According to the Office of National Statistics, at least 10% of people in the UK spend either all or some of their time working from home. Indeed, there are some jobs that suit working from home, such as journalists, writers, consultants or digital designers. It is also often the case that dentists or doctors will live on the premises where they work.
What are the benefits of working from home?
It is isn’t hard to see why working from home has an appeal: whether it be the lack of commuting costs, and time spent travelling to work, with the average person in the UK commuting for an hour each way to work, or saving money on food.
When many people consider the daily trudge of commuting a nightmare, it is easy to see why working from home is a better option. This will have a knock-on effect on your mental well-being, and allow you to be more productive by not being exhausted or stressed by rush hour in a car or on a train.
However, if you do decide to work from home, you may be wondering how you can do it. Without a doubt, you need to be the sort of person who has good self-discipline, confidence in your own work abilities without relying on others and good organisational skills. People may think working from home is all about hanging about in your pyjamas all day or working from bed, but that is often far from the case! We will bet that you will find it extremely hard to be productive by doing just that, though you may be the rare exception.
If you are considering working from home, here are a few tips on how to save money, and the benefits involved in being self-employed.
How to work from home well
As previously mentioned, spending all day in your pyjamas with unkempt hair and remaining unshowered probably won’t help you to ensure that you meet all those deadlines in time.
We recommend that you:
- Stick to a routine, and keep to set hours. Having healthy working habits will help you to work more efficiently and stop you working late into the night.
- Always get showered and out of your night clothes! It doesn’t necessarily be a suit or other formal wear, but the act of getting changed will help you to feel more energised.
- Try and avoid at all costs working in a place that you relax in, such as your bedroom or living room. It is really important to have a divide between work and relaxation, otherwise, you can end up feeling like work is neverending.
- Try to set up an office space, or an area where you can work in without being constantly interrupted. One of the intended plus points of working from home is that you can work more efficiently as you are just by yourself.
- Make sure you take breaks during the day, taking a 15 minute can be very helpful in keeping you focused.
- Eat healthily. One of the bonuses of working from home is that you can save money on food, but also you have the chance to eat things for lunch that could be too fiddly (or maybe too smelly!) to take to work. But make sure its healthy food, as food high in fat and refined sugar, will make you feel sluggish and have a knock-on effect on your mood
Ways to save money being self-employed
Apart from travel and food costs, there are other ways you can save money by working from home, such as:
Being energy savvy
In the winter months, it can be tempting to crank up the heating full blast. But this can end up a costly affair. As much as possible, try to use a portable heater sparingly, wear layers, perhaps use a hot water bottle, and go for frequent walks to keep your blood circulations going.
Also try to make sure your mobile or laptop isn’t left on standby all the time, as otherwise, you could find yourself with a hefty electricity bill. Perhaps have a change of scene and go to your local coffee shop and use theirs for free?
Use the internet for meetings
Many clients and businesses these days use internet services rather than using the phone to conduct meetings. This often works out cheaper than mobile and landline phones. Why not try services like Skype, or join.me, which are completely free, and therefore saving you money on your bills?
Take deliveries during the day
If you often do online food shopping, you will find that you might be able to get cheaper slots during the day, as most people will not be able to choose them due to work. For example, choosing a delivery slot between the times of 12-4pm tends to be cheaper than a peak time slot of 6-7pm. So make the most of being self-employed!
Organise your travel
There may be times when you are required to attend meetings or meet clients, and need to travel, or, perhaps you are only partly self-employed. To save money, it could be worth taking note of your schedule and then plan accordingly instead of investing a monthly travel pass, when you may only need a pay-as-you-go type.
Check what you can claim as a business owner, as this can be another way in which you can save money through being self-employed. This might include office furniture, parts of a phone bill, or business equipment. However, it is important you keep all receipts for these business expenses in order to claim them at a later date.
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