Should I work from an office or home?

The best thing you can do is sit down and think about the type of environment that works best for you.

Share

If you’ve got kids get an office. Conventional wisdom suggests changing nappies and arguing about curfew times are counterproductive to working your creative magic. But if you don’t actually have any kids, deciding where to work from can be less obvious. Here are the pros and cons of each option.

Office

  • Keeps work and home life separate
  • Looks more professional for client meetings
  • No kids’ toys to trip over
  • Fewer distractions, such as TV and family
  • Easier to claim as a tax-deductible expense
  • Allows downtime on the commute to and from
  • Allows for more social interaction with co-tenants
  • Dearer even if sharing a space
  • Headaches dealing with co-tenants
  • Lost productivity caused by commuting

Home

  • Confuses boundaries between work and home life
  • Looks less professional for client meetings
  • Kids’ toys to trip over
  • More distractions, such as TV
  • Socially isolating – no one to talk to but the four walls
  • Places strain on available space
  • Cheaper – no additional rent, phone or broadband costs
  • Makes childcare easy
  • Percentage of rent and mortgage repayments tax-deductible
  • Quieter if you don’t have kids or noisy neighbours
  • Relaxed – you can even work in your pyjamas if you want

The best thing you can do is sit down and think about the type of environment that works best for you. Will you be hosting many client meetings? Are you disciplined enough to work from home? Do you have kids or partners? Do you get lonely working by yourself? These are the types of issues that need to be answered honestly, over and above any financial considerations.

For even more great tips on how to get ahead as a freelancer or consultant, grab a copy of The Pond booklet Ready to Be Your Own Boss?

 

Written by

The Pond

18 Sep 2012

Interests The idea behind The Pond came about four years ago, when returning from the UK a few of us creative types got thinking; there had to be a better way for creative people to remain self-employed yet still be highly creative and earn a half-decent regular income.

Story / Design, Digital & Technology, Screen & Sound
What kind of work really lights your ring? What kind of projects are you best at? What kind of jobs do you mostly actually do? Where these groups overlap is your sweet spot.
Story / Design, Digital & Technology, Screen & Sound
Unless you’re the Queen or dead, you do. But there’s a way to simplify your business affairs as a freelancer.
Story / Design
The advantages of freelancing are obvious – be your own boss, work your own hours, creative independence – but have you thought about the start-up costs?
Story / Design, Digital & Technology, Visual Arts
Find some matches for your eyelids if you plan on burning the candle at both ends (i.e. do two roles at once).