Can you really make money working from home?

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Sick of the rat race? Tired of dragging yourself out of bed every morning to go into the office to do a job you'd rather not do? Feel like you're wasting your life? Then maybe you should leave all that behind and try a new life working from home. Is it possible? Yes, but it's not easy. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

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Everyone knows that when you phone a call centre you'll most likely speak to staff based in India. But some companies do employ call centre staff that work from home in the UK. One such company is the AA. They have almost 300 home-based call centre agents dealing with their roadside breakdown and insurance businesses. National Express also employ homeworking call centre staff in the UK as do Future Travel and other companies are becoming more receptive to the idea as the technology for doing so improves.

Believe it or not, it is possible to make a living from online auction sites. The most successful people are usually those who have a specific product or type of item that they deal in. For example, if you have access to cheap plumbing parts or if you have expert knowledge in collectible film posters. Having a good deal of knowledge of what you're selling is the most important thing so that you can spot a bargain, snap it up and sell it on for a good profit. But making money by selling things on auctions is time-consuming and a full-time job.

If you are a talented photographer, you could sell your images to stock photography sites. There is a great deal of competition in this field so obviously your photography skills are what will determine how much money you make. Websites such as Shutterstock, Big Stock Photo and Fotolia are good places to sell the rights to your photos.

If you have skills in computer programming, writing, design or consulting, you can sell your services in online marketplaces. Companies go on these websites and describe the project or work they need doing and freelancers bid for the work. The companies can then choose their freelancer. Try sites like peopleperhour.com or skillsforprojects.com.

You could launch a non-internet based business such as babysitting, dog-walking or house-sitting. Check out adverts on gumtree.com or craigslist.co.uk. Although for these sort of businesses, you will require a lot of references and possibly childcare qualifications or first aiding skills to reassure your clients.

It is possible to make money from surveys and mystery shopping. To become a mystery shopper you need to register with sites such as retaileyes.co.uk, moneymagpie.com or ukims.co.uk. You can earn between £20 to £100 a day by trying out new restaurants or staying in hotels or testing the service in a supermarket. You'll have to report on the quality of the establishments and remember to keep all your receipts so you don't have to pay for any of the services!

With surveys you can earn money or rewards. Simply register with a site such as Valued Opinions, Onepoll, Lightspeed or Yougov. Then wait for the survey alerts to land in your inbox and complete as many surveys as you wish. You can earn about a pound or vouchers for each survey and they can be short and sweet or long and tedious. Just make sure you sign up to a number of sites, don't pay to become a member and cash in your earnings as soon as you reach the threshold.

So now that we've given you a few ideas for earning money at home, are you going to hand your notice in? Leave a comment and share your thoughts about working from home.