The global pandemic is taking its toll on mental health as well as physical health. Does any of this sound familiar? We’re stressed out by the ever-present risk of infection, and we’re worried about – or even worse mourning for – loved ones. But so many people also are down in the dumps about being stuck at home, about missing friends and family, about skipping life’s milestones and just about boredom in general. Those stressors are in turn causing an uptick in interpersonal problems as families bump heads and bicker.
Everybody seems to be in a bad mood so much more often than in the pre-pandemic days for which we long. The last thing anyone needs is to worry about money, too. But of course, as well all know, unemployment remains at levels unprecedented in most of our lifetimes – 22 million U.S. jobs were lost between February and April, and by August less than half of those had been restored. Even the most recent U.S. unemployment numbers reflect seven out of every 100 workers are still without a job.
While many of the lost jobs in industries most impacted by social distancing requirements – personal care, dining and entertainment, for example – are expected to recover when the pandemic finally subsides, others jobs are not expected to return. For example, consumer shifts toward e-commerce will likely continue even when it’s once again safe to go shopping.
At the same time, we are seeing costs of living rise more than most of us could have expected. People are earning less money while even basic groceries cost so much more. While millions are still worried about finding a job, plenty more are worried about the job they have. Employees everywhere risk viral exposure on a daily basis, and at the same time they are dealing with more customers and colleagues who are also in a bad mood.
In fact, according to a recent poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in collaboration with the software company SAP, a quarter of American workers have considered quitting their jobs over pandemic-related concerns. Another 20 percent said they have taken a leave of absence.
The survey also found even more low-income workers had considered quitting. Among households earning less than $30,000 annually, 39 percent of workers had considered quitting their jobs.
“This is perhaps the most surprising finding,” John Roman, a senior fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, told the Associated Press. “The people who can least afford to lose their jobs are leaving jobs in higher numbers. But it fits with the story that they feel unsafe healthwise.”
As a result of the pandemic, more jobs have moved to remote locations, and millions are working from home for the first time. In fact, those out of work and those concerned about the safety of their working environment can ease some of their stress by earning money from home. There are countless ways to earn a living without ever leaving your house, regardless of your experience, education or skill set.
Hoping to stay safe, ease your mind and still support yourself and your family? Check out the following ways to earn a living without leaving your house.
Working from home used to be considered a luxury, but the current pandemic has forced even companies that never before considered telecommuting options to take action and transition into remote workplaces. According to Forbes, 68 percent of U.S. workers expect to work remotely at some point in the future.
Even though remote work is quickly becoming an acceptable norm, plenty of workers aren’t sure how to find jobs that let them telecommute. The good news is remote jobs are available in practically every industry, you might just have to think outside the box and expand your horizons.
“You now have more flexibility to work for places where you don’t physically live or don’t plan on physically moving,” Tiffany Aliche, a financial educator and founder of The Budgetnista told Vice. “More and more companies are starting to realize that their employees can be productive without having to watch them eight hours a day. So I would encourage people to throw a wider net.”
Of course, it never hurts to know some of the best resources for finding remote work. Instead of scouring traditional job boards to try and find remote jobs amidst a sea of traditional positions, take a look at some of the resources that cater specifically to remote work, including:
- Flexjobs boasts more than 33,000 job postings from 4,600 companies. The employment opportunities cater to nontraditional workers: part-time, remote and freelance job seekers.
- We Work Remotely is an online board where job seekers can search for opportunities they can fulfill regardless of their location. The site is updated frequently, and job seekers can search for openings based on title or skill without any concern for geography.
- Indeed is one of the largest job boards in the world, and it’s a great place to search for remote work. Instead of filtering jobs by location, just enter “remote” into the “where” search field, and sort through thousands of opportunities. Job seekers can also upload their resume to Indeed so employers seeking remote workers can know they’re available.
Plenty of remote workers are earning money from home without being employed by a company. The gig economy is made up of freelance or contract workers who take jobs on-demand, often working multiple freelance jobs at any given time.
The gig economy offers a lot more than food delivery and ride share opportunities. In fact, even before the pandemic about 57 million Americans – 36 percent of all adults – participated in the gig economy to some extent. That number is only growing as more people make the move toward working from home, and opportunities expand into new industries – including plenty that can be done without leaving the house. In fact, the popular freelancing job sight Upwork has seen a 50-percent increase in new users in the past few months.
