Work from Home: Which Companies Offer Remote Workstations?

As children return to school, stay-at-home parents may be looking for ways to supplement their income without set hours in an office. But those on the hunt should beware of scams and make sure the businesses are booming.

The pandemic has led more people to work from home, and many have discovered plenty of remote work opportunities. But it has also led to an increase in scams related to these types of jobs. The Better Business Bureau’s 2020 Employment Scams Report found that the majority of those who filed complaints were unemployed women. Employment scams are up 27% from two years ago, and those who lost money in the scams lost more than $1,000 each. In other cases, while no physical money has been lost, job seekers have had their identities stolen after giving personal information to fake companies in hopes of getting hired.

There are red flags potential employees may notice when they see a job ad online, on social media, or in an email.

Initial expenses

Checking the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker, the majority of employment programs seem to involve counterfeit checks. Many victim stories included a business sending a check to purchase equipment and supplies from a third party. Then, after a victim sends money, the original check either bounces or is withdrawn and the third party disappears. Job seekers should also be wary of offers that require them to pay for coaching or a product before they can earn money, even if the company claims reimbursement will follow.

Bad communication

While this may boost someone’s ego, any company that is too eager to hire them without proper interviews and references is suspect. A professional interview will include a Zoom session or at least a phone call, not just text or email questions. Legit job postings will have clear explanations of what a company does and the vacancy; vague descriptions should not suffice. And like any other online scam, poor grammar, poor spelling, and weird email addresses should be cause for concern.

Too good to be true

People can trust their Spidey senses when offered the prospect of earning high pay for little or no work. These employment programs will often claim that no skills or experience are required and will focus on maximum earning potential instead of starting salary. Sometimes companies even use high-pressure sales tactics to persuade potential candidates to accept a job.

But there are legitimate opportunities to work remotely to contribute to your family’s income.

Job sites

Job search behemoths like Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn all offer the ability to filter positions so that only remote positions show up. But it can be overwhelming for some with dozens of pages of global results filling the screen. Those who use these recruitment sites should be as specific as possible when researching opportunities and also when writing their CVs to ensure that only applicable offers are listed.

Remote Work Specific Sites

There are hiring sites that only offer jobs for people to work from home or in a hybrid situation. It’s free to create a profile on Upwork and search for freelance work in almost any industry. It will take a 20% service charge on the first $500 earned, then a lower percentage as revenue increases. Job seekers can also pay $14.99 per month to make themselves more visible on the platform. FlexJobs has over 20,000 jobs listed and a real person checks every post to make sure it’s not a scam. But job seekers will have to pay to use the full website by choosing access for a week for $9.95, a month for $20.95 or more for longer periods.

company specific

Maybe there is a company that a potential employee admires and wants to be part of. Many large companies are offering remote work and posting jobs online. Amazon has virtual positions in select geographies with a majority in the full-time category. The company currently has listings for everything from a designer in its games division to someone helping people ordering drugs through Amazon. Marriott is another example of a company with great options for remote positions. There are mostly full-time openings and one part-time Payroll Administrator position currently posted that is fully remote and starts at $24 per hour.

Those looking to work from home have plenty of opportunities, but should take thoughtful steps to ensure they’re dealing with a legitimate company for the most successful remote work experience.

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