For all those parents that need to be around during the school holidays…
Flexible working is a bit of a buzzword right now. Lots of forward-thinking employers are more receptive to their staff fitting working hours around family commitments. Lots more encourage their employees to work from home, which reduces office overheads and, as a bi-product, increases flexibility. But what if, as a parent or someone with personal commitments outside of work, you want to control your hours and run a home-based business? Wouldn’t that be the best solution for those of you seeking some work/life/family balance? And wouldn’t one of these home-based businesses be ideal when considering who’s overseeing the kids during this half-term break?
Home-based businesses have many advantages that can save us time, money and more. For a start, you save on fuel, as well as wear and tear on your car. You’ll avoid the stress of using public transport too, if that was the commute you had to endure in the past. What’s more, you’ll be doing your bit to save the environment by travelling less too. And, in reducing your commuting time down to simply moving from one room to another, you’ll spend far more time actually ‘at work’ and boost your productivity no end.
Productivity is important in any business, and if you’re both motivated and disciplined, you’ll flourish in a home-based business. And, if the business allows, you can be flexible in when and how you work too. If, for example, you’d like to run an online business, then it won’t really matter whether you complete your tasks on the sofa, in the garden or in the middle of the night. Flexibility in your working hours can be a game-changer, whether that’s allowing you to juggle family with work, or merely tap into your most creative hours of the day.
Lots of people who run home-based businesses say they can get as much done in one day as they could in two days when compared to working in an office. You’ll have less interruptions – unless they’re domestic ones, of course – which means you’ll be free to knuckle-down and get your tasks completed efficiently. It takes discipline to remain focused when working from home, and there are still distractions that can pull you away from your work if you let them. The most successful owners of home-based businesses maintain a working routine, and have a separate office or ‘place of work’. And it’s important that the rest of the family know that, when you’re at work, you shouldn’t be interrupted.
Another advantage of home-based businesses is that you can legitimately claim back for some of your household costs, such as utilities. You should still take some professional advice on how much you can claim, though, and you’ll also need to be careful not to incur business rates. Living and working in the same place might be good for your finances, but it’s not always so easy on the body and soul. Some owners of home-based businesses miss the commute either end of the day that helps separate work from their domestic lives. You should counter this by getting away from your workspace during the day. Whether that’s to take the dog for a walk, go for a run or pop down to the shops, you need the discipline to take a break at times too.
As we approach another school holiday, and the long summer break isn’t that far away either, home-based businesses will have more appeal to busy parents who crave some flexibility. There are more opportunities out there than ever before, so why not take a look through some of the options here.