With the wave of Covid-19, working from home is one of the many new ways of life.
Most people have heard about working from home and others are actually working from home and have been for a while.
Work from home employment has been on the rise and this pattern is only fueled by social distancing in Kenya and around the world.
Some work from home for enterprises as employed workers while others opt to work from home as self-employed.
Many people don’t see why they should have to sit in rush hour traffic to go to an office or to a job they don’t love when a computer and an Internet connection are all they need.
On the other hand, they probably have skills they could use or hobbies and activities they could do to make money in the comfort of their homes.
When it comes to work, we trade our time and skills for money. Therefore, the best work from home option makes you earn the most cash in the least amount of time.
However, most people don’t find the luxury of earning the most cash in the least amount of time but still make good money working at the comfort of their homes and on their own time choice.
Self-employed work-from-home individuals in Kenya have a wide array of options in different industries.
There is over 50 work from home ideas universally but most of them fall under home business, telecommuting, freelancing, and contract work.
Many people run home businesses in Kenya. From home-based bakeries, craft businesses, among many others.
A home business calls for an entrepreneurial effort. You are the owner and the boss.
You could hire a few employees to work for you or do all the work yourself. Additionally, you could also have your employees work from the comfort of their homes but for collective business operations and business goals.
Running a home business does not mean your enterprise is part-time or you dedicate little time to it. There are many entrepreneurs who run home-based enterprises that make them a lot of money.
When thinking of starting a home business, think of factors important to you and what you want from operating your business.
Think of factors such as flexibility, good income, work-life balance, independence, skills, experience, and low-startup.
Also, choose something you have an interest and passion for.
A home business gives you the freedom and independence to do things in ways you see the best fit. You choose and decide what works for your business and how best to do things.
However, one thing to know is that everything about your business lies in your hands. Your business success or failure will be determined by all the decisions you make and your efforts.
With a home business, some days money is all flowing and other days your money is going to be tight. Therefore, you need to learn how to budget and manage your finances.
Importantly, your home business counts on your efforts. You will have to put in more work and more hours to succeed.
Above all challenges, you get to do what you want and how you want to.
Many employed individuals have had to telecommute during this pandemic. Even before that, a good number of companies allowed their employees to telecommute.
As a telecommuter, a company hires you as an employee but as a remote worker. You could work from home or from any other remote location away from the company’s office.
Your work could be part-time or full-time and some companies give you some allowances while others don’t.
The biggest advantage of being a teleworker is the regular salary that comes with it. You literally have work that pays you regularly but at the comfort of your location of choice.
Another advantage is unless you are fired, you still have work and pay. So you don’t have to keep looking for a job or a gig to pay you.
Telecommuting brings some sort of flexibility and you can set your work and off day schedule once your employer has given you the guidelines.
However, telecommuting comes with it’s own disadvantages.
Not many companies offer telecommuting options and that means landing a telecommuting work arrangement can be difficult. Even when you get one, your work is not guaranteed and you could lose it.
Another disadvantage is that with telecommuting you have a little less flexibility compared to other work from home options. Your employer is in control of your workdays and off days.
As a freelancer, an individual, or a company hires you to provide services to them.
However, you choose what to do and who to work with.
There is a wide choice of work in freelance and as long as you have the skills, there is a lot you could do. Think of writing, web designing, marketing, etc.
You can also work for as many clients as you wish without being controlled by any client.
You could work as an individual or register yourself as a business. In Kenya for example, you could register as a business name, a sole proprietor, or a company (LTD, LLC).
You can find freelance work in different ways; on freelance work sites or by marketing yourself and networking.
Contractors can be hired as part-time or full-time workers. They are not employees thus are paid as independent workers.
Most companies who hire contractors require their contract workers to sign NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). Thus you cannot disclose any information about the company, its clients, and whatever work you do for them.
Working as a contractor in some companies means you are not allowed to offer similar services to any other clients during your signed contract period.
Your employer tells you what he or she wants and leaves the rest to you to deliver. You plan when and how to get what done as the contractor.
Contractors are hired for a specific duration of time and that marks a stable income for that period.
With telecommuting and contract work, your work is controlled by your client’s requirements. This includes company rules and policies.
For a home business, you are more in control, you own your work/business and you are the boss. As a freelancer, you also have more freedom and choice over what to work on and who to work with.
However, if you want a stable income, telecommuting and contract work is the best.
Before settling on a work from home option this coming year, think of what you can do in terms of skills, knowledge, and experience. Also, think of what you are interested in and what you want to gain.