Working from home makes the most sense when you first launch a business and are short on funds for your business. It also makes sense if you feel like your work-life balance is nonexistent. Of course, there are pros and cons of running a business from home. Here are a few.
Pro: It’s comfortable. How much more comfortable can it be than working from home in your pajamas? Roll out of bed in the morning, have a cup of coffee, watch the news, and walk a few steps to your home office or kitchen table.
Con: Sometimes it’s too comfortable. It’s a lot easier to get sidetracked when you’re in the comfort of your own home. You have the refrigerator and kitchen within steps, a couch and TV in the next room, and a bed that seems to be always calling your name for a ‘quick’ nap. Try to have a separate space for your home office, away from anything that might distract you from your work.
Pro: A work-life balance can exist. If you work from home, it allows you to spend more time with family. You don’t have a dreadful commute to get in the way, and as your own boss and office manager, you set your own hours. You can work while the kids are away at school and then again when they’re off at music lessons, sports practice or in bed.
Con: Home can get in the way of work. There’s no argument that the list of things to do or fix at home can seem never-ending. If the problems are staring you in the face every minute of the day, it may be hard to ignore them. In some cases, the need to run house-related errands might actually just be an excuse to not get any work done for your business. If chores around the house are piling up and there’s no way they can wait until after work hours, set aside specific times of the day to take care of them.
Pro: It’s a money saver. You can save hundreds or thousands of dollars a month by not having to pay for gas, tolls or rent in an office building. With a specific room full of equipment dedicated to your business, you might be able to write the expenses off and receive a nice tax benefit.
Con: It could be a business loser. Inviting clients over to your home business might seem unprofessional to some people. Conference calls can also be an issue, especially if there is a lot of background noise during your meetings. If you know that distractions at home will be at an all-time high during a client meeting, move the meeting time or agree to meet somewhere outside your home.
Pro: You are behind every business decision. If you want something done in a specific way, you can do it without anyone telling you how you should run your company. It’s your business and you get to call the shots.
Con: You miss out on input and ideas from coworkers or partners. Unless you have employees working out of your home business with you, you probably can’t just look over your shoulder and ask for advice. However, if you think you need some outside help, look into joining local networking groups so you can discuss issues or ideas with like-minded professionals.
While working from home is a dream to some, it can be a dread to others. The key to running a business from home is staying organized and focused. It’s easy to get distracted by the little things and the big things, but don’t make it a habit or excuse to work on anything but your business. If you’ve made the decision to work from home, remember your reasons why and remind yourself that if you don’t actually get your work done, then it might be back to your regular 9-5 job.