Running a Business from Home – the Pros and Cons

work-from-homeRunning a business from home is an increasingly popular choice for individuals with creativity and flair who don’t want the constraints of conventional employment. For such creative people; working from home bases can be a sensible choice, but it isn’t to everyone’s tastes.

There are certainly cons as well as pros. Yes, home-working is probably the cheapest possible option, which clearly makes an inordinate amount of business sense in minimizing overheads and, therefore, prices if need be. But it certainly brings its own challenges.

For some people, the distractions are simply too great. There are endless other things to do when you’re at home – and you don’t get the true separation between work and leisure, that you generally do if you travel to a different place of work every day. On the other hand, hours of your day aren’t wasted in commuting. But there’s a lot of self-discipline required.

Then there’s the danger of “cabin fever” – seeing the same four walls all day long can get to you if you aren’t careful. Some home-workers are too easily distracted; watching TV, going for walks, making endless cups of tea as they procrastinate about work. Others, though, face the opposite problem of never leaving their desks. Before deciding whether to work in this way, you need to judge whether or not you can really balance these two extremes.

Of course, you won’t truly know until you try it – and like anything in life, you’ll improve as you go along and get used to managing your new routine effectively.

It can also be difficult to maintain a front which is 100% professional if you have babies crying in the background while you’re sitting in your nightie or pyjamas! So it’s essential to try and do everything you can to designate a certain amount of time as work time and other as leisure time – and to physically separate the two within your own home if you possibly can. Similarly, it’s essential for the sake of your own sanity to leave the house on a regular basis – whatever the reason may be.

Also – try and set yourself goals and rewards to keep motivated: “If I can complete this piece of work by three o’clock this afternoon, I can take a few hours off for a gym session / swim / round of golf” or whatever you enjoy etc.

Remember, too, that many cafes and restaurants, and coffee shops offer WIFI facilities free of charge, so you may be able to simply take yourself out for the sake of it and work with other people around you for a while in a lighter frame of mind.

And finally – do everything you can to communicate with fellow professionals. This will keep you sane and connected. Try and find people who think and work like you do and meet up with them.

If you can truly master it, working from home can be an excellent lifestyle choice – particularly for the free spirits out there.

Would you like a copy of my latest workbook, Make That Decision! Your ultimate procrastination-busting guide to what to do next? Just click the link!

2 Replies to “Running a Business from Home – the Pros and Cons”

  1. Hi Helen,

    One thing that I’ve observed is that there are real peaks and troughs and you have to embrace them. I set up my business in 2011 and initially revelled in the freedom to go for a run, enjoy the countryside and walk my children to school as well as earn a good living. Then my husband started working from home too…. This was a very big adjustment for us and I did return to being employed for eight months only to discover that being on someone else’s schedule made me feel like I was compromising what I had initially set out to do. What was good about it is that it gave us both the chance to reflect on how to make working from home work better for both of us, which for me has included joining a networking forum. I still end up occasionally doing the washing in the day and occasionally working late in the evening but on balance, with the freedom and creativity it brings, working from home is absolutely the right decision for me!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Toni! I’m with you on the peaks and troughs, I think working mainly on your own makes both more intense. You really do need a lot of stamina and determination in this line of work, don’t you? But I agree, the freedom and flexibility are far better than you’d get working anywhere else.

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