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'Working from home' - the halfway house between Studio & Freelance?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by Bethune, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Bethune

    Bethune Junior Member

    Hello there all...

    Very wisely I have been advised to re-consider full-on freelance during this current credit-crunch...But in trying to make my work/life ballance better I am trying to explore alternative work formats.

    In particular I am considering the merits of working from home - or more precisely, trying to convince the boss it's a good idea. And so I though a thread to explore this type of design working would be interesting.

    ISSUE 1 - TRUST:

    First off - let's be frank. Obstacle one is convincing the boss it's a good idea...

    What we are talking about is TRUST.

    But surely there are means whereby one can show the boss that there are ways to accurately verify and monitor work flow at home?

    Have any of you any thoughts about constructing a system whereby you can manage work flow achievements at home? - Is there special software on online resources that are specifically designed to help the home worker and their studio based management?


  2. berry

    berry Active Member

    I'm confused over the scenario and predicament - Is the situation currently,
    1. Your boss has suggested to terminate your employement and use you as 'home worker' on a freelance hourly basis?
    2. You want to suggest this option to your boss as an alternative to no redundancy
    3. You want to go freelance and your boss doesn't know yet.

    Sorry - just read your other post!
  3. Bethune

    Bethune Junior Member

    Hi - np. I guess I should explain a bit of the background in my case...

    I am slowly starting to think about freelance - maybe not for a while yet, but my mind is certainly turning in that direction. However, in the more immediate time-scale, I have already been allotted a day a week working from home, but I would like to convince the boss to extend this...

    A major part of this would be putting forward a proposal where I explain how I won't simply be sitting on the couch and watching Jerry Springer (or whatever it is now) instead of working! ;)

    But moreover, I would like the company I work for see the benefits to them of having a 'work at home' policy for the rest of my colleagues. And so I am starting to research this (and hence this post).
  4. darren

    darren Member

    I work from home for a very large company based in the US and as much as people think it must be the ideal situation, its is in matter of fact very difficult.

    The reason for this is self-motivation has to be much stronger than normally neededl. Not just in the case of distractions from work but also for things like excercise for example. So remember to take into account all the things you take for granted like excercise you might not even know you get. There are many things to consider and the social aspect is another one.

    Regardless, there are many positives too, such as less cost involved, travelling time etc.

    I have actually been offered much more money than what i currently make on numerous occasions by my previous employers (local business, possibly 3-4 miles away) and have turned them down as I really like working from home. Since I have two young kids, I hear them playing and stuff which is great.

    Anyway.. the fact is that if you were freelance you would not have to provide proof that you are doing the work, you either do it or you dont. Its the same for your current employer, if you dont do the work then you wont have a job i would assume, so there is no real "proof" needed. This is obviously not the case for all circumstances but your employer knows what you do regardless, otherwise why would they pay you?. I mean at the moment I assume he delegates work to you and you do it, he does not stand over your sholder and watch you, or does he? hehe.

    Why not switch to working freelance and just start with your current employer as a client?, that would kill two birds with one stone.
  5. berry

    berry Active Member

    As an employer, I can't see the benefit or managabilty of the 'home working scenario. If there is no financial benefit like reduced cost or PAYE or NI contributions, then all I would be doing is purely making life more comfortable for you. Also employers spend a lot of time finding, developing, nuturing, and supporting staff through thick and thin times, illness, sick days, holidays. Why should they now share that effort and devlopment with other prospective employers so as to help you further your freelance desires. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Part of the employer/employee relationship is down to the managing of talent and the production process of the working day. That needs physical contact and dialogue. Otherwise every project has to be on a cost per project basis and then we're into straight out and out outsourcing and freelancing.

    My view is I'd be surprised if this is workable without you going full freelance, which means tax, NI, insurance, equipment, bookkeeping, VAT, Invoicing, buisness banking and so on...

