On the surface, setting up your new business from home might look like the logical choice for any start-up.
No rent, no commute or restrictions over working hours, limited overheads – what’s not to like?!
Well, it turns out there’s plenty when you dig a little deeper.
Family, children and pets can all provide an unwelcome distraction when you’re based at home, whether it’s encouraged or not. Then there’s the television, the overflowing laundry basket and the washing up left over from the night before.
It can be easy to take a few minutes out of your day to do household chores or check on the latest England batting collapse. But they can quickly add up, diverting your focus away from what could otherwise have been a productive day’s work.
The right setting
A home office can be complicated for start-ups logistically, too.
Without a bright, spacious and comfy office, the dining room table or spare bedroom rarely breeds creativity. It’s hardly the ideal setting to host meetings either, meaning the local hotel, restaurant or coffee shop can soon become a rather pricey second office.
Until recently the alternative for start-ups and entrepreneurs has been to buy or lease an office or use a serviced office. Both, however, can represent a significant outlay for a business just starting out, while conventional office space can have rigid and sometimes onerous terms that can restrict a business’s growth potential.
Coworking spaces, however, are changing all that.
The rise and rise of coworking in recent years has been astonishing.
According to a new report from property consultants JLL, flexible office space has more than doubled across Europe since 2014 and is predicted to grow by an additional 30% over the next five years alone.
It’s easy to understand why. From the flexibility it provides to the communities it creates, coworking is giving UK start-ups and small businesses a viable alternative to traditional means.
Coworking memberships, for instance, are commonly provided on a rolling monthly contract. This means membership plans are more cost-effective as they can be adjusted as the business evolves, additionally allowing you to increase or reduce the number of desks utilised from month to month.
They will also typically come with bookable meeting rooms, providing the facilities to host client or supplier meetings at an impressive office usually situated in a central, well-connected location.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your working environment and location. It could be one of the biggest decisions you make.
Perhaps the biggest benefit is the community aspect of coworking. By using shared office space you’ll be surrounded by individuals and businesses from different backgrounds, giving you access to people you can bounce ideas off and ‘tap up’ for useful contacts – whether that’s a web designer, photographer or printing supplier, for example. You may even find your next client sat at the desk next to you!
More than this, though, this community and office vibe is proven to increase productivity. With loneliness and isolation a common complaint amongst home workers, coworking communities instil a sense of belonging and can really help entrepreneurs to expand their social networks – something that’s so important in the early stages of launching a business.
So whether you’re in the process of starting a business or you’re considering where to set up, don’t underestimate the importance of your working environment and location. It could be one of the biggest decisions you make.
SO Fourteen is a coworking space in Southampton’s city centre that’s home to start-ups, small businesses, freelancers and remote workers. With four membership options to choose from, we have the choice and flexibility to suit a range of requirements. Book a tour or contact us today to find out more.