Contracting From Home – Home Contracting is All I Want To Do

contracting from home
Contracting from home

Contracting From Home


A reader sents us the following question, about contracting from home. He says he only wants to do home contracting.

Working from Home

I moved to a rural location just over two years. I informed all my agencies that I would only work from home. That’sexcept, of course, for the initial planning process / project update meetings.

At first they totally ignored this criteria and kept offering me on-site contracts. Finally, I gave up and have been “resting” ever since.

What is the agency problem with homeworkers?

Thousands of permies are doing it, so why not contractors.

I’m getting bored now and want to start sourcing my own work, but should I give the agencies another chance?

Dr. McLaughlin’s Contractor Surgery

I don’t think so – unless you are going to do fixed price work.

Although companies allow permies to work from home it is usually after they have got to know them. It’s when they know they can trust you.

It would be highly unusual for companies to allow a contractor to work from home. That’s unless they knew them from before.

If you want to work from home then you would need to go and find work for yourself. Even then you’d have to spend time on site to acquaint yourself with other people involved, e.g. the users.

Home Working for Contractors

There’s no reason why homeworking for contractors shouldn’t catch on.

What about starting up a company for homeworkers?

Remember FI which a woman set up so that woman who had small children could work in IT on a part time temp basis?

That was very successful and is now stock market company Xansa worth tens of millions.

Looking for Homeworking Contractors

I was just thinking again what my reaction would be if I was looking for a contractor an agency offered me one who would only work from home.

It would be an extra risk to myself and the project, and as there were plenty of IT contractors around I would simply take one who would be happy to turn up at the site every day.

I’d also wonder what kind of person couldn’t be bothered to come to the office and would wonder whether they liked hard work or saw themselves in semi retirement with a nice comfortable number where they didn’t have to leave home.

How would I know if they were working or not? I’d find out but it might not be soon enough.

Really Good Worker

Of course if I had a really good worker, who didn’t have to be supervised, who knew our business and systems inside out, who had a really good excuse for working from home, and who wouldn’t renew unless he or she was allowed to work from home, then I might consider it.

Frankly if a complete stranger told me at an interview that they would only work from home I’d be wondering if they were a bit flaky and more into homeopathic medicine and incense rather than doing a bit of hard IT work.

Of course, I’m not saying that’s you as I don’t know you, but when there are plenty of contractors prepared to come and work on site then why should I take the risk of taking someone contracting from home?

You would have to think up a really good story before I‘d even consider it – and then I probably wouldn‘t go with it anyway.



  1. You raise some good points. It seems the two paths are either contract on site or freelance from home. I tried freelancing a few months ago and it was a waste of time for a developer. You are bidding against other freelancers mostly from abroad who beat on price. The projects were very small with only a few specifying UK only developers for projects of a few weeks or more. To run a business in that environment would mean you had to bid for work every day with little time to do the actual dev work. The minimum contract on site I come across is 3 months, which seems the norm. If anybody knows of an organisation for professional developers with full contract status for work from home on projects less than 3 months, please let me know. A kind of mix between freelance/contract. Just my thoughts.


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