The convenience of working from home is unbelievable. In fact, a lot of remote workers admit that they can’t even imagine how life would be like for them now if they weren’t given a chance to work from home. For most of them, going back to a regular office-based job is simply not an option now that they’ve experienced the joys of working remotely.
But why isn’t everyone jumping at the chance to work from home?
As with any other industry, there are so many myths that discourage people from grabbing opportunities online.
Today, we’re busting those myths and proving to people that going for a home-based job is the best decision one can ever make.
Myth #1: You earn less when working from home.
You work because you have bills to pay. You have a family to feed. You have plans for the future. So it’s only understandable that you want enough money to cover all these, with a little extra on the side, if possible.
So why switch to a homebased job if you won’t have all these?
Well, here’s the good news – it’s not true that you get paid less when you work remotely. The truth is, you may even get paid more.
Why do remote workers get more money than traditional office-based employees?
The minimum wage is different.
Here’s one reason why people leave their own country and move to the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and other similar countries. It’s because the minimum wage in their own country is so low it’s often not enough to cover their needs.
The great thing about a homebased job is that you get the chance to earn more than just the minimum wage while staying in your own country.
To help you realize how huge the pay gap is, here’s an overview of the minimum wage in the Philippines and in the US.
In the US, the minimum wage is around $7.25 per hour. But in the Philippines, the hourly minimum wage is only around $1.29 per hour!
Sure, the cost of living is way different in each country. But the fact that the minimum wage in the Philippines is not even enough to cover a family’s basic needs, you can just imagine how much of a difference it would make to earn more.
The great thing about this setup is that most employers enjoy the fact that they can pay less than the minimum wage in their country but more than what you can earn on your own.
An experienced administrative virtual assistant, for example, can earn anywhere from $4 to $10 an hour. This means that if you’re in the Philippines, you’re earning way more than what you could earn if you work in a traditional office-based job.
You have fewer expenses.
What if you claim that you earn even more than that in your office-based job?
Yeah, that’s possible. But how much are you spending?
Working in the office means that you have to spend on gas, wardrobe, and food. And if you’re unlucky enough to land a job in a place where the coffee isn’t free, you’re gonna have to account for the usual trips to the coffee place as well.
When you work from home, you won’t have to worry about transportation or commuting expenses. All you have to worry about is getting from your bed to your computer, which, I’m sure, doesn’t cost anything.
A wardrobe will not be a problem. Yes, it’s true that you get to work in your PJs as a home-based worker. You can throw on a decent jacket or top when you have a video call. Otherwise, you have the complete freedom to wear what you want.
As for food, there is no doubt that a home-cooked meal is cheaper than dining at a restaurant near your office.
Put these all together and imagine the amount of extra money you’ll have every month. This is one thing that a lot of people fail to realize. No matter how much your salary is, if your expenses are just as big (or are bigger than what you earn), then your high salary wouldn’t really matter.
You have more time on your hands.
You don’t have to deal with travel. No commute. No driving to work.
For someone who lives in Manila where the traffic is worse than anywhere else in the world), this is such a huge convenience. Some people spend as much as 4 hours going to work, then another 4 hours going home. That’s a total of 8 hours on the road!
When you work from home, every bit of those 8 hours is yours to use as you see fit. This is why a lot of home-based workers have the ability to raise their earning potential. They look for extra projects and part-time gigs to work on while other people are scrambling around, commuting to and from work. This means you can earn twice, even thrice, as much as you would when you have a single job.
Myth #2: There are no long-term opportunities or career growth.
“But aren’t home-based employees just temps? They’re gonna get rid of me once I’m done with whatever they need me to do.”
While there are project-based gigs online, this is just a small portion of the opportunities available for you.
So it’s an absolute myth that there is no career growth in remote work. If anything, a lot of employers are looking for committed people who will stay for as long as the business is there.
What about promotions?
Yes, you can get promoted in a home-based setting.
Remember that proximity to the company HQ does not affect your productivity as long as you have the right tools for work. This means that when it comes to career growth, you have just as many chances of getting promoted as a person working in the office.
In some cases, the opportunity to get promoted is even bigger when it comes to remote work. A lot of employers hiring remote workers have startups. This means that you’re there to help them build and grow their business. And who else would be in the best position to take over key roles once it’s time to hire more people? You are, of course!
As long as you perform well, career growth is a given in a home-based setting.
Isn’t this counter-productive for employers?
