The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the concept of work from home fully into the mainstream. It’s not just for tech giants like Twitter and Google: as of late June 2020, some 42 percent of the American labor force was working from home.
The twisted end of that statistic, however, is that another 33 percent of the labor force was not working at all due to lockdown conditions. The majority of those 33 percent come from industries that don’t translate as easily to work-from-home: retail, hospitality, healthcare, and transport. But a growing number of immediate hire work-from-home jobs, which have few barriers to entry, could be part of the answer.
Immediate hire work-from-home jobs don’t have stringent requirements for particular skill sets. Even if they do require a particular skill set, it’s often one that an applicant is either likely to have already, or is able to be trained for on the job. These jobs aren’t just for filling the employment gap during the pandemic. They can also be used as work-from-home starter jobs where one can gain experience working from home while also building skills for higher-paying gigs down the road.
With the explosion of new opportunities in the remote workspace, it’s never been easier to work from home. The hardest part might be how to narrow your search.
To get a look at the top categories for immediate hire work-from-home jobs, check out our guide below.
If you can listen carefully and type well, then you can transcribe. Transcriptionists turn audio files of spoken conversations into text files, which can be more easily searched and referenced. This is enormously helpful to researchers, journalists, lawyers, and businesses, most of whom can’t rely on automated transcription (which is still woefully inaccurate at transcribing new voices and jargon it does not know well).
How much a transcriptionist earns often depends on how quick (and accurate) they are: most jobs pay per audio hour. At first, it can be extremely slow going, but this is a job that trains you automatically, and one’s true hourly rate will rise accordingly.
Some companies, like Daily Transcription, pay better than others, and that means not only better rates but better and more interesting clients.
If you’re one of the 60 million Americans that speak a language other than English at home, you might have enough skill to get a work-from-home job as a translator or interpreter. This is a career field that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to grow 20 percent between 2019 and 2029, a rate much faster than the national average.
Translation and interpretation jobs can vary widely in their roles as well as their pay. Companies like Unbabel hire remote workers to proof and edit machine-translated texts, while others like SDL help global brands reach the world with expert translation. Many transcription companies usually have a translation branch, too, and bilingual remote workers can find jobs on either a project basis or as a contracted interpreter.
You don’t necessarily need a college degree to be able to tutor someone in an elementary-level subject and online tutoring gives new remote workers the opportunity to get started right away. This is a growing industry: Preply, an online tutoring marketplace, raised $10 million in its Series A this past March. It wasn’t the only one. With many schools questioning how to restart during a global pandemic, online tutoring and online teaching are rushing to fill the gap.
If you can read this article, you might be qualified to help tutor someone in English. A bachelor’s degree in any subject significantly boosts one’s chances of finding a gig, too.
You don’t need to start with the ABCs, either: companies like VIPKID match native English speakers with students across the world and pay remote workers $14 to $22 per hour for their trouble. MagicEars pairs Americans and Canadians with less privileged children in China and pays $18 to $26 per hour.
Hey, it’s not as easy as it looks. But if you’ve got a knack for crafting a sentence, you might have a job waiting for you on the infinite content machine that is the internet.
Writing gigs are as diverse as the English language and it can be overwhelming to consider where to begin. But every industry needs to communicate its message and they need writers and editors to do it.
Writing and editing gigs can be one-off projects or sustained campaigns. Finding your niche is usually the first step, but sometimes you can grow into a particular subject, too. Job offers on aggregator sites like Freelancer and Upwork are often low-paying and high-effort, but if you’re just starting out, building a portfolio of articles through a few individual assignments can act as your resume in the writing and editing industry.
If you can use a search engine, you can find work as a search engine evaluator or internet researcher. This is a truly 21st-century job and one that can involve as little, or as much, involvement as you like.
Search engine evaluators can be tasked with something as simple as providing feedback on internet search results for a company that wants to measure its reach. But companies like Wonder also use them to help identify market trends, competitive landscapes, and statistical insights. Other companies like Appen employ search engine evaluators for help with longer-term projects, micro-tasks, surveys, and data collection. Pay is often on a per-project basis, but averages between $10 and $15 per hour.
If you can use the basic functions of a phone and a laptop, you can do the fundamentals of some data entry and virtual assistant positions. Data entry tasks may involve completing contact forms, filling account entries, and formatting emails—generally wrangling data into cleaner, more efficient forms.
Virtual assistant gigs are much more the digitization of classical administrative assistant positions; they often include assisting with phone screenings, scheduling meetings, and performing follow-up tasks. Often, there’s overlap between these and other areas.
Data entry and virtual assistant jobs can range widely in their responsibilities and pay, and marketplaces like Belay attempt to match the right person to the right role.
Want to work with your thumbs? You don’t need a marketing degree to get paid for your skills with social media. The demand for social media content is so vast that you can get started on smaller projects right away.
At an entry-level position, typical responsibilities might include maintaining a regular publishing schedule, effectively matching image and text, and managing comments and reactions. Companies like 99 Dollar Social let independent contractors set their own hours and take on as many projects as they’d like. While the pay is per account, remote workers can earn an average of $12 an hour.
If you had the patience to read all the way to the end of this article, you might have the beginnings of a career in customer service. Customer service representatives research, respond to, and resolve customer issues via voice, text, and/or video. This can involve guiding customers through online purchasing, tracking down lost shipments, or getting to the bottom of a huge technical snafu.
A native grasp of English and the temperament to be able to deal with frustrated individuals can sometimes be enough to get started, with training in the particulars of the product and business often supplied by the employer. There are over 3,300 work-from-home jobs in customer service currently listed on Indeed, an employment data aggregator. And with practically every business having an online chat component for their customer service department, you might never even have to pick up the phone.