20 of the Best Work from Home Jobs

The number of people who work from home is rising as the traditional nine-to-five becomes a thing of the past, and employers and employees embrace the benefits of remote working. For some, this might mean a flexible approach to working in and out of the office, while others work from home on a full-time basis.

In 2016 the TUC found that the number of people working remotely in the UK had increased by nearly a quarter of a million over the previous decade, and it's predicted that half of the UK workforce will be working remotely by 2020. Meanwhile, in the US, a 2017 study by Global Workplace Analytics revealed that the number of people telecommuting (working from home) at least half of the time rose from 1.8 million to 3.9 million between 2005 and 2017. And that number is continuing to grow.

Technology and our ever-increasing connectivity have played a big part in this shift to remote working. Smartphones, tablets and laptops allow us to check in with the office 24/7, while cloud systems and collaboration tools such as Slack give us the ability to connect and work with colleagues and clients around the world.

Rising office prices, the growth of the gig economy and more emphasis on balancing work and personal life have all also contributed to a more fluid approach to where and when we work.

Working from Home: What You Need to Consider

Working from home can seem like a utopia. Those stuck in an office tend to imagine remote workers spending the day lounging in their pyjamas or sipping flat whites in a café.

Both of those may sometimes be true, and studies do show higher morale among those who work from home. However, it doesn’t necessarily suit everyone – and it's important to weigh up the disadvantages as well as the benefits of remote working.

Benefits of Working from Home:

  • Less stress – Many employees say that juggling work and home life is their main cause of stress. Working from home can help to ease that burden and allow employees to achieve a better balance.

  • No commute – Many of us spend a large chunk of the working week getting to and from the office. Working from home gives you that time back, and cutting down travelling can also have a positive environmental impact.

  • Increased productivity – While this is still up for debate, studies suggest that homeworkers are more productive, and most people who work from home would agree. Without the distractions of office life, such as endless meetings and chatty co-workers, home-workers generally find they get more done in less time.

  • Wider opportunities – Working from home means employees are less restricted by geography. A home-worker might work for a company in another city or even another country, or have clients from around the world.

Disadvantages of Working from Home:

  • Loneliness and isolation – This can be a big issue for many remote workers, who often miss the camaraderie and social aspects of office life.

  • Communication issues – Although we are more connected than ever, sometimes a quick face-to-face chat is still the most effective method of communication. There is less spontaneity and personal connection when those conversations are mainly conducted online. Scheduling can also become an issue when working in different time zones.

  • A negative impact on creativity – Remote workers have less scope to collaborate with colleagues and bounce ideas around, which can stifle creativity.

  • Less accountability and visibility – If your boss isn’t physically watching over you, it can sometimes be harder to find the motivation to knuckle down. It will also make it harder to impress your boss if he can’t see how hard you’re working. Some homeworkers may be tempted to slack off, while others go the other way, doing more than is necessary to prove themselves.

  • Blurring work/life boundaries – If you take the office with you everywhere, then it can be difficult to switch off and step away from work at the end of the day.

  • Fake jobs – As more people are searching for opportunities to work remotely, so there are more home scams promising quick money. It is important to be wary of anything that seems too good to be true.

    There are of course many legitimate home-working opportunities out there. In the next section, we pick out 20 of the best.

20 of the Best Work from Home Opportunities

1. Social Media Manager

A social media manager is in charge of leading a business or organisation’s social media strategy, boosting their visibility online and fostering engagement with customers and clients. As this becomes more crucial to businesses of all sizes, many are looking to outsource the work.

There are no set qualifications for becoming a social media manager but you will need a strong understanding of social media platforms, especially in relation to marketing and branding. Building your own online presence across a range of channels can be a good starting point.

Average salary: Around £25,000 to £30,000 per year.

2. Graphic Designer

Graphic designers work with computer software or by hand to create visual concepts that communicate ideas to consumers. They give organisations their visual brand, working on a range of products from websites to posters.

Many media, marketing and advertising agencies rely on freelance graphic designers, so it can be a good avenue for remote workers with the relevant skills. Graphic designers need strong IT and drawing skills. Most will have a degree or similar in graphic design or another art and design-based subject.

