4 Ways To Start Working at Home

You don't have to be lonely if you're working from home. Photo: Morsa Images/Getty Images

Working from home is a dream that many employees have. And, as the work world becomes more open to remote employees, that dream is becoming a reality. But what do you do if you have an office job and want to switch to remote work? Learn four ways you can make it happen.

Key Takeaways

  • If you have an office job, pitch the idea of switching your position to remote work. If your job doesn't require any face-to-face interactions, it could be an easy move.
    Look for remote openings in the same field you're in now. Not only will have you the chance to do your work from home, but you may get a pay increase by switching jobs, too.
  • Starting a home business is another option for you to work from home.
  • If you can't find a full-time remote job, consider launching a side-gig career in which you do remote work.

Turn Your Current Job into a Remote Position

The first option to consider is the one that involves the least amount of change, taking your current in-office job and turning it into a remote position.

And research and reflection are the first steps to transitioning your current position from an office job to remote work at home. Learn everything there is to know about your company's remote policies then think about how these might (or might not) be applied to your job.

If you think you have a good case, the next step is to write a remote-work proposal for your boss. Anticipate what your boss might say and formulate effective, clear responses to those scenarios.

Also, be prepared to get a "no" or "maybe" when you pitch you're remote-work idea to your boss. If that's, the case here are a few tips:

If they say "maybe," ask them what their concerns are. They may fear that other employees will want to go remote if you do. If that's the case, let your boss know the specific circumstances (e.g. your position doesn't require face-to-face interaction) that make your situation unique.

If your boss says "no," ask them if that's negotiable. Pitch working from home only part of the time. Request a probationary period where you work from home a couple of days a week. Seeing your plan in action—and how you remain productive at home—may be the evidence your boss needs to change their mind.

Find a New Work-From-Home Job

So if it seems that turning your current job into a remote one is a long shot, the next best way to start working from home is to find a new job. If you switch jobs within your field, you will likely make more money than if you try something different. However, if your career area just doesn't offer a lot of remote opportunities, you may need to strike out into something new.


Switching jobs can earn you more than a 30% pay increase, in some cases.

Start Your Own Home Business

A home business has many advantages. It can take many forms--everything from hanging out a shingle as a consultant in work you already do (AKA freelancing) to starting a new business from scratch to purchasing an existing business or franchise to working in direct sales, selling to friends and family. Each of these options will have different start-up costs, time commitments, and payoffs.

Whichever option you choose, consider writing a business plan. There are two main types: traditional or lean. A lean business plan isn't as in-depth as a traditional plan; it includes summaries and focuses on the most important parts of your business. In general, they're one page long and include the following sections:

  • Key partnerships
  • Key activities
  • Key resources
  • Value proposition
  • Customer relationships
  • Customer segments
  • Channels
  • Cost structure
  • Revenue streams


A business plan helps you collect your thoughts about what you want from your business and how you'll make it successful. It acts as a road map for how you make decisions and run your business.

Take on a Side Gig

Freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr make it possible for you to work remotely before or after you go to your in-office job. Typically, you can apply to jobs that offer a fixed payment for a one-time job and those that provide hourly work and consistent hours every week or day.

Take some time to look over your weekly schedule. When do you have time to take on extra work? While it may be tempting to say "yes" to every job you're offered, try to balance your side gigs, regular job, and free time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is remote work?

Remote work refers to work you do away from your office. Locations could include your home, a cafe, or a library.

How do I start working from home?

The easiest way to work from home is to convince your manager to let you switch your position from in-office to remote. Other ways to do remote work include finding a new job that's 100% remote, starting a home business, or doing side gigs from home.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Rutgers University Division of Student Affairs Career Development Center. "How To Ask Your Boss for Full-Time Remote Work."

  2. The Conference Board. "One Third of Those Who Changed Jobs Make 30% More."

  3. Small Business Administration. "Write Your Business Plan."

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