If you are an individual tax preparer, or just starting your tax preparation business, the question of whether or not to work from home may be on your mind more often than not. Working from home denotes freedom and flexibility. For those who go to the office every day, it may even seem glamorous. But then again, there’s that fear that you may seem less professional if you don’t have a dedicated office.
There are a lot of advantages to working from home, but just like anything else these advantages come with disadvantages as well. We’ve compiled a list of pros and cons to help you decided which choice is best for you.
Reasons why you should work from home
- It saves you a ton of money because you don’t have the expense of renting office space.
- For people with children or animals, it’s more convenient.
- It saves money on gas and time driving back and forth to the office.
- A home office may be partially tax deductible.
- There is a lot more flexibility with your schedule when you work from home.
- Clients are less likely to “drop in” because they know you have a home office.
- You don’t have to pack a lunch, and it may reduce your likelihood for eating out.
With all of these great benefits, there are issues that may arise with working from home. Here are some reasons you may not want to work from home.
- You never really get away from your work like you do when you work at the office.
- There are a lot more distractions when you work from home, and you may be tempted to do housework during work hours.
- You may feel like you have to answer your phone all hours of the day and night.
- You may not want to have clients come to your home.
- Fear that you may appear less professional if you don’t have a dedicated office.
Even though there are some cons, there are certainly solutions for them. First off, you should separate your home office from the rest your home with a door or wall. Either way, you should only work in your home office and not anywhere else in the house.
Second, if you have young children who are not in school, you can arrange to have a sitter come during work hours (it’s still cheaper than an office) or work while they are sleeping.
You should also consider having a dedicated office phone so that when you close the door to your office, your work is done for the day – no client calls.
If you don’t want clients to come to your home, you can always meet them out or go to their office.
Lastly, take your work seriously – you are as professional as you make yourself. Conduct business professionally, set-up a dedicated office and phone line, have a website created, etc. Another good tip for staying productive at home: dress like you are going to the office. It keeps you in that working mindset.
What do you think? Do work from home or are considering working from home? Leave a comment.