To Be Home or Not To Be Home – Do You Really Need The Office?

I work from home a lot. To be honest I quite enjoy taunting my friends with it. Most of them work in a 9 – 5 office environment or similar and I like to tell them that I roll out of bed, throw down a coffee and then get on with my day without even dressing sometimes. Obviously this is not true, ok it’s partially true but I can promise you I am not writing this in my Spiderman onesie.

Working from home does have a number of advantages and many of these go beyond the option to sit around in your PJ’s, however there are also a lot of pitfalls and difficulties associated with teleworking. Some of the downsides include:

  • Where do you meet people?
    There are still a lot of clients who will put store in the office as indicator of success. Your local coffee shop is not always as conducive to meeting clients as the meeting room in the business centre where you are located.
  • The office is where you ‘work’.
    For some people there is a psychological element to going to work. It means you are ‘working’ whereas being at home doesn’t have the same professional atmosphere. You may even encounter some prejudice in that people will believe you are not actually working productively at home. In the case of some home workers this can be true, not because they are lazy but because they need the ‘working’ state of mind of being at work.
  • Daddy can I…Mummy can I…
    Home is also where everyone else is at home, and that means it is full of distractions. Five minutes chatting to your partner, the kids, the postman, the man next door and the girl looking for a charitable donation can quickly turn into an unproductive couple of hours each day.
  • The Kitchen Chat
    Being at home is isolating and can be quite lonely. Creative people tend to thrive on everyday input and don’t forget the work related information and opportunities you will probably miss out on.

On the other hand there are a lot of positives. For example:

  • Flexible and free
    You have no phone to man and no office to attend to so if you want to zoom off to Lizard point or John O’Groats for a meeting you can do. The office isn’t somewhere you can just leave as needed. It needs attention and it needs maintaining. Working from home you are free to come and go as you please.
  • As much as the home worker is prone to distraction they are also freed from the office gossip and the time thieves. If you are fine working on your own then being a home worker is perfect for long, uninterrupted periods of concentration.
  • Money in the bank
    Working from home is obviously cheaper for the individual. If, as is often the case in the media world, you are a freelancer and/or self-employed sole trader then why spend the money on offices? There are also potential tax advantages to working from home.
  • Work life balance
    Yes the kids and all the various paraphernalia of domesticity will conspire to interrupt you but, if managed effectively, just in the commute alone you could save a couple of hours of family time.

The other thing we haven’t even touched on here is the half and half option of shared and virtual offices.

There are good and bad points on both sides of the working from home debate. Probably equal top of the list for most of us is the question of finance and work life balance. The latter you will need to decide for yourself but the question of the financial benefits we can help you with. Whichever way you work it is a good idea to find out if that onesie is a legitimate expense, so call us to discuss your situation and we will be happy to help.