When you start your activity, it is normal to ask yourself the following question: where to practice your professional activity as a therapist? Indeed, many will be tempted to start and develop their activity simply at home, mainly for economic reasons. This is a very different way of working than owning or renting a therapist's office. There are other advantages such as
- Benefit from the comfort of home in your working environment.
- Not having to travel to work in a therapist workspace that may be far from home.
- Welcome at any time and any day and you define your own schedule.
However, in order to start your home-based business legally, you need to do several things beforehand:
- Ask for the agreement of the owner of the accommodation in case of rental.
- Ask for permission from the co-ownership regulations if you are staying in a building.
- Apply to the local authorities for the necessary permits, as your home will no longer be considered a residential property by the local planning authority.
- Obtain a mixed-use exemption for your dwelling from the municipality if it is required in your city.
- Obtain a building permit for major works required to fit out your home, or submit a prior declaration of works for minor works (interior fittings).
Working as a therapist at home is inexpensive, but requires a certain amount of preparation time. It requires a great deal of autonomy and effort, unlike working in a therapist's office. In addition, there are a number of disadvantages to practising at home, such as
- Lack of space is quite common in a home practice as opposed to a professional therapist work space.
- Lack of privacy and professionalism, your patient is immersed in your privacy which may make them feel uncomfortable. Some patients want to be received in a neutral and professional space.
- People around you may interrupt your sessions if you share accommodation. Living together is often difficult.
- Poor separation of professional and private life.
- You work alone and are isolated from other professionals. Networking is more difficult than in a therapist workspace.
Some therapists operate under these conditions and are successful, but this mode of operation does not favour the development of your activity. Particularly when you are starting out, networking is essential. Whether it is to create synergies with other professionals, receive advice, send clients to each other, etc. A workspace for therapists allows you to become more professional in the exercise of your profession and to use a maximum of tools to develop your activity.