How do you decide where to place your laptop?
Lately, I have met a number of startups and service providers working from attractive and accessible shared workspaces like WeWork and ExodusHub. But it’s not for everyone. It is a hard call when working on your own or starting something new to take on the extra costs of an external office.
So how do you decide whether to stay in your home office or move out? Here are some questions to help.
Do you have an adequate home office?
Maybe you are starting a new chapter in your professional life. Maybe you have been working from home for years, but your kids who have always shared a bedroom now need more privacy. Or maybe you have been ousted from your home office by a new baby and you are now relegated to the kitchen. What you need is a place to work, and unless you are running a home-catering business, if the room doesn’t have a door, you don’t have an office.
Do you need to meet with clients frequently?
It is perfectly reasonable and acceptable to hold intimate meetings with clients or partners at coffee shops. Larger meetings requiring a large screen or whiteboard, or with more than four people really need a room. Shared workspaces often allow you to schedule meeting rooms with the necessary equipment.
Can you afford it?
In the past, the cost to rent office space seemed prohibitive but today shared workspaces make your office away from home very accessible. If your start-up is just starting up, you can rent a smaller space and trade up as your team grows. In Central Israel, you can get a good looking office with parking and amenities starting at about $200/month in Petach Tikva with prices doubling and growing higher as you grow closer to downtown Tel Aviv.
Is it easy?
Dorothy nailed it. There’s no place like home. So if you are going to give up the conveniences of working from home, make sure to minimize the obstacles to your new office. Is there plenty of parking? Is it a short commute? Do you like the overall look and feel? Are you comfortable with the other people that are working there?
Are you distracted at home too easily?
For my entire career, I have moved between outsourced and in-house positions and I always enjoyed working from home when I could. Personally, my best work hours are in the early morning. Will you be tempted to take a “quick break” to put in another load of laundry or unload the dishwasher, or other tasks that should be saved for less creative hours? Decide whether you can (and want to) balance the distractions and responsibilities at home during your more fruitful work hours.
Are you a lone wolf, or are you better in a pack?
One of the biggest advantages of shared workspaces is not the snacks in the kitchen. It’s the people you meet while making coffee. Depending on your business, you might find your best leads or strategic partners down the hall. While some people enjoy working in solitude, others feel more comfortable when there are other people around.
There are plenty of shared workspace options out there, with various degrees of shared resources and interaction with others. If you decide to leave your home office, it’s just a matter of deciding what’s right for you.