Working from home has become increasingly popular amongst many business owners as it can present a number of advantages. The main ones are a better work life balance and the ability to save money on commuting. Before starting it would be beneficial to identify if your home is suitable, consider the legal requirements and the potential impact on your neighbours. Working from home may not be for everyone, this is why it is important to conduct research to identify if it is a viable option for you.
Do the Research: As part of doing the research ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I need permission to work from home?
- Do I have the space?
- What happens if my business grows?
- How much of an impact will it have on my neighbours? Consider the increased noise or traffic, if relevant.
Have a plan: Creating a business plan can be a vital part to the success of your business.
Be compliant: Are there any legal requirements of running a business from home? You should do the following:
- Contact your landlord or mortgage provider to understand if your existing agreement allows you to run a business from home.
- Liaise with your local authority to understand if you require any special permits, licensees etc.
- Notify your insurers to discuss if existing policies need to be amended.
Work smart: Working from home can often be challenging as it usually requires you to work in isolation, which can be difficult, especially if you haven’t done so before. This will require you to have a number of skills and qualities, such as being motivated, resilient, organised and being able to multi task.
Examples of things you could do:
- Create a work schedule;
- Have a tidy designated work area;
- Work in a quiet environment;
- Take regular breaks
- Ensure you have the correct equipment to work with;
- Get dressed and do not work in your pyjamas; and keep your mobile phone and internet usage to a minimum.
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You may need permission or separate insurance to run a home business, and you’ll need to check if you have to pay business rates.