Monday 08 July, 2013

Working at Home vs. Renting an Office – What to Consider

If you’re running your own business, you’ve got two options – work out of your home or rent an office somewhere. It makes obvious sense that working at home is the better option. You have maximum flexibility, you don’t have to pay rent, and you can be close to your family. But before you start setting up your home office, here are some things to think about.

How Much Rent Are We Talking about?

The first thing to consider is exactly how much you may be paying. You don’t need an office in a skyscraper downtown. Look into different neighborhoods and see what small offices spaces are going for. If you can find something reasonable, it may be well worth it to you to have a quiet place to work.

Piles of Boxes

If you work online and you don’t sell physical products, it’s much easier to work out of your house. If you have physical products to store, you’re going to store them in your basement somewhere and this can be a major hassle. If you don’t want to have boxes all over your house, renting an office space that doubles as storage is a better idea.

Commute Time

Depending on where your office will be located, you may have a long commute. This could add quite a bit to your overall work time. If you think of this as money you save, working at home becomes an even cheaper solution. For this reason, working at home greatly increases your productivity.

Kids and Other Headaches

Children are a major distraction for people who work at home. Even if you can keep them out of your office, they’re still around somewhere. If your kids are at school all day, this gives you the time you need to work. But especially if you have small children, you may want to think twice about trying to work around them.

Self-Discipline

Your kids may not be the only distraction. In order to work at home, you need the self-discipline to stay off Facebook and stay on task. If you have trouble resisting the urge to watch TV or you get easily distracted by friends or family members, an office will give you the solitude you need to cut out distractions and get work done.

Your Family’s Support

Working at home is much easier when you have the support and understanding of your families or housemates. They need to know that this is your work and respect your privacy when you need it. If they don’t, you’ll have problems. When you leave the house each day for work, you’re not under their scrutiny.

Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is always an issue for those who work at home. It’s hard to draw a clear line between your work and life when your work is in the other room. On the other hand, going off to an office clearly defines a work and non-work time.

A great way to test the waters is to start working part-time at home to see how it suits. Spend an hour or a few each evenings working and imagine doing it all day. You’ll get a sense of whether it will work or not.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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