If it all sounds appealing to you, and you haven't already found your work-from-home nirvana, perhaps Amazon might be the answer. The company recently announced it's planning to hire 5,000 home-based workers to join its customer service teams.
Many of the new jobs will come with benefits, including health insurance, sick and vacation time, and tuition.
(Update: Amazon isn't the only company hiring. Here's how to find work-from-home jobs at American Express, CVS, Enterprise, Xerox, and other companies.)
Jobs "with benefits"
We'll get to the hourly pay in a minute, but the real value in these jobs is probably in the flexibility and those two little words: "with benefits." Because if you work more than 20 hours a week at Amazon, the company says, you get:
"... life and disability insurance, dental and vision insurance with premiums paid in full by Amazon, and funding toward medical insurance," along with the company's Career Choice program, which "prepays 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a future career at Amazon."
"There are lots of people who want or need a flexible job--whether they're a military spouse, a college student, or a parent--and we're happy to empower these talented people no matter where they happen to live," Tom Weiland, Amazon vice president for worldwide customer service, said in a press release.
In addition to these positions, Amazon says it's hiring another 25,000 part-timers to work onsite this year, and another 100,000 full-timers over the next 18 months.
The fine print
There's no word on what the home-based jobs pay in the press release, but a separate job listing says the "pay rate nationwide is $10.00 per hour."
And, at least for now, it looks like the part-time hours are limited to nighttime and weekend work, which could make it tough for parents who were hoping to work while their kids are at school, for example.
Also--again at least for now--Amazon is limiting hiring to people who live in 26 of the 50 states. (Sorry Californians and Texans.) You can find the details and the application process here.
Nobody is going to get rich working from home for Amazon for $10 an hour, of course, but even though we're technically at full employment in America, that's an economic term--of course there are still people who would like to be working but can't find jobs.
Among them: lots of stay-at-home moms, military spouses, and others who need income but might not have the flexibility to work outside their homes. Here's hoping other companies follow suit, and that these unemployed and underemployed workers might now have a steady, new, workable option.