From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Is that Gum in My Word Processor?
A growing number of professionals and self-employed individuals have relocated their
offices to their homes. As we consider this movement, one is reminded of a time when most
people worked close to home on their farms, in their sheds or in buildings attached to
their homes. When I was growing up, my family doctor was much like Alex Stone, M.D. of the
Donna Reed Show, with his medical office attached to his home. When my Mother called him
late at night, there was a certain comfort in being to able to reach him and knowing that
he would not have to travel far to see a sick child.
In addition to doctors, many other professionals now work in home offices. I personally
know accountants, photographers,lawyers, salespersons, therapists, journalists, builders,
and more who have found that working from the home offers a great deal of satisfaction.
Some of their reasons for making the move are as follows...
- Home offices reduce the time and expense of travel. When Joan, an
Attorney, decided to return to work after having her first child, she was bound and
determined to manage her time wisely. But the travel time to and from her job everyday
added an extra hour to her already busy schedule. With every passing day, she more greatly
resented the time wasted behind the wheel... time that she wanted to spend doing other
things. When she added up the costs of gas, wear and tear on her automobile, and the cost
of "her time", she gave the idea of a home office another thought.
- Home offices are cost-efficient. When Bob first moved to town, he
wanted to set up his photography shop, but the cost of rental space made his profits out
of reach. Since he already owned all the necessary equipment, and often found himself
going out to his jobs anyway, he quickly realized the value to setting up a "home
studio". Even when Bob got his business off the ground, he had been able to establish
such an efficient operation, that his family agreed to "let the studio stay"...
and to this day, it has worked out well.
- Home offices require organization but allow flexibility. When Hal
thought of retiring, he realized that he didn't want to stop being a CPA, he just didn't
want to work for his old company anymore. He was ready for a little slower pace and wanted
to do more of the things he enjoyed, but wasn't about to retire.
Now that he's turned his den into his "home accounting office" and has a
comfortable workload, he's still up and dressed and ready for work each morning, but
doesn't have to leave the breakfast table until 8:59 a.m.
- Being self-employed makes it easier to get along with the boss! According
to Bill, the best thing about his home office is doing things 'his way'. "When I
worked at the company, half my time was spent on office politics, the other half was spent
biting my tongue," he said. "Now, I earn less money, have less overhead
expenses, spend more time with my family, and enjoy myself alot more than I ever thought
possible. In the end, I come out ahead by alot."
When its not time to retire, but it is time for a change... that extra bedroom may
offer another option. When Alvin Toffler described his concept of the "electronic
cottage" in his book, Future Shock, who would have imagined that so many of us would
have home computers and answering services. Is there an electronic cottage... errrr, home
office in your future?
ęCopyright, 1989, 1995 by Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated October 24, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon,