Media – Focus on Home Working

How to make money from home during the recession

With unemployment in the UK now above two million for the first time since 1997, more and more people are looking for ways to supplement their income. The number of people out of work between November and January reached 2.03 million, with an unemployment rate of 6.5%, although the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance was only 1.39 million.

So how can the 600,000 or so unemployed people not claiming jobseeker’s allowance earn some money from home?Ignoring the bogus placards attached to lamp posts, there are plenty of ways to earn reasonable incomes.

One increasingly popular option is home-based freelance transcription and report writing. Andrew Trotter, managing director of Global Lingo, the UK’s leading transcription and professional minute-taking company, reports a surge in applications for positions since November 2008. ‘A lot more very experienced, mid-career candidates are applying for freelance positions at Global Lingo’, he says. ‘The flexible nature of the work appeals to them, as they can work from home whenever suits them best.’

As transcription requires no small amount of skill, companies offering high-quality transcripts like Global Lingo also pay freelancers well. A typical freelance writer at Global Lingo can expect to earn £20-30,000 a year, depending on how much work they are prepared to take, Mr Trotter estimates. Furthermore, he believes the opportunities for international travel to attend events and the improvements to writers’ language skills have an additional appeal.

One such writer is Lisa Marsden, who started freelancing for Global Lingo in February 2009 after having been made redundant from her job in the City. ‘It’s a good mix of career break and work to pay the bills’, she explains. ‘I’m a better writer than I was, I have a better understanding of a broader range of industries and companies, and I’m spared the commute!’

Her advice for working from home is:

  • Set up a comfortable space – you don’t want to sit with a laptop on your knees all day.
  • Try to take a full hour for lunch and get out of the house – you can go a bit crazy otherwise.
  • Be flexible in the hours you’re prepared to work – clients will appreciate it!