Work from Home: Where to find such jobs?
With the pandemic at our doorstep, it is the new norm to work at home — or work from home? Or work remotely?
If you want to skip through all the tips and tricks and get right to reading about the best job portals in Singapore, click here.
We need to get the terms right.
Though they have the person working out of the traditional office, “working from home” happens because of the social distancing measures; remote working is a chosen working style by the job’s nature or a company’s culture, pandemic or not.
“Working at home” is simply an answer to the question “Where are you now?”
Remote working – working out of the office – doesn’t necessarily mean that the person works from home; they could be working anywhere, just not in the office. With more exposure to the concept of remote working, many people have become enticed by the idea of working from home – especially homemakers who struggle for more financial support in these difficult times, and working professionals who long for a break from the political arena.
In the past, only the freelancers worked remotely. Now, more jobs have surpassed their traditional nature, stretching the possibilities of working from home. Here is a list of work-from-home jobs existing in Singapore now.
The pandemic confirms that remote working is the way for writing jobs. As long as you have the device, you can work anywhere, even at home. Many companies have started working with freelance writers instead of hiring a full time in-house.
When there is communication, there is a need for writing, so there is an abundance of writing jobs available: copywriting, content writing, review writing, editing, transcribing, translating and so on. The pay is fluid, dependent on the scope and the employer.
The pandemic-caused surging demands for online training also mean more companies are needing help for online materials. And they turn to these freelance writers.
Education Materials Specialists
All ages of students require extra guidance to keep up with the increasing demands of learning in school. And since the content has become challenging even for the older generations, parents need external help.
Generally preferred for the undivided attention the child would receive, home tutoring remains relevant in Singapore. Now the pandemic creates a new demand for online teaching and thus a need for a greater variety of online materials. Who could be better for the work than a teacher-turned-freelance tutor like you?
Hobbies-turned businesses are becoming a norm – home baking is one that can be entirely home-based. The circuit breaker might have created more problems like low supply of ingredients, but it didn’t stop the home-bakers. More have sprouted across the country.
To start a home baking business, you need good baking skills, an equipped kitchen, social media accounts (i.e. Instagram) and creativity. Following the government guidelines, home-baking businesses can only take small scale projects. Even so, home-bakers earn at least $80 a month.
We go to them for almost every kind of support and enquiries, mostly technical ones. Online chatbots have become a communication norm, but complex conversations are still best for live chats.
During the lockdown, call-centre representatives around the globe have been working from home, taking their communications online; and companies are noticing the possibilities and benefits. This job will likely remain home-based after the pandemic. Companies overseas may also need help from Singapore. Call-centre representatives usually make about $490 per month.
From websites to book covers to product packaging, designers can cover almost everything where aesthetics are vital. As freelance writers, freelance designers and nomad artists have been around for some time, growing in numbers. Some computer programmers have also turned to freelance designing.
With our modern priority on aesthetics and our habitual access to technology, designers will remain relevant. Many companies have also outsourced their designing tasks to freelance designers.
The pandemic made many in-house designers work from home, and companies again realised the possibility and benefits, making this arrangement permanent. The average salary of a good designer is about $3000 a month.
Accounts Executives / Assistants
Finance management is essential to every company’s operation. Unless an employer is capable and willing, a full-time staff is usually hired for the job. These days, many SMEs turn to freelance accountants.
Some employers may want their accountants to handle the bookkeeping matters at the same time; most would have the administrative personnel do the deed then pass onto the accounting staff. Since most accounting tools are now available online, it’s plausible to work from home as long as you are well-connected online. A freelance accountant can earn at least $20 an hour.
Administrative Executives / Assistants
These people are needed in any industry for daily information management and communication matters. During the pandemic, many companies have started engaging home-based administrators for administrative tasks not requiring face-to-face interactions, such as data entry and bookkeeping.
Though an experienced administrator is generally preferred, many employers do hire people with transferable skills and the right attitude since they can be acquired on the job. A starting freelance administrative job pays about $12 an hour, and this amount increases with the person’s relevant experience.
