Maybe you want to work from home or maybe you need to work from home? Maybe your job has evaporated as have many others thanks to the current economy? Are you looking for a change? If so, working from home or “telework” as it is referred to in this book might be just the thing for you and your family.  

Released last February by NOLO in partnership with USA TODAY this very simple and easy to read short handbook details the ins and outs of working from home. Both as an employee of a company where you can do your job from home or as a freelance consultant.  Both types are considered in each chapter despite the fact that the two concepts are often very different.

After a very short opening chapter touting the advantages for you as well as any possible employer, the discussion moves onto whether or not you, the reader is a good candidate for working from home. Simply loving the idea of avoiding the commute isn’t enough. In the second chapter, planning such a move regarding child care, where the desk will go, how such a deal will change everyone’s lives is considered among other ideas.

Chapters three and four address the questions of whether you can do your job at home and how to make your case to your boss and the corporate bureaucracy. Freelancing is again briefly mentioned, but the primary focus is on whether you can take the job you currently have and do it at home.

Chapter five addresses how to find a job that you can do from home as well as the many pitfalls and scams to avoid. The very common “medical claims processing” scam is mentioned along with the classic “product assembly” deal and the always popular “envelope stuffing” and quite a few others. This information, as well as much in the book, is also helpful to those seeking to have a second income while keeping day job.

Freelancing is covered in chapter six. Much of the information involves creating contracts, setting rates, and dealing with taxes as opposed to suggestions regarding what to freelance.

Chapter seven deals with taxes for your online job and defines deductions, working for an employer in another state, filling taxes, etc. Both of the authors are residents of California and have written this chapter with Federal Taxes in mind. State tax considerations and local tax issues aren’t covered. As in any in any guide book, information is subject to change and one should always consult with your Tax Specialist or preparer for information.

Chapter eight covers how to succeed at working from home. Not only how to keep you involved in the workplace from home, but also how to stay motivated and making sure the work gets done. Not only do you have to make sure the boss sees your productivity you also have to make sure your friends and family know the limits and abide by them.

Setting limits on others was never an issue for me. My issue was setting my own limits. Whether it was some daytime talk show train wreck (is he the father of these six kids by five different women? They are all here today to prove he is the father) or important news, congressional hearings, sports stuff, etc. the television is a huge distracter. It has to stay off, for me to get any work done.

An index and catalog listing of titles available from NOLO along with numerous ads bring this small 160 page book to a close.

For those readers who know nothing about telecommuting this short easy to read book full of very general information and tips is a real good deal. It outlines the concepts and possibilities, various scenarios, and possible strategies to make the transition. For those freelance writers such as myself and others who have experience doing telework, this small handbook won’t shed any new light on the subject and is of little help.


The Work From Home Handbook: Flex Your Time, Improve Your Life

By Diana Fitzpatrick & Stephen Fishman



ISBN # 1-4133-0701-9

160 Pages



As a member of the Amazon Vine Program this material was provided to me in exchange for my objective review.


Kevin R. Tipple © 2009

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