The New Normal - Working From Home

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

Working from home has become the new normal.

Technology makes it possible to run an entire business from a desktop computer, or a hand held device in ways that even 10 years ago were simply not possible.

There are many advantages to working from home, including:

  • Flexible working hours. You decide when and where you work.

  • No time lost in commuting

  • It’s cheap. The overheads are low & there are potential savings on premises. a

  • Some tax benefits

  • Higher productivity through less distractions and interruptions

  • Convenience and comfort


Starting a Business
Advantages and disadvantages of working from home

On the other side of the coin there are some disadvantages which can include:

  • Isolation. This can be a challenge for people who need and enjoy social contact.

  • Potential privacy concerns if you are seeing clients at home

  • Fewer promotion opportunities than a bricks and mortar business

  • Notwithstanding the above re no distractions, you may have others at home who can be a potential distraction.

Brief premises checklist for running a home based business

Depending on the type of business, there can be a number of important considerations in relation to your premises that you will need to take into account.

Before committing yourself to costly home alterations, be sure to seek professional advice from an accountant or tax agent on whether any tax deductions might be applicable and whether they may be any capital gains tax implications for your home.

Review this short list and determine if you have additional needs for your business:

  • Do you need a working area for the business separate from your living areas?

  • Will you have clients visit your house, will they need a separate entrance?

  • Will parking be required for clients or employees?

  • Based on your type of work is high speed internet required?

  • Is extra storage needed?

  • Will you be receiving large postal articles, how will these be received?

  • Are there special requirements for power or power outlets?

  • Do you have good cyber security in place, this is am important question, now more than ever in the era of Covid. As cyber attacks has increased substantially.

Are they already in place?

If not you might need to evaluate if a home based business can be achieved or if you need an office or co-working space.

Council requirements

Most local authorities have rules about the use of property and land within their area. Sometimes whole areas are designated for particular purposes, such as ‘residential’ or ‘industrial’. To avoid future problems, it is essential to find out, before you start, whether or not you would be allowed to run a business from your home. The answer may depend on the kind of business you want to run. Also, different local authorities have different rules.

The local authority will probably ask you a number of questions about the business you are proposing to run. They may send an inspector to your home to assess such things as availability of parking space and the effect of noise on other residents. Since a certain amount of time will be required before a decision is made, it is available to submit your application as early as possible.

As an example, in New South Wales, home based businesses can only be operated on either ‘home occupation’ or ‘cottage industry’ residential zonings. Where motor vehicle traffic is increased due to business activities or additional air, noise or visual pollution is caused, development approval will be refused. If the business employs others, or requires, motor vehicle repair or used vehicle licences, a shop and factory licence, second hand dealer’s licence, pressure vessel licence or meat or food licences, permission will generally be refused by the local authority.

Your home business will also be subject to all of the legislative and regulatory requirements that impact all other businesses.

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