There are some jobs which can be very well suited to working from home, such as designers or consultants. In fact, it is not uncommon to go to a dentist, optometrist or doctor that also live in the premises.
With the rise of the digital age and cost of commuting, the lure of working from home is getting more and more popular, even if it is for just a few days a week.
If you chose to work from home or are soon to be working from home, you may be wondering how to do it well. Working from home can help you be extremely productive and also save huge costs on commuting and running a business.
However, home working does require discipline, good organisational skills and confidence in your own ability; if you are someone that thrives on interaction with others, this probably isn’t the best option for you.
What are the benefits of working from home?
The main advantage of working from home is the time you save on having to commute to the office. The average commute in the UK is around 57 minutes one-way and there are also around 3 million workers in Britain that travel for as long as 2 hours just to get to work. (Source: BBC). During the time of your commute, you could be working at a desk at home and being more productive, not to mention eliminating the mental and physical stress of being stuck in traffic or enduring rush hour on the train.
By avoiding the commute, you are giving yourself a better quality of life and mental wellbeing – allowing you to spend more of this time with your family or doing what you love like sport or art.
For parents of new-borns or small children, working from home and not having set working hours gives the flexibility to tend to their young and also do things like the school run without affecting company goals.
Other benefits include the freedom to choose your own routine and pace without having the distractions or pressures of a busy office environment. Depending on your schedule, you can usually choose when to take breaks, when to make lunch, when you wish to start and finish the working day if there is something that needs doing during the day. However it is important to remain productive to ensure targets/deadlines are met on time and to prevent working later into the evening than you would if you worked in an office.
How To Work From Home Well
If you work from home, it is recommended that you do not work in a room where you usually relax such as your bedroom or lounge. If you do not have an office space in your house, the kitchen table or dining room table is a perfect place to set up your work space. It is not recommended to sit on a sofa or on your bed – although this can be tempting, especially in winter!
Where possible, try and keep to set hours. If you have children at home during school holidays, explain to them that you are working and try to ensure you have some undisturbed time to fulfil your working requirements. Be sure to take breaks away from your work to create a divide between relaxation and work. If you are feeling slightly claustrophobic, use one of your short breaks to go outside or take a walk around the block. This can refresh your mind, keep you energised and help you to remain focussed on work.
Make sure you get showered and dressed in the morning, even if it is just into lounge wear. If you stay in your pyjamas all day, you are likely to feel less energised and therefore be less productive. In fact, some homeworkers recommend dressing smartly to start their day to create some formality, even if they are just working from their dining room.
Depending on the budget available, some households equip themselves with a proper home office whether in the main home or in a shed like conversion in the back garden. Investing in a quality set up can actually add value to your home when you look to sell it and make your office space a more exciting area to work from.
How Working from Home Can Save You Money
Studies show that the average person in Britain spends around £3,000 per year on commuting to work, equal to 16% of their salary. (Source: BBC News)
The costs associated with commuting include running a car, parking, tolls, train tickets, bus fares and the time you take to commute (time is money after all!)
In fact, reducing the miles travelled in your car every year can also result in additional savings required to clean your car, maintain your car and your car insurance premium may decrease too.
When working at home, you will probably be eating at home. This means you can save significantly more than paying for work lunches where the costs of a daily sandwich and drink can quickly add up. You can even be savvy with your money, and have left over meals for lunch which you can conveniently reheat in your own kitchen.
You will also save money on tea and coffee. Instead of buying an expensive drink from a chain coffee outlet on your way to work or during your lunch break, you can simply save by making a pot of coffee which will likely cost less than one cup from a coffee shop.
Working from home will mean that you have far less need to buy business wear. Of course, if you are expected to wear workwear when meeting clients, you will need a few options.
When you go into an office you generally need a variety of different outfits fit for work, whereas at home you can literally wear whatever you feel comfortable in, provided it promotes the right sense of wellbeing and doesn’t affect your productivity.
As an additional benefit, your shoes will get far less wear and tear and you may save on things like dry cleaning too.
Taking deliveries during the day
If you work from home and have goods such as online grocery shops regularly delivered to your home address, you can choose cheaper delivery slots or ‘flexi’ slots. This service allows for your shopping to be delivered between a certain time, for example between 12pm-4pm is cheaper than a reserving a slot which is more in demand, for example 6pm-7pm.
Only certain providers offer flexi slot services so ensure to check the full terms and conditions to get the best benefits. Also, by being at home, you do not have to risk a delivery being turned away, left with a third party or even left unattended outside your home for any period of time.
Alternatively, for other online products, you can specify a time of delivery which works outside your working hours but you usually have to pay for more for this.
Be sure to read our blog for more money saving and lifestyle tips. Uncle Buck is an established payday loan lender in the UK, founded in 2004 and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.