If you’re self-employed or own you own small business you’ve probably considered moving work away from your home and renting an office or perhaps, hiring a co-working space such as WeWork.
But perhaps you find a quieter atmosphere distracting and long for an office to work in, so your ‘work stuff’ is not cluttering up your home. Maybe you’re trying to save money on office rent.
Neil Debenham, a business consultant, set up his six-figure turnover business from his kitchen dining table before renting a small office in the city. Here are his tips for considering where to work.
Neil Debenham, a business consultant operates globally, working with a range of different companies and due to the nature of his business has to flexible on working from hotel rooms, corporate environments and on the move.
Some people may find that renting an office isn’t for them, especially if they find it’s taking up time that would be more valuably spent working from home. You could also spend that fuel money on other areas of your business, such as supplies.
Neil Debenham said: “For me it wasn’t particularly about costs, it was more time. Time to commute in each day gave me some time to relax after a frantic time getting the kids up and out. It gave me a chance to plan ahead and was a structured beginning each day, which is what I needed back then.”
Neil Debenham said “Convenience and continuity is everything when operating a business and work/life balance is important so when I’m away from home or in work mode, every available minute counts”
Renting an office costs money and so does the fuel it costs to get there. If you are in any kind of debt, it’s advisable to pay this money off before you incur more costs.
Working from home will save on both these pointers and you can also claim money on your tax return, against your lighting and heating bills.
Renting an office space may give you extra perks, for example, discounts to a local gym or cheaper parking in town. Perhaps you might get money off local restaurants and bars. So, it may be a case of weighing up those savings and what it would cost you to set up camp.
You can also reap the benefits of having a prime location address and use additional services the office has to offer such as printing, wifi or tea and coffee-making facilities.
Renting an office on the edge of business districts will be much cheaper than in the heart of cities, which is also worth considering. You could also book conference rooms cheaper if you needed them.
For many, there’s certainly an appeal to working at home if you’ve spent years working in an office, including starting and the ending the day when you want. This gives you flexibility to pick up children from school or childcare or pick them up early if they’re ill!
Neil Debenham says: “The best working situation depends on the type of business you run, and your personality! You may be someone who needs structure and so an office environment with fixed opening times may suit you better. This was definitely for me.
If you’re more of an, ‘I work better in the mornings and evenings’ person, a home-based business may be more your scene.”
You would not be required to dress formally if you hired an office space, so that is always worth a consideration. However, if you are meeting clients in your office you may wish to appear smart!
Working from home means you can work in your pyjamas all day if you wanted. But you may want to change that top for a Zoom conference.
Consider a co-working space
Co-working spaces are a great and very affordable option if you’ve just started up your business and can’t justify the rent payments just yet. You could pay monthly and some even use an ad-hoc service for slightly more per day.
Such spaces also have rooms you can use to make conference calls or ask your clients to meet you so you don’t need to feel like everyone is listening in on your chats! Some of these spaces also offer incentives such as free coffee and breakfast.
If you’re still unsure of what to do, you could always ask for two or three-month trial to see how it works out. This way you’ll get a good understanding of any pitfalls you might not have considered.