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
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  • A forum
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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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John is in his 50's and married with one child. He has run his own mail order business selling condoms and adult fashion for 9 years. (2001)

Update: 2005 - John's online condoms business did well and he was bought out. He has now diversified into a completely different product and still works from home.

Q. Where do you work at home?
A. Guest bedroom.
Q. Do you manage to keep your work and home life separate?
A. No - this is a 7 day a week job. As technology increases so does the working hours. I receive most orders by email and they are dealt with immediately, regardless of which day of the week.
Q. What is the best thing about working from home?
A. No commuting and not having to get up too early.
Q. What are the negative points about working at home?
A. Expected to do domestic jobs just because you're at home.
Q. How do you cope with distractions at home?
A. Very easy, I just ignore them. When you work at home you have to be work motivated. It takes 100% full time effort.
Q. Does your homeworking pay the bills?
A. Yes.
Q. How did you manage financially when you first started working at home?
A. It took 4 years before making a profit. Until then we were living on savings.
Q. What sort of work did you do before you worked at home?
A. I had a franchise with a condom manufacturer in their vending machine division but I lost it in my 40s.
Q. How do you cope with the isolation of working at home?
A. It is isolated but I am a loner and work better on my own.
Q. How do you manage your time?
A. I'm always in my 'office' by 9 and work until my desk is cleared which could be 2pm or 10pm. I always make sure everything is cleared the same day I get it. Storage is getting to be a problem but I can manage just enough stock in a fairly small area.
Q. Why did you choose your product and how do you promote it?
A. Losing my franchise was a huge blow and because I only worked for one company I didn't have knowledge of other brands. But that didn't stop me and the day after I finished work I went out and bought some stock and set up in my own business.
The first advert was in Exchange & Mart [weekly classified publication] and produced some good response. I continued advertising in the media until two years ago when I bought a low-cost web page as part of an existing adult entertainment and services website. This proved to be so successful that I moved to my own website a year later and turnover has trebled with about 85% of my orders coming from email. I have a lot of repeat customers because I offer a quality product at very low prices and a quick service by return post. Customers find me through the search engines so I do not need to advertise the website. I found banner advertising is too expensive and not worthwhile for low cost products.
Q. What advice would you suggest to someone considering working from home?
  • You have to be work motivated and absolutely dedicated.
  • The mail order business is repetitive and extremely boring. You will do exactly the same thing each day: receive order, process it and send it out. You have to be absolutely prepared for the boredom, at least in an office or external workplace there is some chance of a change in routine.
  • Overheads are less when you work from home but they must still be tightly controlled. For instance bank charges are horrendous.
  • If you decide to make a business out of a hobby there is a danger of not separating the hobby from the work. It is essential to keep them separate as the work involves 100% dedication and not being diverted by the recreational side of the hobby.
  • If you are involved in mail order then you will be dealing with clients. You must be aware of data protection act and not reveal personal details of clients to any third business. If you hold customer details you must be registered with data protection.
  • When you are starting out you may have to work for some time without salary so you will need some sort of financial backup.