Could you work from home?
Published 25 February 2016 by Kyri Levendi
Working from home might seem like the dream, but what could this mean for your finances?
What would you say if we told you that you’d never have to commute to work again? If the thought of never having to stand up on a packed train or sit in traffic queues for hours is music to your ears, working from your home could be an option for you.
No matter whether you’re looking to refresh the job that you’re in or simply have a change of pace, we’re going to take you through what the implications of working from home will be for your career, as well how it will impact your finances.
According to the most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, 4.2 million Brits now regularly work from home and account for 13.7 per cent of the workforce. With that said, you’re probably wondering which jobs are suited to working from home.
If your work could be done on a freelance basis (writing or designing, for example), you could set up your own business and work from home. You could also do something more client-based, if your job is something like a therapist or masseur. As long as you’re not in a job that’s client facing, such as in retail or at a call centre then there could be scope for you to work from home or at least put in a request to.
Working from home could give you the freedom that you’re looking for in your career. However, just bear in mind that you probably won’t get as much social interaction as you’re used to. Why not combat this by renting your home out as office space? This could mean that you’ll always have company and make a bit of extra cash while you’re at it!
You may not realise it but there are also some financial implications to consider when it comes to working from home, most notably when it comes to home insurance cover. If you’re thinking about setting up a home office, you’re going to want to check the terms of your existing policy.
Some contents insurance policies provide cover for ‘administration’ duties while others will not cover any items that are used for ‘business or professional purposes’. Accidental damage to mobile phones, laptops or computer equipment is not always covered under some contents insurance policies, so it may be worth looking into adding an ‘all-risks’ extension to make sure this is covered. This will mean that you’re covered on these items both inside and outside of the house.
If your work requires you to have visitors to the house then you could consider Public Liability insurance. This will protect you from loss or damage resulting from claims made by anyone who visits your home for business purposes. It will cover legal fees and expenses when defending a claim as well.
When it comes to your mortgage, you should notify your lender of your plans to start working from home or setting up a business from there. In most cases there shouldn’t be too much of a problem but if your mortgage isn’t compatible with the work that you’re doing – for example, if your mortgage is residential and not semi-commercial and you’re looking to open a shop in your home – you may not be granted permission for this.
If you’re going to be working on a self-employed basis, then the income tax that you pay will be based on your profits rather than your total income. The standard Personal Allowance is currently £10,600, so if you earn less than this you won’t have to pay income tax on what you earn.