Many budding business owners fixate on the idea of having their own office to work from. Some people may even take out huge loans to buy their own office. Whilst there are advantages to having your own premises to work from, your average startup can most likely survive without an office. Here are just three alternative options to having your own office.
Share an office
Shared offices for rent are ideal for small businesses that still want an official place to be based. There are many different types of shared offices. One type involves having a part of an office that is permanently yours. Another company could be renting this section of the building out or it could simply be building in which lots of different companies work under one roof. Meanwhile, there’s a second type of shared office in which each day you rent a desk. This could be a different desk each day – such offices are better for solo business owners and freelancers.
A shared office allows you to still socialise with people and gives you professional premises to work from for meeting clients and housing employees. Some people however many find it distracting working alongside lots of people if their work involves a lot of concentration. You also need to be careful of sharing an office with a rival business in which there may be a clash of interests. By researching into shared offices in your area you can find one that it is best suited to your needs.
Work from home
One of the most popular options is to work from home. This can eliminate the huge costs of energy bills and premises rent as well as cutting out the commute. This makes it perfect for anyone starting a business on a budget – all you need is a computer and a phone.
Ideally you want your own space in your home to convert into an office. Working from your living room or bedroom could result in your personal life blurring with your work life. You can also claim some of your rent/mortgage on expenses by working from home – more so if you have your own home office which is not also used for domestic purposes.
You may not want to take employees around your house, which can be a downside to working from home. There is always the option to hire remote employees – they can work from their home and you can communicate via video-communication and share files on a cloud server. This may be suitable for some jobs, but for others that require constant communication between team members, being based in different locations could prove less efficient.
As for meeting with clients, this could also prove an obstacle. Many will be willing to talk via video communication, but others may want to meet in person in which case you don’t want to take them to your home. In these situations, it could be worth using the ‘coffice’ approach…
Work from a ‘coffice’
Many business owners use a coffee bar as an office (known jokily as a ‘coffice’). This allows you to get out of the house and away from the distractions of home life whilst still not having to pay the rent of a shared office. You can use it as a place to meet clients and you can even hold meetings here with employees – plus you’ve got coffee and snacks to help motivate you.
Working from a coffice does have its drawbacks like other forms of premises. Whilst you can get away from the distractions of home, you may have the buzz of people socialising to contend with. You also aren’t guaranteed a table to work at. On top of this, it’s not a space you can personalise.
Coffee bars are best used in conjunction with a home office or shared office. Your home office or shared office can serve as a base to work from, but when you want to meet clients or simply want a change of environment you can make use of coffee bar as your second office. You may even be able to find a coffee place that caters specifically to people working – major cities often have hybrid coffee bar/shared offices that allow you to rent a table and get coffee when you need it.