Transcription from Home - is it worth it?

I have been typing from home for a year now and know this: I have never worked so hard for so little in my life and I never want an office job again. 

The reasons for working from home are diverse.  I was retrenched as a result of the recent down-turn in the economy and decided to try typing transcriptions from home.  After many ups and downs – and in the beginning there are many more downs than ups – I have a small base of clients and am making a living wage.

The advantages of working at home are:  First and foremost, being your own boss.  You may depend on your clients for your daily bread, but you still call the shots.  You are offering a valuable service to your clients and you are on equal terms.  Should a client become too demanding or difficult, he can be dropped by means of a polite white lie. 

You can work in your pyjamas.    Enough said!

Setting your own working hours. This may mean working late at night, or very early in the morning but it’s a lot easier to schedule your time based on your needs, rather than those of an employer. It may be stretching a point to say your time is your own, but you can run out and do your errands, prepare your meals at your leisure, and be at home when the repairman arrives 3 hours or 3 days later than promised.

No commuting, no traffic jams.  Getting to and from work is often the most stressful part of the day and, if you travel by public transport, you are also at the mercy of every cough and sneeze your fellow-travellers may wish to bestow upon you.  Public transport can be unsafe, especially if have worked late.

The biggest winners are people with young children.  Kids run sudden fevers, come down with chicken pox, cut their fingers and break their arms.  Murphy’s Law being what it is, they are more likely to one or all of the above when you have a tight deadline, but you can always catch up later.   Whereas it’s a myth that home workers get to spend large amounts of time with their families, it is easier to organise quality time with your family.

Making new friends – there’s a virtual world out there.  Join a group, get connected on Skype or Messenger and when you are typing at 1 a.m. realise that you are not alone.

The hardest thing about typing from home is (a) to get new clients, and (b) to get those clients to take you seriously.  Home workers are by and large working for a living, not pin money and it’s up to us the band together and make prospective clients realise that we are a force to be reckoned with.

You may not make the same amount of money as you did when you were formally employed, but you don’t spend nearly as much either and will be healthier and happier for it.  It’s not easy but the rewards are great.