Whether it’s freelance writing, composing marketing jingles, creating graphics, providing voiceover services, serving as a virtual assistant, writing code, completing surveys or any of the countless other individual opportunities from the growing gig economy, there are possibilities for practically everyone.
One secret to success in the gig economy is flexibility. While there are tons of gig opportunities available, there’s no promise of full-time work – especially for workers who focus on one specific task. For example, a person who records music on demand might also need a backup gig writing product reviews for those times in between primary tasks. Especially when starting out, the more types of gigs a worker is willing to accept, the better their odds of earning their living without a full-time job.
Whether you already know what type of on-demand jobs you want to complete or you want to enter the gig economy but don’t know how, the following websites can connect you with plenty of opportunities:
- Fiverr is popular among skilled workers looking for freelancing opportunities. When businesses or consumers need help with a task, whether it’s building a website, writing an essay or even painting a portrait, they can post the opportunity on Fiverr, which connects them with skilled gig workers. Because of the wide breadth of opportunities, Fiverr is a great option for creative gig workers just starting out on their freelancing journeys.
- Trusted by more than 5 million businesses, Upwork is one of the world’s most popular freelance marketplaces. The app helps freelancers find one-time gigs or long-term contracts in a variety of industries ranging from web content and graphic design to marketing, accounting or customer service.
- Graphite, formerly known as SpareHire, is a popular site for freelancing business and finance professionals. Accountants and other financial experts can find opportunities working for businesses as well as individuals.
- Freelancer is a trusted app used by businesses seeking services on a freelance basis. The app is particularly popular in the tech industry with numerous opportunities for web designers, software developers and other types of tech experts. Many of the gigs are available on a long-term basis.
- TaskRabbit is a great option for both gig workers who haven’t focused on a specific niche or for those in between gigs in their primary field. The website connects freelancers and gig workers with all sorts of errands and odd jobs that others need completed.
Home-based or Online Business
Traditionally, those who wanted to earn money without working for someone else would start their own businesses. But the days when you needed a storefront or even inventory to run a business are long gone.
Thanks to e-commerce, so many can start a successful business without leaving home. Entrepreneurs are only limited by their imaginations. To give you some ideas, consider the following web-based business options:
- Offering a variety of creative services is a great way to establish a successful home-based business. Photography is a classic choice for those who desire to be their own bosses, but there is always demand for other creative pursuits, including graphic design, painting, writing, fashion design, music and even scrapbooking or other crafts.
- Anyone who has something to sell can start an online business without even creating their own website (although that can never hurt). Whether you’re a yard-sale pro or you have collections to unload, you can sell practically any product on sites like Ebay, Craigslist or even Facebook’s marketplace. You can use a platform such as Shopify to develop your own online store. Flipping flea market finds is a growing trend in the online business sphere, and entrepreneurs who can spot a deal can potentially earn thousands from buying and selling used items.
- Flea market finds aren’t the only things that can be flipped by a home-based business. Tech-savvy entrepreneurs can build websites and flip them for profit. How does it work? Just buy a niche website, improve it with a new design or a helpful blog, then sell it to another business in that particular niche. It might take an investment of time as well as money, as improving an existing site doesn’t happen overnight, but a website flipper can potentially profit thousands of dollars from each sale. Not only can entrepreneurs flip existing websites, but they can also turn a profit from investing in domains. Businesses will pay thousands of dollars for a domain name linked to their niche. After all, the right website address can make all the difference when it comes to outselling competitors, but it can be difficult to find a domain that is both perfect and available. Some entrepreneurs have established successful businesses from nothing more than buying and selling premium domain names.
- Blogging is more than a pastime for skilled writers and those with expertise to share, it can also become a lucrative business – although that doesn’t happen overnight. Establishing a website to host the blog is only the first step (and it’s not free, either), followed by creating content, whether that’s in written or video form. Only after a blogger successfully attracts an audience can they start earning money from their content. Blogs can be monetized by selling advertising space or by affiliate marketing and sponsorships. Through affiliate marketing, companies will pay a content creator for promoting their products and services.