Tory Johnson's Work-From-Home Tips

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Several companies, such as Fonemed.com and McKesson.com, hire nurses to provide phone-based triage and advice to callers requesting information on medical conditions and reactions to medication.

Home-based nurses can also provide sound advice to patients on disease management and health care options so they're armed with information to make the best decisions about their care.

Connect With Clients as a Concierge

Do you think you have what it takes to handle phone, e-mail and online customer inquiries for services that range from making dinner suggestions and reservations to planning a vacation for busy professionals?

What if the caller asked you to locate the dress Julia Roberts wore in "Ocean's Eleven," rent monkeys for a birthday party, or help write a speech for a best man?

Those are some of the common and quirky requests asked of home-based concierge agents at VIPdesk, one of the leading services. VIPdesk's clients are executives and employees of some of the top companies in the world, all of whom are willing to pay for such services of convenience.

VIPdesk hires home-based agents who are highly resourceful and have prior experience in high-end customer service, travel and/or hospitality. Apply online at vipdesk.com.

Because concierge services are growing in popularity as a benefit for businesses of all sizes, consider starting your own service. Contact employers in your area about offering services of convenience to their staffers.

For example, during the busy holiday season -- and throughout the year -- employees are often distracted by personal needs. You can help busy parents save time by researching day care, planning birthday parties, and scheduling doctor's appointments for their kids.

A doctor's office might require its staff to work long hours to accommodate patient needs. Employee absenteeism can cause a disruption or slow down in services.

It may be more beneficial for the medical practice to pay an outsider like you to handle errands and special chores for a nurse than to give that nurse a day off.

This same theory applies to companies where staffers work long hours or are required to travel regularly.

Cook Up Some Cash as a Culinary Consultant

Can you whip up culinary magic in the kitchen? That just might qualify you to become a home-based consultant for Chefsline.com, which provides live, professional advice to anyone who needs help with cooking or baking.

Chef consultants must excel at cooking, teaching and customer service, and must be available to take calls for a minimum of eight hours per week during afternoon and evening hours. A culinary degree is preferred, but not required. A specialty in regional cuisine is desirable, such as African, Latin American, Middle Eastern or French, among others. Compensation ranges from $7.50 to $30 an hour, depending on expertise.

There are also other options in this arena. Local companies hire dietitians and nutritionists to handle customer and client calls from home. Call gyms and diet centers in your area to offer your services if you're knowledgeable and experienced in this line of work.

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