With technology allowing for remote work, business professionals can often work from anywhere. As a result, many of today's small business owners are faced with the choice between working from home and joining a co-working space.
Each option has its own pros and cons, and it's important to consider every point in relation to your business model and team needs. Here's how to decide which is right for your business.
One of the most exciting things about owning a business is deciding when and where to work. Depending on your type of business, you may not even need an office. Working remotely, or from home, can be an excellent choice, but doing so comes with its advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of working remotely
Time savings. Because working from home does not require a commute, you save time typically spent on driving or taking public transportation.
Cost savings. Working from home does not require paying rent for an office space, and you can even write off certain business expenses on your taxes, like your laptop, phone bill or office furniture.
Work/life balance. When you work from home, you get the flexibility to put your kids on the bus, walk the dog, prepare dinner and more. Working from home makes balancing work and life easier.
Cons of working remotely
Lack of meeting space. If your business requires you to meet with clients, inviting them to your home is not ideal. However, you can always meet at a public location, like a local coffee shop.
Decreased productivity. Entrepreneurs who work from home need to have laser-sharp focus. Between the pets, kids, laundry and other household chores, staying productive when working from home can be difficult.
Lack of collaboration. Despite video conferencing, chats and messages, working from home and not having face-to-face interactions with staff and clients can result in a lack of collaboration.
Working from a coworking space
For entrepreneurs who are not fully ready to commit to a traditional office space, a coworking space can be a cost-effective solution that fills in some of the gaps of working from home.
Pros of coworking spaces
Socialization and human interaction. When you work in a coworking space, you have access to other professionals, which can help boost your mood and spark inspiration.
Business connections. Coworking spaces can be great places to meet new connections and generate new business. In an office filled with passionate, hard-working individuals, you can network like a pro.
Cons of coworking spaces
Distractions. With many coworking spaces set up as open floor plans, it can be easy to get distracted. Some coworking spaces do offer private offices, but there will still be other people using the halls and common areas.
Extra expenses. While most coworking spaces provide the furniture and basic amenities (i.e., coffee, water), you still need to pay to rent. Pricing of coworking spaces vary, typically ranging between $100 and $400 a month depending on the space size and area.
Which is right for your business?
When deciding if working remotely or from a coworking space is best for you, keep in mind these additional points.
Productivity is a big factor to consider, and only you know your work style best. If you think you'd be more productive in your own environment, don't bother finding a coworking space. But if you tend to work better in a more professional environment, it might be a solid investment.
Also be sure to consider the social aspect -- or lack thereof -- when choosing a space. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals can be especially inspiring, or overwhelming distracting.
And finally, there's the cost. Sometimes, depending on the terms of the coworking space, you can have the best of both worlds: Purchasing a desk from a coworking space on an as-needed basis affords you the luxury to reduce the amount of time you spend alone at home in your personal office space while still taking advantage of many of the perks co-working spaces offer -- without a high price tag.