Social Media Representatives
Marketing strategies have changed with the times. Many companies have been competing for a more substantial presence on popular social media platforms, for that competitive advantage; hence there is a surging demand for experts in this area.
A Social Media Representative is a copywriter, a content creator, a writer, a video producer and a photographer all rolled into one. Some companies do hire people with some of the relevant skills and then allow them to acquire the rest on the job. Due to the complex demands of the job, a good Social Media Representative can earn about $4000 a month.
Working from home: How to make it work?
Whether you are a homemaker or not, there will be challenges when you work from home. Your personal space is now mixed with the business, so there is a need for rules and guidelines to facilitate your personal adjustment and adaptation.
Set your boundaries and stick to them
When you work in an office, it’s easy to follow the working hours and break times. Office is a place of business and professionalism; home is of personal matters. When you work from home, the delineation is less obvious.
We are humans, not robots. We can’t work 24/7 even if we were willing. Carving out boundaries is essential to succeed in working from home for a long term. So set your limits – take lunch and stop work punctually, and leave your off-days alone. If you must, make a symbolic gesture like shutting the laptop or switching off the computer. These actions tell your brain ‘Time’s up. Let’s unwind for the day.”.
Should someone tell you to be more flexible and read that email – it won’t take long -, knowing that someone is rigid about their boundaries too. Everyone is looking out for themselves; it’s a responsibility to self and our loved ones. So don’t feel bad and stick to your boundaries. Be serious about them.
Plan for the day and set your priorities
Even in the office, we mapped out our agenda for the day. It is even more crucial when you work from home. Having an overview and clear direction for the day helps a lot, especially when you meet with unexpected occurrences. The day can still be as productive with your child sick or when your boss had a change of mind at the very last minute.
Freelancers are very skilled time managers because they are aware that they are no longer reminded by a system. Letting time run on its own has its consequences, which are usually hard to accept. So do spend some quality time and plan ahead, it will help in the long run.
Have a fixed space for work
This is part of setting your boundaries for work, separating business from personal matters.
When you designate a spot at home for work, that spot becomes significant, and your brain relates it to work. So leaving that spot is like leaving the office, and your mind is more convinced to switch to personal mode.
Freelancers are familiar with this method and recognise its importance. Hence they work at cafes and libraries when it becomes impossible to carve out a workspace at home.
Prepare your family and loved ones
Seek their cooperation and understanding about your boundaries so they can help you stick to them. No person is an island – since it takes a village to raise a child, it would take a family to make self-care work.
I’m sure they will remind you to close that laptop when it’s past working hours and take the much-deserved break. Your husband or wife would even take turns with you on child care. So don’t leave them out. Let them in. Let them help.
Set realistic expectations
When I first started freelance writing, I was driven and eager. I took up 4 assignments, and the deadlines were neck-to-neck. But, I was confident I could handle them all.
I was wrong. When the deadlines pressed near, I nearly lost it. After two weeks, I wanted to give up and return to the normal job track. During a break, I realised what went wrong – my expectations were too fast track.
Be honest and don’t geh kiang. Be as detailed and time-specific with your goals and objectives. Know when your perfectionism has clouded your judgement. You can talk to a trusted confidante, and read reviews or autobiographies to ground your expectations as much as possible. There’s no need to rush or start big. The end is eventual; however, you make it.
So where do we find home-based jobs?
Here are some job portals in Singapore that may be useful for you.
Signing up with them takes less than 5 minutes – either link to your Facebook account or your Gmail account. Then upload your resume, and that’s all! I like it because it’s exhausting to repeat my information in boxes of limited space or inaccurate options. But there is no profile page to showcase your qualities in a glance.
Their landing page is clear and direct. You can search by job title, company name, keywords and your preferred job location. The result list comes up in the same tab. There are filters at the side for a more efficient sift through the 3000 over jobs. Each job is headlined with its title, the salary and the hiring company. I couldn’t seem to focus with these packed bold phrases – every job looks the same.
