In this day and age, the question of whether you should start working from home or lease an office is not an easy one to answer. On the one hand, working from home comes with a lower overhead, but it does have its limitations. On the other hand, there are more than several reasons why office work has survived for so long in the traditional business world and why it’s still alive and kicking. With that in mind and without further ado, let’s take a look at some pros and cons of both of these business models.
When it comes to the issue of cost, it’s clear that working from home is the superior method. First of all, you don’t have to pay the rent, which is a massive item on your list of expenses. Second, you don’t have to worry about the size of the place. You see, getting an office that’s larger than you need will cost you more, however, getting the office that’s just the right size might mean that it will soon be too crowded.
This means that you’ll have to move which is yet another expense on the list, as well as an inconvenience that will result in company downtime (possibly even loss of clients). Nevertheless, not everything is black and white and you should also consider the options of being location independent, and look into the benefits of a serviced office such as this one in Sydney, or any other part of the world.
The reputation boost
Regardless of your company’s productivity and efficiency, a home-based business usually tends to appear less reputable than an office-based company. In fact, this difference in credibility is so great that this might end up being reason enough for your business to move to an actual office space. Still, for this to work, you need to understand the importance of location. Moving to a part of the city that’s away from the main business hub is inconvenient, and if the neighborhood doesn’t exactly have a positive reputation, this might transfer to your business, as well. Naturally, a more prestigious location comes with a higher rent.
Aside from this, if you aim to greet clients at the office, you’ll have to invest in making it presentable. This usually means keeping the exterior tidy, remodeling your reception area and getting your work area in order. It also means that investing in office stationary may be a good idea seeing as how office furniture and supplies testify about the professionalism within the office.
As for the productivity, this is where pros start going heavily in favor of the traditional office. Sure, work from home provides one with flexible work hours and full customization of one’s work area. Nonetheless, it also comes with too many distractions. One thing that’s particularly inconvenient is the fact that you might have a hard time explaining to all your loved ones when you are not available. In the office, on the other hand, everything is subject to productivity.
Nonetheless, even this is not so clear-cut, due to the fact that introverts might be more productive from home. Since they can be some of your most productive employees, this is an important factor to keep in mind. On the other hand, having an actual office doesn’t prevent you from allowing some people to work from home, while the same couldn’t be said about the opposite scenario.
At the very end, it’s important that we talk about scalability of both of these methods. Now, before we even start discussing this, it’s important to mention that this might get affected by your long-term aspirations. Having a business model that’s based on telecommuters and freelancers doesn’t really have limitations on how much it can grow. In theory, you can employ hundreds and thousands of people without ever having to meet them in person. On the other hand, if you do aim to move to an office, at one point, this is something that you need to work towards from the very start.
This will affect the way in which you invest and all the subsequent moves that you make. Doing the same thing in an office is logistically somewhat more difficult, seeing as how it implies that you have to move a lot. Either way, it’s something that depends on the scenario.
From the above-mentioned, it’s more than clear that there’s no clear winner. Sure, for a small or medium-sized business, it would probably be for the best if you were to rent an office, while working from home may be more startup-friendly. In the long-run however, it all depends on your own goals.