Ready to work from home, but you don’t have a computer? That’s okay! Not having your own computer doesn’t immediately eliminate you from the work-at-home game. It’s simply time to get creative in dreaming up your next job.
Grab a coffee and a notepad and read along on your smartphone: I’ve got some tips and ideas that’ll have you working out of your home in no time.
First, a note about job hunting.
Job Hunting Without a Computer at Home
Hunting for an occupation, even one that you plan to do from home without a computer, is made easier when you’re able to search online using a proper computer. It may seem a contradiction, but it’s true: when starting your work-from-home search and planning, you might want to kick it off from a public library computer or by using one at a friend’s house.
Jobs that Give You a Computer
Just because you don’t have a computer now doesn’t mean you have to work that way. There are some companies out there that will actually provide you with a computer so you can do your work.
Spend your job hunt applying to these positions, many of which are in customer service and require minimal experience. Some may require that you have your own monitor, but that’s much easier to afford than an entire new computer.
Here are a few companies that provide equipment to their remote workers:
- Apple sends their Apple At-Home Advisors a Mac laptop to use in their work-from-home support position.
- A Place for Mom has been known to supply their work-at-home Senior Living Advisors with a laptop. Please see current listings for the most up-to-date job details.
- Buffer not only sends their remote workers a laptop, but also $500 to set up their home office.
You can find additional opportunities that provide you with equipment to work from home here. Keep in mind, job offers are constantly changing. What a company is offering today may not be the case next time around.
Jobs You Can Do with a Smartphone or Tablet
If you can’t find a job that provides you with equipment to work from home – or you don’t like any of the positions available – there are remote employment opportunities for folks working with smartphones and tablets as well!
Some online English as a Second Language schools have platforms that can be accessed through mobile devices. And while some of these companies require you to have some teaching experience, there are others simply seeking native English teachers to give their students some practical education in English speech. You can teach with both NiceTalk and Palfish simply by using your Android or iOS device.
It’s also easy enough to sell your stuff with simply a smartphone, and there are a ton of apps out there that help you list your items for sale or flip bargains you find at yard sales, flea markets, and clearance sections. Just for starters, check out LetGo, Poshmark, Decluttr, OfferUp, and Cash4Books.
Jobs You Can Do Without a Computer
If you have an in-demand skill, you can offer lessons that are taught in the comfort of your own home. Put ads up at local libraries or community centers to attract students; you can also advertise on social media like Facebook and NextDoor using your smartphone.
You could teach a musical instrument (piano, guitar, violin), train students in singing, teach kitchen newbies how to cook or bake, do workshops in jewelry-crafting or knitting, or even show aspiring thespians the basics of acting – whatever you’re well-educated in yourself. Just be safe and smart about the students you accept and who you admit into your home. (To keep the benefits of scheduling flexibility but keep strangers out of your home, look into offering lessons at local community centers instead.)
If you have teaching experience or significant education in a particular subject, consider offering private tutoring to local students. Your student base may comprise local middle school kids, high school kids, college kids, and perhaps even graduate-level students. This position lets you teach the subject you’re passionate about, whether you’re a historian, a mathematician, or a scholar of medieval English literature.
Just as with the home-based lessons above, you can advertise your tutoring services via the local library, community centers, and perhaps even by cultivating a relationship with local schools and universities. You can also look for students on social media or on Wyzant. Again, be safe about who you work with and how.
Pet and/or Babysitting
Babysitting isn't just for teenagers; in fact, competent childcare by adults practiced in working with kids (and who know first aid) is much desired by harried parents who may not be able to afford standard daycare. (Or who work hours outside of a daycare’s usual hours of operation.) While babysitting one or two kids for a couple of hours doesn’t require special licensing, you do need to make sure you understand your state’s legal requirements if you decide to start a daycare in your home.
Petsitting is much the same, and you don’t need to worry about taking on the liability of providing care all by yourself: you can choose to work with a service like Rover, instead. Rover connects you with clients who have pets that need to be walked or played with or watched. You can run this all on your smartphone, too.
Whether you’re a baker, a jewelry-crafter, or a potter, there’s often money to be made in creating something with your hands. While having a home computer with Internet access makes it easier to sell your homemade goods, it’s not strictly necessary. You can easily run a catering business or candle-making venture out of your home purely on a local level.
Bake cakes and cater local events, building relationships with nearby businesses and individuals. Or sell jewelry you create, scarves and hats you knit, or art you paint in local businesses on consignment. You can also work craft fairs and other public gatherings as venues to sell your handmade creations.
If you’re handy with yardwork or other household duties, you can hire yourself out for landscaping and handyman gigs. Start your own lawn care business and grow through referrals and word of mouth, or post ads for your services in local Facebook groups or on Nextdoor using your smartphone.
Social media is a great way to find handyman gigs as well, if you’re skilled in doing small scale household fixes like light plumbing duties, putting up shelves, putting together furniture, and more. You can also use apps to help you find available work – look into becoming a Gigwalker or a Tasker with TaskRabbit.
Driving and Delivery
If you have a car and love any excuse to cruise around listening to your favorite tunes, you can make an income using your vehicle. Sign up with rideshare apps like Lyft to pick up passengers and drive them to their desired locations.
It may feel like you have limited choices for working from home when you don’t have a computer, but you can see that’s just not true. Remember: where there’s a will, there’s a way. Take the leads I’ve given you above and turn them into a money-making venture that fits your life. And make a point to save back some of those earnings so you can invest in a desktop or laptop to open even more doors.