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One of the many dilemmas of start-up business owners is whether they should work out of their home office or work out of co-working space.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and you need to spend a few moments to determine which option is the best for you and your business.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a Home Office:

Pros:

  • No Rent
  • Tax deductions-talk to your CPA about writing off a portion of your utilities and rent for business expenses
  • Work in your pajamas
  • No commute-save lots of windshield time
  • Eat at home
  • No other employees to interrupt you
  • No social interaction with others
  • Set up meeting near your house

Cons: 

  • May need to get liability insurance for the home office if you have clients visit you.
  • May get audited because you have a home office that you are deducting expenses for.
  • Working in your pajamas. You will not get into the business mindset you need to be in being in your pajamas-unless you are Hugh Heffner. Get dressed and be prepared to do business.
  • Not sticking to a strict work schedule. This is easy to do. Make sure you adhere to a strict daily schedule just like if you had to go into an office.
  • Eating throughout the day. Easy access to the refrigerator can pack on the pounds.
  • You will find something to clean around the house, something else to do besides work being at home.
  • No social interaction with others. You will lose this skill unless you make an effort to attend events, networking, meet clients at their office.
  • You have to do business in an open environment. If you are speaking with someone on a confidential item, this may be an issue.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of working out of a Co-working office:

Pros:

  • Established address for your business
  • Shared meeting rooms
  • Social interaction with other business owners
  • Getting out of the house
  • Dressing for success
  • Networking/collaborative opportunities. Meeting others that you may find some great synergy with
  • A place where your clients can meet you
  • A receptionist. Make sure to establish a great relationship with them to have them help you on many levels.
  • Kitchen. Most co-working spaces have a kitchen that includes drinks and many other amenities.
  • Happy hours/mixers. Many co-working spaces will host happy hours and mixers, so you can get to know others in the office and invite guests
  • Private office. Meet clients or talk on the phone without anyone listening to your conversation.

Cons:

  • Rent. Can your business sustain this expense?
  • Some places charge for this service or place some restrictions on how many times you can use meeting or training rooms.
  • Distractions. Those other businesses are just like you and not on your schedule. They may pop in your office just to talk, which can derail you.
  • Commute time
  • Can’t work in your PJs
  • Too many networking events could take up your time along with other trying to sell you their products or services.
  • Additional expenses, such as furniture, computer, office supplies.
  • Receptionist also represents all the other businesses in the office.
  • You may not like what they stock in the kitchen. Just bring your own items or talk to the manager and I’m sure they will work with you on your preference.
  • This may be a distraction to you if you are working on a project and the noise and activity derail you from your work.
  • Private office? No disadvantages on this one.

No matter what you choose, working from your home office or in a co-working space, you need to know yourself.  You must have a set schedule of proactive, income generating activities to do every day. This takes lots of self-discipline, which is one of major attributes of successful entrepreneurs.

Control the distractions by placing controls in your business up front. I.E. Working from home or office – I will have a break at 9:30-9:45, lunch at noon-12:30, break at 3:15-3:30, etc.

Treat each location as if you were an employee of someone else. When do you have to start work? When can you leave the office? What events should you attend that will enhance your business?  Get the idea.

Good luck on your decision. Remember you can always start at home and have a deadline or goals for when you get an office.

Are you struggling with getting your new business off the ground? Why not meet with a SCORE Mentor for free? Click here to schedule. 

 

About the Author(s)

 Steve   Feld

Steve Feld, MBA is a certified business coach that provides training and business performance coaching to business owners, professionals and executives. He has owned and operated 6 businesses and operated 3 large corporations with Fortune 500 Companies.

Business Coach, Feld Business Growth
Home Office vs Co-Working Space: What You Need to Know