There is a lot of interest in working at home these days. The attractions are numerous and reflect the way the world is developing as well as the decreasing permanency of full time careers. No longer does somebody have a job for life, seldom will your hear of a person working for a company “man and boy”.

Some of the benefits and drawbacks of working at home as a full time career can be listed as follows:

Benefits

1. You will be your own boss and no longer have to work within the corporate framework or put up with unreasonable and insecure supervisors and managers.

2. You can build up your income with more than one different business, thereby getting more interest and satisfaction out of your working life.

3. Have you ever paused to consider how much your car costs to commute yout to your place of work, perhaps miles away in the city? I have been doing 60 miles a day, five days a week. If you add the cost of fuel, service and depreciation together the AA says that my car costs 65p per mile. For 46 weeks every year this would cost £9,000 per year. This is saved by working at home!

4. A small point but I used to have to buy 2 or 3 new suits every year for working in the office. Now I only buy one – I still have several to choose from but only wear one when I have a meeting to attend. My work at home is done in jeans!

5. You can walk your dog morning noon and night, do exercise whenever you want, be in for deliveries and repair men etc – and never miss an hour of work (unless you decide that you want to).

There are many other benefits, generally particular to each different individual. However, there are a number of drawbacks that you should be aware of, when judging if a work at home career is suitable for you.

Drawbacks

1. Working at home can be lonely. Some people like the isolation, for some it drives them up the wall. If you are an average person, you can get enough human contact by ensuring you attend meetings, sign up to an occasional networking event. One thing that I came up with was to set a couple of days per week when I need to go into town and visit the Document Exchange DX service. I will take my laptop with me together with mobile broadband connection and install myself in my favourite Starbucks or Coffee Republic and make an Americano last for a couple of hours. I can get some work done and feel that I am “out of the office”. Sometimes I will give an associate a call and persuade him to join me for an hour. It helps.

2. Lack of corporate support can be a problem. However, it is possible to outsource most of what you might need, such as computer support, legal and regulatory guidance and technical backup. You will need to factor the cost of these services into your business but they need not be expensive or be used very often.

A work at home career is in no way a cop out from normal working but allows you to work in exactly the way that you want. If you have the right frame of mind and are able to adapt to the change in environment – you are solely responsible for your income and way in which you spend what is actually the biggest part of your life.

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