Many people who trudge to an office everyday dream of being self-employed and working from home. A two-second commute from the bedroom to the home office, kitchen table or wherever you set up shop—the ability to plan your whole day and call the shots. Working from home is definitely convenient and it has its perks, but depending on your personality, habits, and the nature of your work, renting office space may be something to consider to run your business more successfully.
For many people, the act of leaving their home and entering the office produces a mental shift that puts them in work mode. As a freelance writer, I would sometimes work in the library rather than my house and I often found it made me more productive and I was able to concentrate better. The library was like my office and I buckled down and did what I needed to do.
Being surrounded by all the comforts and convenience of home is what is appealing to many about working from home, but it can also be the downfall for some. I have spent many a day writing articles while cuddled up on my couch with my cats with the TV on in the background and it is nice. I definitely get distracted at times, but I do not have a lot of other responsibilities competing for my time so, I always manage to get everything done when it needs to be. But, if you find your inability to turn off the TV or not play with your dog for two hours is interfering with prospecting for clients, you might consider taking your work outside the home.
If the nature of your work has you meeting with clients face-to-face frequently, having an office space can give a greater air of professionalism and stability to your operation. This is especially true the more ‘’professional’’ and expensive your services are. If you are a self-employed attorney, it probably looks better to meet in an office than the local Starbucks.
Renting an office space shared by other self-employed people is not only a great way to establish a sense of community and get some social interaction, it may help you professionally. You can meet people who may help you land new clients; you can trade information and tips that will help you be more successful in your business. Working at home can feel isolating for some, especially if you are more social.
Rented office space may give you access to technological perks you would not have at home, such as video-teleconferencing, which is beneficial if you have clients overseas or have to set up a meeting with people in different locations. Versions of this technology and other kinds are usually available online for your own computer but they may not be as high of quality.
Whether or not you need your own office space is really dependent on many individual factors and plenty of self-employed people do just fine without one. If you do decide to get space, you need to consider several things to make sure you know what you are getting with your lease payment and what you would need to take care of yourself, such as whether or not utiltities and telecommunication services are included, what type of notice is required to terminate the lease, how mail is delivered, is parking available and it is an extra fee. If your business is just starting out, you may want to hold off on extra expenses unless it is something you can truly afford.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys writing pieces about working from home and being self-employed. Check out AustinTenantandAdvisors.com if you are looking to lease Austin office space.