A recent survey of home based travel agents produced some very interesting feedback. Here is Theresa Winchester of The Travel Agent Next Door with her personal response to the survey results:
“Over 50 per cent became home based in last 5 years” – Is this true of you?
I've been a travel professional for six years now. The first three years, I spent one or two days a week in the office but was working at home the other days. Now I am fully home based.
“92 per cent said they have a better work life balance since becoming a hosted agent”
Having boundaries has never been my strong suit and working at home has made it more difficult to turn the computer off and quit work. However, the timing is flexible so I can make medical and other personal appointments at any time of day. When my husband required many medical appointments, I was able to work around his schedule and was thus able to continue to work.
“Almost 50 per cent said they were earning more now than before”
I'm selling more now as I'm more experienced and my loyal clientele has grown. Earning a greater share of my commissions has been fantastic and really makes a huge difference to the bottom line for me. It's definitely a motivator - in the previous agency, at 37 per cent commission, there was no significant motivation for me to work hard.
“89 per cent of home based agents are happier”
Working at home with The Travel Agent Next Door is a much better fit for me than the previous agency. The everyday philosophy of "we are here to support the travel agent without whom we do not earn money" is a crucial component.
What advice would you give to agents still working in an office about going home based?
The flexible work hours are a definite asset. I do miss the comraderie of the workplace but the Facebook group for our agents is helpful; attending the yearly conference is even more so.