Work Life

Working from Home

What to Consider Before Making the Switch

Working from home offers many advantages - including financial - but home-based employment is not without its challenges. If you're contemplating a work-from-home setup, you may want to consider these points.

Working from home can help you save time and money.

Working from home can mean less temptation to eat lunch out or grab a cup of java from the local coffee shop. It can also mean saving on your commuting costs and time spent commuting. You may even be able to deduct the associated costs of a home office from your income tax return, saving you money at tax time. Be sure to consult a qualified professional about what is and is not allowable.

Try to create a dedicated work space.

Although you're working from home, you might want to set up a space that is devoted exclusively to your work. This may mean setting up a separate office in your home or designating a corner of a room where you can set up a proper workstation away from distractions like the television.

Using it as a substitute for childcare probably won't work.

Few employers will look favorably upon you if you're distracted. Although you may be working from home, try to send your child to daycare or hire an in-home provider so you can successfully focus on your job.

Setting both start and end times is a good idea.

Working from home can blur the lines between personal and work time. It can be tempting to continue working well past the time you'd typically work if you were at the office. Likewise, it can also mean getting a later start than you would otherwise. Try to set a strict start and end time, and try to mimic the hours of your colleagues so that you're available to participate in calls and respond to e-mails.

Try to give it your full attention.

Working from home can mean more flexibility, but will still require your focus and dedication. So change out of your PJs, get showered and dressed, and face the day as you would if you were going into an office..

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