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Where will you work?

These days, technology can reliably connect us regardless of physical distance or separation. This remote accessibility is great for business because it affords us tons of flexibility with everything from hiring employees to deciding on an office space.

Without the limitations of geography, some of today’s most prominent and successful businesses have employees working from all across the globe.

You need to consider a few things before you decide what kind of office space will work best for you:

The remote, work from home office

Remote offices are quickly becoming a huge trend, and it’s easy to see why. They allow you to expand easily, offer tons of flexibility to your employees, and they save you a lot of money.

Whether your team is spread throughout the world or just prefers to work remotely, there are awesome tools and services that can help your team stay connected, work together, and run smoothly.

Working in different time zones

The option to utilize a remote office has provided young companies with huge opportunities and possibilities that were previously impossible. However, there are some unique challenges that arise from it, too. Today, you may have a developer in the United States and a freelancer in Australia. Working across different time zones can make it difficult to keep in touch and manage your team.

Managing a team across multiple time zones complicates things, but implementing a few easy tips can make a world of difference.

Working from home benefits

There are a ton of varying benefits to working from home. Here are some of the most notable:

Flexibility ─ Working from home affords you boundless flexibility compared to being in an office. You can easily make your own schedule, walk the dog, run out to get some milk, or pick up the kids from school.

No commute ─ Did you know that people with shorter commutes report the most happiness with their lives? A commute that involves walking downstairs to your home office is a huge win.

Environmentally friendly ─ Since you won’t be driving or taking public transportation to the office, your commute is great for the environment. When a whole team works from home, it’s a huge benefit.

More productivity ─ Many people find that they are more productive when working from home rather than a loud and distracting office environment.

Quieter work environment ─ No matter what they’re talking about, most office environments are full of noisy coworkers, especially with all of today’s open layouts. Some people thrive amid all that noise, but if you prefer a quieter work space, it’s a lot easier to find at home.

Great for kids and pets ─ If you have to take care of kids or pets, the flexibility of working from home can be a huge blessing, especially with older kids.Be careful, though. Taking care of children is a full-time job. You can’t expect to do it all on top of a forty-hour work week.

Inexpensive ─ Remote employees cut down on overhead because the company won’t have to spend money on desks, office space leases, or electric bills. A remote office is a seriously economic option. It’s also inexpensive for employees since they don’t have to pay transportation costs.

Disadvantages of working from home

Despite all of the benefits of working from home, there are a few drawbacks that you should consider:

Being alone ─ Working from home is isolating, and it can get lonely. People often report missing having coworkers around and having trouble finding new social outlets.

Low external motivation ─ A home office can lack the things necessary to get you motivated. Your telly is right there, calling to you. Not having coworkers around can make it difficult to sit down and get to work.

Distracting ─ Depending on your personality, working from home can be just as distracting as a noisy, open-plan office. You may be surrounded by people who aren’t in the work mindset you’re trying to find (like your family). Plus, without anyone around to monitor and tell you what to do, it’s easy to find yourself watching Netflix instead of working, which isn’t great for your productivity if you couldn’t tell.

Hard to connect with coworkers ─ When your coworkers are spread across the country or globe, it’s hard to develop relationships and connect about work-related topics. There will always be people (and you may be one of them) that are just more comfortable connecting in person.

Trouble staying organised ─ Love them or hate them, meetings and managers are a big part of how we stay organised in the office. Without them, you’re on your own, and it can be difficult to organise yourself and your team, especially when members are spread across time and space.

Others’ perceptions ─ Many people who don’t do it have trouble understanding working from home. They might assume you don’t have to work as hard as they do. This isn’t really a disadvantage, but a negative nonetheless. Some people just may not understand your choice.

How to work from home: Office space, guidelines, and productivity for remote workers

You know it’s going to be harder to motivate yourself without someone looking over your shoulder. Sitting in your pyjamas on the couch is not exactly conducive to driving motivation.

Here are some ways you can increase your efficiency whilst you’re working from an untraditional office environment:

Do whatever it takes for you to be your most productive, awesome self. Whether that means working flexible hours or a rigid schedule, always working from a dedicated space or mix it up from time to time.

