Thu 6 Mar 2014
Jim Bennett is 40 and lives with his partner and son who is 11 years old.
Case Study written in 1999.
- Q. What do you do?
- A. I am an accountant and have been working at home for about 4 years.
- Q. Where do you work at home?
- A. Spare room converted into a office. I rented a office once and it is surprising how much office space is wasted but you have just because it is expected that you will have an office in town, in most cases it really isn't necessary.
- Q. What is the best thing about working from home?
- A. Freedom. My life is really in my own hands to work harder or spend more time with the family, to have the ability to put the family first and not feel guilty about it.
- Q. What are the negative points about working at home?
- A. Having to discipline yourself to keep regular office hours. Very difficult when weather is fantastic or England playing well at cricket !! (that hasn't been a problem for a while though)
- Q. What was the deciding factor to help you to decide to work from home?
- A. Dissolution of partnership (freed from the restraints of a previous business relationship) and then sitting down and working out how much space I would need for a office at home (surprisingly little).
- Q. Do you manage to keep your work and home life separate?
- A. Sometimes it is difficult but after establishing the business I gently advised client's of my office hours and having a 2nd phone line put in was a great help.
- Q. Does your homeworking pay the bills?
- A. Yes, together with partner's income from employment.
- Q. How did you manage financially when you first started working at home?
- A. Not too bad. I already had an existing client base and some of these client's pay by monthly standing order.
- Q. How do you cope with distractions at home?
- A. I have deadlines to meet so that helps, if deadline not met business will be lost. My advice would always be to set yourself a deadline and keep to it, even if it does not really exist.
- Q. How do you manage your time?
- A. I have a software program that records time spent on client's affairs and a computer diary which is constantly updated and backed up!!
- Q. How do you cope with the isolation of working at home?
- A. I think you either love it or hate it. I LOVE IT.
- Q. What two pieces of advice would you suggest to someone considering working from home?
- A. Self discipline. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
- Q. Anything else you feel needs to be said?
- A. Best move I ever made. I had a business partner once and any changes in our business always meant discussion and having to fit in or compromise with him. Now I rise or fall by my own decisions, although I am not afraid to ask for a 2nd opinion from others.
Visit Jim's website