What Is Work From Home? The 2024 WFH Guide

CareerFoundry contributor Dr. Anneke Schmidt

In 2024, work from home (WFH) is the new reality for many businesses and individuals.

Even before the pandemic, the concept was increasing in popularity, and COVID-19 helped to establish it further. Organizations adapted their operations to accommodate flexible working and created new working norms to support it long-term.

This is excellent news for those looking to make a career change into the tech sector while remaining in the comfort of their own homes. McKinsey’s recent American Opportunity Survey—based on interviews with 25,062 adults from the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii—shows:

  • 58% of respondents report having the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week.
  • 35% say they have the option to work from home five days a week.
  • 87% report taking up flexible working when given the opportunity.

This drastic shift in work patterns, shown across demographics, job roles, and geographical locations, validates work from home as a mainstream workstyle of the modern working world. 

But what is work from home exactly?

In this article, we’ll provide an in-depth look into the WFH concept, exploring the benefits it brings to employers and employees, as well as the skills and technologies needed to work from home effectively. 

Just use the clickable menu to jump to a section of interest.

  1. What does work from home (WFH) mean?
  2. Key benefits of working from home
  3. How to work from home: 7 practical tips
  4. 15 tech jobs where you can work from home
  5. Key takeaways

What does work from home (WFH) mean?

Working from home is a remote working arrangement where an individual works primarily from home, using information and communications technology to access resources and perform assigned tasks from a remote location that’s often their primary residence. This includes, but is not limited to, working from home full-time.

WFH distinguishes itself from the broader concept of remote work—where individuals may work from anywhere outside of the office—and hybrid work environments, which refer to a combination of onsite and remote working. 

In short: unlike digital nomads, WFH workers tend to remain in their homes for most of the workday, which allows them to save on travel costs and time.

Key benefits of working from home

Working from home has many advantages. To give you a quick overview, we’ll look at the three most prominent ones: 

Better work-life balance

WFH offers the chance for a better work-life balance, allowing greater control over when and how tasks are completed. This benefits both employers and employees, as it leads to improved job satisfaction, employee productivity, and work performance.

Cost savings

Working from home eliminates daily commute costs such as gas, parking, and car maintenance. For employers, it also reduces overhead costs associated with office rental and staffing, which can be considerable.

Flexible working hours

WFH often allows employees to set their own schedules—as long as the work gets done. This gives workers the freedom to manage their time in a way that suits them, enabling them to juggle family and personal commitments and their professional responsibilities.

Looking for even greater flexibility? Many work from home companies are also experimenting with four day work weeks—read our full guide.

A UI designer at his work from home desk

How to work from home: 7 practical tips

If you’re looking to switch from office-based to home-based work, you’ll need to consider the practicalities of setting up your work environment and managing tasks remotely. Here are seven tips to help you work effectively as a WFH newbie:

1. Create a dedicated workspace

Having a workspace in your home that is conducive to productivity and focus is key to working from home successfully. This includes setting up a designated office space with necessary supplies such as a laptop, printer, fast internet connection, and comfortable seating. It will make all the difference in helping you stay productive and motivated. 

2. Set up your personal schedule

Creating a personalized schedule helps you stay organized while working from home. Start by planning out your daily tasks ahead of time with appropriate breaks, and stick to them. For example, you may decide to work in the morning, take a break for lunch and exercise, and then finish off any remaining tasks in the evening.

3. Reduce distractions

Working in the comfort of your own house can introduce distractions that affect productivity, so it’s essential to keep them to a minimum. Identify common distractions such as pets, television, or noise levels, then take steps to minimize them when possible. Turning off social media notifications and avoiding multitasking might also be a good idea. 

4. Make rules with co-inhabitants

If you live with roommates or family members, establish ground rules to ensure your workplace remains professional and respectful of everyone’s needs. 

For instance, you might inform them about your working hours and the need for privacy when taking calls or participating in video conferences.

5. Use project management tools

With multiple people working together remotely on different tasks, it’s helpful to utilize project management tools that keep everyone on task, increase communication efficiency between team members, and ultimately increase productivity. Here, tools like Asana, Trello, and Slack come in handy.

6. Plan virtual coffee breaks with co-workers

Working from home can cause feelings of isolation, so don’t forget about social support. Schedule virtual coffee breaks throughout the day with co-workers where you can chat about anything other than work topics or simply catch up with each other’s lives outside of the office. This boosts morale and encourages a sense of community.

7. Track progress and celebrate milestones

And finally, tracking progress will keep motivation levels high even when working from remote locations like home offices or coffee shops. It allows you to visualize your progress and celebrate small milestones that mark your development. One way to do this is by using productivity tools that track how long it takes to complete tasks and visualize your progress in easy-to-read graphs.

15 tech jobs where you can work from home

The technology sector is brimming with WFH opportunities, making it an excellent choice for career changers looking to break into the industry without needing to travel or relocate. Here are some of the most popular tech jobs that allow you to work remotely:

  1. Digital Marketer—Create campaigns and strategies to reach target audiences through digital media channels.
  2. Product Manager—Develop product plans and roadmaps while collaborating with engineering, design, marketing, finance, and other teams.
  3. Graphic/UX/UI Designer—Use digital tools such as Adobe Photoshop to design webpages, logos, and other graphics for clients.
  4. Cloud Architect—Design cloud architecture based on customer specifications while optimizing the infrastructure setup cost.
  5. Web Developer—Design websites for clients using coding languages such as HTML/CSS/JavaScript.
  6. Content Writer—Research topics thoroughly and create original content, such as blog posts and articles that meet SEO requirements.
  7. Video Editor—Edit videos for clients according to their specifications utilizing video editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro.
  8. Data Analyst—Analyze large data sets to identify trends and correlations, and develop forecasts or reports for business decision-making processes.
  9. Virtual Assistant—Provide administrative support such as scheduling appointments, managing emails, organizing files, etc.
  10. Software Engineer—Design software applications by writing code in Java, Python, etc. 
  11. Systems Administrator—Install software applications; configure local networks; maintain system security; provide technical support. 
  12. Security Architect—Design secure IT systems leveraging cloud computing technologies.
  13. DevOps Engineer—Manage development processes while coordinating with developers and operations teams internally.
  14. Network Engineer—Analyze network performance; monitor security and troubleshoot issues within enterprise networks.
  15. Database Administrator—Implement database systems; ensure database integrity and availability; monitor performance.

For the full lowdown on the best work from home jobs, be sure to read our comprehensive article.

Key takeaways

Working from home can be a great way to improve work-life balance, take advantage of flexible working hours, and save on commuting costs. But it requires careful planning, self-discipline, and the right tech tools to make it work.

Some professional sectors are more suited for WFH than others, with the tech industry offering a wide variety of job opportunities that can be done remotely. This article has provided practical tips to help you stay productive while working from home and a list of 15 tech jobs that can be done from home. If you find the concept appealing (and who wouldn’t), why not look at the options available and start planning your work-from-home career today?

Get the full lowdown on work from home jobs with this article

If you’re interested in pursuing a WFH career in tech but don’t quite know where to start, check out these articles:

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