Moving on from the home office

We know. You wake up in the morning, stumble from the bathroom to the coffee, and then to your home office. Boom! You’re at work...no commute. You don’t even have to change out of your pajamas.  

Working out of a home office can be an amazing experience with numerous benefits…until it’s not. Then what? Co-working? Commercial Real Estate? The options can be daunting for a small business owner.

Recent studies show that the reason an entrepreneur moves on from the home office usually falls into three categories:

Lack of focus. Let’s face it, there are distractions in every workspace, but working from home can take it to a whole new level. Maybe it’s the weekend to-do list that spilled over into your work week. Or maybe it’s to serving as the backup babysitter on the regular. Whatever form the interruption takes, the likelihood of it affecting your bottom line via missed deadlines or alienated clients is a real threat.

Isolation. It is not a secret that humans are social creatures. According to a recent NBC article, the single most important ingredient for long-term happiness appears to be how and how often we connect with others. Working from a home office can sometimes mean zero interactions in a day—or sometimes a week. “Loneliness, especially on a chronic basis, can subject you to depression and career burnout,” states the article. 

Growth. A successful home business can be both a blessing and a curse. As your business grows, you will likely need more space, equipment, storage, and/or employees. Things can get crowded very quickly and can often be an unnerving challenge to overcome. The commercial real estate industry isn’t always the easiest landscape to navigate, especially for a small, growing business. How much space is too much? How fast are you growing? What can your business afford (remember to add in janitorial, supplies, maintenance, internet, utilities and taxes…among other things)?

Leaving the home office will have both benefits and pitfalls for any small business owner or entrepreneur. In most cases, the decision to leave the home office comes with the desire to increase the professionalism of your business. Of course, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and you’ll need to consider, not only a longer commute than a walk down the hall, but also increased overhead expenses. However, with the right work environment, you can minimize your expenses while growing your business in a supportive community. For example:

  • Intentional office suite communities offer up the ultimate in flexible leasing. Perhaps you are a one-person operation and need a small suite, but in a few months when you hire additional team members, you’ll need a larger space. At an Elevate Office, with no-term leases, a move like this doesn’t even warrant an address change. Could it get any easier than that?
     
  • Professional amenities for both you and your clients. With property managers stationed at the reception desk, member directories, and shared conference rooms, your business meetings can leave the coffee shops behind and upgrade to a professional conference space with blazing fast wifi—all included in your monthly rent.
     
  • Interact as little or as much as you want. Elevate Office communities include everything from virtual offices (address/mail collection), to co-working spaces with shared conferencing, to dedicated lockable office suites. When you need quiet time to focus on your work, shut your office door and get into it. Feeling isolated or need inspiration? Set up shop in the co-working space for a more extraverted experience. Additionally, organized community events help you meet other business owners in your building, learn about latest trends in small businesses, and grow your customer base.  It’s a symbiosis of growing small businesses sharing their views, problems, and opportunities. 

With nearly one in four Americans working from home at least part of the time in 2016—a figure that is only expected to grow as more people work remotely, modern workspaces like Elevate Office offer the flexibility, community, and professional environment to grow your business without the overwhelming commitment that usually comes with traditional commercial spaces.