If you want to know about making the switch from working on the high street to becoming a successful homeworker, ask Joan Jones.
She has more experience than most of working in different high street and home-based travel agency models. And on one thing she is clear – it’s not easy. Joan says: “I thought homeworking would be a walk in the park. It isn’t. It is very rewarding but you have to work hard.
“It is such a huge decision to give up a salary; it’s a lifestyle choice as well as something you are passionate about.”
Joan was recruited last year by Haslemere Travel to recruit and run its homeworking team, which will reach seven in the next few months.
She first made the move into homeworking herself when she was one of four Going Places agents picked to set up the chain’s first homeworking network in 2005.
But even she admits the decision was tough, particularly as a single mum.
“It was a courageous step but I wouldn’t change a thing. I saw every school sports day and I never had to worry about childcare in the school holidays as I could work flexible hours.”
Now she is imparting her knowledge – she has already put together a staff manual and intranet to ensure staff have plenty of access to anything from information on suppliers and destinations to how to improve the way they sell.
For Joan, one of the most important factors for homeworkers is to have adequate support. She spends two to three days a week on the road, often on home visits.
"Homeworkers need a lot of support to be successful. They need to be able to bounce ideas off people. It can be very daunting. My job is to help people make that leap [into homeworking].”
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