Tips for Looking for Remote Work
Whether by choice or necessity, many people these days are seeking out remote work and virtual office jobs due to employment changes related to the pandemic.
Contrary to outlandish claims found online, questionable infomercials, and signs on the side of the road, working at home doesn’t usually build wealth any faster than working in an office or on a factory floor. In fact, startup businesses of any type require a great deal of time, hard work, and investment.
So how can you tell whether an employment offer to work at home represents a legitimate business opportunity or a fraudulent scheme? Here are some pointers:
If a job ad claims “a guaranteed income” or that you can “work part-time and earn full-time pay,” hold on to your wallet. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask for more details on how they compensate employees. Find out if the job is by the hour, a set salary, or based on commission. Are employees paid weekly, biweekly, or monthly? Do they pay with cash, checks, or direct deposit?
Get the Details
Find out exactly what you’ll be doing, who you’ll be working for, and what the company will provide. Are you required to purchase your own software or equipment? How often will you be paid? Do you have to sell anything or recruit others? A legitimate company will be glad to provide this information in writing, while a scam artist usually won’t provide exact details.
Request a list of the firm’s other employees or contractors, and then follow up to find out how this opportunity worked for them. Do a web search for the company, read online reviews on reputable websites, and check their profile with the Better Business Bureau. If you can't find any info on the company, that's a red flag. There are also job listing websites that screen remote working opportunities such as FlexJobs.
Study the Market
Research whether there are really customers for such a service or product in your area. For example, if you’re considering working at home for a dental billing service, ask dentists in your area if they use such a service. You’ll also want to determine whether the state requires any kind of license or certification for providing such a service.