The Small Business Column

Birmingham Evening Mail (England), February 25, 1999 | Go to article overview

The Small Business Column


HOME THOUGHTS

Home is where the heart is. And increasingly, home is where the office is, too. Many large companies are beginning to encourage field workers, sales people and consultants to use their home, rather than their head office, as a base. For the self-employed, setting up a business from home is often a low-cost option that can make good commercial sense. But it's not all good news.

HOME TRUTHS

Anyone wanting to run their business from home needs to check with their local council to gain permission. There may be by-laws that forbid an increased level of noise and disturbance, for example, and planning permission may be needed if you need to change the use of your premises.

Some people find working from home does not suit their temperament and personality. They need to put on a suit, pick up their briefcase and commute to work. Even those who find it easy to slip into "business mode" can fall foul of family interference, lack of space, and little time to switch off and relax.

HOMING DEVICES

New technology, via Internet and e-mail, is enabling the shift to home working. People can now do business together with little or no personal contact. But for us social animals, interaction with other human beings is a vital part of our society. To counter the potential for isolation, new developments are springing up for tele-workers, where small communities are purpose-built to encourage neighbourly contact, while ensuring privacy to carry on your day to day business at home. …

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