For some people, it doesn’t make sense to hire and promote people who do not only work from home but work on a completely different continent.
But when you think about it, it’s the more logical option.
Hiring remote workers allows employers to save up on costs. There’s no need for them to provide desk space and equipment, basically because remote employees are expected to have the right equipment before they apply for the job.
Employers also incur costs during training. They’re investing a lot of time and effort for you to master their system, as well as their culture. This means that when they need someone to step up and take a bigger role, it usually makes more sense to promote someone from the inside.
Myth #3: It’s harder to be productive when you’re working from home.
It’s true that there may be a lot of distractions at home. There’s the bed, the TV, and a lot more.
But does productivity really rely on where you are?
If you’re an easily distracted person, you will find distractions even if you’re in the office. This means that working from home will not necessarily make you less productive.
The truth is, working from home gives you the opportunity to set up your own working environment. And if you know yourself well, you can use this to your advantage.
Check this article on How to Be Productive in a Remote Setting.
Setting up the right working environment
Be honest – what are the things that cause you to lose focus? What distractions push you to procrastinate?
Once you have these narrowed down, you can come up with the perfect setup.
If you’re the sleepy type, for example, don’t even think about setting up a desk in your bedroom. If your world stops the moment someone starts a new series on Netflix, then make sure the TV isn’t anywhere near you, either.
There may also be times when your brain stops working, especially if you’re often stuck working in one corner of the house. In this case, make a list of coffee shops, internet cafes, and coworking spaces that you can visit. This could give you the change of pace that you need to get that brain running at optimum speed once again.
Myth #4: There are limited options if you’re not in marketing or any tech-related field.
When people ask about home-based jobs, they assume that it’s an opportunity exclusively available for bloggers, social media experts, and the like. They think that only programmers and IT people have the chance to work from home.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
The opportunities are endless!
There are different types of remote workers, each of them catering to a specific field or industry. The opportunities also cover a wide range of skills and professions.
Just to give you an idea of the possibilities, here are some of the most common tasks that can be assigned to home-based employees.
- Appointment setting
- Audio or video transcription
- Calendar management
- Contact management
- Content creation and management
- Creation and preparation of presentations
- Customer service
- Data entry
- Database building
- Document filing
- E-commerce management
- Editing and proofreading
- Email management
- Employee management
- Event coordination
- Graphic design
- Hotel and flight booking
- Human resources
- Online teaching
- Real estate
- Reports creation
- Search engine optimization
- Social media management
- Technical support
- Web development
This list already seems long, but it doesn’t even cover everything that you can do online. For as long as there are tools available that allow you to complete the job remotely, you can work from home.
To find out how to find a homebased job that matches your skill set, read this post.
Myth #5: Working from home is only for younger people.
Let’s face it. The older we get, the tougher it is to travel to and from work.
But why aren’t older people exploring the possibilities online?
That’s because they think that only younger, highly tech-savvy people are entitled to the opportunities available online.
In reality, online jobs do not choose people based on age. People are chosen for their skills and their ability to do the job.
How do employers gauge their virtual employees’ capabilities?
Employers take different routes in gauging their employees’ capabilities.
There are two usual ways for them to start off their hunt for their next employee – by posting a job or by browsing through available profiles. From there, they review the candidate profiles and look at the experience, skills, and other information listed.
Once they have a shortlist of people, a call is scheduled. The call usually allows the employer to gauge how well you live up to the things you wrote on your profile.
Depending on the skills required for the job, some employers would ask you to take a test or to do a trial task. Trial tasks are paid in some cases.
Some employers may also want you to take personality tests just to have an overview of what kind of employee you might be. This is something that helps them see if you fit their culture or not.
Here are the 10 Remote Worker Traits Every Employer Looks For.
As for face-to-face interviews, the most that you would probably get would be a video call. However, employers who have a physical office in your country may sometimes require you to visit their site to continue the recruitment process.
Myth #6: It’s only for people with no sense of discipline.
It’s funny how some people think that remote workers only go for home-based jobs because they don’t have the discipline to follow the usual rules involved when working in an office setting.
I have no idea where people got this ridiculous idea.
When you think about it, working from home could actually require even more discipline than working a traditional job in the office.
When you work in a traditional office setting, you have people watching over your shoulder. You have a supervisor hovering over you and watching your every move.
But when you work from home, everything becomes a test of integrity. There’s no one there to watch your every move. And, as mentioned earlier, the home can give you more distractions than when you’re in the office.
Myth #7: There’s no one to guide you or give you support.
