Is working from home really for you?

Do your homework, before working from home! But the question is; do you really want to?

At present, being employed and working from home with absolutely no commute to the office is generally unheard of.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 10% of the NSW workforce Teleworks. This is where they still have to venture into their office, however also have the opportunities to take work home.

It may sound like they get a great lifestyle, however, in truth, they still are bound by employer agreements- they still have to ask to have holidays, they still only get paid what their employer is willing to give them etc.

Co- Owner of Memories 2 Movies; Kelly Mouriliyan; says ‘the reality is that employment from home is extremely hard to find. You need professional skills, and you are still required to commute into the office now and then. I decided to become my own boss and really set my own hours'.

But before you even go down the path of looking around to start a business from home, there are a few things you should know before deciding that working from home is actually for you.

  • You will be in your house most of the day- every day. This could really start to suck! Your house should be your sanctuary and if you start to mix work with your home, your security and sanctuary could start to feel invaded.

  • You may have children running around and that can cause heaps of problems- especially if they get into things that they really shouldn't (ie, products or papers etc) this can make it extra hard to talk on the phone or even appear professional to potential customers.

  • Your social contact will be limited- especially if you have an E- Business. You will be limited to staring at the computer and start calling your kids or friends ‘Google' or start screaming out ‘Yahoo" at the top of your lungs, or something similar.....

  • Starting up a business will take loads of effort and time to set up and you will receive minimal profits for the first few months to years.
Statistics from the ABS reveal that business survival can be limited by whether or not you have employees in your business. Of the new business entries in 2003-04, 50% of these new non-employing businesses were still going in June 2006, compared to 80% of new employing businesses. (src-ABS media release-26/2/07)

Now, ask yourself this question; "Why do I want to work from home?"

The most common reason I hear to this question is because you need some extra money, but can't afford to pay for childcare. I hear you on this one!!!

However, this in itself is not a good reason for starting up a business from home - especially when there is a high chance your kids will end up going to childcare anyway - as your business and your professionalism depends on having a quiet environment in which to work constructively.

Tash Hughes, Owner of Word Constructions says "I started my business from home so I could be with my daughters and do what I love, but it isn't always easy to get away form the kids enough to actually get some work done! So I made use of family day care and occasional care."

"Working from home around small children is a challenge, and certainly makes life interesting, but it is doable." says Melissa Khalinsky- owner of Business Mums Network. "You need to plan many things around the children, especially making telephone calls! Take advantage of sleep and rest times, daycare, play dates, and any other opportunity for some uninterrupted time to do tasks that require close concentration"

If you want to work from home for the sense of achievement it brings in owning your own business, and the true flexibility your own business can give you, then being your own boss is a great option!

Owner of Real Mums, Amanda Cox (aka Mad Cow) says ‘I get to express my creativity and do what I really love and want to be doing. I'm not helping someone else fulfill their dream, and my ideas aren't being stifled.'

So, What now?? If you plan on starting your own business, but have no clue as to where to start, here are a few steps to follow:
  1. Research!! And ensure you do lots and lots of it!! Ask yourself these few questions:

  2. If you need some help in answering these questions, I suggest you employ the services of a marketing or business coach to help you get going.

    -"Is my business unique?"
    -"If not, do I offer something else my competitors don't?"
    -"Is there a target market for my business?"
    -"Is there room for potential growth?"

  3. Decide on a business name and then do the appropriate checks to ensure it's not taken!!

  4. Visit for more information on the legalities of starting your own business. Ensure you comply with all regulations imposed by the government and your local council
    Get yourself registered on some networking forums or groups. These are highly valuable and the support and resources you can get from them will propel your business forward.
So before you keep wishing you could work from home, have a good hard think about why!

Emma Rhoades started up Home Business Connections when she realised the need for some unbiased advice about working from home.