Is a home office really the best option for your business?

Is a home office really the best option for your business?

A HOME OFFICE VERSUS AN OFF-SITE OFFICE

Which office type is best for your business?

Every company or business establishment have their own office space where customers or potential clients visit them to conduct business. An office is a place where all professional matters are handled and any business transactions are conducted.  Having an office premise gives a professional image to a business and is preferable for many small business owners. However, some people find working at an office inconvenient because of commuting time, restricted opening hours if the office is within a shared building etc.  Or, they may simply not be able to afford the premises.  Therefore, many small business owners decide to run their business from a home office.

How do you choose?

Working from Home

Home-based business owners set up their home offices where they handle all work-related tasks. In fact, most set up their own home office where they can entertain clients and business associates at home. Many find this a convenient set-up since they can attend to their work while able to still spend time with their family.

However, with the accessibility of the comforts available within your home, it is easy to fall into the wrong idea that you are not working. Hence, you need to develop a sound level of self-discipline in order to separate business from pleasure and focus on what you need to do at work.

Which is better?

There are several considerations that one has to make before deciding whether to opt for a home office or an off-site office instead. Each one has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it is difficult to conclude that one is the better option over the other. The best way for you to decide is to come up with a checklist of these pros and cons. Then, determine whether the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa.

Also, you need to consider your own attitude towards work. If you are the type of person who had to be constantly reminded and lacks the initiative to work on their own, then setting up a home office could be a devastating idea. Below are a list of pros and cons that would help you come up with a decision.

Home office: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • You have more freedom of flexibility in terms of working hours.
  • You can reduce costs such as office rental, fuel usage (from driving to and from the office), and tax deductions.
  • It is convenient since you won’t have to dress up just to get to work. You can have your breakfast or spend time with your family and then conveniently check your email.

Cons:

  • If you’re the type who needs to get motivated to work, a home office might not be conducive to you getting your work done.
  • There are a lot of potential interruptions at home.
  • There are a lot of home office considerations to make such as securing all office equipment you need at home, office furniture, and some other operational needs.

 

Off-site office: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • The level of pressure and urgency motivates you to produce quality work.
  • The working environment is ideally designed to make working easier for you.
  • You have access to all of the equipment or tools you need to conduct your work.

Cons:

  • You have to commute from and to work daily. It becomes more difficult for those who live far from the office.
  • Dealing with other workers within the building can be difficult for some, especially with clashing interests and personalities.
  • The expense of renting the premises

 

The decision is now yours as to which is best for you and your business.  Whichever you choose, ensure you have everything you need to hand in your premises and make it a professional, yet comfortable place to work.

 

 

Tips for organising your home office

Tips for organising your home office

The Importance of Home Office Organization

When you are working from home it is just as important to keep your office space organised as if you were working elsewhere.  By being organised you will increase your productivity.  The trap we fall into when working from home is getting too relaxed and things start to slip.  Piles of paperwork start to appear that you will ‘deal with later’.

Too many personal items start to appear and make themselves at home on your desk such as birthday cards to send, household bills and shopping lists.  This then starts to blur the lines between working on your business and completing personal errands.

It takes great discipline to organise a home office but it is such an important part of your business that you should not let slip and neglect to take control of.

Getting Started

Start off with having a good declutter.  The same principle applies as in having a declutter of your home.  Get rid of anything that is:

  • Broken
  • No longer used
  • Dated and/or obsolete
  • Doesn’t work (pens fall neatly into this category!)
  • You wouldn’t miss if you never saw it again

Now make sure you have the correct furniture and/or accessories for keeping paperwork tidy and to avoid creating piles of clutter on your desk which needs to be kept clear for you to work.

Get a filing cabinet and split into sections for each area of your business.  This could be for finances, client files, marketing ideas etc.  Now take all that paperwork that has been building over time and put into its correct place.  Remember the saying ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’.

Any documents or paperwork that you have been meaning to read for 12 months or more is likely not to be that important, or relevant, any more so be ruthless and bin it.  Obviously, be aware of data protection and legal requirements but for general paperwork, get rid of it and stop it clogging up your valuable office space.

Get a bookcase and neatly arrange files, folders and books.  Is there space to put your printer on top of the bookcase or filing cabinet to keep as much space free as possible on your desk?

Arrange your desktop so that you have everything you need regularly immediately to hand.  This could be items such as pen pot, stapler, hole punch, calculator and diary.  Having these items immediately to hand is much more convenient than having to scrabble around looking for them and wasting precious time.

Get yourself a desktop standing file for documents or files that you will be using regularly such as current projects.

Daily Organisation

During the day, use the one-touch rule for any incoming paperwork.  Touch a piece of paper just once and deal with it there and then.  Don’t add it to a pile to deal with later.  Pay bills immediately and file away.  Answer that letter and file or shred with complete.  It will have to be dealt with at some point and will take the same amount of time so that time might as well be now.  This will help keep your mind clear by knowing you are on top of things and will keep your pile of clutter to a bare minimum.

At the end of each day, double check to make sure your office space is tidy.  File away any paperwork and check you have completed everything on your daily to-do list.  Write down the top three things you need to complete the next day.  This will help organise your mind and put you in a feeling of control allowing you to relax for the evening and recharge your batteries.

Follow these tips for organising your home office and see just how much more productive you become.