WORKING AT HOME: Is It For You? by William Atkinson


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Though Atkinson purports to break new ground--the psychological aspects of working at home--his inconclusive briefing (which covers mostly familiar ground) is valuable chiefly for its collateral reference material. A lengthy appendix includes not only an extensive bibliography (of periodicals and government publications as well as special-interest handbooks) but also detailed listings of potentially helpful trade associations, companies, and other organizations. Otherwise Atkinson, a freelance business writer, offers comparatively routine counsel on the pros and cons of at-home work. Procrastinators and the easily distracted, he notes, have limited futures as their own bosses. And ""when self-managers get organized, they stay organized!"" Somewhat more practical are his tips on home-office design--proper lighting, adequate ventilation, etc. On a more personal level, Atkinson reviews potential familial problems and such individual difficulties as fear of failure or poverty, feelings of isolation, workaholism, hypochondria, and cyberphobia (computer anxiety). A portion of the slim text is also devoted to extraneous reportage--notably, a chapter that traces the telecommuting phenomenon back to the cottage industries of 18th-century England. As an appraisal of the psychic trade-offs involved in home versus workplace employment, much less insightful than Paul and Sarah Edwards' Working From Home (p. 26). But Atkinson's catalogue of sources--like the appendices in Robert Scott's Office at Home (p. 38)--could prove worthwhile.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1985
Publisher: Dow Jones-Irwin