June 10, 2015 Many people these days are attracted to the world of self employment and freelancing and there are a growing number of the UK’s freelancers that are working from home. It makes complete sense – you cut down on the stress and time of commuting, you get to work from the comfort of your own home and you can work more efficiently. At JF Financial we all work from home offices – we don’t need the expense and hassle of running an office and although most of our work is done over email and phone, if a client wants a meeting we can grab a coffee with them. As our clients are generally freelancers, contractors or small modern businesses many of them also work from home offices and they like that our business is as modern as theirs. So here are 5 top tips we have for working from home: Claim a portion of your home running costs One of the financial benefits of working from home is that you can claim some of your home running costs through your tax return / accounts. This works slightly differently if you are a self employed freelancer to if you run your business as a limited company and we have outlined the two methods below. Claiming home office costs when self employed Claiming home office costs when a limited company Quality internet and telephone connections Your broadband connection and also telephone are hugely important when you work from home. We would suggest you get as fast an internet connection as possible and also have a backup connection such as being able to connect through 3G/4G through your smartphone if your internet goes down. Also you can get your own business direct line easily these days through VOIP – this will look better to your clients and will allow you to keep a boundary between your work and personal life if you keep your mobile phone for personal use only. Online software The “Cloud” is a bit of a buzzword but all it really means is using internet hosted software and applications. There are some amazing tools available online now and you should make sure you are up to speed with the ones that could really super power your productivity. Here are some of our top choices: Google Apps – to power email, tonnes of storage and fast to use Highrise – CRM system, great for keeping on top of client notes Dropbox – sync / backup all your important files Toodledo – online task management Take a Break It’s important to take regular breaks including getting out for a walk and some fresh air. When you commute to a normal job you have that transition period from home to work but if you work from home you won’t have this. So set aside times in your work routine for getting away from your desk. Invest in good office equipment You’re going to be spending a lot of time working from your home office so make sure you invest in good computer and office equipment including a decent chair. Keep a track of these costs as you’ll be able to claim most of it back through your accounts.