Wed 2 Apr 2014
Mike Malley is in his mid 50's and married with 2 children. He has been working at home for over 20 years. He runs Mike Malley Entertainments.
Case study written around 1999.
- Q. What do you do?
- A. I am an entertainment agent & I also manage entertainers. I have been working at home doing this since 1979.
- Q. Where do you work at home?
- A. I converted the existing study & utility room (they were adjacent & I knocked down the common wall) into a fairly good sized dedicated office.
- Q. Do you manage to keep your work and home life separate?
- A. To a certain extent, yes. However, my wife thinks I'm a workaholic but the truth is I love my work & it is also my hobby. I do not bring the office into the home, though and once the office is shut I do not take business calls or do any business except in emergencies.
- Q. What is the best thing about working from home?
- A. There are several great things. Probably the very best is NO TRAVELLING. Other good points are, if you have kids you get to see more of them; also if you need to work late, you can take a break/have dinner/play with the kids & then go do the work.
- Q. What are the negative points about working at home?
- A. The only negative point I find is during school holidays when the kids are at home it can get noisy. This is a particular problem in my business where most of my time is spent on the telephone.
- Q. How do you cope with the isolation of working at home?
- A. I am not isolated as I have 1 full time & 1 part time employees. On the occasions when I am alone in the office it's no problem since, as I previously said, I spend most of my time on the telephone. Besides I really enjoy my own company - at least I get intelligent answers when I ask myself a question!
- Q. Does your homeworking pay the bills?
- A. My homeworking is my only job & provides a very good living.
- Q. How did you manage financially when you first started working at home?
- A. Obviously a business like mine takes time to establish, so the first couple of years we had to be very careful but we managed.
- Q. What sort of work did you do before you worked at home?
- A. I worked as an entertainment agent for another company.
- Q. What was the deciding factor to help you to decide to work from home?
- A. Convenience & cost.
- Q. How do you manage your time?
- A. I try to keep normal office hours with a lunch break although I generally eat that at my desk in case the phone rings. I also try to make time for my family on a regular basis.
- Q. How do you cope with distractions at home?
- A. I am very self-disciplined & therefore find no distractions either at home or when I was in an office. Also, as I said before, I enjoy my work so, in a way, my work is my distraction.
- Q. What advice would you suggest to someone considering working from home?
- A. Try and have a dedicated office rather than using a family room & most importantly be very self- disciplined so that you do not come out of the office (to watch TV/listen to music/goof off) when you should be working & do not go into the office when you should be relaxing. For the right type of person in the right type of job, working from home is fantastic. Because you have no travelling there is less stress & more time to use either for working or quality time or a bit of each.