In a separate tap, you get all the necessary information of the job – from its responsibilities to the requirements to the company’s profile. I appreciate this feature because it helps to track my search.
The type of home-based jobs are quite limited here – the job titles are grand but sounded airy. You may have to go through a few pages to find some good ones. Some job offers sound too good to be true, so it’s critical to reach every word.
It takes longer to sign up for an account. To register, you need to provide your full name and nationality, then submit the basic details, like your experiences and education. Once done, you see an overview of your resume, which then requires further inputs. The thing is – all of the requested info is already in my CV, so I’m quite frustrated to repeat everything.
Though accurate dropdown lists are provided to hasten the process, it still feels redundant because at the bottom of the resume page is a tab for attaching a resume.
You can search by keywords. The search box was helpful – one tap on it fills it with your last searched phrase.
The list of matching jobs is more organised, clearly presented and informative with realistic job titles, job summaries and estimated posting dates.
More information is revealed with a new page. Though it didn’t help with backtracking, the large pool of data is organised with the job seeker in mind, so it is efficient and effective with minimal scrolling. They also provide a reporting channel to seek your inputs to better their platform actively. The cruising experience is pleasant and smooth.
There is also a wider variety of jobs from different industries, so every page is a good find.
This is like a crossover between Facebook and a job searching platform. Setting up an account is easy but tedious – I didn’t enjoy repeating all the information from my CV, which they – again – allowed to be attached on the profile page.
Their uniqueness – they connect you to professionals with mutual backgrounds, such as college or previous workplace; much like Facebook. With your profile settings, you can join groups and get updates and posts from various sources relevant to your job and experiences.
I was initially sceptical about their Facebook-like features – I’m not a Facebook friend. But soon these features helped clarify my doubts and boost my confidence as I searched for the right job to apply. It was encouraging to know that a fellow coursemate was in a position which I thought I wasn’t qualified to do.
You can search in many ways, not just with keywords. The results page is organised and thoughtful – you see everything on one page: the summaries on the left; the details of each job well-organised and complete on the right. This layout allows you to scroll through the list and view the details of each job in one view.
The jobs postings are colourful, so the browsing experience felt positive. However, most of the jobs are with established companies, looking for relevant experiences so that it might be intimidating for entry-level applicants.
They also asked for details of your CV when setting up an account, and provided a dropdown list for every question to hasten the process. They also let you attach your CV at the end of it all.
You can search in various ways, keywords or location, and indicate some filters with it. The results page is as colourful, organised and considerate as Linkedin’s, but slightly more useful – the job details took up a greater section of the frame so you can focus better. However, the presentation of the details are not as considerate, so I still need to read a few times to grasp the job profile.
Their platform is still special because it works as well even when you reduce the screen size. The interface instantly switches to a mobile-like view. You won’t see everything in one view – the details pull up with a turn of a page, but you can read with ease as the font size is not compromised.
The web cruising experience is enjoyable and motivating as they have an even greater variety of jobs, including those from the government sector.
Somehow, I like this platform the most – it has all the goodness from the previous mentions, enhanced. Most importantly, it values your CV. You can choose to create your resume in their guided system, or simply upload one. With the latter, the system immediately scans through your document and transfers all the information onto the profile page – you only need to look through and make a few refinements! I’m thoroughly impressed. I love this feature the most.
Your job profile also includes information such as your availability, desired job types and years of experience, to enhance your searches. I feel assured knowing that the results are customised for me.
You can search using keywords or location, or your history of searches, like the other platforms. The results page also allows you to scroll through the list of matching jobs and read the details on the same view. Click onto the job title, and you can read the information on another tab. The summaries and details are as organised and informative to their capacity, and the presentation allows me to focus the most here.
There is indeed an array of jobs available on this platform – from the common ones in the business field to the education sector to the government sector to the healthcare industry. So every job posting is noteworthy.