Home is where the work is

June McCarthy

Owning a home based business sounds like a dream job; the ultimate in flexibility. With coffee breaks to suit you, no co-workers to deal with and a fully stocked fridge just metres away, running a business from home sounds ideal. But there’s a flip-side; a commonly held perception that people who work from home aren’t as professional; that they wear slippers and hang out the washing in between phone calls.

So what is the reality of working from home?

Globally, the notion of a 40 hour week based in an office is rapidly becoming endangered. With the internet, social media, Skype, smart phones, iPads, pods, hot desks and other digital wizardry, the way we do business and how we work is changing.

For those with their own businesses, working from home offers flexibility and freedom that an office environment cannot match.

The issue of achieving a healthy work life balance is also voiced by critics of those who work at home. Being able to leave work behind is often difficult, especially when your office is in the next room.

Motivation and isolation are often noted as the major challenges for those who work at home. A degree of self-discipline is required to keep motivated but that applies to any job whether you are working from home or in an office.

Motivation can also be found in a surprising form – dress. Some may need to take their handbag into the office or even drive their car out of the driveway and back in, indicating they’ve arrived ‘at work’. For others, it might be wearing shoes instead of slippers.

Isolation is dealt with by scheduling weekly coffee dates with friends and meeting potential customers or business associates.

For stay at home parents, a home based business sounds like the perfect solution. Upside is the flexibility to work in the nooks and crannies and the downside of not having time away from babies, school, kindergarten drop offs and work. Time management is still required. The saving on day care fees is a big positive.

Tax advantages is a big factor, especially with a business run from home. This is well worth taking into consideration when making the decision to work from home.


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