Following on from our recent articles about what you can claim for if you use your home as work, we have put together some home working tips. Hopefully you will find at least one tip useful if you’re about to embark into the world of working from home.
Working from home and using your house as your office has become common practice and is set to be a growing trend this year. So how easy is it to work from home, either on a remote basis a few days a week or actually permanently? For a lot of people the idea of working from home seems like a wonderful option. No rush hour traffic or commute costs, extra time in bed of a morning and a relaxed work dress code!
However, working from home is not always the utopian work environment people think it is, it can be a pretty tough place to work if you don’t take extra effort to get the right things in place from the start.
*Keep your work area separate from your living areas. Don’t be tempted to sit on the sofa with a laptop, it’s important to keep a separated area for both work and living.
*Set your hours for the working day, don’t keep it fluid, just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you don’t require a structured day. Having no working day hours set in place leads to finishing work well into the evening and never switching off.
*Learn to switch off, if you have a door to your work area close it when you finish and don’t be tempted to slip back in.
*Take breaks. This may seem an odd one to include, however most people who work alone at home are less inclined to take a break from their work, with no one else around to instigate a break, it can often be left. Also, sometimes people feel a bit guilty as they are working at home. Make sure you break for lunch and at least one other time in the day, go into the garden or a brief walk outside, take yourself away from your work area.
*If other family members are in your home whilst you work, make it clear that you are working. You are not available to have general chats or answer the door. Ask them to act as if you are not working from home but out in an office and not there.
*Keep your business head on! It’s very easy to slip out of business mode and into a relaxed frame of mind when working at home. You need to stay sharp and keep a business manner, make it normal to be in that frame of mind when in your workspace.
*Make sure your work area is a quiet place to take business telephone calls or SKYPE calls.
*Working from home can sometimes be a lonely place and if you have worked in offices before you can miss the general chit chat that goes on. Join online business communities such as www.bizitalk.com and you will find similar people either working from home or running a small business. By staying connected via business communities it really can lessen that ‘cut off’ feeling and also bring in new networking opportunities and work.
There are more things to consider before working from home, but we hope our few tips above help your home working in some way. Also you may want to check out our ‘How much can you claim for using the house as office’ article, it can be found here
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We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!