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25 working from home ideas in Australia

Lady working from home

6-minute read

In recent years, many of us have discovered the benefits of remote working – and would now like to be our own bosses in our own homes choosing our own hours. Videoconferencing, online collaboration tools and the Internet itself have fuelled our ability to generate income without leaving the house or apartment. 

What we’ll cover



Key take-outs
  • Working from home can have both financial and lifestyle benefits
  • As your own boss, make sure your wellbeing is a high priority
  • Consider opening a separate bank account for your business
  • Think about the best way to take payments for your business idea
  • You’ll need to declare income from your home business
  • There are many ways to make money at home – we give you 25 ideas for starters.

How can I make money working from home?

In some cases, you can simply carry on doing what you used to do in an office or other workplace, but with your own sole trader business operating out of your own home. Other home industries – such as providing traditional local services – have been around for centuries and are only now being rediscovered.


How much money you make will often be in direct proportion to how much effort you put in. For example, many young people nowadays aspire to be influencers and video content producers. To them, these new careers seem like a source of easy money. But the very small percentage of influencers with genuinely lucrative businesses have generally achieved their success through commitment, tenacious follower building and hard graft.

What are the benefits of working from home?

Home businesses work well in different ways for different people. But there are some common threads:


  • You get to replace commuting time with quality spare time
  • Less transport means more money in your budget
  • Domestic duties such as washing and food preparation can be factored into your work schedule
  • You’ll be able to spend more time with your family – assuming that’s a good thing!
  • Kids and pets won’t need minding while you’re away at work
  • You can plan work around your social life and fitness regime
  • If you get it right, you can be the boss of your own work/life balance.

What are some tips for working from home?

One of the most important parts of setting yourself up for working from home is looking after your wellbeing. Working for yourself means you won’t have an HR department responsible for that. Here are a few things to consider:


  • Assign yourself specific work hours to clearly delineate between business time and free time
  • Avoid the temptation to keep dipping back into the home office to stay on top of things
  • Make sure your workspace is ergonomically sound and that you’re looking after your posture and vision
  • Purposefully ‘go to work’ and ‘return home’ pretending the location is actually changing
  • Make and pack your lunch the day before
  • Always take regular breaks, preferably involving physical activity, including stretching
  • Base your working hours around when you feel you’re most productive
  • To avoid loneliness, take every opportunity to interact with other people at home or online.

What should I do about banking for my home business?

Many who work for themselves find it useful to separate business banking from personal finances. Dedicated accounts make it easier to track business performance, manage income and expenses, and plan for tax time.


For example, if you open a Westpac business transaction account, you can link it to accounting software such as MYOB and Xero to help with bookkeeping. To keep things simple and visible, if you bank with Westpac already, you’ll be able to see your personal and business accounts side-by-side in Online Banking.


With Westpac you can choose between a $0 monthly fee business account (Business One) and an added value business account for $10 per month (Business One Plus) that gives you access to exclusive discounts on popular business products and services.

How should I take payments in my home business?

When choosing the best payment method for your home business, the first factor to consider is whether you’ll be taking face-to-face payments, online payments, or bank-to-bank remote payments.


If you want to take card payments you could rent or buy an EFTPOS machine that facilitates the movement of money from your customer’s card account into your own bank account. But a simpler and more flexible solution is to have an app such as EFTPOS Air on your compatible smartphone, allowing you to take secure payments from credit and debit cards and digital wallets with just a tap, and with no additional hardware required.


Alternatively, you could arrange for online payments for greater convenience if you’re running a business remotely, from home or through a website. Online payment options such as PayWay can make sending and receiving payments much simpler for both you and your customers.


If your customers prefer to make bank-to-bank payments, you can just give them the BSB and account number of your bank account. Or if you’d rather not share your account details, you can ask customers to pay by PayID®, meaning you’ll only need to provide the unique number you’ve registered for the service – which could be your mobile number or ABN.

Do I have to pay tax when I make money from home?

Income from home businesses is just as taxable as money earned from any other type of business, so needs to be reported in your tax returns. It works both ways though. According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), you can claim deductions for expenses if you’ve kept your receipts and they directly relate to running your home business. You can also claim the cost of managing your tax affairs through a registered tax agent.

What are some working from home ideas?

People are finding more and more ingenious ways to make money without leaving their lounges. Some work while others bomb, but with potentially low outlays it can be worth experimenting with ideas. Here are a few business ideas that have proven to be successful:


1.     Affiliate marketing

Promote the products or services of others using your website, social presence, or digital newsletter. You make money through the links or banner advertising you feature, on a pay-for-performance model.


2.     Artistic content production

Create music, comedy, poetry, or other performance videos, shared publicly (making money through advertising) or via subscription (where you can also make money through sales and merchandising).


3.     Babysitting and child minding

Set up a room at home with the right equipment, toys and safety features for specific age groups, and invest in sports gear too for the yard. The service you offer could range from single babysitting sessions to after-school care for whole groups of kids. Some types of care require provider approval, so make sure you look into the regulation before launching this business.


4.     Bookkeeping

Your clients can give you remote access to their accounting software and even their bank accounts, to manage everything from expenses and BAS to GST and end-of-year reporting. Use shared documents to keep everyone on the same page.


5.     Blogging

Your passions and interests can become a source of income if you write about them imaginatively in your own blog and share them with like-minded enthusiasts across the world. Earn money through in-page advertising, online sales, or subscription services.


6.     Business coaching

With the right knowledge and experience, you can support, educate, mentor and motivate small business owners from home. A good starting point to build a client base could be your local chamber of commerce.


7.     Creativity

Do you love to paint, or throw pots, or carve? Turn your hobby into a business, selling online through third-party sites or set up your own eCommerce website.


8.     Data entry

There are a number of data entry roles you can do from home, ranging from maintaining customer records to assisting with financial accounting. Search ‘home data entry jobs’ on career websites such as Seek and Indeed to find one that interests you.


9.     Dog minding

Many dog owners prefer family homes over kennels when they go away, or even just when they’re working. Looking after dogs is easy money and a lucrative alternative to owning your own pets. But if you already have a dog, you’ll be getting paid for giving them company.


10.   Digital designing, coding or writing

All the disciplines involved in website development lend themselves to home-based rather than office-based businesses. And online collaboration tools make it easy to create and share UX, designs and copy.


11.   Digital marketing

A home office is the perfect place to offer marketing services such as content creation, social media marketing, search engine optimisation, digital advertising services and website management.


12.   Dropshipping business

Dropshippers choose products from a variety of suppliers and feature them in their own online store. You only pay for items once you've received payment from your customers, and the supplier manages all the fulfilment. So, you don’t have the hassle of storing and managing the stock you sell.


13.   Farming

By definition, most farmers work from home. But even if you’re in the suburbs and just grow fruit, veg or raise chickens for pleasure, you could expand production to turn your hobby into a business – selling from the front of your house or at local markets.


14.   Influencer marketing

Influencers can set up lucrative businesses from home by promoting products to their followers via platforms such as YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. Revenue generally comes through sponsorships, advertising, channel subscriptions and merchandise sales.


15.   Health and wellness mentoring

If your area of expertise is lifestyle choices, exercise, diet or mental health, there’s no longer a need to pay rent for a clinic. Many customers favour online consultations over waiting rooms, and in addition to one-to-one sessions, you can offer subscription-based online courses.


16.   Massaging

A few stylish hangings plus a candle or two can turn a spare room into a haven for busy people needing body and mind therapy. Think about offering a range of modalities to match the needs of customers, from pure relaxation to intense sports and remedial massage.


17.   Meditation practitioner

A proven stress reducer, meditation comes in many forms ranging from simple mindfulness exercises to crystal bowl sound therapy. Create a dedicated space in your home that’s as soundproofed as possible, to offer both single and group therapy.


18.   Painting

Turn your creative hobby into a business with an online store and gallery selling artwork and prints. You could represent other artists in your neighbourhood or network too, charging a commission for works you sell on your site.


19.   Online sales

Setting up and managing your own eCommerce site is easier than ever with off-the-shelf website development tools and numerous payment gateway options. Many eCommerce entrepreneurs make money online managing their businesses from a mobile alone, acting purely as intermediaries between selected suppliers and customers.


20.   Reselling

Reselling is another eCommerce option. Resellers source clothes, vintage wear, furniture and furnishings from op shops, second-hand stores and even roadsides. They clean and mend them at home, then sell them on sites such as eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace.


21.   Sewing and mending

Equip yourself with a table, a chair, and a sewing machine, and you have a home business. People nowadays have lost many of the practical skills that used to be passed from generation to generation, so there’s a huge market for simple alterations, resizing and restyling.


22.   Social media agency

Many small business owners have little time to manage their own social marketing. From your own home office, you can provide a social media manager service writing and posting ad messages, case studies, endorsements and promotions, giving your clients the social exposure they don’t have time to achieve themselves.


23.   Teaching and tutoring

Offer students remote help to push through assignments and exams in your area of expertise. Or develop online courses ranging from hobby skills to professional development, which you can deliver through paid subscription services.


24.   Virtual assistant agency

Many businesses work virtually nowadays, but they still need admin support. As a virtual assistant working from home for one or more employers, you can help with meeting arrangements, agendas, office logistics, social media management and bookkeeping.


25.   Writing

If you have a way with words, a knowledge of search engine optimisation, and know how to craft engaging content, you can offer a home writing service to businesses across Australia that are calling out for content. Build your own network or search ‘content agency’ to find someone to represent you.



To sum up

Working from home can make life simpler and more balanced. But it may still require significant upfront effort, hard work, and the ability to pivot to market conditions. Make sure you list and consider all the pros and cons and put a solid business plan together before you take the plunge. Read How to write a business plan.

Read more

Business basics for sole traders

Discover how to name and register your business, apply for GST, and find an accountant – in this handy guide.

10 tips for when you start your business

Taking the leap of faith to start your own business? Here are 10 tips to help get your new venture off to a good start.

Turning your business vision into a plan

Starting a business is exciting. For the best chance of success, you’ll need to think about writing a business plan and getting in the right mindset.

Things you should know

Westpac’s products are subject to terms, conditions, fees and charges; and certain criteria may apply. Before making a decision, read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Product Disclosure Statement and T&Cs; and consider if the product is right for you.


This information does not take into account your personal circumstances and is general. It is an overview only and should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon. Consider obtaining personalised advice from a professional financial adviser and your accountant before making any financial decisions in relation to the matters discussed in this article, including when considering tax and finance options for your business. Westpac does not endorse any of the external providers referred to in this article.


PayID® is a registered trademark of NPP Australia Limited.