I have been working from home for almost four years now, which means my life has been completely confined to my desk inside my bedroom. My husband is, not being biased, one of the best web developers there is and it was he who first started getting contracts via Odesk. To those who may not know it yet, Odesk is the world’s largest online workplace where savvy businesses and professional freelancers go to work! It’s like your “online” desk… a virtual office. Sounds pretty convenient isn’t it?
When I first signed up for an account in Odesk, I wasn’t really sure that I was going to actually use the ODesk Team application and get to experience the whole clocking in and out of hours worked; heck I wasn’t really sure I was going to get any contract at all! My husband was the first to get hired by a wonderful client named Mr. Duncan. I say he’s wonderful because while he can be very strict, he knows when to lighten up. When it’s business, it’s purely business but when my husband needed a friend, he’s also there for him. In fact, of all his employment online, he swears that he’s never met an employer quite like Mr. Duncan up to now. Back to my Odesk account, I only logged in to update my profile once in a while. There are several tests that one must take that would qualify for a particular feature like the number of application one can send out. At the time, Mr. Duncan was looking for articles for his website. My husband put in a good word for me so I got hired for a fixed project doing some content writing for his air-conditioning business website. That was my very first Odesk contract although that didn’t require me to use the Odesk team since it was a fixed-rate project.
What is an Odesk Team Application? It is a free desktop application that serves as your virtual office, enabling visibility, connectivity, collaboration and guaranteed payment for guaranteed work. For freelancers, it automatically records proof of work for zero-click invoicing and guaranteed payment, allows them to see who’s online — collaborate with clients and teammates as if they were local and easily share annotated screensnaps and short URLs, For clients or employers, it allows them to see their remote freelancers in action, and manage them as if they were in an office, it enables them to know what his freelancers are working on — every hour billed is an hour worked and also easily share annotated screensnaps and short URLs.
After my husband’s contract ended with the wonderful Mr. Duncan, he landed another job for a school based in Chicago. Because of the number of hours he has worked from his previous contract, he was able to increase his rate. You get to decide how much you’re going to charge the client for as long as your rate is reasonable. There are clients who don’t care how much you charge as long as your able to get the job done, but there are those who are really looking for freelancers with the lowest rate. After a couple of months working for his new contract, my husband, again, informed his new boss that his wife, that’s me, can work on CSS works and making the site looks pretty. So for the second time around, I got another contract, hourly this time, just because my husband can’t keep his mouth shut when it comes to me LOL. Of course I’m always so ever grateful about that.
Working online is really good for couple like me and my husband who don’t like to go out. We are both homebodies and my husband isn’t much of a people person so having him stay at home is safer for our reputation lol. Your office is just right in the comfort of your own room. You can work while watching a movie and what’s the most convenient part is you get to be the boss of your time for as long as you inform the real boss when you can or can not work. This set up also allows us both to get closer to our son because he plays his computer games inside the room with us while we’re both busy with our paid tasks.
But not everything about working from home is all sunshine and roses.
Be prepared for power interruptions. For the long years of working from home, we were able to solve that problem by buying our own generator to combat constant black outs in our area. And each time there is a typhoon which happens like all the time in this country, a generator is really a must. You should also inform your bosses beforehand that a typhoon is bound to hit your area and that there might be deadlines that you won’t be able to meet. Always keep the lines of communication open.
Internet Connectivity. We are from the Philippines and currently, Globe telecom has the fastest internet speed in the country and we opted for that. We signed up for a plan 5 MB connection. And because we’re constantly just inside our room working, we find it somewhat of a bother to have to go out to pay our utility bills so for those that can be paid via auto debit like our internet, we enrolled our account to automatically deduct our monthly bill from our credit card.
Computer Problems. For starters, I know you will only have one computer you can use for your work but if you have come to a point where you can afford to buy a back up computer, do it. It’s easier to just switch to another computer if the one you’re using keeps failing on you. That will make you miss a deadline and it’s a No-No if you would like to continue working remotely. You don’t want you clients to leave you negative rating for that.
Proof of Employment/Income etc. When we first started out, Odesk didn’t yet have the Proof of Income feature so it was such a pain whenever we apply for something that requires us to show proof of employment or income. But now Odesk added that feature for freelancers only. So if you’re under an agency, only your agency owner can get his proof of employment. Luckily though, banks and other mobile network companies honor photocopy documents of your contract (screenshot of your Odesk profile and income).
No hours, no payment. Don’t be lazy. If you need to get paid, you have to work! If your bosses have work for you to do, do it. It’s not like in an office where even if you just Facebook all day, you still get paid every 15th and 30th of the month except of course if you’re on fixed rate contract. I’m talking about hourly payment.
You’re probably wondering how we’re paid. Odesk can send your salary via Paypal or your bank. It’s that easy. And the good thing about our salary from working at home is that, we get to have the full amount of the hours we have worked. This beats the office work because with normal office employment, there are many deductions like Philhealth, SSS and PAG-IBIG contributions as well as your travel fares.
So do you have what it takes to work online? If you think you do, why not sign up for Odesk and start taking those tests already?