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Working from home – the pros and cons for contractors

Depending on your line of work then working from home may or may not be an option. If you’ve never worked from home before then it might sound really appealing but as with most things there are advantages and disadvantages.

Working from home really suits some people, we know freelancers who would never go back to commuting to an office 9-5 but for other people it just doesn’t work. Here are some things to consider if you are tempted by the idea of home working.


Do you have the right space? If you are working from home you need a dedicated space to work in where you won’t be disturbed. Home office, garden office, office loft conversion it is up to you. Make sure you have everything you need such as the right computing equipment, broadband connectivity and a comfortable space. If clients will visit you at home then you need to think about the impression you create.

Rules and boundaries

If you live with other people it is good to have some ground rules. Knocking the door of your office to see if you want a cup of tea might be acceptable but you don’t want to be constantly interrupted. If you have children then they will need to understand when you are working and when you are available. It can be hard to juggle family and working life at home so think about how you will do this and discuss it with your family.

Social interaction

Working from home can be lonely. You might be out and about regularly to meet clients, carry out work and network but if not you’ll need to be careful not to end up feeling isolated. On days when you don’t have meetings or aren’t likely to see anyone it is a good idea to ensure you get out. Plan an activity for the evening or use your lunch break to go for a walk.

Distractions and downtime

People often think that they will be too distracted if they work from home. This is an issue for some people and it is important to be disciplined. If you are the sort of person who will be tempted to sit and watch daytime TV for hours on end instead of getting on with stuff then working from home probably isn’t for you. However many people find the opposite is the problem. All your work is at your finger tips and the temptation to just deal with a few emails in the evening can quickly turn in to working longer hours than planned.  The flexibility to work the hours that suit you is great but it is important to make sure you allocate time to not working too!

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