Running your business from home can be a good option, especially when you’re starting up and cash is rolling out the door. But there’s some good reasons to consider an office or co-working space instead.
We’ve all seen or heard about the successful entrepreneur who started their multi-billion dollar business from the kitchen table. Office space is just one more expense and tying yourself up in a long term lease can be nerve-racking when you’re still not confident about your monthly turnover. With your own office, you’ve also got to consider the establishment costs such as signage, phone and internet installations and office furniture. It’s understandable that many businesses, particularly solopreneurs, set up at home. But the research we undertook before launching The Boarding Office venture revealed five reasons why the home office might not work for you in the long term.
1. It can be hard to find that work-life balance we all need
People who start-up businesses are usually passionate and creative thinkers who find it difficult to shut off from work. When your office is right under your nose it’s too easy to find yourself back at your desk after dinner, in the middle of the night or when you should be at the park with the kids. Separating your work environment from home helps make sure you’re in the right mindset for the different priorities in your life.
2. Home can be full of distractions
It’s great – at first – to be able to hang that load of washing out in the middle of your work day but for some people, home distractions like cleaning, cooking and walking the dog can take a toll on output and end up being costly to your business’ success. When the kids are home the distractions are ten-fold and it can be almost impossible to get things done.
3. Sending the wrong first impression
Holding that initial client meeting in the dining room, while the kids are coming in from school, is far from ideal when you’re trying to make a good impression. We all know that our business brand is critical to success. In some industries the right office space, or even just having that obvious business address, will send customers the right message about your professionalism and go a long way towards building the level of confidence you need from new or potential customers.
4. The impact of isolation
For many people, the peace and quiet at home can become a bit tedious and for some it might actually impact on their mental health. It’s easy to miss the quick chats around the water cooler and the social benefits of an office environment. Some people tell us that they miss getting dressed up for work and end up finding that wearing their PJ’s all day impacts on their motivation. Others say that the lack of interaction leaves them feeling flat. A few discover that working in isolation gradually erodes their self confidence.
5. Missing out on the networking benefits
Sometimes it’s all about being in the right place at the right time – and that probably doesn’t include the home office. Working from home reduces opportunities to meet and mingle with new people and let’s face it, meeting and mingling often drives lucrative ideas, contracts or collaborations.
If some of these potential impacts are ringing true for you then it might be time to consider a co-working space where the establishment work is done, the outlay is significantly smaller than setting up your own office and you can avoid the stress of long-term contracts. Find out more about why co-working spaces are becoming so popular. (link to next blog)
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