Having a home office is a completely different experience than working in a regular office. Whether you are employed or freelancing, there are several advantages and disadvantages related to working from home that you should know about before making the switch. Here are 5 benefits of working from home:
Working from home usually means you get to pick your own schedule. It also means you can catch up on late work on weekends or evenings if you want to. Of course you will have deadlines but unlike at your old 9-5 job, you will get to pick when you want to work and when you get to rest, as long as you remain available a few hours a day to communicate with your clients. Also, if you like to work at night, there’s nothing stopping you!
Besides getting to pick your operating hours, having a home office means you get to pick your days off. Thinking of a spontaneous vacation? No problem! As long as all your work is in order and your clients are aware, you can leave for a few days without repercussion.
No more transit
Goodbye old automobile stuck in traffic, unreliable buses and metro! Working from home means reduced transportation costs (think hundreds to thousands of dollars of gasoline if you own a car) and more sleeping hours.
Let’s make counts. Let’s assume you’re fast and lucky, and that it takes you only half an hour to get ready and an extra half hour to get to work either by car or public transit. Let’s also assume evening traffic is not an issue for you and that it takes you half an hour to get back home at the end of the day. We’re talking about 1.5 hours wasted everyday in preparation and traveling, minimum. That translates into 7.5 hours a week and… 390 hours a year. Those hours, you could have used them to work, sleep, go out, anything really. With a home office, those 390+ hours are YOURS.
Home-office tax deductions
If you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur and you work from home, you can get tax deductions. Neat, isn’t it? Allowable deductions include: utilities (heat, hydro, water), business phone, repairs, maintenance, internet access, supplies, rent and/or condo fees. Self-employed professionals can also claim deductions for their home insurance, computers and other electronics, office furniture and software. To calculate the allowable portion you can claim you will need to divide the size of your office by the total size of your house. The percentage resulting from this equation will be your allowable portion. If you’d like to find out more about home-office tax deductions in Canada, click here.
If you have a partner and/or family of your own, working at home means you get to spend more time with your loved ones. If you have children, you will need to plan a schedule and make sure they don’t interfere with your productivity. But being able to see them grow up is worth the risk. I personally enjoyed the time I spent with my mother at home as a child and want to offer the same to my future children. In the end, I doubt you’ll regret choosing to educate your kid over working in a cubicle all day.
Peace and quiet
Unlike as in a regular office, you are not affected by your coworkers when you work from home. Although I miss a few of my old colleagues, there’s nothing comparable to working in the comfort of your house without disturbance. Home office means your space, your rules and your peace or, if you prefer, chaotic noise (whichever environment works best for you).
Do you work from home or are you thinking of making the switch? Share your experience with us by leaving a comment.
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