Remote work is the future, with regular work-from-home employee and contractor roles growing at a 140% rate over the past decade.
However, when you have the capability to work remotely, you may wonder whether you should set up shop at home, in a coffee shop or somewhere completely different.
It’s actually easier and more convenient than you might expect to rent a small office space, rather than working from home or floating from Starbucks to Starbucks. We’ve compiled a list with a few of the top benefits of having your own office space.
1. It’s more economical and multi-functional than you might expect.
Many people feel concerned about being saddled with an expensive long-term office location when they think, “But I can work from home for free.” However, free can be a relative term in this situation.
Consider the things you may need to add to a home office to make it workable, including squeezing new office furniture into a small or crowded home, or spending additional money to up your WiFi speed.
And, consider whether you may need to meet with clients on a regular basis in order to be successful. If you plan regular update meetings, document reviews or sales closings, it can make sense to have an office with conference space available for your use.
Otherwise, you may have to rent a space a la carte for each official meeting, which can add up and which won’t net you any additional benefits like visibility or networking.
2. You can create a clearer division between work and personal matters.
Everyone who works from home feels like they’ll be more productive on both business and personal matters.
However, the reality is, you can quickly start to feel that you’re losing the opportunity to relax or accomplish things in either space. Working from home, you may feel tempted to handle a small issue that will “just take a minute” – like throwing some laundry in the washer.
However, from there, you may spot a few items to tidy up in your utility room, then remember you need to call a handyman to help with a leak; a brief break in your work efforts can quickly spiral to spending half a day on unrelated tasks.
When you’re in an office space, you can give yourself permission to focus and put your work first. Then, you can do the same with your personal life at home. By prioritizing in each space, you’ll maximize your efficiency and reduce the stress you experience by trying to multitask and overextend yourself.
3. All your work stuff is in one place.
There can be benefits to being a digital nomad and not investing in a dedicated office space. You can feel free to wake up and work in pajamas from your balcony or to connect with other industrious folks who also haunt the local coffee shop.
However, the downside is that you can’t be as efficient if you’re moving from place to place.
It’s typically not possible to carry around your computer, a printer, a scanner, your notebooks, pens and office supplies (the list goes on), which means you may have to backtrack some between locations to make sure you’ve got everything covered.
With a dedicated office location, you can have “a place for everything and everything in its place,” so that when you sit down to work you can focus completely on the task at hand and maximize your productivity.
4. You have the opportunity to generate awareness of your business and grow your referrals.
Having a dedicated office space puts you in the daily sphere of other business people. For instance, if you’re an accountant working in a building surrounded by other small businesses, you may be looking at your next group of potential clients.
Or, you may be able to collaborate with your office neighbors to offer services that complement each other; marketing professionals and graphic designers, as an example, can team up to offer combined services and greater value to clients.
5. It’s better on your body.
This item is pretty subjective, because it depends on your personal set up. However, when you work from home or from a coffee shop or library, you may not make sure you’re taking good care of your body or employing proper ergonomic support.
It can be easy to slump in a chair of the wrong height, or even to spend the day typing on the couch or in bed, all of which can wreak havoc on your posture and muscles.
When you have an office space, you can be purposeful in choosing equipment and furnishings that minimize strain on your body and eyes. And, from another practical perspective, if you office in a beautiful and/or walkable area (like our offices at the Lawley Building), you may feel more interested in getting out, tracking a few steps and enjoying a little fresh air on your lunch break.
If you’re wondering whether an office space might be right for you, there are plenty of great office space options in vibrant areas around Buffalo. And, there just might be some great fellow tenants in your building (personally, we’re all about working near Spot Coffee!).