I’ve been working from home ever since I left my job as a full-time chef to pursue a career in the online space.
I started my very first company in my rented flat with my very first MacBook, working on my bed with the laptop on top of my legs.
I spent 3 years working solely from my home office!
Ironically, back in 2015, one of my first blog posts was this post on 7 Tips for Working from Home, and I still think it’s the right thing to do when starting out in your online business. However, once you have the funds and are ready to grow, I think that an office is essential.
It was only last year – when we got involved in Lovecars – that I’d spend several days a week actually outside of my home in a communal office. Since we left Lovecars, my business partner Andy and I made the decision to get our first proper headquarters and set up our own “proper” office outside of our homes.
To be perfectly honest, I was pretty productive working from my home office, but I also got way too comfortable. It was actually Andy who pushed for a proper office setup more than I did. However, now that we’re a month into our new space, I’m REALLY glad he pushed for the move. Let me tell you why.
There are several benefits to working both from home and also from an office, and honestly, I think I’ll still work from home once a week and in the evenings (working a lot with US clients on different timezones). However, coming from someone who’s now experienced both, I’m very glad we’ve got our new space.
Let me share with you some of the pros of our move to the new offices:
An office or premises gives you the ability to internally scale your company and, most importantly, your team. We currently run several companies with over 15 employees; however, the majority currently work externally all over the UK and the rest of the world.
The office now gives us a chance to grow our team internally and therefore have a better grasp and view of what’s happening within our companies on a day-to-day basis. We’re luckily in a managed office space, which gives us room to grow into even bigger offices. We purposely picked a 6-8 man office with the view of hiring several new internal members of staff for key roles over the next six months.
We’ve already had several consultancy and advice meetings with the local council and mentors and we’re currently drawing up job roles as we speak!
If we stayed working from home, it’s no secret that we could save ourselves $XXXX amount a month on things like rent, petrol, bills and more. However, that’s the part that motivates me more than anything. Because we’re spending more money each month, I have a new drive to make that money back and more.
Having bills and fixed premises makes you accountable for making back that money you spent. Not only that, but you can also make that money and situation work in your favour, as it gives you the fire to do more.
Additionally, you also become accountable to your fellow team members. You have to give 100% because you’re on show. You have to turn up and work some good hours every day. As I’ve always preached in my growth reports, accountability is one of the main driving points in my early success.
This one’s a no brainer!
It’s pretty clear that having an office location gives you and your company a MUCH more authoritative front. There are lots of perks an office can give you in this sense, including:
- A proper posting address
- A professional registered company address
- A proper place to meet and greet clients
- A receptionist (if managed)
- A recognised location
Overall, I’d personally feel much more comfortable working with someone with an official office address rather than someone who lives in apartment 107. The way you set up your office and location can be a huge enhancement to your entire company’s brand.
This one is huge!
Having worked from home on and off for the past 4-5 years, I can honestly say this one has improved my life in many ways. It sounds silly, but that separation between work and home for me is HUGE!
I used to work ridiculous hours at a time from home and only surface to eat or say hello to my partner. Although I still do work long hours day and night, having the separation is the best. When you’re submerged within one environment for so long day in day out, it can drive you crazy one way or another. For me, it was the little things around the home that drove me mad!
For example, I would constantly pick at the smallest things in the house like if the skirting boards had any dog hair on them or if the washing needed doing. I became obsessed with the cleanliness of our flat (before we moved) because I was in and around it 24/7. It never used to bother Josie, and now I can see why because it no longer bothers me now that I’m free from it.
Separating your work/pleasure is essential. I never used to do so, but I’m glad I finally do.
Buzz is maybe not 100% the right word, but I’m sure you understand what I mean.
When you’re in an office with your colleagues or partners, you always have someone to get you going again no matter how you’re feeling. My business partner Andy has said on several occasions that he’s about 50% more productive in the office because he sees me on the other side of the room hashing away.
It works both ways also as we constantly bounce off new ideas, have discussions, and help each other out throughout the day.
Having a buzz about the place is essential, and it really motivates you and your team to work harder and more efficiently.
Working from home, this is one of the biggest things people tend to struggle with. Last year, I wrote 7 tips to help working from home, but to put it bluntly, the best way to focus is to stop working from home.
The issue with focus is that there are SO many “life” distractions to take you away from your work when you work from home. For example, there wasn’t a day when I wasn’t distracted by cleaning, emptying the dishwasher, doing some clothes washing, amongst others. It’s another plus point for having that separation.
It’s funny, but because I worked from home, people always thought it was okay to ask me for favours, as if my daily work wasn’t enough. I’d always be asked by my family or friends for “lifts”, to collect a package, to sign for a package, to check on their house when they’re away, etc. Because I “worked from home”, I obviously had lots of free time, right…….? Wrong!
Now that I’m in the office, it’s just me, Andy and our work. Focus is on point!
So, those are my main reasons why I believe you should be moving to your own offices once you have the funds and your situation is advanced enough.
Now, here are just a few tips when you’re looking for a place to move:
- Get a managed office: Managed means an office inside a big office complex. This way you can easily scale to bigger offices within those premises. You also get all your bills and utilities included, a receptionist, conference rooms and more.
- Push yourself: We purposely went for a more expensive office with room to grow so that we were both accountable and driven to fill that office. Financially, it doesn’t make sense for us to have all this space, but it gives us the push we need to not be comfortable.
- Don’t scrimp: What I mean by this is don’t work in a new office with an old laptop. That’s not giving you the full experience. The reason you’re in an office is to work to your full potential and you won’t be able to do that if you have an old system, faulty desk or rubbish office chair. Set yourself up properly from the start.
- Keep it close: Commuting to work is commuting whether it’s a 2-minute walk round the corner or a 1-hour drive. However, I’d advice keeping the commute to as low as possible, so in turn you can focus on what’s more important – your actual work.
- Keep flexi hours: Work to flexible hours. You’ll soon feel like you’re back in your 9-to-5 if you are strict with yourself on your working hours. If one day you want to work from 2 in the afternoon until midnight, do it! Work when you’re most productive, and don’t feel bad for taking a day or two to work from home.
To summarise, I feel you should always start working from home until you have the funds and until you figure out if you’re strong enough to succeed at this game by yourself. However, once you’ve done that, move out and get serious. We did, and I’m not looking back!
Where do you currently work?