WAH Biz Ideas

How To Work from Home and What You’ll Need

Just an FYI, I may earn some cash or coins from the companies mentioned in this post. Rest assured, that doesn't sway my opinions and I only recommend using products that I've used and loved!

how to work from home and what you need written with black font over teal background

Wanna Work from Home?

If you want to successfully work from home, you’ll need some basic tools before starting and a great mindset.

Working from home is all the rage nowadays. It’s a growing trend that embraces the ‘alternative work space.’

Your home.

Although estimates vary widely, some 30 million to 40 million people in the United States are now either telecommuters or home-based workers. – HBR.ORG

Why The Change?

The most apparent reason that so many companies and business are offering more work from home opportunities is the reduction of overhead cost for the company.

Think about it.

If the employees are working from home, they do not have to pay for an office space. Some companies hire work from home help as independent contractors. Therefore, the business no longer must supply computers, desks, work chairs or the coffee machine in the employee break room.

There are some other reasons work from home employees and contractors are attractive to businesses.

Businesses with work from home teams tend to have happier and more productive people working for them. The turnover rate happens to be lower, too. Likely because of the flexibility that work from home offers and well…who doesn’t like to take care of business in their jammies?

Should I work from home?

I’ve been working from home in various positions of customer support since 2013. It’s been an amazing journey and I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had working from home for the world.

Everyone is always asking me, “How do you work from home? What do you need to work from home? How do I get started working from home?”

One thing that I’ve learned is that working from home is NOT for everyone and there are a few key skills you should have and definitely a certain mindset.

You should work from home if you have self-discipline.

Just because you may not have a set schedule doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create one for yourself. Yes, you may be afforded some extra flexibility but don’t take advantage of it in the wrong ways.

You should work from home if you’re self-motivated.

You’re in charge of your tasks and making sure you’re getting them done. I’ve come across people who think working from home is going to be easy peasy and somehow less strenuous than a job at a brick and mortar.

It’s not.

It’s still a job and you still have to perform your job duties and do the same above and behind ish that you would do at a physical office.

You should work from home if you are a problem solver.

In corporate, you can call in the cavalry if you have tech issues or need immediate help.

Work from home…not so much.

You should be comfortable looking for solutions to issues on your own. Just remember, Google kinda knows everything and if all else fails, someone on YouTube knows the solution and will show you how to fix it!

You should work from home if you’re OK with not having the ‘’office camaraderie’’ you get at a brick and mortar.

Since you’ll be home, you miss out on the things we get used to at the office, like that little bit of gossip, that ‘surprise that was not a surprise’ birthday cake and the awkward holiday parties.

I would like to mention that more and more businesses are trying to engage their work from home teams by implementing virtual chats among teams, hosting incentive challenges and making opportunities for on site interaction more common!

Grab a List of 20 Work from Home Opportunites You Can Apply for Today!

I’m all the above….What else do I need to work from home?

Let’s start with the basics.

Dedicated Work Space

If you have a room that can be converted to a home office, great! If not, at least have a desk in a quiet area that you can work uninterrupted.

I don’t have an extra room so where my desk is at varies depending on what time of the year it is.

During the school year, my set up is in our den since the kids are gone during my working hours. During summer vacation, I move my whole operation to the bedroom for some peace and quiet.

Quick Tips

  • Make sure your work space and desk is clutter free. Having a clean work area helps boost focus and productivity!
  • Invest in a comfy desk chair. You’ll be spending a lot of time there!

Laptop/Desktop Computer

You’ll be doing a lot on your device so you’ll want to make sure it’s up to the task.

At my current job, I require people on my team to have a laptop/desktop that is 2 years old or less with at least 2-3 GB RAM. Having a Windows Operating System is also a requirement. There are a few places that allow MAC OS but be sure to check before applying.

If needed, you can always download BOOTCAMP which installs the Windows OS on your Mac.

Quick Tips

  • I find that keyboards with the number pad to the right make life so much easier!
  • Get an external mouse if you’re using a laptop. You’ll thank me later!
  • Invest in some virus and spyware protection software. I use Norton Security Deluxe by Symantec. Sometime, they have a promotion to purchase the annual protection for $29.99 and it covers 5 devices.

image of yellow norton by symnatec 5 device security deluxe box set

Internet

If you’re applying somewhere, check the minimum requirements for internet speeds. You’ll want at least 3-5 megabits from a reliable internet provider.

You’ll need to have the capability to hard wire into your internet modem. Most work at home positions prohibit the use of WiFi.

Oh and no satellite or dial up.

Quick Tip

A Dedicated Landline Phone

Some work from home positions require you to use a phone and won’t allow personal calls on that line. So keep that in mind when applying and if you don’t have a landline, check the cost of adding that to your budget before applying or accepting a position.

Headset

You’ll need a headset that can be used with your land line if you’re gonna be truly comfy. Panasonic has a good one that is affordable and highly recommended.

You may want to also grab a USB headset for your device in case you have to attend virtual meetings or listen to training videos online.

Maybe the position you applied for did not require a landline?

