Does Working from Home Work For You?

If you are working from home you may be entitled to some expenses that you are not aware of. Talk to your Contracting PLUS Dedicated Account Manager today to understand what you should be claiming.

The more popular ones tend to be;

  • Mobile Phone
  • Home Broadband
  • eWorkers Allowance
  • Computer equipment
  • Upskilling your expertise (courses, training)
  • Travelling costs
  • Industry related magazines, books and journals

Flexibility around the place you choose to work is one of the many advantages of being a Professional Contractor. Different settings offer various benefits, and the best place for you will depend on many factors including your industry, personality, the role you are doing, your working style, and budget.

Consider your best-fit place to work; what would the location of where your work mean to your productivity? This is something that should not be discounted to as you move through your Professional Contracting career.

While working from home may be convenient for some, it can be isolating and distracting for others. It comes with many great perks like flexibility, zero commute time and economic benefits, but it also requires organisation, self-discipline, and focus.

Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages so that you can understand better what you should think about before you make your final decision.

Advantages

  • Inexpensive

Talk to your Dedicated Account Manager. They will talk you through claimable business expenses for home workers. Many independent professionals find that a home office is one of the most inexpensive work location solutions. The cost of setup is minimal—an office requires only basic furniture and equipment, much of which you may already have. When you work from home, you also have many amenities that high-end office buildings charge a premium for such as a private bathroom, an office with windows, and a full kitchen.

  • No Daily Commute

Not having to go into an office every day means time and money saved on your daily commute. A traffic-laden commute can be a source of stress and frustration for many. Working from a home office means less time spent on the road and more time getting things done.

  • Flexible Daily Schedule

For those looking for a balance between work and their daily domestic schedule, a home office can offer you the flexibility to be where you are needed most. This can be particularly helpful if you’re a busy parent. It’s easier to schedule meetings, run errands, or attend to personal matters with a home office because you have the freedom to work when it’s most convenient for you, and there is no need for explanations or asking for time off.

  • Less Stress

There are a number of things about working from home that help minimize stress. You don’t have to commute into an office. You have more control over when and how you work. You can attend to a personal matter at a moment’s notice. You can take in a lunchtime exercise class at your local gym (and not be under pressure to squeeze in a shower afterwards). Establishing a daily routine can help you to stay on track throughout the day and help you switch out of work mode once your tasks are complete.

  • Personalised Space

Another great advantage that comes from working from home is that you can customize your work space to totally suit your needs and to organise things the way that you like. You could consider boosting your energy with a standing desk and hang art on the wall that makes you smile. It’s your space, so take time to create something that you feel comfortable in and that will cater to your particular business needs and that sparks joy for you!

 

Disadvantages

  • Domestic Distraction

Between family members coming and going, personal phone calls, and household chores, it can sometimes be difficult to get into a work mindset. Along these same lines, maintaining a healthy work/life balance can also be tricky, as it can be harder to shut down and stop working at the end of your day.

  • It can be Lonely

Working from home can often lead to feelings of isolation during the workday due to a lack of companionship and communication that a typical workplace provides. Energy levels can dip as there is no change in energy around you. Isolation can also lead to decreased creativity and confidence without people to inspire you and to collaborate with.

  • Lines Between Home and Work Blur

When working from home, it can be hard to separate your private life from your business life. It’s easy to get pulled into daily tasks such as household chores, or in the evening it’s easy to get sucked back in to work tasks. This can quickly lead to longer work hours and ultimately can take away from a lot of the positive aspects of working from home.

  • Client Meetings can be Complicated

As a Professional Contractor, meeting your clients is important and if they want to meet off site having a home office can be a complication when it comes to meeting planning. Hosting a client in your home may feel too informal and asking to meet at their offices may seem unprofessional. Luckily there are many alternatives available if you need to host a private meeting but you should consider how you will deal with this situation before it arises. Check out local facilities and have a plan ready to roll out should you need it.

 

So we know there are advantages and disadvantages to using a home office, and yet it may be the perfect place for you to work. Only you will know if it truly works for you. Remember there are always ways to minimise the disadvantages. Being connected and staying connected is something you will need to manage. That goes right from reliable broadband service to networking with industry peers.

Stay up to date with virtual meeting tools, get comfortable with Skype, set up your office so that when you are on a Skype call the background looks organized and professional. Virtual meeting tools are generally inexpensive to use and add a touch of professionalism to your service.

Remember to treat your home office like a real office. Set specific work hours for yourself and stick to them. Once you’re done for the day, shut down your computer, close your office door, and avoid answering late-night emails. If time management is not one of your strengths, try scheduling in specific blocks of time for maximum output for the day. If you’re typically most productive early in the morning, use that time for client meetings and important deadlines. If you’re least productive in the late afternoon, use that time to check a task off your personal to-do list or take a short break. Schedule in your breaks; you cannot work continuously or effectively if you don’t look after yourself.

Get out and about during the day for a short walk, or grab a coffee at a local coffee shop. It will charge up your energy and make you ultimately more productive, and you never know who you might meet!

Remember there are claimable expenses that you are entitled to if you work from home. Don’t miss out on these allowable expenses, contact your Dedicated Account Manager if you need any clarification. 1800 5454 22

For more information  about becoming a Professional Contractor in Ireland, Click here https://www.contractingplus.com/i-am/new-to-contracting/

 

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