Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Homeworking blog carnival - the results

My breakfast of choice: half dulce de leche (basically spreadable toffee sauce) and half peanut butter. Goes well with my builder's tea (two brown sugars or one and a half white). Send me pics of your work food! Read about my own experience of home working by clicking here.
This is ‘the army’ of homeworkers who sent their stories and links after I spread the word about my homeworking post on British Mummy Bloggers, Mumsnet and media/PR forums Fleetstreet, journalism.co.uk and UK Press.

All quiet on the home front? 
Not likely if you have a young child trying to get attention by switching off your computer, tugging at your phone cord and banging a drum when you are speaking to a client. Even if you have childcare, your child is bound to be around for a few of your working hours unless you get up really early in the morning and work after they have gone to bed.

Writers, PRs, techies, even an online retailer, life coach and an artist - here are some inspirational stories about homeworking today... If you’d like to tell your story, feel free to leave a comment with a link (optional) below.

  • Career change and homeworking
  • Working and family life
  • Running an online retail business from home
  • Build your own office

If you can’t have office banter, create a virtual watercooler (and reinvent yourself)!
Rebecca is a work-at-home parent who had a taste of the home front even when she was in full-time employment. She says: “Unfortunately the end of my contract came just as the recession was picking up speed and as I was in a niche job, it became obvious that I wouldn't find another one.” She retrained as a coach and set up The Mummy Grapevine. She confesses: “I sometimes yearn after the kudos of being an academic, but the stress is not missed.” Check out http://www.themummygrapevineblog.com.

Emily is a freelance writer who does some social media PR for parenting websites. She works at her dining table so she can keep an eye on her three children: a four year old, a two year old and a 10- month-old baby! She says, “Life is manic but never boring”, and tries hard to do it all! Find out more at http://babyrambles.blogspot.com/2010/11/its-harder-being-at-home-with-children.html

Ellen's immaculate office - check out that patterned cushion!
Ellen works from home most of the time, although she does occasional shifts inhouse. She used to work for tabloids and do some PR, but she now writes for “people who pay me”. She has three boys so she is a master of the juggle jive (any Strictly scout out there?).

Ellen misses ‘human’ contact but finds Twitter and Facebook of some help, although they “can be a dashed good way of avoiding nasty jobs”. Learn her dance routine at http://bundance.blogspot.com/

Amelia is an artist who has recently decided to work from home. She took her art teaching experience into the digital word by setting up experimental art e-courses and workshops. She also does the occasional CV work. She took a huge financial risk as she is a single income household but it has been worthwhile in term of personal happiness and wellbeing. She says: “Working from home has also freed up time to start my MA in Fine Art, which I love as working at home can be isolating.”

Her youngest child has a disability, which was also a factor in her decision to work for herself - illness and hospital appointments were affecting her job and juggling it all was stressful. Amelia’s workspace is under the stairs and on her dining table. See her pictorial blog at http://www.101birdtales.blogspot.com/.

Lynn has a home office, as well as a store-room-cum-spare-bedroom. Her maternity retail business is also taking over the garage. 

She can be found at the kitchen table during the day when her four years old is at home and her sister at school. Read about her home/work life balance at http://www.more4mums.co.uk/blog/.

Helen runs Business Plus Baby, which is all about mumpreneurs – visit http://businessplusbaby.com/about to find out more. She writes ebooks, offers advice and "blogs away".

She has two children, who were born close to each other. Her “excuse”? Like many of us, she couldn’t face going back to work after maternity leave. She says: “I love reading stories of how mums start out in self-employment after having babies, so if you’d like to tell your story on Business Plus Baby, visit http://businessplusbaby.com/2010/04/07/did-you-start-a-business-with-a-baby-or-a-toddler.”

Last of not least, we have two Dads. As my partner went self-employed around the time our daughter was born and has been striving to work from home (not always succeeding as corporate culture often requires inhouse presence), I really enjoyed reading their stories. Hope you do, too.

Peter at his power station - great working space!
Peter started to work from home out of necessity - "it was purely a location thing". Family obligations meant giving up an international city career - and life - for a bucolic idyll. 

He says: “Karma intervened when our market town became one of the first to get broadband, so squirting a 10MB file to Asia was no biggie wherever I was.”

He admits that life has been a roller-coaster. “Professionally, you don't get to network without a two-hour drive each way. Personally, I have as a father enjoyed every moment of my sons' 14 years like no other. It has also meant that now I am able to devote invaluable time to a dementia-stricken parent during the twilight of her years, beside her bed with a lappy and MiFi. I am writing a book about the experiences - good, bad, and worth sharing - for others in this situation.”

Peter misses the social aspects and “buzz” of corporate life, but this is the hand dealt and “a not too shabby one”. His commute is about 30 seconds tops – “two minutes if it's down the shed to make a new design up”. Meet Peter at http://junkk.blogspot.com.

Phil is a hands-on homeworker with Grand Design aspirations. He actually built his own office in his back garden (see http://pthane.co.uk/?page_id=159).

Phil is a virtual ‘colleague/friend’, we have had chats through various media forums on a variety of subjects. He writes about techie stuff, is an online copywriter and has turned his lifetime’s experience of DIY into income by writing articles and books.

That’s it, folks. Thanks for your submissions... Leave a comment below if you wish. If you want a say on Twitter, find #homeworkerchat and leave your comments with that tag.


  1. What a fab post! Homeworking has its downsides but it gives us so much flexibility. I'm actually going to put a picture of my 'home office' (I wish!) on my blog after reading this post. Thanks for including me :0)

  2. hey there, thanks so much for the link and write up! Great to see what others are doing. Do pop over any time and *visit me* over at 101birdtales :)


  3. I really enjoyed reading your item. I have always wanted to have a home based job without success . My children are grown up birdie to health problems can't work. My mother worked from home from my birth (I'm 52) and only earned very basic money. Not easy and not normally well paid