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Jul 04

Home or Off-site Office?

Posted by: Steve Marr

Tagged in: Untagged 

Aaron asked me whether he should work from home or obtain a small, independent office. I asked Aaron to list the pluses and minuses of each possibility. Here is his list:

Off-site office:

            +  Closer to customers

            +  Faster Wi-Fi

            +  Ability to receive mail

            +  An independent address for Google 

            +  Not isolated

            -  Higher cost

            -  Longer commute

Home Office

            +  Lower cost

            +  No commute time

            +/-  Available to family

            -  Isolating

I gave Aaron my perspective about this issue. I worked most of the time from my home office; however, I have a small office in town which I use when I am meeting others and have extra time I don't want to waste or use Starbucks as an alternate office. It gives me a place to meet clients so that I don’t always have to find a coffee shop or ask to meet at their place of business.

The feeling of isolation is common with those who work at home.  I suggested that he join a service group or an organization like Toastmasters to combat this feeling and connect with other business leaders. Good networking is usually good business.

My office in town is in a small building with a common entrance for six small offices that share a bathroom. I don't need much space nor do I want to pay for much. This location meets my needs without running up my bill.

If I needed something nicer for customers and clients, I would get an upscale location, a class A space. For now, I am fine with a class B space.  I have worked out of a home office for many years and still do 80% of my work outside of my small, rented space. 

Aaron asked about getting a shared office space with an open concept where others would be connecting with clients at the same time. My perspective is that sharing open space with others creates a sense of confusion for your clients.  It’s not much different from meeting at a coffee shop.

Furthermore, Aaron explained that if he wanted a location to make a positive statement to his customers; he could share an office which provided for a receptionist, a small conference room and perhaps some shared office equipment. While the cost would be higher, he could present an enhanced image to clients. Everything costs money.  The key is to analyze what the need would be and act accordingly.

Paul wrote, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:19, NIV) In many situations there's not always one right answer for whether an outside office is better than a home office or what office you should select. The key is to focus on what you need, not what you might like.  Need should always drive prudent decision.  When you meet your need, you will find your most economical solution.

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