For the past few years, you’ve been living the dream others fantasize about-- you’ve been working from home. Not only that, you’ve been building a successful business—taking client phone calls in your pajamas, surfing the web at your leisure, and enjoying the morning commute from your bed to your desk.
You're not just working from home, you’re working from paradise! Even so, the blending of work and play gets tough, and at some point, you might decide you need a more space.
If you’re considering re-entering the brick-and-mortar world of the grownup office, it can be difficult to know exactly when the timing is right. But if you can minimize your office costs while retaining the freedom and independence you have working from home, right now could be the best time!
Here’s how to know when you should move—and some tips on finding a new space!
Getting the Timing Right
If you’ve been waiting for the “perfect time” to get an office, we’ve got bad news: there is no perfect time.
But there are a few things that crop up that make moving to a new office a good idea:
hiring new employees.
meeting with clients.
too much stuff.
annoyed family members and roommates.
need for a conference room.
bringing in more revenue.
If you're running out of space, trying to hire employees, and want to meet clients somewhere besides the local coffee shop, it might be time to get your own office.
Check Your Funds
Of course, it's not just the timing, it's also the money! In order to test your ability to support an office lease, try researching local commercial spaces in your area, find the prices of offices in your size, and start setting aside those same prices into a savings account. If you can leave the savings account untouched, you not only have a security deposit prepared for your office, but you know that you'll be able to afford the office when you're paying each month.
Make sure that business is booming, too. If you're not bringing in substantial revenue, than getting an office is a no-go.
If you can't afford a traditional commercial space, don't freak out. There are tons of affordable options ... just check out the next section!
Finding a Space
You don’t have to move into the top floor of your city’s highest tower. There are some great ways to get an office of your own that won’t set you back thousands of dollars a month.
Coworking Spaces Here in Boston, we've got Workbar and Oficio, but cities across the country have their own coworking spaces. These spaces have private offices, public spaces, conference rooms, and more -- all for entrepreneurs like you.
Shared office space. If your chief reason for getting an office is getting a distraction-free work environment that isn’t your home, you might consider a shared office space. Try Sharedesk.net to find shared office spaces in your area.
Local subleases. Some office buildings are not fully occupied—even in your own backyard! Look for local businesses and office spaces that may have one room to rent for you. It might not be a complete office suite, but it’s a start. And, hey, once you close the door, who’s to say you can’t still work in your socks?
“Virtual” office spaces. Sites like Regus offer office space that’s highly affordable and gives you the business presence you’ve been lacking at home. Even if you don’t need a space quite yet, you can get a business address for your home office without committing a lot of money to a commercial lease right away.
There's a lot to be said for working from home, but sometimes having a separate office environment is your best bet. Many people swear they're more productive in a traditional office than at home.
Have you made the switch from a home office to a traditional one? What advice would you give others? Please share in the comments below!