Working from home sounds like a dream come true for some, but it isn’t always the best choice for your business. Which option suits your needs best?
Would a home office or a distant one work better for your business? This is a question with a different answer for each person. Your work style and habits, the type of business you run and the budget you have available to you all affect this decision, one that only you can make.
Some businesses thrive at home, but others require more space than a corner of the living room, while business owners differ, as well. Take a close look at how much space you need and what kind of capital you have available to you before choosing one or the other.
Home Based Office Pros and Cons
Working from home has many advantages, but what people often miss is that there are some disadvantages, as well. Only you can decide if this is the right choice for your business.
When it comes to pros, there are many. Here are a just a few of the biggest reasons you may consider a home based office:
- Save money from eating out
- Save on commuting, gas money, etc.
- Choose your own hours
- Save on child care/being there for your children
- Ability to work in your pajamas if you prefer
Like any decision, however, there are downsides to this decision. Keep in mind that being around your children all day, while a lovely thought, usually means you won’t get much work done unless you hire a nanny or babysitter. It’s also very tempting to wash dishes or do other housework when you’re not really in the mood to work, something that doesn’t help you meet deadlines. There are many distractions at home and this can be quite detrimental to your business.
Apart from distractions, the other main hazard of working from home is the fact that you will have access to your work at all hours of the day or night. For those who work uncommon hours, this can be a good thing, but it’s also tempting to work longer hours, raising stress levels, causing burnout and even making it hard to bond with your family.
Working in a home office is often best for a new business that hasn’t yet started to earn. If you don’t have a lot of capital, it may be a better option to set up a workspace at home where you don’t have to pay rent. If possible, keep this workspace separate from the rest of the house, making it easier to shut the door against distractions during working hours and against work during off hours.
Separate Office Pros and Cons
Not everyone will want to work at home and there are quite a few options available for anyone interested in starting their business outside the home. From renting a complete office to just one cubicle in a public office space, you will find that there are many choices to suit your business needs.
As with a home office, there are a number of positive things about having an outside office:
- Fewer distractions
- Ability to walk away at the end of the day
- Interaction with other adults
While you do pay rent, this can be minimized by opting for a shared office or going very small. The advantage of being able to work away from the distractions of home and leave work behind at the end of the day is sometimes worth the extra money.
Other cons include the need for childcare, increased food costs if you eat out and the less flexible hours.
For any business that needs a more professional atmosphere, the outside office is a good choice. This not only gives you a better place to meet with clients than your living room or Starbucks, it is also an excellent way to prevent a business with inventory from taking over your home.
For some, working both inside the home and outside are good options and they opt to do both. Depending on your business, you may be able to move back and forth between locations. This is a particularly good choice for parents who wish to be around their children, but also need some time to really focus entirely on their work.
More and more cities have walk-in offices these days, where you can book a certain number of days a month, or simply go in on a whim and pay for the day or the hours you spend there. These provide an office environment for anyone needing a place to sit down and focus, but are flexible enough that you don’t have to worry about paying a full month’s rent or being there every day. Instead, you can work from home as it suits you, or choose to take some time to work in an office environment. Obviously, this option is best for those with portable or online businesses.
Which choice is best for you? Only you can decide this after taking a good look at your own business.