With telecommuting becoming commonplace and entrepreneurship reaching new heights, more people are looking into opening a home office as an inexpensive way to work. This seems like pretty sound thinking and depending on your lifestyle; you might just be onto something here.
The idea of taking extended lunches with the special person in your life and tanning while on your laptop poolside is indeed enticing. Opening up your own home office however isn’t as simple as hanging a shingle outside of your door. There are a lot of considerations to take into account. Here are some things to think about.
No doubt you’ve thought about where you are going to put your office, but just in case you haven’t, start thinking seclusion. The last thing you want is for your work to interfere with caviar breakfasts and mimosa lunches. A quiet place to get your work done in a non-community area will work best for you and the other people in your home. This provides some separation and establishes boundaries. The last thing you need is for someone to file your flash drive in the toaster. Yeah, it’s happened.
Office supplies are going to be a concern as well. You should keep track of what you are using for the various projects you are doing and keep all the receipts. Whether your home office is for a home business or if you are telecommuting, having what you need handy will keep you from having to work late while still at home. That’s irony at its cruelest.
Taxes are a concern as well. Most governments provide tax breaks for people who work from home. Your home office could be a small gold mine, well maybe a copper mine, in tax breaks. Keep your receipts for supplies you buy as well as measure off your work space. These are the two biggest deductions you will get in your home office. Check your federal and local tax laws on this. It might be worth the time.
Get out some. You might remember Sandra Bullock from “The Net”, a work from home recluse whose identity was stolen and was nearly killed by a bunch of bad guys. You don’t want your life to come to that! Seriously though, wrapping up in a cocoon is not good for you and can actually hurt your production as well as your psyche. Do something besides walk from the bedroom to the office every day.
You don’t have to install a big green time clock by the coffee pot, but do keep track of your time. If you’re telecommuting to a job, great, keep track of your time anyway. Even if you own your own business, this is a good practice. Not only will it let you know how much time you actually do spend working, but it will give you a clear picture of where you are spending your time and helpful hints as to how to save even more of it.
There is a definite trend towards people working from a home office, and many have been successful. Your success will no doubt be insured if you stay sharp and on point. Just remember, you friends and family will love it because of your availability and you dog will be overjoyed that someone can finally let them out during the day. The dog was probably the only reason you really needed anyway, right?