The different types of home-based careers include writing and editing, transcription, graphic design, Internet marketing, and virtual assisting. Most home-based jobs can be performed using the Internet and the phone, without the need for continual in-person contact. Some home-based careers are telecommuting jobs, where an individual is employed by a company that requires employees to work from home. In these situations, employees may be involved in managing sales accounts, assisting clients over the phone, or training employees using Web-conferencing tools.
Many home-based careers can successfully be performed over the phone. A regional sales account manager for a large company might manage an entire team of salespeople and accounts from a distance. Large companies sometimes hire customer service agents who can work at home and answer telephone calls related to company products and services. A self-employed businessperson might work at home making cold calls to potential buyers in an effort to sell his product.
Some home-based careers are performed using the Internet. A writer might be a full-time content producer for an online magazine or blog, writing at home and submitting her work via the Internet. Medical transcriptionists often work from home, typing the contents of audio recordings and emailing the completed files to clients. Data entry personnel are sometimes hired by companies to work from home, and type data from websites or hard copy documents into a database or spreadsheet. Freelance computer programmers and website developers often work at home and use the Internet to upload files and submit work to clients.
All home-based careers have similar advantages. The absence of a work commute saves transportation costs and time. In some cases, working at home means a person enjoys flexibility in work hours and structure. A work-at-home job might allow for sleeping in or working late at night if that is when a person feels most productive and creative. One of the more common challenges for home-based careers is the potential of feeling disconnected from others due to less frequent social contact.
Most types of home-based careers require specific tools and equipment, such as computers, phones, and Internet access. Other equipment needed by work-at-home individuals might include printers, fax machines, and scanners. Depending on the specific job, specialized software may be necessary, such as design software used by graphic designers. A software trainer who works from home might use Web-conferencing and remote access technologies to make presentations and facilitate communication with trainees.