Working From Home vs. Renting An Office: When To Switch
The best working situation depends on your personality, the type of business you run, and what your business goals are. There are pros and cons to both solutions, so it really comes down to what’s important to you.
This article will provide insights to the benefits of both working remotely and having office space, so that you can determine which solution is right for you and your business.
The Debate: Work From Home Or Rent An Office?
Most people have strong opinions when it comes to whether they want to work from home and offer remote jobs or rent an office. But how do you know when it’s time to switch from working at home to renting work space?
For many people, there’s a certain appeal to being able to work from home. This is especially true if you’ve spent years working in an office environment. When you work from home, you have the freedom to start and end your workday when you’d like.
For example, you have more flexibility for things like working out or dropping your kids off at school. And you may find that the solitude of working from home by yourself allows you to increase productivity.
But for others, the reality of the work from home lifestyle is very different. Many people struggle to maintain the kind of structure that an office environment provides.
Flexibility is great, but without structure you may become unproductive and fail to meet your goals. And if you have family members who are home during the day, you may find working from home more distracting than going into an office.
Ultimately, you may find that working remotely is prohibiting business growth. However, let’s first examine some of the factors that you should consider prior to making a decision.
Before you decide whether to work from home or rent an office, you’ll need to consider what kind of commute you’ll be willing to make. Here are a few things to consider about both setups.
Commuting When Working From Home
Obviously, your commute will be minimal when you work from home. The extent of your “commute” will likely be from your bedroom to your in-home office.
This lack of a commute can free up a lot of time in your workday. You may find that you have more time to work out in the morning or enjoy breakfast with your family. Or, you may just be able to complete more work throughout the course of your day.
However, some people dislike the lack of a commute. Many people enjoy the process of commuting to work because they find that it gives them valuable time to think and start their day on the right foot. Others simply like getting out of the house, and would feel too confined working from home every day.
Commuting When Renting An Office
If you’re renting an office, then you’re going to have some kind of a commute every day. The length of your commute will depend on how far it is from your home.
Commuting to an office space can be a great way to enjoy the best parts of working at an office and working from home. You’ll start your day in a structured way, but this time, you’re the one calling the shots. You decide when you go into work and when your workday ends.
Still, some people end up disliking the time it takes to commute to their office space every day. You may find that commuting costs you valuable time that you could be spending doing other things, or money that could be spent on other areas of your business.
2. Workflow Flexibility
Workflow flexibility is the reason many people seek self-employment in the first place. Naturally, it’ll be a huge consideration when it comes to where you work during the day.
Flexibility When Working From Home
Flexibility is one of the biggest reasons that people want to work from home. Different people are productive during different times of the day, but traditional workplaces don’t allow for this.
Some people are most productive early in the morning, while others work best in the evenings. Running a home based business makes it easy for you to choose the workflow that best fits your needs.
For some people, working from home provides a little too much flexibility. If you’re not careful, this flexibility can quickly turn into unproductivity.
Flexibility When Renting An Office
When you rent an office space, you still have the same freedom to choose your working hours. If you work best from 7AM to 3PM every day, then you can still do that.
Unlike working from home, you’ll have to plan for the time it’ll take you to get ready and commute to your office. This gives you the flexibility you’re looking for, without unstructured downtime.
Business Attire and Dress Code
The standard for workplace dress will vary greatly between renting an office and working from home. Here are some things to consider.
Dress Code When Working From Home
When you work from home, there’s no expectation that you look professional or get ready for your workday. This may sound appealing, but over time, many people find that this “free for all” attitude affects their productivity.
If you’re going to work from home, then it’s a good idea to make a habit of getting dressed and ready for your day. This discipline will put you in the right kind of mindset to work on your business.
Dress Code When Renting An Office
If you’re paying to rent an office, then there won’t be a formal dress code in place either. However, you’ll likely find that you’re more motivated to dress up for your day when you’re commuting to an office outside of your home. This will be especially true if you’ll hire employees to work at the office with you.
3. Taking Care Of Family and Pets
Switching from working at home to renting an office won’t just affect you, it’ll affect your family members and pets as well. Here are some of the pros and cons of this decision.
Family And Pets When Working From Home
Many people want to work from home because it allows them to be more involved with their families. When you work from home, you can drive your kids to school and spend more time with them. Or, you can take a lunchtime break to take the family dog for a walk.
However, these things can get in the way of your business over time. This is especially true if you regularly take client calls. You may find that trying to work in the same place as your family and pets can get distracting.
Family And Pets When Renting An Office
c When you’re at the office, you can focus on your business, and when you’re at home, you’re present to focus on your family life.
4. Other Factors To Consider
When it comes to working from home or renting an office, there’s no right answer. Different people have different goals and priorities, so the right choice will vary for everyone. Here are a few other factors to consider before moving your business to an office.
Your Work Environment
One of the biggest things you need to consider is your business’s industry. Does your business require you to meet with clients or have conference calls? If so, then you need to consider what you’re presenting to your clients.
Renting an office space will appear more professional, so your clients may take you more seriously. It’ll also give you a designated space to meet and brainstorm with clients.
One of the things you’ll have to consider is associated rental costs. Depending on where you live, renting an office may not be cheap. Plus, rent costs will continue to rise over the years, so you’ll have to determine whether you’re financially ready for this kind of commitment.
If you rent an office, then you’ll be able to claim this as a business expense on your taxes. There are certain tax write-offs when you use a home office as well, but you’ll have to make sure you keep detailed records of your housing costs. And you may need to prove that your home office is actually used for work.
The Need For Motivation
Finally, you should consider your need for motivation. Many people find it hard to stay motivated while working from home. There’s no boss to keep you accountable and no co-workers to interact with.
This makes it easy for many people to become bored and unmotivated. If you find yourself in this place, then renting an office may be the right step for you. It can provide some external pressure and can give you the leverage you need to take your business to the next level.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits and drawbacks of working from home?
Many people love the flexibility that working from home brings. You can start your day the way you want and work on your own terms. And since you aren’t commuting to an office, this will free up more time during your workday.
However, the lack of structure can be difficult for many people. It’s easy to feel isolated and bored if you’re rarely interacting with other people.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of renting an office?
Renting an office can be a great way to combine the flexibility of working from home with a structured work environment. Due to this, you may have an easier time balancing your personal life with your professional goals.
In addition, your clients will likely take you more seriously if you have a designated office to meet them in. However, renting an office space can be pricey, so you’ll have to consider whether you’re prepared to take this step.
What are some working from home tips I can implement?
When working from home, the best thing you can do is have a set work schedule and structured office space. Your office should be a place that’s quiet and where you won’t be bothered by family members. This will give you the focus you need to get your work done while enjoying the flexibility that working from home offers.
How do I know when it’s time to switch to renting an office space?
Most likely, you’ll know it’s time to switch when you feel financially prepared and believe working from home is holding your business back. Once you reach this point, it’s probably time to rent an office.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.