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Can you work at home?

Posted at 8:21 AM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 08:35:12-05

Work from home jobs used to be risky, low paying opportunities. But now, more and more big corporations are hiring workers for high-paying jobs that you can do at home, in your bathrobe and slippers.

Lelia Wendel was a preschool teacher until her little boy Austin arrived. She soon realized she couldn't bear to be away from him all day. Now she no longer has to leave her home.

"I work anywhere from one to three hours a day doing my work, and I'm intentional about that, because I am a stay-at-home mom and want to be focused on him."

Wendel has joined the millions of Americans working from home, as a coach and sales rep for the "21 Day Fix" weight loss program. She says she's earning almost $1,000 a month while Austin plays or naps.

"I never imagined I would be able to make the income I do working from home," she said. "There are so many amazing opportunities."

Andy Powers is a dad of older kids who works full time at home, earning almost six figures. "I like to tell my friends I have the shortest commute in town," Powers said, "about 15 feet every morning."

He gave up the morning traffic slog when his software company let him move his sales job from a cubicle to his dining room table.

"I really like the quiet and solitude and ability to concentrate with the lack of distractions of an office," he said.

Thanks to technology advances from smartphones, Skype, and high speed Internet, more and more companies are saying, Why do we need people to come here to the office when they could do it all from home?

Angie Grilliot is with UnitedHealthcare, a health insurance company that just made Forbes Magazine's Top 10 List of the best work-from-home employers for 2016.

"We're able to use things like instant messaging and WebX technology, and conference calls where you can see people if you need to."

Grilliot says UHC has moved 25 percent of its workforce to home-based workers because there is less overhead, and it turns out they do a better job at home.

"They love it," she said. "We do see higher engagement scores from our employees who work from home typically if you compare that with the office-based workers."

And they continue to hire, with home-based customer service positions ranging from $25,000 to $75,000 a year, according to

"Right now we have over a thousand positions posted that have telecommuting opportunities," Grilliot said.

The Forbes Top 10 list includes LiveOps, TeleTech, Sutherland Global, Amazon, Dell, IBM, Working Solutions, UnitedHealthcare, Humana, and Aetna,

Most offer customer service and back office support jobs for telecommuters.

Other companies, while not on the latest list,  that also offer work-from-home opportunities include Alpine Access/Sykes Home, and Convergys,

Some jobs are with multi-level marketing jobs with legitimate companies, but they require you to get friends to join the company and work alongside or "below" you.  You may have to throw parties in your home. These include Pure Romance, Avon, Pampered Chef, Scentsy, JamBerry, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and Amway.

To learn about even more companies, go to WAHM,  Work at Home

Wendel says the pay cut was worth knowing that she will be able to see her baby's first steps. "If he is having a rough day, I can snuggle him as he has his naps and give him that time. It's been a blessing!"