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Finding a reliable company offering work from home jobs

Making a living from the comfort of your living room is something so many of us would like to do, but few think we can.

Meet Christy Rushing. Her office is just down the hall from where she folds her laundry.

"After I retired, I wanted to have a supplemental source of income," Rushing said.

She also needed something flexible, because she helps care for her granddaughter. In doing research, she was told it could take as long as two years to find the kind of job she wanted. To her surprise, it only took four weeks. Rushing applied for, and got, a job in customer service.

"I worked for 30 years in customer service, so I found a job that fit my skill set," Rushing said.

She can't tell us which clients she is doing work for, but she does say the company that hired her to work from home is Working Solutions.

"It's a bigger movement now than I think anyone predicted back in 2009," said Terri Maxwell, a senior vice president with Working Solutions.

Maxwell says the weak job market has caused people to look for alternatives. She says people just don't want to be managed, they want flexibility and to work on their own terms. When we talked with Maxwell via Skype, she told us something we don't normally hear when covering the job market.

"The truth is, there is more work available than workers," Maxwell said.

The workers exist, but she claims people aren't aware these virtual opportunities exist.

"In just about every discipline. Not just at Working Solutions, but at companies like eLance and oDesk. They are aggressively looking for US workers to fill these virtual jobs," Maxwell said.

She cautions, though, that anyone hoping to break into the field must do their research. Christy found that too, as she has seen her fair share of scam operations.

"I would never get a number off of a telephone pole or from an unsolicited email, promising these big checks every month. The scammers usually say you have to pay a big fee up front," Rushing said.

You should not have to pay a company to put you to work.

Maxwell says you should look for what's called a Virtual Work Platform online. It's a growing movement, basically a marketplace, where people who want to work are matched with companies who are hiring.

"The better you are, the better work that you get and the more money you make," Maxwell said.

Working Solutions says on average, a work-from-home job pays anywhere from $12 to $24 per hour. Working Solutions has some clients who require inside sales or highly technical and specialized support, including nurses. 

One thing to remember is that you do have to make a basic investment of some computer equipment to do these jobs.

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