Thursday, 21 July 2011

Benefits of running a home based business

Whilst sitting in my pj's watching Desperate Housewives whilst I did my work the other day got me thinking about both the upsides and downsides of being self employed, and working from home.  So I decided to make a little list, to help those of you who might be considering the idea.  Please do tell me of any i've missed, or what you like/dislike most about running a home based business.

Pros
  • You can choose your own working hours (although this can be affected by outside factors such as kids) but I love the fact that I can stop and start when I want.  If I want to pop to the gym or shops I can, or if I just want to stop and watch a film/read a book I can. 
  • No work wardrobe - I don't know about the rest of you who work from home but after i've done the school run I change info comfy 'slob out' clothes before starting work and it's so much nicer than having to worry about having a work wardrobe: Are your work clothes smart enough? Did I wear that shirt last week?  Can I get my favourite work trousers through the wash & dryer before I leave for work? etc.  On the same note you don't have to worry about hair and make up either.
  • Flexibility - It fits pretty well around kids, in the school holidays I can be here in the house with my son. If he has an inset day or sick day I don't have to worry about getting time off work or sorting childcare at short notice. I can take lunch when I want, have breaks when I want and as many as I want.
  • No commuting! No waiting at bus stops stressing about why the bus hasn't arrived yet again, no walking 20-30 mins through the rain to get to work, no being stuck in rush hour traffic jams.  Simply roll out of bed, go downstairs and you are at work :-)
  • Work environment - You have total control over your work environment, if you want to watch tv or listen to music whilst you work you can.  If it's too hot or cold you can change the heating/open a window without having to consult anyone else. 
Cons
  • No sick pay.  Plus generally no matter how rough you are feeling you still have to keep working as there is noone else to cover for you :-(  Same with holiday pay too, plus even if you do manage to arrange a few days away you come back to all the work as there's no one to cover whilst you are gone. 
  • Distractions.  I don't know about anyone else but if I see a job around the house that needs doing I feel obliged to do it so end up spending an hour of my day doing housework when I should be working.  Equally if I know i'm halfway through a good book, or have a good program/film recorded it's very tempting just to stop working and read/watch instead.  Also in the holidays/after school you have the kids distracting you too.  You need to have good self control to make sure you actually get your work done. 
  •  Lonliness.  It can get quite lonely when you have noone to chat to, I do sometimes miss the office gossip and having someone next to you to talk things through with.  Facebook, Twitter & e-mail do help a bit but it's not quite the same.  Plus you don't get the out of hours social life, work outings, team lunches etc. 
  • It's hard to stop - When you work from home it's very easy to work almost constantly.  Your work is always there right in front of you, it's pretty much impossible to just stick to 'work hours' and I generally find myself working evenings and weekends as well as during the day. 
  • Pressure -  When it's just you all the pressure of earning money, getting things done on time etc is down to you.  You can't delegate, you don't have colleagues to help pick up the slack plus you no longer have the cretainty of a fixed wage anymore.  Of course that does work both ways, some months you could earn more than you ever expected, and other you may earn less than if you were working else where.  If you need to earn a set amount in order to live then it's quite a pressure having to make sure you get that much every month.
However, despsite the downsides I have to say I much prefer running a home based business to working in an office for someone else.  I've got so much more freedom both creatively and in regards to the hours I work, breaks etc and it's so nice to choose your own work routine and not have someone else tell you how you have to do things.  I think if I had to go back to an office job now it would be a big shock to the system!

3 comments:

Uniquely Yours said...

I contributed to the work force for nearly 38 yrs and was fortunate enough to find 2 careers that I was "truly" passionate about. My most recent job as an Internet Research Specialist was at the top of my list because it opened up my entire world and was everything I was looking for in a work-from-home business; Convenience, Flexibility & the Peaceful/Quiet surroundings were the 3 benefits I cherished most. I would enjoy having a part time job again...but then, when would I find time to quilt?! :D

seamsoeasy said...

I think the hardest thing for me is not to keep working all the time. Have written up a time table to help me with this! I do love the flexibility and the freedom.

The Sewing Directory said...

I definetly find the same Aliza the whole first year of trading I worked every spare minute I had!

Now I do try to make sure I take breaks and do something different for 20 mins or so, or go out the house for a bit of fresh air which I never used to do.

I just found this post which ties in with mine rather well: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/the-5-fundamental-rules-of-working-from-home.html

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