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Where To Work: Home, Coworking Space, Small Office Space?

Remote, Coworking and Standard Office Spaces

One of the most amazing things about technology is its capacity to connect us, regardless of physical distance. This kind of remote accessibility provides incredible flexibility in business, especially when it comes to deciding what kind of office setup you want.

Some of today’s greatest companies have workers spread around the world.

There are a few things to consider when determining the kind of space you want to work with:

The Remote Office

Remote offices are the new reality. Remote arrangements allow for easy expansion, a ton of flexibility for employees, and can save you lots of cash.

Whether your team is dispersed around the globe or simply has a couple employees who prefer to work from home, there are some amazing programs and services that will help your business connect and run smoothly.

Working in Different Time Zones

The remote office has brought so many opportunities and possibilities, especially to young companies, but new problems have arisen that make remote work challenging. One of the most challenging is figuring out how to work in different time zones. In a remote office arrangement, there might be a developer in Canada and a writer in Egypt. People are spread out all over the world.

Here are a few tips for successfully managing a team across multiple time zones:

Benefits of Working from Home

There are a wide array of benefits of working from home. Here are the most notable:

Flexibility – Working from home is unquestionably more flexible than being in an office. It’s easy to 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 the shortest commutes report the most happiness with their lives? Working from home has no commute. Huge win.

Environmentally Friendly – Because you don’t have to get in your car or take public transit to the office, your choice is quite environmentally friendly. When a large group works from home, it’s even more environmentally friendly.

More Productivity – A lot of people say they are more productive at home than in a loud and distracting office environment.

Quieter Work Environment – Whether people are talking work or play, many office environments are noisy, especially with today’s open layouts. Some people can work well with this noise, while others prefer a quieter work environment, something that’s easier to get in a home office.

Great for kids and pets – If you have pets and kids to care of, working from home can be a huge blessing, especially if your children are a little older. Be careful though, as taking care of children is a full-time job. You can’t expect to take care of an infant while working a full forty -hour week.

Inexpensive for the company – The company has so little overheard when employees are remote. There aren’t desks to buy, office spaces to lease, or hefty electric bills to pay. A remote office is an extremely economic option. This option is inexpensive for employees, too, who don’t have to pay transportation costs.

Disadvantages of Working from Home

Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages of working from home. Here are the most notable:

Being Alone – Working from home is isolating and can be lonely. Many people miss having coworkers around, and have trouble finding new social outlets.

Low External Motivation – It can be hard to get motivated, especially when your TV is within your line of sight. Without coworkers working around you, it can be difficult to buck up and get working.

Distracting – Working from home can be as distracting as a noisy office. Your family might be extremely distracting, constantly asking you for things despite the fact that they know you’re working. There’s also no one around to tell you what to do, so you can spend a few hours watching Netflix instead of working, not the best for productivity.

Hard to Connect with Coworkers – With coworkers spread far and wide, it’s difficult to forge relationships and connect with coworkers on work-related topics.

Others’ Perceptions – A lot of people don’t understand working from home. They assume it means that you don’t have to work as hard as they do. This is simply a negative, not a real disadvantage, but don’t be surprised if some people don’t understand your choice.

Trouble staying organized – Without meetings and a manager imposing their will on you, you’ll have to stay organized on your own. Sometimes it can be difficult to organize and rally the team when there are members stretched across time and space.

How to Work from Home: Office Space, Guidelines, and Productivity for Remote Workers

With no one looking over your shoulder, it can be tough to self-motivate, especially when you’re in your pajamas on the couch.

Here are some tips to increase your efficiency when working in an untraditional environment:

Working from Home with Kids

Children pose unique challenges to those who work from home. If the kids are a little older, they can come home from school on the bus, start doing their homework, and give you ample time for work. If they’re younger, they can be pretty demanding, and it can be impossible to get the perfect balance.

Here are some tips for how to work from home with kids around:

Coworking Spaces

If you need to get out of the house to get work done, coworking spaces are a good option. At a coworking space, you can rent a desk, office, or conference room depending on your needs.

This option is good for people who do contract work or who travel frequently and need a place to temporarily plug in. It’s also great if you need to hold an official meeting in an unfamiliar city.

With so many types of businesses sharing a space, coworking provides a unique environment of collaboration. This eliminates the sometimes isolating “working from home” experience, and provides many options for unlikely (but nonetheless beneficial!) collaboration.

Coworking spaces aren’t that expensive and have very flexible plans and no lengthy contracts.

It depends on the location and the space itself, but here are some examples of prices and office options:

  WorkBar The Foundery NextSpace

City

Boston

Toronto

San Francisco

Cost of Shared Space

$125/month

$190 - $290/month

$350/month

Cost of Private Space

$300 - $600/month

$490/month

$590/month

Cost of Deluxe Private Space

$1200 - $2400/month

$890 - $2390/month

$1100 - $2560/month

Benefits and Amenities

Storage options, meeting room options, admin support, printing, bottomless coffee, mail service

Conference room options, storage facilities, 24 hour access, event rental options, postal service

Conference room options, discounts on transportation, gym, office supplies and food, 24 hour access

Standard Office Space

Feeling the need for something more concrete and tangible than headquarters in cyberspace? Just because there has been an upsurge in remote offices doesn’t mean they’re right for everyone.

If you do decide to buy or lease a place of your own, there are some things you need to consider to get the most out of your commitment:

Renting vs. Buying

Although buying may be a larger up-front cost, you won’t have to deal with landlords or be at the mercy of the market once your lease is up. However, what if your company grows and you need to expand to a larger space? Are you prepared to deal with the taxes that come with owning a commercial property?

Investigating

Make sure you get a comprehensive report on energy, janitorial, maintenance and tax costs so you are as informed as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask your broker for similar buildings’ typical costs for your reference.

Knowing Your Needs

Make sure the spaces you are looking at fully accommodate your needs. For example, if your company requires a backup generator in case of power outages or needs extra space for a lunch room, that is something you will need to specify in your search.

Location

Bustling city center or residential area? Being in an urban area can be exciting and can prove very convenient, but there are also advantages to looking outside the hub. Things like available parking are much easier to come by in a suburb, as are lower rental prices and the possibility of expansion.

Costs

The costs of running an office depend on a huge number of variables. Does your company have a lot of employees? Do you use a ton of electricity in order to operate smoothly? How much is your insurance per month? All of these things can bear weight on your finances. Make sure you do your homework and compare prices before diving into any monetary commitments.

Contact trade associations, entrepreneur support groups, and similar industries’ online message boards or blogs. These communities are made up of people who know exactly what you’re going through (and can warn you about things like unforeseen expenditures), and can be invaluable resources during your process.

Other Unique Arrangements

If none of these office options seem right for you, don’t fret! The beauty in starting a business these days is the amount of flexibility that comes with it.

Keep an eye out for universities and colleges that offer their libraries and extra rooms as places to work. Don’t shy away from asking connections at your alma mater if they’ve got extra space, even if it’s just for temporary use.

Some businesses offer spare desks to entrepreneurs in need. More often than not there will be businesses (like us!) that open their free space to fellow entrepreneurs in the spirit of coworking.