Average salary: Around £30,000 per year.

3. Writer/Editor

Writers and editors cover a range of specialisms; they may be responsible for the written content for print and online media, or work on content for radio and television programmes or advertisements.

Many work from home on a self-employed basis and may find work on freelancing sites such as Upwork, or through approaching companies and publications directly. Specific qualifications are not necessarily needed but a degree or similar in a relevant subject will help, as will a strong portfolio of work.

Average salary: Around £20,000 per year for a content writer, though this varies hugely by experience and field of work.

4. Virtual Assistant (VA)

A virtual assistant provides the same services as a personal assistant (PA) but works from home on a self-employed basis. They will usually have a few different clients, and tasks can range from managing email and social media to bookkeeping and planning events.

Although many VAs have previously worked as a PA, no specific qualifications are needed, so it's a popular choice for people with strong organisational skills looking to work from home.

And the broad scope means individuals can fit the services they offer to their own skill-set. Many find opportunities through networking or word-of-mouth; many positions are also advertised online.

Average salary: £25,000 to £30,000 per year.

5. Transcriptionist

This involves listening to audio files and typing them out into a written document. For entry-level jobs, little experience is needed beyond strong typing skills and attention to detail. Expertise in a specific field such as finance or medicine will help secure higher-paid work.

Transcriptionists can usually work to their own schedule, making it ideal for those who want to fit their job around other commitments. Be aware that this industry can attract scams, so make sure any opportunities you apply for are legitimate. Job boards are a good place to start when looking for work.

Average salary: Around £9 per hour.

6. Survey Taker

Survey sites can be an easy way of making a bit of extra cash in your own time and from the comfort of your own home, with no experience or qualifications needed. Most pay through a system of points, which are then redeemable via PayPal or Amazon vouchers.

Survey-taking is unlikely to support you on its own, though it can be a useful way to boost your income from home.

Sign up to sites like OnePoll and i-Say and you will be sent surveys to complete. Check online reviews to make sure the sites you register for are legitimate and for details of payment.

Average salary: Varies.

7. Customer Service Representative

Customer service representatives take calls from customers, handle complaints, process orders and provide information. While many work in call centres, increasingly these roles are being filled by remote workers, with large corporations such as Apple advertising for home-based customer advisers.

You will need to be proficient with a computer and also have excellent communication skills. Full- and part-time positions are available; representatives will generally be required to commit to blocks of time working from a quiet, distraction-free space.

Average salary: Around £19,000 per year.

8. Online Teacher

Online teaching is a growing market, as Skype and other such software allows teachers to connect with students around the world.

There’s a particular demand for tutors in core subjects such as English, Maths, and Science, as well as those who can teach English as a foreign language. Online teaching can be well paid, and working with students in different time zones allows tutors to create a schedule that fits around them.

You don’t necessarily need to be a qualified teacher but will generally need to be educated to degree level. You will also need an up-to-date disclosure certificate if you’re working with children. Most are self-employed and will find opportunities through UK-wide networks and agencies.

Average salary: Around £15 per hour.

9. Bookkeeping

If you have a head for figures, offering bookkeeping services to small business owners can be a flexible way to work from home. Bookkeepers look after some or all of a business’s accounts, and their responsibilities might include recording financial transactions and producing financial statements.

Technically, you do not need any qualifications to become a bookkeeper, but you will need knowledge of accounting. It is recommended that you have a qualification from a recognised accounting organisation.

Average salary: Around £25,000 per year.

10. Translator

People who are fluent in more than one language can find themselves in demand as translators for public or private sector organisations. In most cases, the work can be done remotely, as companies will send the work to be translated electronically.

Aside from fluency in both languages, translators do not necessarily need any other qualifications, but you are likely to get more and better-paid work if you have expertise in a specific field, such as law.

Translation jobs are listed online but registering with one or more translation agencies will increase your chance of being hired.

Average salary: Around £25,000 per year.

11. Web Developer

Web developers create websites for businesses, organisations and individuals. They will listen to a client’s specifications and then design a site that is both functional and visually appealing.

Web developers need to master coding and programming languages such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, among other skills, but, once qualified, are likely to find themselves in demand.

