Work from home
Private physiotherapists have a number of options when choosing premises. While some see clients in a home office, others choose to share practice space with other health practitioners, renting by the hour, or having a room within a clinic or a gym. Each circumstance has advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered before making your decision.
Many physiotherapists begin their private practice career with a home office as it is the least expensive option and may provide some tax benefits such as claiming a portion of a mortgage or rent payment and utilities based on space used.
The advantages of seeing clients at a home include:
- tax advantages
- no commuting time
- no transportation costs
- no commuter stress
- flexible work hours and ability to accommodate last minute appointments
- low overhead and control of expenses (e.g. rent, utilities)
- increased and easier interaction with family
- easier to adjust the use of your time if a client cancels
- depending on your location your home office may be more convenient for your client
The disadvantages of consulting with clients in a home practice may include:
- may be perceived as less professional by clients and colleagues
- the difficulty of separating your work life from your personal life
- disruptions from family and friends
- temptation to overwork or work longer hours
- depending on the layout of living space, may be difficult to provide client with privacy by having a separate entrance and exit
- isolation from colleagues
Physio123 recommend the following suggestions to make your home office experience a more positive one for yourself and your patients:
- The ideal home practice situation is an area completely separate from your living quarter with a separate entrance and toilet facilities. A converted basement, garage or an office adjoining a house with an outside entrance are often ideal to get started.
- A separate home office gives you the privacy you need and cuts down on disruptions from others when returning phone calls, writing patient notes, or doing general office administration.
- Confidentiality is crucial and having a separate office with locked client files.
- A home office that is well-lit, with mood-enhancing colours, that is tidy and furnished with comfortable furniture will help to create the therapeutic atmosphere for you and your clients and create the image of professionalism required.
- A separate business phone line is essential if you live with others. A cordless phone or headset is helpful when you outside of your home office and in some other part of your home.
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