    In the current economic climate I wouldn't give any employer any hassle or aggrevation over any employement issue. They are too many redundancies flying around. If you want to be a freelancer then do it and stand by your course of action. The power is with employers not employees at the minute. Everyone is expendable. That's why we have £2million unemployed.
  6. rossnorthernunion

    rossnorthernunion Senior Member

    Are you working in a studio/agency environment - or an in house designer?
  7. @ Berry, you sound like very much worried about redundancies.
    @ B, mate it is very hard to convince you boss to let you do that.
    As far as you work on your own (no team involved, no people in charge, no meetings, etc) you should be alright. There's several web-based design-oriented project management platforms available, but be aware that doing this in a proper way will mean keeping your progress and hour load very organised, which is not always a good idea: dead time in the office is fine. You can do busy work, help a coleague, etc. Dead time at home is A SIN (or so will your boss think).

    If I would be you I will be more worried about not having any live interaction with people in your company. Not being present means that you will end up doing the worse projects and your chances of pregressing within the company will be thin...

    If you consider this a way to sneak a a few hours to do little jobs on the side, you will become the kind of employee that nobody wants in a company... it might be better saving some money, asking for a 2/3 months license with no salary and try freelance. You can resign if it works, or keep working if it doesn't.

    The best way of building trust is playing fair!
  8. Xenonsoft

    Xenonsoft Active Member

    Berry makes sense to me.
  9. berry

    berry Active Member

    In the last month of know of at least 20 designers, programmers, web guys that have been made redundant out of the blue. ( and that's who I know of). I've had more CV's from recruitment agencies since Jan than ever before.

    I'm interview one casualty ( and a very good one ) at 2.00 O'clock today

    These are not juniors but middleweights of 6+ years experience. Got two Creative Directors CV's in my mail too. It's getting vicious out there.
  10. Calvin_T

    Calvin_T Member

    Students are pretty much screwed at the mo then.
  11. Blimey Berry, seems like you're getting inundated with applicants.. I was talking to a mate of mine who's been unemployed now for 8 months fortunately for him, he lives at home with his parents but he's been asking everyone he knows for any leads on work... i've had 7 phone calls from him asking that same question in the last 4 days... just in case I find something / hear something to let him know.. Its so cutthroat out there at the moment.:down:
  12. berry

    berry Active Member

    Screwed? They would might find more luck bending down to pick up the soap in the showers at Broadhurst.
  13. now thats a horrible image Berry....
  14. berry

    berry Active Member

    It's going to take another 14 months to get out this. In the meantime the financiers say that 2 in 10 business will not make it! That's a scary thought 1 in 5.....This is big business as well as small....Look at Woolworths, Principles, MFI. It's not just the design side of business its everyone. Historically, when things get tough the first area a business will cut back on is the Marketing. Print based offline agencies are feeling it tougher than online. That's the only light out there.
  15. Calvin_T

    Calvin_T Member


    Placing soap on a rope around ones neck, helps keep the posterior in check.
    (CT smaller book of life)
  16. yeah it is very dismal .. especially with all the places like Woolworths and Zavvi etc going out of business.

    Completely agree with you Berry. Unfortunately i'm more of a print based designer than a web designer... so i'm having to adapt slightly :) or learn more, more to the point :)
  17. yeah it is very dismal .. especially with all the places like Woolworths and Zavvi etc going out of business.

    Completely agree with you Berry. Unfortunately i'm more of a print based designer than a web designer... so i'm having to adapt slightly :) or learn more, more to the point :)
  18. Calvin_T

    Calvin_T Member

    I am print based too. Thinking of forcing myself into some kind of html crash course.
    im So not in the know with the web.

    Every employer posts ads that want designers that can do EVERYTHING to save themselves money
  19. sametomorrow

    sametomorrow Junior Member

    I think before making the jump to full time freelance, make sure you have some clients or freelance work lined up, also it would be nice to have a little bit of money saved up incase the beginning or at some point it's slow you will have something to fall back on.
  20. tim

    tim Senior Member

    nice post @sametomorrow

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