Weighing the Pros and Cons to Working at Home
Perhaps you have found that working at a traditional job did not offer the flexibility that you wanted or required. You are seriously considering working at home, but you are not sure if it is right for you.
There are pros and cons to working at home. Once you learn each pro and con, you will be better equipped in making the decision that is right for you. The benefits of working at home are great, but it is not for everyone. It takes the right qualities in order to be successful.
Pros to working at home are great – flexibility, tax deductions, save money, family time…
The following are only some of the advantages to working at home:
- Flexibility – You tend to have greater flexibility than working outside of the home. It is a plus if you have children. You will not have to worry about missing a dance class or a soccer game.
- Tax deductions – These can be great if you work at home. Expenses related to your job may be deductible on your tax return, and if you are eligible, do not forget to utilize the home office deduction. On your tax form 1040, you are able to deduct one-half of your self-employment tax. As always, consult a tax professional regarding all tax-related matters.
- Save money – Without having to spend money on gas to and from work, car repairs from excessive wear and tear, lunches, work clothing, and possible day care expenses, you will save a great deal of money.
- No more commuting – Think about all of the unpaid time you might spend commuting to and from a traditional job. To put this in perspective, take a daily one-hour round-trip drive, to and from work. Now, in just a five-day period you would have driven five hours just commuting to and from work. That is almost a full day of work!
- Being around family more – This is priceless.
- Avoid office politics – Being around office politics all day is enough to stress out just about anyone. It can be distraction at your job, which leads to inefficiency and mistakes. You will not need to worry about this when working at home.
- Homeschool – If you have a desire to homeschool your children, you will be able to set aside time to do so while supporting your family financially.
Cons to working at home – distractions, taxes, lack of companionship
Now that we have established the advantages, or benefits, of working at home, let us examine the disadvantages:
- Distractions – If you are not able to work, you will not earn an income. Distractions come with the territory of working at home. It is up to you to prevent unnecessary distractions.
- Taxes – If you are an independent contractor, you are responsible for state and federal withholding, in addition to paying the self-employment tax at the full 15.3%. Self-employment taxes cover 12.4% for social security and 2.9% for Medicare. Again, consult a tax professional for all tax-related matters. (1)
- Lack of companionship – You might feel lonely when no other adults are around. Some have complained that they feel lost and out of the loop.