One of the best things about working from home is the reduced cost of Running Business. You don’t have to commute to the office every day. Instantly, you save hundreds of dollars on gas or commuting expenses. If you own the business, you also don’t have to lease a space and pay for rent and utilities. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that you won’t have to pay for anything if you work from home.
To help you make a work and personal budget, here are the costs of a home-based business:
It might be hard to believe, but it’s not actually required by law to have homeowners insurance. You can own and live in a house without paying for a premium every month. But there’s a reason why 95% of property owners in the U.S. have homeowners insurance. It provides financial protection when you encounter unexpected events like hurricanes andsinkholes. It’s especially important if you operate your business from home.
When you work for a company, you usually have some protection if you can’t do your job. You can get paid leave and some form of compensation. When you operate a business from home, it doesn’t work the same way. If a fire or a windstorm renders your house uninhabitable, you’re on your own unless you have insurance. Then, you can file for a loss of use claim and get reimbursed. You may not get back the sales you’ve lost during the time the house wasn’t usable but at least your additional expenses are covered. Another benefit of insurance is that it covers the medical bills if a guest gets injured in your house. This is crucial if you set up meetings with your clients in your home office.
Besides homeowners insurance, you should also consider getting liability insurance. It’s specifically for businesses so it’s easier to get your claims approved if something happened that affects your work. Depending on the type, it should cover the equipment you use, advertisements, or the mistakes made in business.
In a pre-pandemic world, you spend most of your weekdays at the office. Meanwhile, your house is on idle for 40 hours every week. This is not the case when you work from home. You may not be driving to work or wearing business attire every day but you are spending all your time at home. This means that you’re constantly plugged in. From your computer and lights to the HVAC and the Wi-Fi router, you’re constantly consuming electricity. More if you have kids and they have virtual classes. Naturally, this means higher energy bills. Figures have shown that it has already affected at least two states. New York and California have both reported higher residential energy consumption compared to the previous year.
On the bright side, there are plenty of ways you can reduce your electricity use without compromising the quality of your work. Set up your workplace in a room that gets a lot of natural light. You can also use mirrors to maximize the lighting. This way you don’t have to turn on the lights the entire time you’re working. Plus, natural light can help improve your work performance.
Another option is to use a smart power strip. There are different types you can use depending on your needs. There’s a model with a timer so it cuts off the power automatically. Other power strips have motion sensors or remote controls. No matter the type, they make your energy use more efficient so you don’t have to spend more than you have to.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be able to get away with a makeshift home office in the beginning. The only thing you need is a laptop and an internet connection and you can work at your dining table. The downside is that it’s not good for your body. Sooner or later, you’ll get aches and cramps. The best way to address it is to get the right furniture that will support your body for long periods.
A good place to start is with a comfortable chair. If you’re ordering online, make sure to buy one that can be adjusted. That way the height or size of the chair won’t be much of an issue. Then, change how your laptop is set-up. You can use books to elevate it so you’re not looking down the entire time you’re working.
Working from home has its own share of advantages and disadvantages. The good news is that there are several ways you can minimize those drawbacks.
Hassan is a Technician in mobile software programming, Internet technology and Electrical Installations. He also specialises in renewable and green energy solutions like Solar and Wind Power Systems.