There are lots of things to consider when starting a new business, and one of the earliest decisions you will have to make is where you and any employees will work.
Here we will explore the different options available and the pros and cons of each, to help you make the best decision for your new business.
Working from home
When first starting out, many new business owners will choose to work from home because it seems to be the cheapest and most straightforward option.
There are several benefits to working from home, the main one being the cost saving aspect, as start-ups are often strapped for cash in the early days. It also means you will not have to commute, saving you time that can be used to work on your business.
However, working from home is far from ideal for many start-ups for several reasons.
For a business owner’s mental health, working from home can be isolating and frustrating. You may also find that you work much longer hours, with no clear definition between work and free time. If you live alone, or do not have designated working space at home, the mental health impact can be even more extensive.
Furthermore, working from home can negatively impact your business, as you will not have a professional space to meet potential clients, investors, or employees. It may be harder to give your business the dedication it needs to grow when surrounded by home distractions.
There are also some costs you have to be prepared for when working from home, such as ensuring you have an adequate Wi-Fi connection and buying any equipment and office furniture you may need to work comfortably.
Overall, working from home can be a good solution for short periods of time, or when done in combination with other forms of working, but it can have a negative impact when done long term.
Renting a fixed office
Traditionally, the majority of new office-based businesses would move into a rented office at some point. With long contracts and sometimes onerous terms, however, they can be counter-productive and expensive for start-ups.
While a fixed office does provide you with a professional, private area, hold meetings and conduct your business from, it provides a very inflexible solution that may be daunting for start-ups who are just finding their feet and unsure how quickly they will grow.
With many rental contracts you will also be responsible for furnishing the office yourself and ensuring you have the necessary tools to conduct your business, which will quickly add up to a large initial outlay.
If you have a large, local team that needs private office space, and are also financially stable with a healthy cash flow, you may decide to consider a fixed office space. But for many businesses this isn’t feasible or necessary within the first few months or even years of trading.
Working from cafes
Another seemingly straightforward working option for start-ups may be just packing up your laptop and going to work from a café.
Again, it is a low cost option as, for the price of a few cups of coffee, you could work from the space all day. However, as far as working environments go a café really doesn’t have much to offer.
Although you may feel less isolated than you would working from home, you are unlikely to be around like-minded entrepreneurs that can offer advice or motivation. Café environments can also be noisy and distracting, and the Wi-Fi is often unreliable at best.
You also won’t have access to any other equipment or even appropriate seating for long hours of work.
Additionally, with current social distancing measures in place it may be very difficult or even impossible to sit in the same café all day, and it may not be the safest option for you or any employees.
Using a coworking space
Of all the options for start ups, coworking spaces are the only option designed to cater to their specific challenges and requirements.
Coworking provides all the benefits of a traditional office space such as a professional environment, excellent facilities and meeting areas, easy interaction with colleagues and like-minded entrepreneurs, and a clear, defined workplace that encourages productivity.
It also takes into consideration the challenges new business face, with lower costs and flexible membership plans, so the space can be used as little or as often as needed. The sociable, open nature of coworking spaces reduces the feeling of isolation that can come from starting a new business, and can also provide multiple networking opportunities that can benefit your business.
Another benefit of coworking facilities is that, aside from your computer or laptop, all the basics you need to get to work is included in the cost. While different spaces offer slightly different facilities, it’s worth looking for one that provides suitable desks and ergonomic office chairs, which are important for your comfort. Other perks may be included that make your time at work more pleasant, such as refreshments, breakfast, and discounts with local companies and shops.
If you’re interested in using a coworking office for your start-up, we’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch via our website to start your coworking journey.