With the concept of a ‘job for life’ consigned to the history books, more people have embraced the opportunities offered by working from home. To those who have never considered it, the attractions seem endless – no setting the alarm clock, not having to wear a suit and tie, no daily commute. The reality, however, is quite different and there are many factors to take into consideration.
Working From Home – Tax and National Insurance Obligations
Firstly, whether you are working from home in an employed capacity or in a freelance/self-employed position, you are still liable for Tax and National Insurance Contributions. If the latter, you are required to inform the Inland Revenue of your circumstances and are responsible for keeping a record of all your income and expenditure, in a similar fashion to that of any other self-employed person.
There are also a number of steps you should take to ensure good health and safety practice.
Computer Workstations at Home
Without doubt, information technology has revolutionised the way in which we can conduct business today enabling many traditional office based tasks to be conducted from home. As in any office, working at a computer workstation involves taking the same necessary steps to ensure that your health and safety are not compromised.
It is no good thinking that you can simply plonk a laptop down on the kitchen table. You should invest in a suitable office desk and adjustable chair. There are a number of things to consider:
- Adjust the seat height so that your elbows are roughly the same height as the keyboard. Once your chair is at the correct height, you should be able to place your feet flat on the floor.
- Adjust the backrest so that it supports the curve in your lower back.
- Sit as close to the desk as possible and sit back in your chair so that it supports your back.
- Ensure the screen and keyboard is located directly in front of the seated position, so that you are sitting square on to them.
- Adjust the viewing distance of the screen so that it is comfortable to read and doesn’t strain your vision.
- Rest your arms when not typing.
- Take regular 10 minute breaks away from the screen every hour.
Working From Home – The Environment
You have taken the decision to work from home. Nevertheless, it is crucial to remember that, whilst working, your surroundings have to replicate a ‘working environment’. There are many issues to consider:
Is Working From Home For Me?
The opportunity to work from home has transformed the prospects of many people over recent years but it is not for everybody.
You need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I got work or a business idea that can be conducted from my own home?
- Is my home suitable in which to conduct my business?
- Can I cope with spending my working days alone?
- Am I able to manage my time effectively?
If you can answer ‘Yes’ to these questions, then you might seriously consider joining the legions of workers who have already adopted this method of working life for the better.
Last Updated on 25 May 2021