When you work at home, the idea of logging on and off — working whenever you want — is attractive! For many of us, it’s hard to do the work around a set schedule depending on what else is going on in our lives.
Some of the options available for working on your time are low paying but there are many others that can pay fairly well. Writing from home is a perfect example! I decided to make a list today of lots of different types of jobs you can usually do from home that allow you to work anytime. I’ve left off stuff like paid surveys, product testing, and other things that can’t really be considered jobs.
Please keep in mind that not everyone is hiring right now, but it’s still good to know what’s out there:
- Freelance Writing — Even though you’ll likely have deadlines to meet, freelance writing for home is one of the best ways to earn a substantial amount of money while also working when you want to work.
- Data Entry –With the exception of Virtual Bee, most of these companies rarely hire. However, you can often find data entry work available on short task and freelancer sites.
- Forum Posting – Most paid forum posting companies do not require that you work in shifts, although the money may not be enough to count on.
- Editing Work – Very flexible, similar to freelance writing as far as working on your own schedule.
- Freelancer Sites – Places like ODesk and Elance have a variety of work available in countless categories. Some of this work may be very flexible.
- Search Engine Evaluation – I know some of these companies, like Leapforce, do let you work on your own schedule.
- Short Task Sites – You can find all kinds of work to do on these sites — data entry, transcription, and even search engine evaluation, and you can always just log in and grab tasks to do when you want.
- Transcription – The flexibility will vary from company to company with transcription work, but there are many that will let you work at any time as long as you send transcribed files back to them before specific deadline.
- Tutoring – I almost didn’t list these, but I remembered that it can be very flexible work depending on the company. Most will let you set your own hours and there are a few, like Brainfuse, where you can occasionally log on and do sessions outside your scheduled hours if there are any to grab.
- ESL Tutoring- Can be flexible as well.
- There are lots of things you can do offline and outside the home, like mystery shopping, product merchandising, and court research, that you can do more or less on your own time and also independently without anyone looking over your shoulder.
- Phone Mystery Shopping – I believe most of these companies don’t require you stick to shifts or a specific schedule, although they are not always accepting applicants.
- Other Phone Work – Although home-based phone jobs are not known for being flexible, I did some digging and came up with a list of some that are known for letting you set your own schedule.
Specific Companies I’ve Had Experience With:
Textbroker – I’ve relied on Textbroker a great deal over the past few years for some regular income. You do not have to be a professional writer and you can log on and off when you want to, doing work as it suits you. The site is not without it’s flaws. People have complained recently that they are stuck at level 3 (where there is practically no work) and are having difficulty getting moved up. But I still use Textbroker sometimes. If you can write fast and you’re at a level where there is plenty of work to do, you can earn a few hundred per week writing for this site.
Demand Media – This is another site I’ve done freelance writing for that still hires writers. The pay is better than what you’ll get at Textbroker, but it’s harder to get accepted here. Although I’ve had my ups and downs with Demand Media, I love that they pay twice a week with Paypal.
Fancy Hands – My personal experience doing virtual assisting for Fancy Hands has been pretty positive. But before applying you should read over the comments in my review of them. I just had a reader who was NOT happy with the company comment with details as to why they disagree with my recommendation. But it is flexible, task-based work from home. You can pick and choose what you want to do and work more or less when you feel like it. However you do have a responsibility to go back and finish working on tasks that you claimed and could not finish to start with before too much time passes. The amount you earn will depend on how much you work since the amount per task will vary. Some tasks are definitely not worth the pay, but when I did work for Fancy Hands I saw several that were. You just have to keep an eye on it.
GAO – Great American Opportunities is legitimate data entry that pays well considering what most other data entry jobs offer. The work is seasonal and the waiting list to get in on the job is very, very long. I had to wait one year after testing and being accepted to start. You can log on and off and work whenever you want to provided there are orders available to key in. The orders do run out as other workers grab them. You can read more about the opportunity in Miranda’s review here.
