If you’re growing tired of the rat race and yearn to set up your own business, doing something you love and making money from it, you’re far from alone. And in this time of recession, with people still being made redundant left, right and centre, more and more people are choosing to set up shop themselves.
If you’re thinking of doing the same, one question you will probably ask yourself at some point is: should I work from home?
Image by Jelle Vandebeeck
It’s true that working from home can be enormously beneficial in terms of satisfaction, productivity and time spent with the family, but it is not without its pitfalls. So you need to think long and hard before deciding whether you want to turn a little corner of your house into a home office or workspace and shelling out for office furniture or equipment.
The pros of working from home
If you’re working from home, you’re either your own boss, or you have permission from your boss to work away from the office. Either way, you don’t have the feeling of someone over your shoulder all the time.
Make your own working hours
Some people are far more productive outside the general office hours of 9-5. If you do your best work early in the morning, or later in the evening, or even in the middle of the night, you have the freedom to set your own hours and work when you’re at your most productive.
Save the environment (and some money!)
If you’re not using you car ever day on that daily commute, you’re helping to cut down on fuel emissions, and reducing your carbon footprint. You’ll also be able to save money, without the cost of petrol or train fares to worry about, or the cost of renting an office.
Spend more time with your family
If you’ve not got a horrendously long commute to worry about every day, it gives you more time to spend with your family. You’ll be able to get the kids ready for school, maybe even walk them to school, and have breakfast as a family in the mornings. And in the evenings, you’ll be there to listen to their stories about their day, and have dinner as a family too.
Work in your pyjamas
If you find you’re much more comfortable in your pyjamas, or tracksuit trousers and a slouchy jumper than you are in tailored work suits, then you’re probably not alone! And if it makes you more productive, there’s no reason why you can’t wear whatever you’re most comfy in when you work from home.
The cons of working from home
When you’ve got no boss to worry about and you’re working at your own speed, it’s easy to get distracted. The TV, the cat, making a cup of tea, surfing the Internet…. all of these things can command your attention, making it hard to focus on your projects.
When you make your own hours, it can be very easy to think, “I’ll start in an hour or so”. Then that can quite easily turn into a couple of hours, and before you know it, it’s lunchtime!
Lack of designated work space
Not everyone who works from home is lucky enough to have a home office or workspace. Many people simply don’t have the room. This can make it hard to focus, especially if you have to move, for example if you’re using the family dining table, or if there are other people around during the day.
You can’t get away from it
Unless you are lucky enough to have a designated study, studio or other workspace that you can just shut the door on at the end of the working day, you’ll find it hard to escape your work. And you might also feel that you have to work all hours of the day or night to please clients, particularly if you’re a new business. When you work at home, this is all too easy to do.
Even in today’s age of ecommerce and doing business online, many people still like to see a bricks and mortar shop/office. So not having one of these could be detrimental.
In many cases, working from home can be hugely rewarding, whether you have the option to do so from time to time, or you run your own business. However you do need to be careful to strike the right work-life balance, not let your work impinge on your family life and vice versa, and make sure you maintain a sense of structure. You might need to be strict with yourself in terms of procrastination and the hours you keep too, especially if you’re easily distracted!
Author Bio: If you’re thinking of working from home, it’s a good idea to have a home office, which should be tidy and organised, and allow for maximum productivity. ForMyOffice are a leading supplier of office and home office furniture, as well as lighting and desk accessories for all your office needs.