Sam McRoberts

I was contacted recently by a reporter for Inc. magazine who wanted to interview me about the positives and negatives about running a business from home. I'd given it some thought, but I honestly hadn't considered the question in-depth prior to his asking, so I spent a bit of time brainstorming...

And it seems there are actually quite a few of both. I think the simplest way to present this is probably in list form, so here it is:

The Pros of Working from Home:
  1. The ability to work whenever you feel inspired, not just from 9-5
  2. Ability to take sick days, go to Dr. appointments and run other errands as needed
  3. Getting to spend more time with your family
  4. Very, very little overhead expense
  5. Being motivated to constantly focus on efficiency
  6. Being able to try new things and innovate without going through a committee
  7. The ability to appear like a larger business thanks to technology
  8. Learning about many different aspects of business
  9. Getting to spend time learning, staying on the cutting-edge
  10. Getting to work on side projects as time permits

The Cons of Working from Home:
  1. Not having an office for when clients want a meeting (co-working space solves this).
  2. Interruptions (wife, kids, neighbors).
  3. Separation of work and personal space/'s easy to work too much.
  4. Having to wear too many hats sometimes.
  5. If you are self-employed, chasing down money at the end of the month sucks.
  6. Sales are a bitch. Most people are either doers or sellers, rarely both.
  7. Isolation (I solve this by working from a local café as often as possible).
  8. Motivation. Being at home, sometimes it can be hard to make yourself work.

And that is pretty much that. I'm sure there's more of both, but that's what I could come up with after an hour of brainstorming.

I've worked from home since July 2009, and I've been self-employed since May 2010, and I've absolutely loved it...but there are days when I truly miss working in an office, brainstorming with the team, going to an interesting meeting, and knowing for certain what day my checks will arrive and how much they will be :)

If you can think of any other pros or cons, please list them in the comments.