Work • Life • Recreation • Relaxation

Tue 24 Apr 2018

Introduction is the website for people who either work at home, or work from home.

If you are looking for help doing your school homework, then try the BBC Bitesize site.

After a year's break, the site is reinventing itself, and planning to offer:

  • Useful articles
  • Jobs
  • Book and website reviews
  • A forum
  • Case studies

It will take time to develop the site, so please bare with us.

Homeworking Jobs

Jobs from Indeed

Press coverage

  • 8 Aug 1999 BBC Breakfast TV
  • 8 Nov 1999 The Scotsman
  • 14 Feb 2000 The Times
  • 7 Mar 2000 Palm Beach Post
  • 9 Sep 2003 Guardian
  • 10 Apr 2004 Telegraph
  • 16 Nov 2006 Independent
  • 9 Feb 2011 Guardian

Also: Sky Digital Money

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Joan Sweeney has worked at home for the last 10 years writing books for children, aged 3-8. Joan has three grown children and five gorgeous grandchildren who love her books!

Case Study written 2000

Q. What do you do?
A. I’m a writer and a published author of children’s books. Ever since I was small, I’ve been writing. Among other things, I’ve been an advertising copywriter, a newspaper columnist, even won awards for television commercials. I’ve worked both full and part-time, and free-lanced as well. For the last ten years, I’ve worked at home writing books for children, aged 3-8, which is the most fun of all.
Q. Where do you work at home?
A. I’m fortunate to have an extra bedroom in my flat (condo, we call it in the US). I converted it to an office when I moved in. Everything I need -- electronic and otherwise -- is all right here, including my favorite reference books, voluminous files, plus pictures of my family to remind me of the best things in life.
Q. Do you manage to keep your work and home life separate?
A. Generally, it’s no problem. My three children are grown and I live alone, so I’m free from the distractions of family responsibilities. I often overlap my work with my home life, combining things such as surfing the Internet and researching a story.
Q. What is the best thing about working from home?
A. I can wear casual clothes and I don’t have to put on makeup. I can work when I want, and as long, or as little as I need to. I can take breaks when I feel like it. I can lie down and take a short nap when I get tired (important because I have MS). I can bake a casserole, do laundry, listen to music, hold my cat on my lap while I work.
Q. What are the negative points about working at home?
A. In my case, I miss the interaction with other people. Emails, faxes and phone calls are great for keeping in touch, but it’s nice to be around people with “real live skin,” as one of my grandchildren put it.
Q. What was the deciding factor to help you to decide to work from home?
A. Twenty years ago, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Fatigue is a large factor in the disease. At first, that was the only thing that bothered me. But gradually, the disease has progressed. I can no longer drive and I depend on walkers, wheelchairs, and the kindness of friends to get around.
Q. Does your homeworking pay the bills?
A. Sometimes just barely. Anyone who thinks they will get rich writing children’s books is in for a shock. (Unless they are J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame.) But I survive. With persistence, perserverance and patience, (they count more than talent), I will keep selling books.
Q. How did you manage financially when you first started working at home?
A. Until I sold my first book, I did lots of boring free-lance stuff, like writing job descriptions for waste management firms and such. Meanwhile my meagre investments slowly evaporated. When things really got tough, I was lucky; I could count on my family for help.
Q. What sort of work did you do before you worked at home?
A. The last position I held outside the home was part-time creative director for a small marketing agency.
Q. How do you manage your time?
A. I try to have a plan, but I always allow for change. A strict schedule doesn’t work for me.
Q. How do you cope with distractions at home?
A. Some people think I sit around all day and watch TV. My friends and family understand. I think they know I’m fairly flexible and can adjust to interruptions if need be. One thing: I never schedule projects during the visits of my grandchildren. Forget it!
Q. How do you cope with the isolation of working at home?
A. I always have several creative irons in the fire. When I’m working on a story, I live in my imagination. I’m rarely bored or lonely. But I have friends who can’t stand being by themselves. They think I’m a bit strange.
Q. What tips do you have for coping with MS?
A. Living with multiple sclerosis while working at home adds an another dimension to my life. My tips are: always start working first thing in the morning when your mind and body are fresh. Eat properly, don’t skip meals, take a nap after lunch if you can. Remember, as the day goes along, especially if your work is stressful, your energy level will drop. So never start a project late in the day. (That’s when I get rattley-brained!) Have a good night’s sleep and remember, tomorrow is a new day.
Q. What three pieces of advice would you suggest to someone considering working from home?
  1. Do some kind of work every day. (Well, not every day. We all need time off now and then!) Even if you don’t have a specific assignment, keep your hand in. If I write one decent sentence each day (most of which never make it into print), I feel I’ve accomplished something. It’s great for the self-esteem.
  2. Accept the fact that there will be ups and downs. Your income will vary. It’s not the same as having a steady job.
  3. Also keep excellent records of your business expenses for the tax-man.