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Start: Mark Evans

Working from home gains traction Add to ...

There is no commute, the dress code is casual, and getting lunch is just a matter of walking to the kitchen.

On the flipside, working from home can be isolating, and many people don't have the discipline to be productive with their time.

But as the ranks of the self-employed continue to swell, working from home is gaining a lot of traction for the lifestyle as much as the cost savings.

When Bryan McCaw started WineAlign.com, a service I've done consulting work with and that helps people make better wine-buying decisions at Ontario liquor stores, he was initially embarrassed because he had spent so many years working out of corporate offices. Mr. McCaw, however, had little choice but to work from home because WineAlign is self-financed, and a home office was an easy way to reduce costs.

Over the past year, Mr. McCaw's enthusiasm has grown, and he is surprised by how many other people work from home as well.

"Over time, I have realized that I have no need nor a desire to get out of the house at this point," he said. "I think I am able to be effective this way. I think working from home is now culturally accepted. It's the same transition people went through from wearing suits at the office to not wearing suits."

Mr. McCaw said one of the keys to effectively work from home is to make sure you get out on a regular basis. Like many self-employed, he has adopted Starbucks as a place to hold meetings. He is also a big fan of lunch meetings after discovering a sushi restaurant that offered free wi-fi.

"The importance of lunch is getting out of the house, and meeting people face to face," he said. "When you want to meet for lunch, it's amazing how quickly peoples' schedules get cleared."

Special to the Globe and Mail

Mark Evans is a principal with ME Consulting, which offers strategic and tactical marketing, communications and social media services to start-ups, as well as larger companies. Mark has worked with three start-ups - Blanketware , b5Media and PlanetEye - so he understand how they operate and what they need to do to be successful. He was a tech reporter for more than a decade with The Globe & Mail, Bloomberg News and the Financial Post. Mark is also one of the co-organizers of the mesh, meshUniversity and meshmarketing conferences.

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