It’s been 2 years since I’ve been working from home as an independent consultant. As with most things, there are pros and cons. I’m still trying to adapt and figure out what works best for me.
One of the things that I really miss from working in an office with other consultants, is the ‘what do you think?’ situations. Any recent feedback on an all-inclusive resort? How do you reissue a ticket due to a schedule change? What was that cruise promotion that came out last week? Co-workers are a wealth of information. It now means a quick phone call or email to a colleague, and at Tier One, we have an agent-to-agent page where we post these kinds of things. The pro side of this is I’m no longer distracted with discussions of what happened on Dancing With the Stars last night!
When I was in the storefront office and a sales rep walked in, I wouldn’t always have the time to spend with them. There would be times when we took turns on who would spend their time with the rep and you’d just half listen to what they had to say. Now I miss those visits. I didn’t realize how much knowledge I got from them and it’s a great way to maintain and foster the relationship. I wish sales reps would start doing a webinar kind of sales call. I’d prefer to listen for 20 or 30 minutes once a month rather than picking through too many emails to find out what’s pertinent.
What I miss most are the clients who would just drop in to chat because they were in the area. They were making us a part of their lives – new jobs, weddings, babies, and just everyday things. Sometimes we were just a familiar ear for listening to their troubles. To make up for this, I’ve be making a point of calling or emailing clients just to say hello, or get a picture of the latest grandchild.
I know some home based agents who never deviate from their from their ‘9 to 5’ and won’t step away from their desk to start a load of laundry. For me, being home based is what has made me happier because I can adjust my day. I still put my clients and business first in my workday, but if the opportunity allows me to attend a lunch time yoga class or have a late afternoon play date with my granddaughter—all the better. And, if I choose to work an evening or weekend, it’s my choice.
Melanie Hersom is an independent consultant with Tier One Travel in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She believes in providing Personalized Vacations and Exotic Adventures. Melanie loves spending time with her granddaughters. “I don’t want to go anywhere twice until I’ve been everywhere once.”