What are the key advantages and setbacks involved with working from home? For those seeking to take the plunge or weighing up the options, McCrindle Research has recently analysed the lives of 250 ‘work-from-home’ workers, weighing up the pros and cons of the home office setting.
Although WFH will appear chaotic and daunting initially, the persevering human skills and sophistication of technologies will ease everyone into a new format of co-learning, co-working, and co-living.
Flexibility and work-life balance
The most significant advantage in working from home for respondents was having the flexibility to juggle other things, reported by almost half (45%) or respondents. Another quarter of respondents felt that in working from home, they were able to create a work-life balance to enjoy life more. 1 in 7 respondents (15%) enjoyed being able to work undistracted from the interruptions present in an office-based working environment, and a further 1 in 8 (12%) felt that the most significant advantage in working from home was being able to take care of their children
Decreased commuter stress, increased time with family
When explaining these significant advantages and others in working at home instead of an office based environment, participants elaborated on a number of key themes:
Flexibility in working hours was seen as a key advantage: “The ability to work all hours and unusual hours, doing other non-work things in the home.” “The flexibility to work when I can, choosing when I work.”
Having less stress due to commuting to and from work was mentioned numerously: “Less time spent travelling means I have more time to devote to chores and exercise.” “I don’t have to deal with traffic congestion and save travel time.”
How do I finance a home office?
Creating a home office (or doing renovations to add one to your home) can easily cost thousands of dollars. If you want to create a new home office for yourself and don’t have thousands in savings to pay for it, you may want to consider getting finance.
There are a number of ways you can fund your renovation, depending on the size of the project and your available funding.
1. Use the equity in your home 2. Top-up to existing home loan 3. Redraw funds in an existing loan 4. Refinance your home loan 5. Take out a construction loan 6. Take out a personal loan
For larger and more expensive renovations ($100,000+), you might have to use something like a construction loan, but for something like a home office renovation, commonly you can pay for it with the existing equity in your home, withdrawing from a redraw facility.
If you're planning a structural renovation (generally, when it's something that will require council approval or a building permit), you should apply for a construction loan instead.
Is a Home Office Tax-deductible?
According to the Australian Taxation Office, here are some of the things you can claim when working from home:
Home office equipment like computers, printers and furniture (the full cost of these items up to $300, and depreciation of items up to $300)
Heating, cooling and lighting costs
The costs of repairs to your home office equipment
Costs of cleaning your home working area (including cleaning products or payment for a domestic cleaner if required)
Work-related phone & internet expenses
Occupancy expenses (if your home is your principal place of work)
Computer consumables (like printer ink) and stationery
Phone (mobile and/or landline) and internet expenses
You can claim these running expenses by either using a fixed rate of 52 cents per hour worked at home (the easier way), or by keeping a record or diary of each hour worked and the costs you’ve incurred working. You can’t generally claim your entire internet bill, for example: You need to prove which portion of your bill was used for work purposes. So be sure to keep accurate records of receipts for any expenses you want to claim as a deduction.
With the right advice and loan, property renovations can be both functional and profitable. My Finance Agent can provide you options to help you fund your home office. Talk to one of our loan specialists today on 02 8313 8400 to get started.
*Information within this publication has been sourced from McCrindle Research, The Guardian, The ATO and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.