Although there are drawbacks to include lower levels of social interaction when working from home, the ability to sleep in, avoid traffic, work in pajamas and other benefits make it very attractive. Furthermore, as the following outlines, working from home can leave you with more cash in your pocket in ways you may not have imagined.
As any parent can attest, child care is expensive. Having someone care for just one child can run upwards of $200 a week and grows with each child. However, if you work at home, you can have your children stay home with you, provided that you can still be productive while your children share your home office. It can be tricky with younger children, but if your children are older and at school, most of the time anyway, it can work out well. In addition, your children will benefit from being able to spend more time with you.
Working from home means no commute, which means avoiding traffic jams and costly fill-ups at the gas station. If you work from home, you can save tremendously on gas, especially if you live for from your job. You can easily save $100 or more a week on gas, which adds up to more than $5,000 in savings during the course of a year. If you take public transportation to work, you will save money on bus passes and train tickets.
Not only will you save on gas, but you’ll reduce wear and tear on your car, lowering maintenance costs and the need for a new vehicle. Furthermore, there are potential savings in insurance costs.
Working from home means no dress code. Haven’t done laundry yet this week and have only ratty old jeans to wear? No problem! You can even work in your pajamas. Your co-workers won’t know the difference. You won’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy wardrobe when the clothes you already have will do.
Being at work brings you closer to fast-food restaurants as well as co-workers who may want you to join them on a lunch date. Going out to eat can be expensive if done regularly. When you work at home, you still have to eat, but you have the convenience of eating what was picked up at the supermarket. You can also save money by making a pot of coffee instead of making a daily run to Starbucks. There is no need to stress out about forgetting your lunch anymore and over spending when lunchtime rolls around. However, the constant availability of food can cause you to eat too much, so it’s important to eat only when you are hungry and not out of boredom.
When you telecommute, you may have the flexibility to adjust your work hours, especially if you have your own business and no manager to answer to. You may not have thought of this, but you can enjoy activities earlier in the day – when most people are at work – and save money by doing so. For example, movie admissions are cheaper if you go to the first showing of the day. You may also be able to save on park admissions and take advantage of early-morning deals at your local supermarkets or retail stores. Plus, if you do your grocery shopping while your children are at school, you’ll spend less money buying impulse items such as candy and toys. Another benefit is that you’ll beat the late afternoon and evening crowds.
Because telecommuters often use their own equipment, such as computers, printers, phones, chairs, paper and internet service, all of these things become potential tax write-offs. You can sometimes claim your office space and costs of running it, such as electricity and gas, on your taxes as well. Suddenly, many things that were home expenses before can become legitimate tax write offs.
Not only do you save money when working from home, but companies do as well. When your company allows you to telecommute, they save money on equipment, communications, furniture, office space and operating costs. Working from home is a win-win situation for many people. More and more companies are open to working from home and other alternative work arrangements, so working from home may be an option even if you do not have your own business.