When you’re just starting out as a new small business, working from home can be a great idea. But is it really the most productive way to work? And how will your home office hold up as your business expands? Today we’re weighing up the pros and cons of both working from home and renting office space to help you decide whether your current workspace is right for you.
The first thing that comes to mind when comparing office space and a home office is no doubt expenses. Working from home can be really appealing (especially when you’re a brand new business or freelancer) because it doesn’t cost anything to use the space. Renting an office, on the other hand, can be costly.
But as long as you do your research, you’ll find there are plenty of affordable options out there. At Eskmills, we pride ourselves on providing flexible and competitively priced office space in East Lothian. If you’re an individual, you can make use of our hotdesking options, or business teams can rent the perfect size of office at a great price.
Employees & Clients
If you work by yourself, working from home can be a very convenient option. But what happens once your business expands to the point of taking on more staff members? It’s impractical to have several employees working from your home, especially if you have other family members who might be at home during working hours.
With an office space, however, you can feel comfortable introducing new employees to the team and expanding your business in a professional setting. Our offices at Eskmills have everything your employees could need, including kitchen and recreational areas and meeting rooms.
Another downside of working from home is not being able to meet clients in your office. It can look unprofessional holding business meetings in your home, and it can be impractical to arrange all your meetings at local coffee shops. With a dedicated office space, you can confidently arrange meetings at your place of work, giving potential new clients reassurance that you’re a professional and organised business.
Socialising & Networking
One major negative about working from home is the isolation. If you’re working alone and are stuck inside all day, you can get lonely very quickly and start to get demotivated. Working in an office, however, gives you the opportunity to socialise with colleagues and work on projects together. Even if you’re just a one-person team, working in a co-working space can be a great idea. Rather than being at home on your own, you can make use of a hotdesk and socialise with other freelancers and hotdeskers.
Being in an office complex like Eskmills is also great for networking. Working alongside other businesses makes it much easier to pop round for a meeting, share ideas or collaborate on a project. Whether it’s a quick meeting over coffee, or after-work drinks on a Friday, there’s plenty of opportunity for socialising and networking.
No matter where you work, there are always distractions around to help you procrastinate. Working from home and working in an office have very different kinds of distractions, so it’s important to weigh up what sort of things make you unproductive. If you’re working from home, the line between home and work can often be blurred and it’s tempting to do some chores or watch TV during your working day.
If you’re working in an office, putting on a load of washing or watching an episode of your favourite TV show won’t be a problem, but there are other distractions to consider. Colleagues may interrupt you or call you into a meeting when you’re trying to get on with work, or you might be tempted to take a few too many tea breaks.
Working from home offers a huge deal of flexibility as you can work whenever and however you like. If you’re most productive between 6am and 2pm, there’s no reason why you can’t work those hours instead of the standard 9 to 5. The downside of this is that you might end up working long hours. When you don’t have a defined structure for your working day, it can be easy to pick up your laptop and do some work from the sofa in the evenings, even if you’ve already done a full working day.
Offices can still offer a lot of flexibility. Before renting an office, be sure to check what the rules are regarding opening hours. Many office complexes, such as Eskmills which has a main reception and lots of individual buildings and offices, have core opening hours for the main reception and hotdesking areas. But you can come and go as you please to your individual office. That means it’s still easy to start work earlier if you prefer, or work past 5pm if you need to.
One of the best things about working from is not having a commute. Being able to have an extra hour in bed in the morning is undoubtedly a good thing! But it does also mean you’re stuck in the house all day, with no opportunity to get some fresh air, and it can be tempting to roll out of bed and work from the sofa in your pyjamas. As great as that is for the first couple of weeks, you’ll soon find you feel unproductive and unprofessional.
When renting an office, sussing out the commute is key before you make the final decision to move in. You want to make sure it has good public transport links, easy parking and a reasonably short commute for you and your employees. Luckily, at Eskmills we have a great bus service from both Edinburgh city centre and East Lothian, a train station and plenty of parking spaces. Plus, we’re just a five minute walk from the centre of Musselburgh so it’s the perfect location to walk to work if you live in the town. Find out more about commuting to Eskmills here.
So, overall, there are pros and cons to both but we think working from an office is the better option. Working from home definitely has its benefits – especially when you’re just starting up a new business – but a having a good office is key if you want your small business to expand successfully.
If you’re looking for an office near Edinburgh in East Lothian, we have several great options available. Check out our Availability page for more information about our office space to rent for teams of all sizes.