In the previous myth, we mentioned that there is no boss looking at every single thing you’re doing. This gives some people the misconception that you will receive no support when you work from home.
But the lack of physical presence does not equate to the lack of mentorship. In fact, the process of giving guidance and support in the remote setting could sometimes be more effective. This is because of the lack of physical distractions around.
How is guidance given in a remote setup?
There are different tools that allow businesses to monitor their remote employees’ performance. From there, the necessary guidance is decided upon.
There are tools that monitor the number of hours worked, for example. All you need to do is log into the system before getting started and log out once you’re done for the day.
Most of the timekeeping software also shows idle time, as in the amount of time you spend logged in but not doing anything.
In some cases, employers also use software that takes random screenshots. This keeps you on your toes, reminding you that there’s someone watching as you browse through Facebook or YouTube instead of working on the report you were asked to finish.
You may also be given deadlines or targets depending on the task you’re working on. A lot of remote employers are pretty lenient with the way you spend your time — as long as you deliver what is needed before the deadline.
From there, employers may set up one-on-one sessions or team calls. Especially during one-on-one calls, you may be given feedback on how well you’re doing as a team member. This is also how you may be called out or coached, depending on how your performance is.
Myth #8: There is no social interaction.
They say that working from home is a lonely road to take.
Some people who have gotten tired of office politics and drama choose this route because they want to stay away from toxic colleagues. For others, however, not having people to talk to can be unbearable.
But just because you don’t have colleagues around you doesn’t mean that you won’t have any interaction. The amount of social interaction you have actually depends on your choices.
If you and other members of your team live in the same area, you guys can meet up and work together in a coworking space or coffee shop somewhere. You’d probably be staring at your screens the whole time, but at least you can pause and chat every so often.
Most remote teams also have group chats where people can catch up with each other. You don’t necessarily have to talk about work all the time, you know. Ask each other how you’re all doing. It’s unbelievable how a quick hello every day can help lighten up the mood.
Besides, when you work from home, you have more extra time on your hands. This means that you can go and meet up with friends after work.
Myth #9: There are no added perks or benefits.
When you sign a contract with your traditional employer, you are also assured that you’re getting the usual perks that come with the job. This could come in the form of bonuses, leaves, and incentives, among others.
Now, other people think that remote workers don’t enjoy the same set of benefits. But trust me, we do.
It all boils down to how you negotiate with your employer. More often than not, they are more than happy to give bonuses and performance-based incentives. Paid leaves could also be negotiated, especially once you reach the right tenure.
What about social security and healthcare?
In most cases, home-based workers are tagged as “freelance” and not as formal employees. This means that your boss may not be required to provide social security, healthcare, and other related employment benefits.
But remember that you’re the one dictating how your life goes the moment you become a home-based worker. This means that you can consider the costs that come with getting your own social security and healthcare and add them to your asking salary.
You may also think that it’s inconvenient. But that’s not true at all.
In the Philippines, it’s easy enough to change your social security status to “voluntary.” This means that you pay for your own social security benefits to prepare a pension fund for you when you retire.
Even in your voluntary status, you still get a pension, disability, maternity, and other benefits that come with social security payments. Payments can be made online, so it’s still as convenient as ever. You just need to take note of payment schedules, or you can set up the auto-debit option, and you’re good to go.
Myth #10: Most remote work offers are scams.
Yes, there have been a few cases of people jumping at the opportunity to work from home but getting disappointed when their employers or clients disappear without paying them.
But this doesn’t mean that every home-based opportunity is the same.
No matter what industry you belong to, and regardless if it’s a long-term job, a part-time gig, or a project-based opportunity, if you’re not too careful, you open yourself up to risks.
But the benefits of working from home far outweigh the risks that come with it. So all you have to do is to stay diligent to avoid being a victim of an online employment scam.
One of the best ways to keep yourself safe from these scams is to find home-based jobs on trustworthy platforms. eVirtualAssistants, for example, has security measures in place that do not just protect the employers but the job seekers that sign up for an account as well.
To find out more about virtual assistant scams, read this post.
Now that these myths have been busted, are you ready to start hunting for the best homebased opportunities around? Click here to get started!
From Where to Apply?
Before getting into the topic, let’s learn about some trustworthy platforms from where you can hire a virtual assistant. It can be done either from a VA agency or from a freelancing platform.
Here are some VA agencies to look at:
Some best freelancing platforms to hire a Filipino virtual assistant are: