While your shopping experiences might take place outside of the house, the majority of your correspondence will take place from the home. This means working off-site for the majority of your mystery shopping career as opposed to working in a traditional work environment, like that of an office. Some mystery shopping companies might require you to come to the facility in order to train for the position or for annual trainings to acquire new skills. It can be said however, that most mystery shoppers do not go into an office regularly and are in charge of their own schedules and work hours.
Working out of the house has both pros and cons. While it allows you a flexible schedule, mystery shoppers are expected to report to their assignments on time and to deliver reports before deadlines according to the terms of the assignment. Therefore, while it may seem like a relaxed work environment mystery shoppers who work from home are responsible for completing work assignments as if there were working from an office. This means being responsible for times and shops you commit to completing, regardless if the shop falls during a time the becomes inconvenient for the shopper.
It is common for mystery shoppers to be asked to work non-traditional work hours as well. Weekends and evenings are common mystery shopping hours and represent times when a shopper might otherwise not be working. Because of this it can sometimes be more difficult than you might think to follow through with a mystery shopping job because friends and family have the time off that you are required to work in order to complete your assignment.
Most companies will try and outline the times and places of your shops as best they can ahead of time. However, understanding the non-traditional nature of the job is important to being successful as a mystery shopper. Some shoppers relish in the fact that they are given the opportunity to work in such different hours and places. There are others however, that find the schedule difficult to maintain. The best thing a mystery shopper can do is to be consistent in their communication. Many companies will try and work around your schedule if you find it hard to make non-traditional work hours and times. This isn't always the case, but again good communication with your employer will ensure a better chance for a mystery shopping schedule that works well within your life. Do remember, that the more you're willing to work, the more you work you will receive and additionally, the more pay you are sure to earn as a mystery shopper.