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Today were tackling a question from a reader about what type of equipment you need to work from home. If youve been wondering what kind of tools and gadgets you need to work remotely keep reading.
What type of computer, internet connection, and equipment do I need for telecommuting orvirtual English teaching?
For mosttelecommuting jobs, youre going to need a well-functioning computer and a high-speed internet connection. While this sounds straightforward, there are a lot of little details that will need to be taken into consideration before you can apply or accept the position.
Lets take a closer look at what tools and equipment youll need for telecommuting.
With any telecommuting position, youll want to check out the specific equipment requirements that they have. Usually, this information can be found in the job posting itself.
While most companies will allow you to work on a PC or a Mac, there are quite a few, mainly customer service and transcription jobs, that will require you to have a Windows operating system.
So if youre an Apple fan, like me, youll either need to look for companies that allow Mac computers, or youll need to download Bootcamp, which installs the Windows operating system on your Mac. The site Work at Home Adventures has a great list ofcompanies that let you use an Apple computerif you dont want to download the additional software.
If you dont have a computer at home, you may be able to go to your local library and use theirs for a short period. Most libraries will allow you to use a computer for one hour if others are waiting, or a maximum period of two hours per day. Obviously, teaching ESL classes at your local library isnt going to work since they require patrons to be quiet.
If you need equipment, there are some work-at-home jobs that provide equipment or stipends for their employees. As I come across these companies, Ill keep adding them to the list.
Apple Will provide you with an iMac and headset while youre employed
Automattic Home office setup and coworkingallowances
Back Office Betties All the equpiment you need to work from home
BufferLaptop, computer accessories, Kindle books, and more
ConvertKit $3,200 equipment allowance
FlexJobs Monthly stipend for towards technology, office furniture, and co-working spaces
Frontastic Laptop, cell phone, internet stipend, and a monthly home office subsidy
GitBook Dedicated budget for home office setup
HelpScout New MacBook Pro and self-development stipend
Hilton Mini PC, keyboard, mouse, headset, flash drive, andethernet cable
InVision New hire home office budget
LPL Financial Laptop, monitor, keyboard, and mouse
Mediavine Home office upgrades
MoveOn They equip you with everything you need for your home office
Teleperformance Home office setup
Toggl Laptop and home office budget
Transcom Computer equipment provided
Verizon Provides computer, headset, and applicable software and cables
Whirlpool Laptop, headset, and mouse
World Travel Holdings Computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, phone, headset and webcam
Zapier Computer and software setup
For many telecommuting positions, especially customer service and lead generation, youre going to need a landline. What this means is youll need to have service through a traditional or digital telephone provider. Cell phone and VoIP services like Skype, Google Voice, and Magic Jack are generally NOT permitted.
Again, you have a couple of options. If you dont have a landline, you can usually bundle this service along with your internet provider for a discounted rate. Or you can search for jobs where a landline isnt required; Anna has agreat list over at Real Ways to Earn.
One additional note. Most companies will NOT allow you to take personal calls during your shift. If this is the case, you will need to have a dedicated phone line for working which could be an added expense for you.
Related Content:Do You Need a Business Phone for the Home Office?
Many companies have minimum internet connectivity requirements that must be maintained to ensure the proper functionality of their programs. A subscription to a reliable, high-speed (usually 3 5 megabits), hardwired, internet connection, like DSL or Cable is what most companies require. So, no dial-up or wireless connections. To make sure you comply, double-check the internet connection requirements listed on each employers job listing.
If you dont have to be hardwired, and depending on your cell phone carrier and plan, you may be able to turn your smartphone into a mobile hotspot. There have been a few occasions where my home internet was down, and I had to use my mobile hotspot as a backup. Just be careful when you go this route if you go over your data limit, it can get quite expensive.
If you dont have an internet connection at home, you can head to yourlocal coffee shop, library, bookstore, or shopping mall and use their wifi connections. Most establishments nowadays have free high-speed wifi for patrons. The downside of this is youll be required to make a purchase, which could be expensive if you are doing this daily, and these environments are not ideal for teaching ESL classes.
As a last resort, you can try using a free internet service likeFreedomPoporNetZero. For more information on free internet service, take alook at this articleon how to get free internet legally.
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If youre going to be doing phone work, youll need to purchase ($25 $100) a telephone headset. Since youll be wearing the headset for extended periods, it should be comfortable so dont just purchase the cheapest one on the market.
