The number of people choosing to work from home is on the rise. Not too long ago it was rare to hear that someone was working from home. Technology has not only made it possible, but easy as well. And, it doesn’t matter if you are self-employed, or working for a corporation that allows for remote offices.
However, if you are trying to ‘work’ at the dining room table, you might want to re-think that, for various reasons. Taking space from the home, especially an entire room, and dedicating it to your office has many benefits.
So, if you are debating on whether or not to convert a spare room into a home office, or work from home to begin with, then read on to learn why it would be a great idea to do so.
1. Avoid the Headache of a Long Commute
One of the perks of working from home is to avoid long commutes back and forth to an office when you can get the same amount of work done, if not more, by working from home. For many people, it’s not unusual to spend 30 minutes or more on the road…one way. That is time wasted in my opinion, in addition to the wear and tear of the car and cost of gas.
By working from home, you can easily add an additional hour of either work or play to your day simply by avoiding the commute. Add a couple more hours, if you factor in not having to take a lunch hour and the time to get ready in the morning for a day out of the home.
2. More Privacy Equals Fewer Distractions and More Production
Setting up a dedicated office at home will help eliminate distractions that take time away from work. I have tried to work at the dining room table before. But, there are more windows to look out, noises to compete with, and family members to tug at your ‘sleeve’.
When I am in my office, I can close the door to it all and focus better on my projects. It’s more private than working at a traditional office as well because there are no interruptions from co-workers, impromptu meetings, or multiple phone lines ringing.
3. Customize It to Your Comfort
It’s your room, so you can customize it fit your taste and comfort. In fact, I am thinking of revamping mine in the next month or so, I’ll share my plans with you to show how you can create it to fit you, rather than you fitting into a sterile and cold environment.
First, I am going to paint it a color that helps me to focus and inspire creativity. I did a little studying a while back on color therapy when I designed my therapeutic massage business. I wanted a color for complete surrender and relaxation, and chose green. However, because I don’t want to sleep in my office, I am going with a yellow because that is good for creative thinking, fighting depression, and staying focused…all important traits for a freelance writer.
Next, I will empty a corner that currently is filled with items I rarely use and turn it into my ‘research and development’ area. Because the area is not as spacious as I would like, I will start by looking at wall saver recliners, and probably go with a nice rich leather option. For lighting, I will add a tall torch lamp to add proper lighting for when I kick my feet up to read.
Finally, I am going to build customized shelving for a mini coffee bar…my very own, with my favorite coffees and fixings for the perfect cup of coffee, anytime I want it.
You might not like coffee, or recliners…but, make it your own. That’s the point.
4. Saving Money is Always a Good Idea
Another great reason to have a home office is to save money. You might not even realize it until you suddenly have a little extra cash in your pocket. However, there are several ways you can easily save money by giving up the traditional office. Here are just a few:
- Less, or no business wardrobe
- No need to fill the gas tank every other day
- No longer having to go out to lunch
- Won’t have to chip in for office birthdays, showers, and weddings
- Online video conferencing
Those are just simple examples of ways to save money. For me, doing online secure video conferencing is amazing. No travel costs and huge time savings. But, if you are self-employed, by having an office at home you will also save on the larger expenses such as rent, utilities, and staff. If you need an assistant, consider a virtual assistant to save on expenses.
5. Tax Benefits
Being self-employed with a home office can also bring some tax relief. If your office is used only for business, your equipment and other expenses can be written off as a business expense. Your computer, printer, furniture, and even a portion of your utilities can be declared as a business expense.
However, if your office is not fully dedicated as an office…with walls and a door to separate it, none of it can be used on your taxes. In other words, if you work at the dining room table, or a portion of your master suite, it is not recognized as a business expense.
6. More Quality Time with Family
I saved the best reason for last. You will find that you have more time to spend with your family, and be able to attend your children’s school events, because working from home allows for a flexible schedule. If your child has a game at 4, you can ‘close shop’ for the day to make it on time…or, come back to it when the game is over.
Making the schedule fit around your family is one of the greatest rewards of working at home. Life is way too short to always be saying, “I have to work”, especially to your children. Of course, they will need to understand that you will have to work at times, but they will appreciate the additional time you have for them.
The bottom line is that any one of the reasons listed above is worth having a home office. Just imagine enjoying the perks of all 6 someday!
About the Author:
Working from home as a freelance writer, Kathy Barber is very familiar of the need for a dedicated home office. She helps clients in all types of businesses ensure that they have the best possible tools to do business online, such as video conferencing for therapists where they can work in the utmost secure and private setting when confidentiality is important. Kathy also writes on other topics such as health, family, and home brewing. Living in Michigan with her husband and son, Kathy enjoys camping, photography, sports, and entertaining.