Working from home sounds like a beautiful dream, doesn't it? It is so easy to imagine that you will be able to arise late, dress how you like, take as many breaks as you like, have no boss but, above all, make plenty of money. In reality though this may not be the case.
If you decide to work from home you need to consider some of the potential disadvantages.
- There will be no paid holidays. Of course, this will depend on your work but the odds are that, if you work from home, you will be freelancing or self employed. Neither option will pay holiday pay.
- There will be no paid sick leave. Similarl,y there will not be any sick pay should you fall ill. You will probably be able to take out insurance to help protect you against such problems but this will cost you.
- No colleagues. Usually when you work from home it is quite a solitary occupation. Having a laugh with the guys or girls may be something that you miss, more than you would have imagined.
- Home distractions. These could be anything from a partner to a sick child to the postman to your pet dog. At home there may be all too many distractions disrupting your flow of work.
- Resposibility. It may be nice not to have a boss but this means that the buck stops with you. Business expenses, income tax, national insurance, keeping accounts, and the like, will all be your responsibility.
- Low pay. Some work that is available to do at home is poorly paid. If you work out the hourly rate that you are earning, you may be in for a nasty shock.
- Unpredictable. Without a firm employment contract the amount of paid work you receive could vary. In fact it may almost disappear at times.
- There will be additional expenses at home. If you use equipment for your work, such as a computer or a printer, you will have to supply this equipment and pay to maintain it. If, and when, such items need replacing it will be up to you to sort it out and foot the bill. Bear in mind that working from home may increase your heating, telephone and energy bills.
- Infringes on your home space. Unless you live in a huge home even a small office may take valuable floor space that your family need.
- Motivation. Many people find that they need a little stress and competition in the workplace, in order to motivate themselves. It could be hard to get going if you are working alone at home. The temptation to stay in bed may be all too great.
Overall, working from home can offer you freedom and control over your life. If you are lucky, the financial rewards can be high but, many home workers, do such work for the independence it offers.
Think carefully before you fully commit yourself to working from home. If you have a good idea work out a business plan and consider your options.
Jobs are scarce currently and leaving your current position could be a bad move. Still, there is more to life than simply money, and working from home could fulfill your creative ambitions and give you the freedom that you yearn for.