Wed 2 Apr 2014
Nancy is a paralegal (doing document preparation for probate cases and estate planning) and has done this work for 19 years, the last four on a part-time, at home basis.
Case Study written 2001
- Q. Where do you work at home?
- A. In the spare bedroom which has been converted to computer room/study/library.
- Q. What is the best thing about working from home?
- A. The freedom to work the days and hours that are most convenient.
- Q. What are the negative points about working at home?
- A. No real negatives, although it is easier to procrastinate, knowing that the work is so close at hand.
- Q. How do you cope with the isolation of working at home?
- A. I love it. It is easy enough to find people and activities; I like feeling that my life at home is quiet and I am in control of how much I choose to do outside.
- Q. Do you manage to keep your work and home life separate?
- A. That isn't a problem in this situation. We live in a quiet, peaceful setting and the only thing that might disturb concentration would be the telephone, which can be answered or left to the answering machine.
- Q. What was the deciding factor to help you to decide to work from home?
- A. The lawyer that I work for has his office 50 miles away. I simply do the overflow. It saves him having to keep an office cubicle equipped for me and it saves me having to go in to his office, since all of my work can be done independently with an occasional telephone call back and forth.
- Q. Does your homeworking pay the bills?
- A. No - it is only part-time, sometimes several days' worth, some weeks nothing at all. Completely variable depending upon how much work the employing office has at that time. It works well for me. If there is work, I am always happy with the extra pocket money. We intended to be retired, so this is extra income, small though it is. If there is no work, I have many other things to enjoy and fill my time.
- Q. How do you cope with distractions at home?
- A. There are infinitely fewer distractions here at home than working in an office where there are telephones to answer, people in and out, and many noises and distractions.
- Q. How do you manage your time?
- A. I work so few hours, it is seldom a problem fitting in the hours needed.
- Q. What two pieces of advice would you suggest to someone considering working from home?
- A. (1) Do what works best for you.
- (2) Even though no one can see you, shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair and don't let your personal habits slide. You'll do better work and feel better about yourself.
- Q. Anything else you feel needs to be said?
- A. Mine is not at all the typical homeworking situation, but it certainly is ideal for me. It has all advantages and no disadvantages. That makes me pretty lucky!