The tech industry is ever-expanding and the best web developers can command high fees for their services, so there is definite scope for building a successful career from home.

Average salary: Around £50,000 per year.

12. Technical Support Specialist

As the name suggests, this job involves answering technical queries from customers or businesses, and providing assistance for problems with computer or electronic systems. Increasingly, businesses requiring this support are hiring specialists to work remotely.

An IT-related qualification or degree will help you find work. It is also likely that clients will want to see evidence of an in-depth knowledge of the systems they use, so Microsoft certification or similar will give you an edge.

Average salary: Around £30,000 per year.

13. Travel Agent

The internet has transformed the travel industry, which has opened up a potentially profitable path for people looking to work from home. Travel agents give advice on destinations and arrange everything from transport to entertainment. Those with a niche, such as luxury travel for wealthy clients, can demand a premium.

You will need to know your destinations inside-out and be able to offer excellent customer service; a professional qualification in travel and tourism could help you to break into the industry. Home-based opportunities are available with existing travel companies, or you could set up on your own.

Average salary: Around £20,000 per year.

14. Franchise Owner

Buying a franchise that you can run from home offers a ready-made flexible business with a concept and brand that is tried and tested. Franchisees will usually buy a licence and then receive training from the owner, but some experience in areas such as accountancy, sales and marketing, and customer service would also be useful.

Average salary: Varies.

15. Childcare Provider

If you have young children, setting up as a childminder can give you the freedom to keep your own children with you while earning a wage caring for others. Childminders must undertake a training course approved by their local authority and are required to register with OFSTED. You will also need a DBS check, first aid certificate and relevant insurance.

Average salary: £6 to £8 per hour.

16. Event Planner

Event planners arrange and coordinate professional meetings and events. They may be responsible for selecting the location, booking transport and managing other elements such as entertainment and catering. Much of this can be done from home over the phone or online, but it is likely some travel will be needed too.

There are no formal entry requirements but a qualification in a relevant field, such as hospitality, along with proven experience in the field will make you more attractive to potential clients.

Average salary: Around £20,000 per year.

17. Market Research

Market research involves collecting and analysing data about products or services. This could be through one-to-one interviews, focus groups, surveys or testing. Market researchers need participants to take part in their research projects, and often this can be done from home.

Pay varies, and may sometimes come in the form of a gift voucher rather than cash, but this can be a useful and flexible way to make some money on the side. You can sign up with companies such as ResearchOpinions to receive information about opportunities.

Average salary: Around £50 per hour.

18. Financial Advisor

If you’re good with money then you might consider making it into a home-based career. Financial advisors guide clients as they choose products and services such as pensions, loans and insurance, and many work from a home office.

Financial advisors must have a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS), which is a code of ethics, and must have passed the national Qualifications and Credit Framework at at least level 4, which involves 35 hours or more of professional training.

Average salary: Around £40,000 per year.

19. Medical Writer

Medical writers produce documents providing medical information. This could include promotional and educational literature on diseases and drugs, research documents, or content for healthcare websites.

Most medical writers have a degree in a life-science and some may also have post-doctoral experience or qualifications. The skills needed mean that this is a well paid area of work and there are often remote-working opportunities available through medical communication and education agencies.

Average salary: Around £35,000 a year.

20. Short-Term Rental Host

Sites like Airbnb and HomeAway mean that anyone with room to spare can now open their home up to paying guests. The benefits are that you decide how often you want to rent out your rooms and how much you would like to charge.

You will need to check any relevant rules and regulations that may restrict your ability to rent out rooms – some cities have introduced specific rules around short-term rentals. And you will need to follow health and safety guidelines. The relevant sites have useful information on getting started as a host.

Average salary: Varies.

Final Thoughts

As remote working becomes more common, the number of professional fields offering home-working opportunities is growing all the time. It’s not the right choice for everyone, but if you are looking for ways to decrease your stress levels and achieve more flexibility around your personal life, then the answer might be to search for a job that allows you to work from home.

Further Reading

You may be interested in these other articles on WikiJob:

How To Use Indeed For Your Job Search

A Guide To Taking A Sabbatical From Work

The 15 Best Blogs For Job Seekers