Whether you are a home-based small business owner who works from home full time, or someone who splits his or her time by working from home occasionally, there are a number of pros and cons to consider before you set up a home office and plan your work environment.
Working out of a home-based office is certainly not for everyone, so it's important to consider the many advantages and disadvantages before you make it a part of your work process. Here are a few of each to help you decide if working from home is right for you.
The Pros of Working from Home
There are a number of reasons working from home is a great option for many small business owners. Here is a look at a few:
- There is no commute. Not having a long commute to and from work can save a great deal of time and money. It can even reduce your daily stress levels.
- There is greater flexibility. Working from home allows you to work during your most productive times, wear what you're most comfortable wearing and create a workflow that works for you.
- You can reduce distractions. While there may be distractions at home, you control them much easier than you can control distractions that come from coworkers, employees, and other office-based noise.
- Your day is often less stressful. When you work from your home, you have more control over your stress level and can more easily walk away or take a break when work gets particularly crazy.
- You can save money. Not only can you save money by avoiding the long commute, but you can also write off a portion of your home office expenses on your taxes when you work from home.
- You can improve your work/life balance. Many professionals struggle with finding a balance between work and their personal lives. Working from home can make this balance a little bit easier to find and maintain.
The Cons of Working from Home
Working from home sounds like a pretty good deal, doesn't it? Before you take the plunge, consider these disadvantages that often come with working from home:
- You need a lot of self-discipline. Getting up and focusing on work every day when you are in your home environment takes a great deal of self-discipline and motivation.
- It can be lonely. Working all day without access to coworkers and colleagues can be very isolating and lonely.
- It's harder to shut down. There can be less distinction between work and personal life when you work from home, making it harder to shut down and more likely that you will overwork.
- You lose living space. Creating a home office or workspace can use up living space in your home.
- Relationships are harder to form. It's hard to establish trust and develop relationships with colleagues and clients when you don't have a daily face-to-face connection.
- There's less ad hoc learning. Office workers are constantly in a position to learn from their peers. When you work from home, you will need to make an extra effort to seek out networking and learning opportunities on your own.
Only you can decide if working from home is right for your small business. Along with considering the pros and cons outlined here, you also need to consider the type of work that you do, whether to not you will have access to the equipment you need to do your job, your home situation, and your personal character traits. By analyzing these factors, you can make a decision that will work for your business.