If you are looking for some ways to turn a hobby, an interest or other valuable work-related knowledge and skills into something productive – without that twice-daily commute – here are some favourite ideas to work from home in 2017.
Survey panellists and mystery shopping
Competing online competitions and reviews is one possibility, whether from a smartphone, tablet or PC. Similarly, mystery shopping involves working as a panellist for specialist market research companies. Assignments for mystery shoppers can include visiting stores, restaurants, bars, banks and garages to evaluate the product offered or the level of service received.
Some mystery shopping roles advertise no fixed contract and options to work as much or as little as the panellist wishes. As well as cash, payment may be offered through gift vouchers, free products or prize draws. Leading UK agencies in this field include Retail Maxim, Grass Roots and GBW, formerly known as Gapbuster.
Writing or designing infographics
From CVs, white paper and specialised contract writing assignments to high output content mill jobs, qualified and budding writers now have the opportunity to use their knowledge of the written word and creative self-expression to compose articles and web content. Everyday work might include ghostwritten Blog posts or product descriptions, while more detailed or technical tasks may come with experience.
Lately, there are also opportunities designing infographics. In this relatively new and select sector, writer’s-come-designers are likely to excel if they can combine simple explanations for potentially complex topics with an artistic streak.
Online currency trading can work well for individuals who understand the basics (at least) of financial markets. The largest market in the world, foreign exchange (or Forex) trading involves buying and selling currency. Buyers and sellers agree transactions on the almost constantly changing relative value between two currencies, i.e. the buyer obtains currency A from the seller and pays with a different quantity of currency B. Total trades can be large and there is relatively little supervision, as the objective is to assist international investment and commerce. The business is highly liquid, geographically dispersed and open from 2200 hours GMT on Sunday in Sydney until 2200 hours on Friday in New York, except public holidays.
Considered as the market that is closest to perfect competition (except when central banks intervene in the currency markets), average margins on individual deals are lower than in conventional product-based business. Characteristically, retail market makers are smaller operators than banks, hedge funds and international corporations.
As well as solid economic knowledge or financial expertise including the ability to interpret price graphs helps. A good understanding of other factors such as long term economic trends, capital flight and safe havens is useful, along with the ability to differentiate between rumour and fact.
One notable UK Forex trading company is CMC Markets, with a headquarters in London and offices worldwide, including Sydney and Singapore. CMC Markets won a prestigious UK award in November 2016 as the best CFD (contract for difference) broker; the business is regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and its shares are quoted on the respected London FTSE 250 Index.
Selling and team leading
Companies such as Avon require sales representatives and team leaders. A long-established and well-known, home-based cosmetics supplier, Avon is popular with a considerable cross-section of customer profiles. Opinions are often favourable and customer loyalty relatively high.
The company operates a recruitment option via a video call with ID. New representatives receive a free start-up pack and usually have an individually allocated area. Other advantages include flexible hours and potentially unlimited earnings, depending on the time spent and level of sales achieved.
Nowadays, busy organisations are likely to contract defined project tasks out to specialists – including the sometimes complex and time-consuming task of hiring new staff. Such companies can then focus on their core business activities, while freelance recruiters (who usually have personnel skills or are proven HR specialists) are entrusted to take charge of the process of finding, selecting, interviewing and taking on suitable candidates for vacant positions.
Good motivation, organisation and communication skills are essential.