Working at home can be a pretty sweet gig. You can skip the rigorous morning commute, you can wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, and you don’t have to spend $10 a day eating at the corner cafe.
However, anyone who has worked at home in some capacity knows it’s not without drawbacks. In a home office, you’re a one-person show. That means playing business owner, maintenance person, and receptionist every day. On your busiest days, the doorbell never stops ringing, the dog doesn’t stop barking, and your spouse and kids don’t know what a closed door means. Everything from dishes to dirty floors are calling your name and draining your productivity.
Could it be time to upgrade to an office outside of the home, at least part-time?
Moving from the comfort of your kitchen table to a private office may seem daunting at first, but studies show why it’s a good idea. According to a Harvard Business Review, those who work outside the home tend to perform at a higher level than those who don’t. With the right private office space, you may find your productivity isn’t the only thing thriving.
Traditional private offices, coworking spaces, and home offices all exist for one reason: there is no single best solution for everyone. At times, a home office makes perfect sense, especially for single-person ventures that are just getting started. Some established businesses have the size and budget necessary to make a traditional office space work for them. Entrepreneurs, startups, and freelancers love coworking spaces because of the visibility, networking, and cost control.
If you’re still part of the work-from-home camp and are considering if a private office space is right for you, the following signs could justify the move.
Some people thrive when working alone, but others need to be around other people to do their best work. The energy of an office environment just isn’t the same at home. If you’re feeling the weight of loneliness in your home office, it might be worth it to try a coworking space or private office to see if it gives you the boost you need.
Some people find it hard to focus on work at home, especially when the fridge is within arm’s reach and binge-watching Netflix sounds like a good idea. There’s nothing wrong with a little TV or snacking during the workday, but when you start missing deadlines, losing clients, and watch your work pile up on a regular basis, it might be time to rethink your work environment.
In a home office, you’re limited by how much space you have to do business. At some point, your business may reach the point where you need to hire some help, and not many people will love the idea of working with you in your home. If they do, they’ll need somewhere that is conducive for them to do their best work, and your kitchen table might not meet their needs.
Business growth is one of the biggest reasons why entrepreneurs leave the home office behind in favor of a larger, more professional space.
Moving from a home office to a private workspace carries a strong business case, but it’s not a decision to be made lightly. Not all office spaces are created equal, and you’ll need to consider your unique needs to ensure you make the right choice the first time.
Here’s some food for thought.
Close your eyes and imagine your company in the next month, year, or five years. What does it look like? How many employees do you have? How many clients are you serving? What does your revenue look like?
If your business looks bigger and stronger than it does now, you’ll likely need plenty of space to work, including space for the employees you’ll need to hire. One of the benefits of using a shared workspace is the ability to scale as you grow. You can add workspaces to your setup in minutes without spending thousands of dollars on renovations, upgrades, and furniture.
Location is the single most important element in real estate, and for good reason. It can affect your visibility, company image, and client accessibility, all of which can impact your bottom line.
While you’re exploring your private office options, it’s important to consider how the office location will contribute to your business. For example, many shared workspaces are found in commercial districts that will place you in close proximity to other businesses. This can be extremely valuable for networking or face-to-face meetings with local clients.
In addition, location will affect your daily commute time. Choosing a location close to your home or in a less congested area can mitigate travel time and make transitioning out of the home office feel like less of a sacrifice.
Every business must monitor costs to maintain profitability. In some cases, choosing a private office space may come down to cost and affordability. Prices can vary within a shared workspace, depending on whether you opt for a private office (closed-off office dedicated completely to you) versus a dedicated workspace (your own workspace in a room with other people) versus a semi-private office (a closed-off office that isn’t completely your own).
Value should be considered in tandem with cost, as getting more for your money may justify paying a higher price. For example, the type of community within a shared workspace can add value to the service if it presents strong networking opportunities. If you’re able to earn more customers simply by being part of a coworking office, then it might make financial sense to pay a little more for your workspace.
Most coworking spaces offer more than just a desk and a chair. Common perks include complimentary tea and coffee, business meeting rooms, printers and copiers, live answering services, business mailing addresses, and onsite support, among others. Perks and amenities can vary by coworking space, so make sure you compare companies and plans to see how to best meet your business needs.
The overall tone of the environment can affect whether you’re happy with moving out of your home office. For example, some coworking spaces are geared toward a particular industry, such as tech startups. This can give you access to other experts in your field to encourage collaboration.
Communities with active, engaged members can spur creativity and productivity to help you get the most for your money. Consider taking a “test drive” to get a feel for what it’s like to work in a particular coworking space prior to moving out of your home office.
Coworking spaces aren’t your only choice for moving to an office outside of the home, but they’re a popular next step for many reasons. For starters, they provide turnkey office solutions for a very low cost. You can get a professional office in minutes rather than spending time on a do-it-yourself solution. In addition, you can better control costs each month by paying a flat fixed rate versus the variable costs of a traditional space.
If you’re nervous about making the switch, start slow and small. Coworking makes it easy to scale up as you grow and can better define what you need. Find the Office Evolution location nearest you and schedule a tour to see what we have to offer for your growing business today.
Written by: Office Evolution Longmont
Office Evolution has more than 70 locations open, 140 units sold in markets across the country and is poised for further growth as the demand for affordable and safe, workspace close-to-home continues to rise.