Leapforce – I did search engine evaluation work from home for Leapforce about a year and a half ago. This was not my cup of tea so I didn’t continue it, but I was able to work anytime I wanted to. I still found it difficult though because you had to track your own time and with small children at home I found myself getting constantly interrupted. It’s hard to track your time accurately when you are starting and stopping so much. But the pay is pretty generous (over $13 an hour).
oDesk – This is a freelancer site I used to work on a temporary writing project. There is a ton of work listed across several categories and a lot of it is very flexible. You do have to place bids for the jobs you want on oDesk and it can be difficult to win bids because there are so many people in other countries who are willing to work for much less than what we consider minimum wage to be in the US. But if you stay on top of it and keep trying, you can find some little gems.
Amazon MTurk – I’ve been doing work off and on for Amazon MTurk for a few years. Much of the work is very low pay and could only be considered extra money, but I have managed to snag a few tasks that paid at least minimum wage and in a few cases more (anyone remember the easy peasy John Gaddy writing hits?). Keep an eye on forums like Hits Worth Turking For on Reddit and TurkerNation to know what tasks pay enough to be worth the time spent.
Sites I Haven’t Tried That Others Recommend
Needle - I have not done chat work for Needle, but from what I understand it is pretty flexible. You can schedule yourself for hours and there is also a “free skate” option where you can log on and work when you feel like it.
Fiverr - Have you ever considered listing some gigs on Fiverr? I have a lot of readers that make decent money selling their services here, and you can work when you want. To get an idea of different services you can sell, take a look at what other people are offering.
LiveOps – LiveOps is one of the few work at home phone jobs that is pretty flexible when it comes to scheduling. You can make your own hours and log in when it’s convenient for you. I have read though that sometimes LiveOps overhires for some of their clients and that can make it difficult to make as much money. Apparently Arise is also very flexible, but this is more of a business opportunity and there is a start up cost involved, so it’s definitely not for everyone.
Flexible Sites For Extra Money
Humanatic – This is extra money only, make no mistake. But you aren’t tied to any specific hours. Basically you just review recorded phone conversations and tag them accordingly. The pay at Humanatic is low (really below minimum wage), but a lot of people enjoy it for some extra money. I enjoyed it, too, but it just doesn’t pay enough for me to spend that much time on it.
PostLoop – You can earn money posting on forums with PostLoop. This is also just extra money, but I still do it sometimes for a quick five bucks here and there.
Virtual Bee – Virtual Bee is data entry work you can do for extra money. Pay is low, but I kind of enjoy it when there is work to do (lots of times there isn’t). They pay weekly and you have to have at least $30 accumulated to get paid.
Things I Miss …
Writing this post has me remembering some of the old work at home “eggs” I used to have that were flexible and paid well. Three come to mind:
Answering Texts For ChaCha – Yes, I know ChaCha is still there, but it’s a complete waste of time now if you want to earn any real money. I don’t even know if I would recommend this for “extra” anymore. Several years ago it was fun work that paid well and you could get your money right away if you were OK with letting ChaCha keep $2 every time you needed to cash out. And of course this was a flexible job you could work anytime, day or night. I really wish something else like ChaCha used to be would crop up!
Titling for Demand Media – This was hands down the easiest, best-paying work at home job I probably ever had. I did Title QA and all I had to do was press a button saying whether or not each title that passed before me on the screen was OK as is, needed editing, or needed rejecting. So easy! There were times when I was making $18 to $20 an hour doing this and it seemed the work never stopped. Well … until it did. And everyone got fired.
WiseGeek – I loved writing for WiseGeek! I only had the one editor to worry about unlike Demand and they always had a ton of titles to choose from. Plus I could usually get paid three or four times per week, usually the same day my work got approved. I made anywhere from $10 to $12 an article for 400 words, mostly easy to write content that didn’t take long to do. Changes in the Google algorithm really hurt WiseGeek so now they’ve had to completely change the way they do things. The site is still there, but they haven’t been hiring writers for a long time. Here’s the link to their writing jobs page if you want to keep tabs in case they ever open it again.
So, there are some ideas if flexibility is what you need in your job. If you have some other ideas you’d like to add below, I’d love to read them!