Setting up a business has meant that I’ve been able to be a lot more flexible with how and where I work – this year I went from working 5 days a week in offices in London to having my office set up in my very own home! Having commuted 3 hours a day for the last 8 years I couldn’t wait to start working from home. 3 hours of my life back – wow… I best take up a hobby I thought! Its not all quite as amazing as it sounds though; here is my take on the pros and cons of working from home…
Pro – Getting 3 hours a day of my life back!
That’s a whopping 15 hours per working week… that is an insane amount of time! I have a lot less stress in my life now I’m not running for a train every day and all I have to contend with is a flight of stairs (14 steps to be precise), but I do find myself filling those extra hours in my day with more work. It’s totally worth it now I work for myself but there isn’t as much time for a new hobby as I thought although I do manage to get to the gym a lot more than I used to! So all in all I can squeeze in more work, a lie in and a quick gym/swim session all in the time I used to spend commuting TO work, not to mention the time getting home! That time could be spent cooking a nice dinner and keeping on top of the laundry and housework, notice I use ‘could’ be spent – I’d rather carry on working!!
Pro – The incredible amount of money I now save each year.
Not only am I not spending over £3,500 a year on my travel card but I don’t have to put make up on everyday so whilst the profits of Benefit have probably taken a nose dive (!!!) my bank balance and my skin have improved tenfold! (Sorry Benefit!) It’s also astonishing how much money you save in not buying coffees and lunch every day, and actually making use of the food in the fridge from my weekly shop!
Pro – Work/Life balance
The irony is not lost on me that as I write this I am happily tapping away on my laptop with foils in my hair in a calm hair dressing salon… not something I have ever experienced before as I never had the luxury of a weekday appointment before I started working from home! Don’t worry this isn’t my usual style of working but its surprisingly efficient!
Con – It only works if you have the willpower to make yourself work!
I have to admit I thought I’d need more willpower to actually be efficient and not sit on the sofa all day in my PJ’s watching This Morning (who doesn’t love Holly Willoughby!) but I am lucky enough to have turned one of our spare rooms into an office so Capital Radio and the Parakeets outside my window are my only distraction. As I mentioned, it’s slightly different now I’m working for myself but getting into a good routine and being sat at your desk for 9am is definitely worth it if you’re working from home… treat it like you would a day in the office!
Con – It can get lonely!
One of the biggest cons about working from home is that you are on your own 90% of the time, and don’t have a big team around you for support, and most importantly gossip! I am lucky that with my line of work, I spend half of the week in the city visiting clients and suppliers, and the days I’m at home I’m actually on the phone most of the time, so there isn’t much time to get lonely.
All in all, I am now a massive advocate of working from home, I get asked about setting up an office all the time but to be honest as long as you have a trusty workforce that you can rely on to actually work when at home I can’t see the point of the extra overheads! The pros definitely outweigh the cons for me!
What do you think?