Choosing an Office
You love the idea of having your own office space outside of your home. It makes you feel like a true professional, having a key to your own office and a separate key to your home. But, the thought of shoving your family out the door in the morning and then getting right to work has its own appeal, too.
How do you decide? Which option is best? Home office or outside office?
Working from Home
Think about the expense of an office outside of your home. First, there’s the time you lose looking for an office. Then, a deposit will be required. Of course, you’ll most likely want to renovate the space, or at the very least decorate and fill it with furniture. Now you’ll need additional insurance coverage, supplies, equipment, and more.
Is the hassle worth it?
Well, what are the cons to working from your home? Here are a few:
Distractions are everywhere you turn. From your TV to the mess left from this morning’s breakfast, there is something everywhere you turn that could distract you from doing what’s most important.
Not everyone will understand the situation. Often, those who have no personal experience with working from home don’t understand that by working from home, you are doing exactly what you’d be doing from an outside office, except from home. That can be frustrating if it’s someone who might place demands on your time.
It can be hard to carve out your own space. If you don’t have a spare room that can be converted into an office, not having a space dedicated to you can be problematic.
You need to be disciplined. Because you are in your home with all of those distractions it would be very easy to give in to your favorite show or that clutter that’s driving you crazy. Or, you might decide that you can put things off for another day.
What about renting office space? After that con list above about working from home, I don’t blame you for considering office space outside of your home.
So, what are the cons of renting or purchasing office space?
Added expense. This one is self-explanatory, isn’t it? You’ll have rent (or an additional loan payment), utilities, trash pickup, supplies, furniture, equipment costs, and so on. This is money that you can use to grow your business.
Commute. The amount of time you spend driving to and from is time you could be spending on your business or with your family. Even five minutes down the road is 10 minutes a day you wouldn’t be commuting if you worked from your home office.
There are many cons to either option. For me, it makes sense to work from my home. My work doesn’t require a location, and I’d rather cut the cost of having an outside office. So, a few pros for you:
Working from Home
- No commute.
- Access to kitchen for healthier lunches.
- Only pay one utility bill instead of two.
- Only pay on your home mortgage.
- You don’t need two printers, another ream of paper, another copier, etc.
- Increase your work flexibility.
- Invest directly back into your business.
Renting an Office
- Dedicated work space.
- Complete separation from personal and professional.
- Meeting space.
- Fewer distractions.
- Set work hours that are easily followed.
- Clear boundaries between professional and personal.
- Possibly more space for equipment.
- A storefront that encourages local awareness.
Those are a few of the positives for each option. Conducting business from your home is not difficult, though, if you’re interested. Start with a reliable computer and internet service. A cell phone is all you need so you don’t even need to worry about an additional home line (if you still have a home phone). You can subscribe to a fax service for a nominal fee if fax is something you use consistently. Otherwise, a printer/scanner/copier combo should be exactly what you need.
But, I’m worried about my business invading my personal life if I work from home. What about that?
Then start with boundaries. It’s much easier than you think once you’ve established the ground rules.
Organizing Your Life
Whether you’ve decided to work from home or rent a location, boundaries are so important to successfully organizing your life. Set your hours and schedule time off. Make it a rule that you don’t read or answer emails or phone calls on certain days or after a certain time. Set the boundaries and then stick with them.
And once you’ve established boundaries, then it’s time to implement systems. Develop a system that works for you—for you. What works for me or someone else may drive you crazy.
Developing an organizational system is extremely important for any business, but it’s especially important if you’ll be working from your home office. Carve out dedicated space some place in your home. Then, organize it! Set yourself up with lots of storage space, desk space, and file folders. An economical solution to storing files is purchasing a storage container large enough to hang files and add folders. Plan for more than your current capacity. Be ready for growth.
Working from Home Tips
If you’re planning to ditch the rented office and work from home, then set the right tone. Working from home requires discipline. You’ve set your working hours—stick to them!
Setting the tone is important. It’s all part of a mindset that will help you kick work into gear and get things done. Start the day by making your bed. Put your dirty clothes in the hamper. Take a shower, put on nice clothes, and be ready for your day as if you might meet a new client any moment. Just these actions will help to set the tone for your entire day.
Set time aside every day for lunch and a break. Taking care of yourself is important to prevent burnout. You’ll also discover that you’re more productive when you prioritize your needs.
Most of all, enjoy it. You are the master of your universe. Revel in it.
Signature Virtual Assistance is a full-service virtual assistance firm, helping businesses like yours with virtually every need. Business owners and entrepreneurs choose Signature Virtual Assistance to free up their time, reduce their stress, and accelerate their business growth. Contact Lorie today.