people can’t afford to go to school and work a job that doesn’t pay the bills at the same time. Due to these and other factors, working from home is becoming much more appealing to many Americans.
There are a lot of reasons why people work from home. I have several of them myself. I have health issues that keep me from working a full time job. I can’t afford a car and there’s no public transport nearby. I don’t have the money to go to college and get a degree in any field that I would want to work. I also can’t get hired because I don’t have enough work history. I decided to work from home so that I could try to earn a living doing what I know well, and what no employer would give me the opportunity to do.
From talking to people I know and doing a fair bit of reading on the internet, degrees seem to be a major reason why people can’t get jobs and choose to work from home instead. You can’t get a good job without a degree, and you can’t get a degree without a job to pay for tuition, but you can’t get that job without the degree. It’s one of many vicious employment circles. Some people also can’t take the time from their families to work and go to school at the same time. Since they can’t get a job with a good salary without a degree, they start working from home instead.
Transportation and mobility is also an issue. Gas is expensive, and cars are even more expensive. Not everyone has access to public transportation, and many don’t want to burden friends or relatives with driving them to work every day. Also, people with handicaps or health issues can find it difficult to keep jobs or even get hired. Working from home means travel is often unnecessary, and most disabilities can be worked around in one’s own home. Even someone who is bed-ridden can work from home if they’re able to use a laptop computer.
Lack of work history can be detrimental to many people as well. I spent a good portion of my adult life as a housewife with no need for a full-time job. When money got tight, I went job hunting, but was turned down by many places for lack of experience and work history. This is another of those vicious circles: You need a job to get a work history, but you can’t get a job without a work history. Many housewives (and househusbands), older Americans and people who have been disabled face this issue. However, when you work for yourself, you can rely on your life experience, and a job history is not needed.
The possible pay is also another point that makes working from home appealing. Why work for minimum wage at a fast-food joint or some other menial job when you could put in the same hours working from home and make more? At very least you can make some money without working a job you hate. I make about $5.70/hr writing articles, plus my other endeavors. The more I work, the more I make. Not many other jobs offer that kind of incentive. Plus, someone working from home never has to end the day depressed, aching and smelling of fry grease. You can do something you love and can be proud of, and get paid well as you get better at it.
Residual income is another big selling point for working from home. Not many jobs let you work once and get paid for it indefinitely. Many work-from-home methods do. For instance, I quit writing for an article site a year ago, but the work I have there brings me $35-50 a month. My current articles not only give me an up-front payment, but also a residual income stream that will pay more and more as my library increases. My art, which I have on a Print On Demand website is the same. I create the art, upload and place it, and the products will sell with no further effort. This ability to do work once and make money off it for months or even years to come appeals greatly to many people.
Still another reason for working from home is the fact that it’s possible to have multiple jobs without running yourself into the ground. Holding down multiple “real-world” jobs can be a nightmare, but when working from home it’s more possible. I write articles, write books, create art, and sell jewelry and crafts. I can switch between one venture and another at any time, and put in as much or as little work in each as I see fit. This ability to multitask and overlap jobs is very appealing to many people.
One of the top reasons a lot of people give for working from home is the fact that they can’t get fired or laid off. Sure, a site they work for might close down, but most people are doing more than one thing, so a single loss can be dealt with. It’s also a bonus that with a few exceptions, you don’t usually have to compete to get hired. You can go into business for yourself in one way or another and no one can say you’re not qualified, too old, or refuse you for any other reason. You just go to it and get better as you go along. Oh, the ability to learn as you go is a nice perk too.
So, there are a lot of reasons why more and more people are working from home. I’m sure I’ve missed at least a few, but these are just some of the top reasons. If the US keeps up the way it’s going, I can see even more of the population turning to working from home. It’s a way for people to get work, earn the pay they deserve, and support their families without all the hell of the traditional job market. It’s also likely that more legitimate work from home sites and opportunities will arise over the coming years to meet the demand.