Renting an office is the best of both worlds.
By nothingbutnet, May 20 2015 04:44AM
Working from home is an appealing aspect for many people, if not a necessity. For example, if you have young children at home someone will have to supervise them, but at the same time, you may not be able to afford to take time off of work or to arrange someone to look after them. Or maybe you’re starting up your own business, and diving headfirst into the wonderful world of entrepreneurship to make your own fortune.
Even if it isn’t necessary for you to work at home, there are still plenty of reasons why you may want to. If you possess the self-discipline and motivation to do so, working at home can work wonders for your efficiency. Firstly, you set your own hours. If you are a night owl who likes to stay up to 3 in the morning, but are miserable in the morning as a result, you can choose to work at night. At the same time, the amount of time per day that you need to work is flexible - if you are on a hot streak, you can work more than 8 hours, but if you aren’t feeling it, you can work less and take a break. Secondly, you can choose the environment that you work in. Many people do not find working in a grey cubicle under fluorescent lighting particularly conducive to their work ethic. If you’re working at home, you can work wherever you feel most comfortable.
Working from home also removes some of the distractions of an office (albeit replacing them with other distractions). When you’re surrounded by people, you’re going to want to talk to them, and they’re going to want to talk to you. These desires may not overlap, and someone looking for a chat on their break can distract you from your work, or vice versa. Not working at an office also means you can avoid some ‘time-suck’ activities that plague offices everywhere, such as the one o’clock meeting where half the people are late and even when they do show up nothing productive happens because Greg from Accounting is too busy talking about how he went golfing on Saturday even though nobody cares and it makes you want to strangle him with a phone cord.
Finally, not working at an office removes many of the hidden costs that are associated with doing so. Eating out, car maintenance, parking, buying and maintaining professional attire are all costs that are required for working out of home. Working from home can remove or alleviate these expenses.
That does not mean that working from home is free from its share of problems. The distractions of co-workers are replaced by other, often worse, distractions. With no one to look over your shoulder, you may find it all too easy for you spend your time surfing the internet or watching “background noise” TV. Working at home will let you be near your children, but your children’s schedule probably doesn’t make allowances for your work schedule. It is difficult to get into a hardworking mindset when your kid has woken up for the seventh time in two hours and you feel like you’re this close to losing your mind.
Working from home can also put stress on your relationships and affect your social life. If there are other people who are home full-time as well you are probably going to start driving each other crazy, because you’re not spending any time apart. You may also find yourself losing contact with your friends. Working in an office means forces you to interact with people, and you will be friendly with these people - if you work alone, you won’t make any friends. And if you do decide to adopt your own schedule, this might conflict with your friends who do work normal hours. What is ‘after-work drinks’ for your friends, is ‘I’m busy working’ for you, whereas your ‘after work drinks’ is 4 in the morning.
Spending all this time at home isn’t healthy either. Telecommuting means you don’t have to go outside, and you’re going to spending most of your time sitting down. What little exercise you got at your office, is now gone, since the furthest you will have to walk at home is from your workspace to your fridge. It can also affect your mental health - working at home can make it difficult to differentiate between work and home, which can cause you to be constantly thinking about work, or even overworking.
Rather than working from home, an alternative that is worth considering is renting office space. This has all the benefits of working from home (setting your own hours, working in an environment you find comfortable etc.) whilst also removing many of the negatives associated with working at home. Renting office space is relatively inexpensive, and it allows you to get out of the house and work in a dedicated area that you find comfortable, whilst also allowing you to interact with other like-minded people. And since you are choosing where to work, you can find a place that is close to home, so that you can get home quickly if you need to.
Renting office space is like working from home, but better.
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