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Starting a business from home? Here’s some pros and cons

What do The Cambridge Satchel Co, Brompton Bikes and Propercorn have in common? All three of these businesses were launched from their founders’ homes. In the UK, it’s estimated that 4.2 million people currently work from home. By 2020, it’s reckoned half of the nation’s workforce will be doing business remotely.

Plenty of small businesses are being run from kitchen tables, but have you weighed up whether or not this style of working is right for you? Here are the some things to consider, plus some tips to make sure working from home is as productive as possible.

Pros

  • Overheads are minimal – At home, you don’t need to buy coffee to feel welcome or pay additional rent, plus you’ll be spending less on travel. Altogether, this gives you more freedom to invest in growing your business.
  • Work when you want – At home, you’re no longer bound to the traditional working hours of 9-5. If you prefer working in the evening, or have caring responsibilities during the day, working from home lets you build a perfectly tailored schedule.
  • Productivity can skyrocket – Plenty of bosses think ‘working from home’ is code for slacking off. But a 2018 study by Connect Solutions found exactly the opposite. Of the remote workers surveyed, 77% said they were more productive at home, while 30% said they get more done in less time at home.

Cons

  • It’s not great for meetings – Hiding dirty laundry before an investor pops over? It’s not the best look. Make sure you have a hit list of cafes, co-working spaces and other meeting-appropriate venues to take clients or potential partners.
  • Things can get personal – It’s hard to maintain a distinct barrier between work and leisure if both things happen in the same space. Set up a dedicated workstation so you can avoid doing business from the sofa – or, worse, in bed.

If you decide working from home is a go for starting your business, think about...

  • The set-up – Find a spot in the house that gets a decent amount of light during the day, as too much or too little can make for an uncomfortable work setup. Also check your internet connection is speedy enough for you to work efficiently.
  • Your productivity toolkit – It’s easy to get distracted at home, so develop some productivity hacks to stay on track. The first episode of the Is This Working? podcast has some great tips, from ‘tomato timers’ to the brutal art of prioritisation.
  • Your diary – Unless you live slap bang in the middle of town, travelling from home to attend meetings can take up precious time. So, try to line up meetings into convenient blocks – and make sure you’re getting out and about. It can be lonely working from home.
  • Expenses – It’s possible to claim expenses such as internet bills, rent or mortgage payments if you’re working from home. An accountant can help calculate what can be claimed for, or you might find it easier to use the government’s simplified expenses system.

Important note: Asto does not provide advice. You should not take anything in this content as any form of investment, tax, financial, legal or other advice. We have provided this content for your information only. You should not rely on it. Asto is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of this information. You should seek independent advice as necessary.