Since 24 March, the message has been clear: stay at home. With the UK in lockdown - to help slow the spread of COVID-19 - social distancing measures mean anyone who can do their job remotely should now do so. Not everyone is so lucky, of course. The threat of coronavirus has forced vast parts of the economy - from sport and live music to gyms, shops, pubs and restaurants - to temporarily shut down. If you’re one the many people suddenly out of work, a remote job might be the ideal solution. Not only does this allow you to keep earning, you can work from the comfort - and safety - of your own home.
13 popular work from home jobs
Even a few decades ago, doing an office job remotely bordered on science fiction. Now, it’s both possible and easy. Powered by email, video chat and all manner of tech tools, working from home saves you the daily commute, as well as the time and money. Remote work is not without its drawbacks, of course. To make a success of it, you need strict discipline, meticulous organisation and laser focus.
In this article, we’ll outline the most attractive homeworking jobs on offer right now, as well as any entry requirements, and what they pay.
National Average Salary: £18,347 per year
Primary Duties: Transcriptionists take audio and video material and turn it into words. With a vast breadth of work available - from transcribing events for large companies, to media interviews for busy journalists - a transcriptionist may work independently or as part of a wider project. A good transcriber must be both fast and accurate, as near-perfection in both is basically the job. It’s a popular role among remote work beginners, as it doesn't require any additional skills or knowledge - just a good ear and quick fingers. Payment generally depends on the hours put in, as well as the speed and quality of your output.
National Average Salary: £22,409 per year
Primary Duties: Coders design, write and test code - a set of rules and instructions that tells a computer what to do - for everything from websites to mobile apps. Once, learning to code was done by earning a degree in a computer-related field, yet the internet's rise in popularity paired with increased demand means there are loads of online courses and resources that teach it. As a coding professional you can either work for a single company or as a freelancer on various projects.
National Average Salary: £23,244 per year
Primary Duties: Data entry clerks use a computer to introduce large amounts of alphanumeric data into a company's system. The data comes from various sources, such as internet feedback forms, hand-written documents and audio files. The fact data entry is done entirely with a computer makes it a perfect from-home job. No prior skills or knowledge are necessary (bar typing speed, perhaps).
National Average Salary: £23,713 per year
Primary Duties: Proofreaders scour large quantities of written content, in search of spelling, grammatical or printing errors. Though easily done from home, it’s a surprisingly intensive job, requiring absolute focus, concentration and accuracy at all times. While there’s no formal training required to be a proofreader, applicants usually have to prove their grammar skills and attention to detail to land a job. Pay can depend on the speed and accuracy of the proofreader, although nailing both - speed and accuracy - without making mistakes is a real challenge.
National Average Salary: £25,011 per year
Primary duties: Translators are either hired by a company or work as self-employed contractors, with the job mainly consisting of translating text from one language to another. Many companies require large reams of written content translated into multiple languages - whether a novel or instruction manual. Aside from fluency in at least one foreign language, translators must also be able to type fast, and maintain high levels of concentration for long periods. Their income is job dependent, and so greatly depends on their typing speed and work put in.
National Average Salary: £25,958.40 per year
Primary Duties: Freelance writers are hired by various organisations, such as newspapers, magazines and brands, to supply engaging content. Some are experts in a particular niche, while others are proud generalists - turning their hand to any topic, having researched it deeply. Length can vary wildly - from short captions to entire books - whereas pay can be determined by the day, piece or word. Your income as a freelance writer will depend on your experience level, nature of the content and, most importantly, the client’s budget.
7. Web designer
National Average Salary: £26,769 per year
National Average Salary: £28,338 per year
Primary Duties: A personal trainer (or PT) is someone trained and qualified to instruct others on exercise and fitness. Roles vary, with staff and freelance jobs both common. Often, PTs are attached to a specific gym, where they pay a fixed amount of rent, then keep 100% of the cash made from sessions with their own clients. The amount you can charge is highly dependent on experience and location (with the going rate roughly in line with the cost of living). As for homeworking, a surprising amount of every PT’s job is done by laptop. This includes liaising with clients over email, writing food and workout plans, logging progress, blogging, raising awareness on social media etc. For some, the rise of online personal training means never leaving the house, or even meeting clients. Armed with an internet connection and video chat, a top PT can help clients smash their fitness goals while they relax on the sofa.
National Average Salary: £29,166 per year
Primary Duties: Direct sales representatives are exactly what they sound like. Reps bypass physical stores - cutting out the middle-man - by taking goods and services directly to potential customers. Traditionally, the work was done door-to-door, however technology has made the role working-from-home friendly. Being a direct sales representative is high-pressure, as your salary generally depends on your ability to make the sale. Reps tend to work alone, with very little supervision from the company, so great communication skills and confidence by the bucketload are essential. As with many remote jobs, you have the freedom to set your own hours, although the less you work, the less you’ll earn.
National Average Salary: £29,166 per year
Primary Duties: Copywriters help brands, advertising agencies and small and big businesses alike tell their story. Given it covers the written word, everything is copywriting - from the slogan on your fizzy drink bottle to the ‘You have items in your basket’ notification email. Good copywriters know what makes a reader tick. Great ones know how to make them act - like buy a certain product, for example, or sign up to a mailing list. Copywriters can work for a single company, or do project-based work as freelancers. Strong writing skills are crucial.
National Average Salary: £31,259 per year
Primary Duties: A social media manager uses their company’s social media channels to promote various products, and communicate with existing and prospective customers. They need to be well-informed on the goods and services the company is selling, so they can properly reply to customer queries. They also need to have an informed view of the company's client base, and post relevant links to articles, videos, music clips and other online media that engages the right audience and boosts the brand. As social media managers are the mouthpiece for any given company, excellent communication skills are important, as is expert awareness of age demographics and tone.
12. Online tutor
National Average Salary: £34,964.80 per year
Primary Duties: Online tutors are usually hired by parents or educational facilities to provide education via the internet. This can be as a standalone service, or to supplement in-class schooling. The most popular subjects are English, maths and science, although you can offer tutoring in just about anything. Elsewhere, big companies regularly book online tutors to help staff learn a foreign language. Classes are commonly held via video chat services like Skype or Zoom, although some firms pay tutors to create pre-recorded sessions. Online tutors are typically current or former teachers, so an academic background definitely helps.
13. Online surveyor
National Average Salary: £39,595 per year
Primary Duties: Online surveyors gather consumer feedback on goods and services. Hired by companies, they typically contact existing or potential customers through online channels, and quiz them on their shopping habits, and also source feedback on the products or services they use. Targeted, in-depth questions are key, as this is what helps the hiring company improve their products and marketing approach. Working as an online surveyor suits many a homeworker, as it only requires only basic computer skills and Wi-Fi connection.