Working from home not for everyone, warns broker

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The government thinks more workers will consider at-home offices once the NBN is completed, but Get Real Finance’s Kelly Cameron-Tull warns working from home is not always ideal.

National Telework Week, an initiative relating to the new National Broadband Network, opened on Monday, with the government announcing a goal of having 12% of public sector employees “teleworking" from home by 2020.

However, there is some scepticism in the broking industry about the at-home work trend, with Cameron-Tull - who used to work from home - warning that home offices don’t suit everyone.

“You have to have a lot of discipline. I know a lot of other people who aren’t as disciplined and start doing other stuff around the house."

She also says if she was ever ill, business-related visitors found it hard to accept her taking a day off.

“I had chickenpox as an adult, but people would still show up at the door and say ‘just tell her it’s me.’ Now, if I’m at home, people won’t try and hunt me down.”

Despite this, Cameron-Tull says working from home can be great for some brokers and admits that she may have been more productive in her home office.

MFAA’s Phil Naylor says the broking industry has historically tended to move away from home offices, but says it’s too early to say whether faster internet access will change this.

“I think the whole NBN project, when finally implemented, will be beneficial for brokers and it’s impossible to say what will happen because the broking network is very dynamic," he said.

"Many brokers started working from home, but many are now working from offices – that’s just how the industry has grown.”

Despite reports that teleworkers achieve greater work/life balance, Cameron-Tull says the opposite was true for her.

“I was pregnant and I just wanted the separation from work – I didn’t want to be working with people downstairs and hearing my baby cry upstairs…I think I actually have a better work/life balance now.”

  • Coast Broker on 15/11/2012 11:29:00 AM

    I have been operating my business from Home for more than 7 years and have a purpose built office on a lower level of my house separate to my house with its own entrance. Most of my clients I see in their Home. So cannot see the benefit of paying for Commercial Space that would eat in to my expenses. Most prospective borrowers do not just walk in off the street. Having a shop front or commercial office would be a waist of resources if most of your clients you meet in their home. Could not see a prospective client coming out to see a Broker at 7.30pm at a shop front or commercial office.

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