While wireless seems to be the way to go most companies require a corded headset so that it can plug directly into your phone jack.
Also, look for other requirements like, does it need to be noise-canceling? From what Ive read online, thePlantronics S12 Corded Telephone Headset Systemseems to be the preferred set for telecommuters.
For general transcription work, youll need to purchase a foot pedal and transcription software which can often be bought together as a package. Once you download the software, you can control the speed of the audio with the foot pedal. Ive never done transcription work, so if youre looking for more information on this work-at-home career make sure to check out expert transcriberLisa Mills interview.
If youre going to be teaching or tutoring, you may need video conferencing capabilities. Many laptops come with built-in cameras, so all you would need to do is download is a video conferencing software likeSkypeGoogle Hangouts, orGoober. However, if youre using a desktop computer or if your laptop doesnt have a video camera youll need to purchase a webcam. Luckily, you can buy a niceHD webcamfor as little as $25.
Another must-have piece of equipment that you will need to work from home is a printer with scanning capabilities. While you may not use this a lot in your daily functions and tasks you will need it for signing contracts, forms, and W9s. Dont worry; you dont have to spend a fortune to get a good working color printer and scanner. Epson makes a wireless color printer, scanner, and copier for just $49.99. I personally use the Brother INKvestment Tank Color Inkjet All-in-One Printer. It comes with up to a years supply of ink, and it connects wirelessly.
Most telecommuting companies will require that you have the latest version of Microsoft Windows, some antivirus software (I recommendNorton),Adobe Flash(free), andAcrobat Reader(free). If you need word processing software, you can useGoogle Docs, which is free for personal use. Generally, the hiring company will provide any additional software that you need. You can also check outthis postfor free tools and resources tomake you more efficient.
While you can work at your dining room table or kitchen countertop, if youre going to be talking on the phone or teaching on a video conferencing platform, youll need a quiet place to work. And depending on your living arrangements, you may need to set up a dedicated office space where you canfilter out noises and distractions. Also, some companies require not only a dedicated workspace but also a door or a filing cabinet that locks to secure personal information from clients.
Good luck, and keep us posted on your journey!
What equipment did you need for your home office? What else would you add to this list? Drop us a note; wed love to hear from you! If you enjoyed the post please share it on your favorite social media site.
Originally published April 10, 2015. Content updated March 18, 2020.
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Tagged With:Holly Reisem HannaHome Office
Holly Reisem Hannais a former nurse who decided to start a blog to make money from home while caring for her daughter. Since its inception in 2009, The Work at Home Woman has helped millions of readers find legitimate work-at-home jobs and business ideas. Under Hollys guidance, The Work at Home Woman was named one of the best websites for your career by Forbes two years in a row. Holly lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and daughter and enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.
Can I PLEAse HAve information Mailed to me
We dont snail-mail information, but we do have regular work-at-home updates via email. You can sign up here:
Is an all in one PC acceptable for work from home positions
That should be fine as long as all the software is up-to-date.
sometimes. Ive worked from home for almost 3 years. I would recommend buying an HP i3 processor or higher as a separate work computer. That way your work is confidential and fully secure.
Thanks for the equipment suggestion, Miranda!
Hi i want To start working from home i m interresting for the job .
These articles will give you a great place to start your WAH job search:
If you have more specific questions, let me know, Ill be happy to help.
I want to start working from home, but I dont know where to go to apply for the companies that are hiring for work at home
Did you find any ?? Ive been looking too
What if you dont gave the money to purchase this if you dont have it since unemployed
Hi Laterria, You can look for companies that provide you with equipment, or you can try making some money through side gigs or selling old stuff and then purchase the items that you need.
Theres a company that does in-house financing for computers. They offer all the equipment you need but they only do the financing for desktop bundles. its m
Thanks for sharing this with us Holly. This is great for those who are ready to work from home. 🙂
Im looking to work as a personal stylist..like Stitch Fix. But Stitch fix is not in Memphis Tennessee do you know of any personal stylist work from home positions that are in Memphis Tennessee or how I can find something like Stitch fix in Memphis I would like to do something in Fashion online from home thank you
Try looking at Dia Co Right now it says theyre hiring Stylists in Dallas; I would periodically check back to see if they hire Stylists in other cities.
Also, check out these articles they have some other options.
Thank you soo much for providing this information to us. Its really hard to find out, especially if you are just starting out. 🙂
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