If you’ll be speaking to customers but don’t need a landline, that means the calls will be made using a soft-phone application and in that case, you’ll definitely need the USB headset.

image of black platronics usb headset from amazon

Platronics Headset

I’ve been using one from Platronics for a couple years and it’s one I recommend to everyone on my team!

Quick tip

  • Whatever headset you decide to get…make sure you have a mute button. It will be your best friend.

If you think you’ve got all the bases covered, I’d say jump into the work from home market and get the flexibility and work life balance that is waiting on the other side!

If you’re not sure where to get started applying, I can email you a list of companies that frequently hire at home positions!

Hey Ya'll! I'm a mom of four very energetic kids. My day revolves around balancing a work at home job, managing a business with my husband AND a blog meant to inspire moms to slay their goals! When I'm not super mommin' , I love to sip a margarita and gab on the phone with my two business besties.

This article has 26 comments

  1. Sophie

    So true! I also love gramarly! Super helpful for when I am multi tasking 🙂

  2. Audria

    I love that you mentioned what you need to know if work at home is for you. Great tips and advice.

  3. Ayana

    I think my son would have to be in daycare for me to work from home! I can hardly get enough done for my blog during nap time so working would be a whole other ball game haha

  4. Belle

    Such a very helpful post! I agree with all of these points especially having a dedicated space!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  5. Shell

    I work at home refinishing furniture so I can stay home full time caring for my special needs child … being able to be a SAHM with him has been a blessing.

  6. Chelsea Padgett

    Working from home really isn’t for everyone. These are some great tips to consider before taking the leap! I still struggle with having no co-workers and no management to keep me motivated.

  7. Shannon | Mom Without Labels

    I agree with all of this! I don’t think I could work a “traditional” job from home – I definitely would miss the camaraderie! And, I don’t have a designated space; I do all my work from the sofa. 🙂

  8. Cindy

    Very interesting article. I would love to work from home, but definitely could not due to my job (kindergarten teacher). Great tips for those who do or want to!

  9. Margaret Westhoff

    As a stay at home mom of 2 under 2, working from home is mostly impossible right now. But when the kiddos are older and in school, I hope to work from home. This post has been very helpful.

  10. prasna

    don’t know if i can manage doing this. you are sure a committed person. Great going

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  12. Faye

    Thanks for the tips. I am interested in a work from home position. I would love a list of the companies you spoke about. Thanks in advance.

    • Kanani B.

      Hey Faye! No problem. Mid-way thru the article, you should see a place to get signed up for that to be sent to you via email!

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  14. Morgan

    Great tips! I’d love to work from home. As a 24 year old who returned back to school, I have yet to find a job in my area that pays somewhat decent, is flexible with my school schedule and provides benefits. I haven’t to find one that checks off at least two of those. I am a grpahic & web designer and in the process of starting my own business because of lack of job opportunities. I only worry about insurance because I know it’s high for entrpreneurs and I’m soon to be kicked off my parents’. I get interviews and have the credentials but most of the places I’ve tried working or interning at do a bait and switch where my job duties don’t match what they told me at the interview, nor do they offer benefits. Anyway, enough of my sob story. Hopefully, my business does well so I don’t have to beg to work for these jerks in my area lol.

  15. Helen

    I wish I worked from home! That’s the ultimate goal!

  16. Gloria Harvley

    Love this list! I love working from home but I learned a few new tips. This was great!

  17. Bethany | Mama Finds Her Way

    I have been working from home since 2010 and I absolutely love it! I do not miss my horrendous commute into the city one bit and I get to be home with my kids all the time. You really can’t beat it! I agree with all your advice! I do not have a dedicated work space currently (I did in before we moved) but I have been able to manage.

  18. Pilar

    Such a great idea to work from home! I think that many people live trapped in the corporate world having to adjust to a office schedule that wastes a lot of time in transportation so the option of working from home is amazing! Thanks for the advice and for the useful article! 😀
    xoxo,
    Pilar
    http://thelifestylehunter.com

  19. Shelby @Fitasamamabear

    Great list/summary. I personally adore working from home but you definitely need to be a very self motivated person! it’s easy to be lazy when you technically have no where to be- set a schedule and stick to it!

  20. Louann Kristy

    I wish I could work from home full time but in my field it isn’t possible . Hopefully in the future something comes my way. 🙂

  21. Ariel

    I work from home now! For Amazon and for myself via my blog. I want to be able to drop Amazon one day and just work for myself on my own businesses and ventures!

  22. Krissy

    Very helpful….I totally agree working from home takes discipline…..for me if i was to work from home I would def need to work on that.

  23. Briana

    I love working from home! It is so much more convenient and I can spend more quality time with my girls. 🙂

  24. Michelle C

    Thank you for sharing! I can definitely see how someone who isn’t self-motivated wouldn’t be a good fit for a Work-from-Home position. I’ve never worked from home, but I haven’t gone to school online and the same principles apply. You really have to be a disciplined person to succeed.

  25. Sasha Cesar

    My company is very flexible and also allows people to with from home. It’s such a great perk! I work from home sometimes too but i found i still need to go into the office at least once a week for a “boost” otherwise, I startto feel isolated. One thing I found is that some people don’t remain as professional for example, taking video conference calls from their bed lol.

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