Working From Home: Is It A Viable Option For Hong Kong Residents?

What defines working from home? When you are showing the signs below, you are virtually running your own business from your Hong Kong home.

  • You spend more than 12 hours a day working from your HK home. You are paying no rent related to your business. But you are paying a rent for living at the place where you work. The exception is that when you own the property.
  • You take responsibility for the success or failure of your business.
  • You regularly make long term and short term decisions on how, when and where you work.
  • You hire staffs to help with your work, whether the staffs are part time or full time, or simply freelancing persons you have never met face-to-face (because they do not reside in Hong Kong).
  • You provide to yourself some equipment to complete the work.
  • You have a number of customers at the same time (whether they are in HK or outside of HK), and you regularly communicate with them for the purpose of the projects that are related to their business.
  • You charge a fixed fee or a case-by-case fee for your work that you do for your customers.
  • You sell or re-sell goods or services, and make a profit out of it. This includes selling a website or app, or part of a website or part of an app you have developed.
  • You have not gone through a formal company registration at the Hong Kong Companies Registry.

Working from home may seem a great idea for many young persons during this generation. But you should not underestimate the amount of discipline it takes for you to smoothly work from home in long term. You will have to find ways to stop all the possible distraction and stay as productive as you would in a traditional office environment. A spouse, kids, or pets may as distracted as any other disruption that happen out of nowhere when working from your HK home.

When you have chosen to work from home, the issues ahead of that you will have to overcome may include:

  • The difficulty in communication in general – You may not be able to see people face-to-face when communication with them for your projects. You may have to improve your skills in writing, voice message, and video conferencing to overcome the potential issue.
  • Working from home means working alone. This way, you work without a team, and community. Maybe you do have a team, but most likely all your team members will be sitting elsewhere or working remotely. It is hard to build a common culture. You will have to get used of this situation for years to come.
  • Project management and progress may be difficult to maintain. There is this lower reliability attitude that may spread quickly across all your team members and yourself. This leads to lower productivity. Constant communication among team members will be key.