Working from home may be most people’s idea of the dream scenario however running your business from home can have its disadvantages. You might find it hard to switch off and the original work-life balance you were seeking becomes more out of balance as the working day bleeds in to your home life. Family interruptions can become a bit of a distraction. It’s difficult to ensure your loved ones accept that your office is a no-go area and if you’re beginning to miss deadlines or are sick of your phone calls getting interrupted then perhaps it’s time to seek an office elsewhere. There are however, many things that you will have to consider before taking the plunge and hiring a commercial premises. Read on and make sure you are ready to make the move.
Have you really outgrown your space?
OK your mind may be made up but are you doing it for the right reasons? Do you really need to move? If your business has grown and you need to take on staff or if you have already taken on your first employee and you need more help but don’t have the room, then this is a valid reason to move. Perhaps to take your business to the next level and gain credibility you need to improve your professional appearance and a move to an office setting will help promote your business in the right direction. May be the nature of your business means you need to have more in-house or client meetings and therefore you need to have access to meeting space. Make sure you have looked at all your options before making the huge financial commitment of hiring an office space.
It may sound like a cliché but location is key to your move. You will need to choose your location carefully and consider what you want from your area. Are you looking for a buzzy, commercial location where you are surrounded by amenities such as banks and coffee shops? Or would you prefer the professionalism of a business park location where you are surrounded by start-ups, SME’s and like-minded people. Whatever you choose you need to take into account your commute. Are you planning to drive, if so what will the journey be like and will you have access to free parking? Or if you plan to use public transport is the journey straight forward? Location is key also to attracting the right level of skills into your business.
Lack of flexibility
There is a certain flexibility to working from home, after all that is why so many people do it or aspire to doing it! So one this you will find totally different when you work from an external office is the lack of flexibility. You will not be home to accept deliveries or to do impromptu child minding. Nor will you be able to sit at your desk in your PJ’s! An office commands a certain level of organisation and structure so you will have regular start and finish times just in case clients decide to pop in, you will no doubt have to dress smartly and you will have to factor commuting time into your daily routine.
Your overheads will increase considerably. Not just rent and rates as well as utilities but perhaps you will be expanding your team so there will be staff costs. You will have to equip your office with furniture, telephones, printers and computers. You will have to decide whether you will do the cleaning yourself or hire an office cleaner. Then there’s the IT infrastructure, if you don’t have an in-house IT person then you will need to consider the hiring of an IT support company. Don’t forget to account for your travel expenses and all those extras you tend by buy when working away from home such as lunch, drinks and coffees.
Now commuting is one of the main reasons that people want to work from home. So if you are planning a move out of your home office then you will have to accept there will be a daily commute back and forth to your new office. To make your life a little easier you may need to give extra consideration to the distance of your new office from your home. Before making the commitment, try out the journey. You don’t want to find out on the first morning travelling to your new office space that you are located within a traffic hot spot or that there are no direct bus or train routes.
Expanding your business and moving in to a professional office space is certainly and exciting step for any entrepreneur but there are other, more cost effective alternatives. Have you thought about hiring a space within a business centre where your utilities, furniture and WIFI connection are all set up for you and all you need to do is move and plug in? In managed office suites there is often a receptionist offering a greater level of service to your clients and you can use shared amenities such as meeting rooms, kitchens and loos. This option can be a stepping stone between your home office to your own premises and can help keep your overheads low whilst improving the credibility and professionalism of your organisation.