Let’s face it working from home does have its perks. No commute, comfortable environment, usually a bit more flexibility in working hours and your pet sees more of you…
But after a while, it can become pretty tedious and dull living and working in the same space day after day. Work and private life can blur into one and losing that distinct separation between the two can start to impact you negatively. When does work stop and private time begin?
Maybe it’s time to freshen things up a bit, change the scenery and start to work away from home? If you fancy a new place to work what are some of your options?
This is a classic one, particularly for startup founders. Go into any city centre Starbucks (other coffee chains are available!) and you’ll see several people, with laptops open tapping away nursing a large coffee for hours on end.
It’s a good option if money is tight. It’s a place away from home, the coffee is good and most coffee shops are happy for you to work from there as long as you are actually buying drinks and not just sipping tap water all day.
Free always has its downsides… Being a public place it’s not secure, so you have the pain of either taking your laptop with you to the toilet or leaving it and hoping it doesn’t get nabbed before you get back!
It can be noisy… what do you expect it’s a coffee shop!
Plus of course, you might not find space when you want to and power sockets can be sparse.
If you haven’t heard of a hot desk this is a kind of halfway house between a full office and a coffee shop.
Pioneered by companies like WeWork (shh don’t mention to IPO!) you pay a few hundred pounds a month and in exchange for that, you get access to the communal workspaces within the building.
These are usually desk areas that you can sit at to work from. They have power sockets and are designed to be used for a few hours.
You don’t get a private space but you can work from anywhere in the communal area and sometimes you’ll get access to a locker to store some of your gear while you hit the gym or grab lunch.
The downside is, they can get busy, you aren’t guaranteed a great space and you still have the challenge of leaving your stuff in a semi-public area when you use the toilets.
On the plus side, they are relatively inexpensive, you can usually bring a guest or two (so you can impress clients with meetings) and you get access to any of the amenities, like coffee and tea.
Overall, a good place to get away from home for a few hours a day without breaking the bank. You get the chance to network and meet with some fellow entrepreneurs and having somewhere specific to go for work can really get you in a productive mood.
This isn’t dissimilar to a hot desk, except rather than having no specific place to work from and just sitting anywhere that’s free like you do with a hot desk you actually get a specific desk that is private to you.
It’s often still in one big room, but very likely sectioned off from the main area and you’ll sometimes get a lockable drawer to keep your valuables in and be allowed to leave items on your desk like a PC or an extra screen to use with your laptop.
This option is usually a bit more expensive than a hot desk but not as pricey as a dedicated office.
You get the benefits of a bit more privacy and a space that’s yours, but you’re still in a communal area. Swings and roundabouts!
I think we all know what an office is… it’s a private space that only you have access to that allows you to keep all your stuff secure and untouched when you aren’t there.
Privacy is usually good (although watch for thin partition walls!)
You can hold private meetings, bring in employees and all the other benefits you’d expect from an office.
The obvious drawback is the cost. They can get expensive, with price going up as the size gets larger and the position improves (offices with windows command a higher price).
For some businesses an office is the only way to go, you need that space and you need the security. For others, a hot desk might just fit the bill.
As a good accountant… we always say keep an eye on the numbers. Sure, an office sounds sexy, but if you’re a startup do you really need to be spending £2k a month on space for you and your co-founder to work from? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t… you’re the business owner, you call the shots!
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