“I sometimes take myself down to my local coffee shop, just for a change of scenery.” – Jen Smith of The Freedom Leap

Working from home with kids

If you have kids, you face some unique challenges when it comes to working from home. Older kids can fend for themselves as far as riding the bus home from school and getting started on homework, but younger children can require a lot from you. Finding the perfect balance can seem impossible.

Here are some tips to help you get there:

Kids definitely make working from home a little harder, but some small adjustments can make a world of difference.

“My most important 'investment' at this time was a set of decent, comfortable headphones. Being able to switch off the background noise in the family home allowed me to detach myself from the distractions.” – Liam O’Dowd of Pop Digital

Coworking spaces

Sometimes you just need to get out of the house in order to get work done. In this case, coworking spaces are a great option. You can rent a desk, office, or conference room depending on what you need.

Coworking spaces are awesome if you do contract work or travel frequently. You can always find a place to temporarily plug-in or hold an official meeting in an unfamiliar city.

Coworking creates a unique, collaborative environment with so many different types of businesses sharing a space. This can help to combat the isolating effect of working from home, and it provides tons of options for unlikely, but beneficial, collaboration.

“The space is amazing for collaboration. It's a great opportunity to pitch your ideas to like-minded people, and get useful feedback.” – Herman Satkauskas of AirSorted

Most coworking spaces are quite affordable. They usually offer flexible plans and don’t lock you in to require lengthy contracts.

It will vary by location and the space itself, but here are a few examples of prices and options:

  FORWARD SPACE TECHHUB THE GUILD
City Frome, Somerset London Bath
Cost of shared space £200/month £275/month £240/month
Cost of private space £250/month £8.5 per ft2 £299/month
Cost of deluxe private space £300/month £8.5 per ft2  
Benefits and amenities Meeting Rooms, Resource Library, Event Space, 100Mbps Superfast Fibre, Kitchen and Lounge Area Meeting Rooms, WiFi, Free Events, Endless Coffee, Access to TechHub's network Meeting Rooms, WiFi, Unlimited tea and coffee, "The Lab" quiet space, "The Engine Room"

Standard office spaces

Just because there’s been a rise in remote offices lately doesn’t mean it’s for you. Not everyone is comfortable working remotely, and you may feel the need for a concrete and tangible HQ.

If you’re thinking about buying or leasing a place of your own, here are a few things to consider before making a commitment:

Renting versus buying

Buying your own office space requires a larger investment up-front, but there are no landlords to deal with. And once your lease is up, you won’t be at the mercy of the current market. There’s also a chance, however, that you buy a space and then need to expand to a larger one. You may not be prepared to deal with the complications and taxes that come with owning a commercial property.

Investigating

There are a lot of different facets that will contribute to the actual cost of your space. You want to be as informed as possible about energy, service, maintenance, and tax costs. Don’t be afraid to ask your agent about the typical costs of similar buildings for your reference.

Knowing your needs

In order to choose a space that truly fits you and your business, it’s important to know what your needs are. If your company will need a backup generator in case of power outages or needs extra space for a lunch room, you’ll want to take this into account during your search.

Location

Do you want to be in a bustling city or a suburban residential area? Urban office spaces can be super convenient and exciting, but they aren’t the only option. The suburbs have their advantages, too, including easier parking, lower rental costs, and room to expand.

Costs

Running an office will come with costs, which are variable depending on a lot of important factors. How many employees will be working there? Do your operations require a ton of electricity? How much are your insurances per month? These aspects and more will contribute to the financial ramifications of a physical office space. That’s why it’s absolutely vital to do your research and compare options before you make any commitments.

Other entrepreneurs and small business owners may have already experienced what you’re going through. Tap into their knowledge and insights through trade association, entrepreneur support groups, and similar industries’ online message boards and blogs. These people can be invaluable resources for you.

Other unique arrangements

Do none of these office options seem like a good fit for you? Don’t worry ─ you’re an entrepreneur! The glamour of starting your own business applies here since you have unlimited flexibility when it comes to where you’ll work.

You can always keep a look out for local colleges and universities that offer public access to their libraries and extra rooms. Your local college or university is a good place to start, so don’t be shy about asking if they have any extra space.

Some businesses even offer their spare desks to entrepreneurs in need. In the entrepreneurial spirit of coworking, plenty of companies (like us!) will open their free space to other small business owners.