Working from home has always been an appealing option for many people. Ditching the commute and the office politics and having the flexibility to work when and how you want are undoubtedly big selling points. In the COVID-19 environment, many companies have realised that their employees are equally or more productive when working from home, and some are saving on office costs by offering remote work as a permanent option. This means there are more remote opportunities out there for those who want them.
Is Working From Home Right for Me?
Working from home is not for everyone. If you love the social atmosphere of a busy office, you might struggle with working within your four walls. That said, many hubs are springing up for remote workers now, where for a small fee, you can share office space and socialise with other remote workers.
Working from home can be perfect if you are an independent self-starter who likes the flexibility and dislikes being micro-managed. It’s also an excellent option for those who want plenty of time at home while raising their kids or people who have a disability or condition that makes getting to the office a challenge.
The range of roles you can take on from the comfort of your own home is diverse. Here are a few options to consider.
1. Medical Transcriptionist
One popular career that can be done entirely from home is medical transcription. Qualified medical transcriptionists are in high demand, and in New Zealand, they’re paid around $23 an hour. The role of a medical transcriptionist is to type words dictated by a doctor into a written document that is then added to a patient’s record. Most doctors now outsource this service, so it’s a better time than ever to enter the field. Various courses are available to learn medical transcription, including the LearnMT Certificate of Medical Transcription and the New Zealand Certificate of Medical Transcription and Editing.
2. Trademe Seller
If you have good business sense and self-motivation, you can make good money setting up your own business as a TradeMe seller. If you’re doing this, it’s a great idea to set up a TradeMe store, so you have your own brand and distinctive online presence. Trademe has some good tools available for professional sellers, which are worth making the most of. They also have some valuable tips for those wanting to establish their TradeMe business, including information on making sure your listing photos pop. You will need to open a business account on TradeMe to go professional - in fact; this is recommended in general if you sell regularly and have an approval rating of over 95%. Here’s how.
3. Web Developer
If you’re tech-savvy and love to code, web development is a career with plenty of remote opportunities. It’s well paid, too: the average salary for a web developer in New Zealand is $77,000 per year (the average Kiwi salary is $52,000). There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to qualifying to become a developer. However, you usually need at least one of the following:
If you graduated in a different field, you could gain a fast-tracked IT-related qualification through an ICT Graduate School. Learn more about a career in web development.
Bear in mind that while there is an increasing number of fully remote web developer roles out there, many employers will want you in the office at least some of the time.
4. Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant offers personal assistant services to businesses remotely. This can be anything from bookkeeping to documentation to general administrative tasks. While quite a lot of VA work is outsourced to countries like the Philippines, there are some thriving VA businesses in New Zealand, and if you’re organised, efficient and have great people skills, it could be the perfect flexible career. YourVA is always on the lookout for new virtual superstars - take a look to see if you might be a good fit.
5. Freelance Proofreader
Proofreading tools like Grammarly might be popular, but there will always be demand for quality proofreading services from real humans with a genuine love of language and the power to spot errors a mile off. If this sounds like you, then a job as an online proofreader could be perfect. Depending on the level of experience, a proofreader can earn anything from $26 to $44 an hour.
There is some technical learning involved in becoming a professional proofreader, so it can be useful to take a course. There are many out there to choose from. One well-established option in New Zealand is the Proofreading and Editing Course at the New Zealand Institute of Business Studies.
Establishing yourself as a proofreader is generally a mix of word of mouth (possibly taking on some voluntary projects first to get testimonials) and getting set up on a freelancing website where you can pitch to clients and win projects. Upwork is the biggest international player, but there are many others too.
6. Childcare Worker
Things will never be dull if you open your home up to become an early childhood educator. This is a popular option for parents or grandparents who are staying at home with young children. It can actually be fun for you and your kids to invite some other littlies into the mix, and you can make a bit of money too. The demand for in-home childcare is on the rise in New Zealand, and companies like PORSE are always on the lookout for responsible and reliable people to become early childhood educators. Find out more.
7. Online Tutor
If you have a skill that you can teach to others, you can be an online tutor. One area that’s always in demand is English as a Second Language, so this could be an option if you have good English skills. The pandemic has brought remote learning to the fore more than ever before, and there are plenty of opportunities out there. Superprof is a New Zealand platform that offers online tutoring opportunities. Be aware that the work might be one-off or seasonal, but if you are happy to be flexible, it can be a rewarding option.
As you can see from the wide range of careers covered above, there really are remote working opportunities to suit all life situations and skillsets. And with a clear trend toward home working that looks set to stretch beyond the pandemic, there’s never been a better time to explore options outside of the traditional office nine-to-five and to find that elusive work-life balance.