Working at home suits many mums, but it does have downsides.
Whether you are planning to run your own business, or ask your employer if you can work at home – here are some pros and cons you may want to consider.
At a glance
- Working from home can give you more money and independence
- You could fit your working hours around your family life
- There may be some substantial start up costs
Flexible hours, no stressful commute, valuable time with your little one, no-one to answer to - sound good? Then of course there's the lack of boundaries between work and home, childcare dilemmas and struggling to meet a deadline as you fight your way through the household chores... welcome to the pros and cons of working from home.
Let’s start with the good news
- More money for your family. Even making an extra £100 a month can help towards bills, holidays, days out and family expenses
- Flexible working hours. Particularly if you’re self-employed – you can work when it suits you
- More time with your children
- You'll feel as if you are contributing to the household. This is a powerful pro if you're a stay-at-home mum who's been feeling low about not earning or have a partner who's been feeling the financial pressure
- Making money can remind you that there is more to you than being a mum.
- If you’re planning to start up your own business from home, you might need to spend money before making it. It can also take a while to get a venture up and running. Put together a business plan and include financial contingencies for times when business is quiet
- Your venture may take over your home or at least change your home life (especially if it's your home that's making you money)
- There's no escape from the office - you're always there. It can be good to set-up a separate space for working. It’s becoming increasingly common for people to invest in small offices in their gardens. Be clear with customers about the hours that you will be available and try to avoid checking your phone during ‘down time'
- You may miss social interaction or feel house-bound. Online forums and social media can help you stay connected to others. And there might be other self-employed mums in your area that you can connect with. If you are able to, you could take your work to a café or the local library so that you get out of the house
- Juggling deadlines or demanding clients with childcare can be a challenge. You may still want to think about childcare options so that you can have a clear divide between work-time and family-time. Not forgetting to schedule in some you-time!