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The booming work from home industry: who’s laughing now?

It is a daunting question rooted in fear and anxiety that haunts many at night and visits first thing in the morning; “how will I pay my bills”? As the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic continues to take the world by storm life as we know it has forever been altered. The sounds of rush hour traffic are silenced as businesses are forced to close leaving the future of our labor force uncertain.

While millions across our nation find themselves jobless, those who’ve spent the last few years working from home and being the laughing stock of societies “get a real job” jokes are profiting heavily from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Working from home has now become the new norm whether we like it or not.

In 2013 I was introduced to working from home by a family friend who referred me to a call center position answering calls for a TV ad company. At the time the only way I could determine if the job was legit or not was to work for two weeks and at the end of two weeks if I had a paycheck I deemed it legit if I had no paycheck well then it was time invested and a lesson learned. Although I researched work from home positions and found a variety of articles and YouTube videos of people talking about work from home jobs I needed to see it work for myself to believe it and I was willing to take the risk. Fast forward today not only have I been rewarded many times over for taking that risk but I’ve been fortunate enough to help many others do the same.

In the past seven years, I cannot count the number of people I have tried to convince working from home is the future and was told I’m lazy and needed to get a real job. Some have even gone as far as calling me a scam artist because they did not have enough imagination to see the future.

None of us but God could have foreseen the day that social distancing becomes a trending subject on social media. However, one thing remains true business owners get into business to make money. Whether it’s closing down the factory and taking the jobs overseas or outsourcing your 100K year position with benefits to a remote independent contractor for half the cost business owners are always looking for ways to save money and earn more profits. Hence the future of working from home was inevitable.

Take for example a traditional call center company to operate they would need a building, utilities, staff, computers, phones, insurance, and so many other moving parts that are not only costly but ended up with a bunch of people talking over each other and frustrated customers. In a virtual call center environment, the employee provides the building, utilities, equipment, and a noise-free work zone in exchange they get to set their schedule and skip out on the rush hour traffic. While some may perceive working from home to be lazy it takes a lot of self-discipline to set your schedule, live up to that schedule, and do your job to the best of your ability even though no one is standing over your shoulder watching you do your job. Most of all it takes guts to go the opposite direction of the majority.

Once I was tried recruiting a friend of mine to fill a work from home position for a company I was working with at the time. She was almost to the finish line and backed out because she did not want to invest the money needed to purchase the equipment required to do the job. After all, she was coming from a salaried W2 position where her employer always provided everything she needed all she had to do was show up and do the job. I tried explaining the difference between Independent Contractors and W2 employees hoping she would understand this was an investment she was making in herself and she would own the equipment. Unfortunately, she just could not see the bigger picture and decided to back out with the conclusion it would not be worth it to risk losing her money. Every so often we would run into each other and she always asks me are you still doing that work from home thing? And every time I would joyfully respond yes she would say I don’t see how you do it, I guess its not for everyone.

About a month ago my friend called me with the saddest tone in her voice after losing her job because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. As she was crying she said to me I just could not see it at the time when you were trying to convince me to try working from home, now I have no choice. My friend’s story is unfortunate reality of many people who have passed up a variety of opportunities for the idea of the security they gave themselves. Believing they would never lose their job as long as they show up every day on time and do what they are supposed to do. Some even volunteer work overtime if that’s what it takes to get the job done.

The unfortunate part is when life happens that’s still not enough. COVID-19 has taught us all many lessons one that should stick with us as we learn how to cope with our new reality is “never get so comfortable that you fail to secure opportunities for the future”.

Thank you for reading this post drop a line in the comments about your experience working from home ↓↓↓

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