When you first start your start-up you’re likely to be working from home. It’s the cheapest and most practical option if you’re getting a small company off the ground. At first, this should be completely manageable. But little by little your business will expand and, before you know it, you’ve outgrown your little home office.
If you do decide you need a dedicated workplace, there are plenty of places you can find one. And sometimes it’s better to avoid the traditional routes. For instance, it’s easy to find cheap office space on a community sharing site like Spacer. But before you jump into a tenancy, check whether you recognize these five signs that show you desperately need an office for your start-up:
1. Work is Creeping into the Whole House
Where do you work at home? If you can still confine your work papers and equipment to a neat study space or a corner of the kitchen table, you’re doing fine. It’s important that you can keep documents filed and know where to find any work-related items easily. If, however, paperwork is finding its way into every inch of your home, you probably need to make the move to somewhere bigger.
2. You Need to Hire Staff
A one-person band can be quite flexible about how and where they work. You can just about get by with noisy kids, a cluttered workspace and the family dog at your feet. However, when your start-up reaches the stage that you need staff, bringing them into the chaos of the family home won’t provide the most conducive work environment. To promote motivation, professionalism and to give you and your new hire enough space to work effectively, you need a dedicated office space.
3. You’re Conducting Meetings in a Coffee Shop
Sometimes a start-up entrepreneur can go to clients and contacts in order to conduct meetings. They can even head to a local coffee shop to do business. However, if you’re having a number of meetings every day, all of this travel can start to eat into your time. Having your own office space allows you to invite people to come to you (at least some of the time) and presents a more professional impression to those you meet with.
4. You Lack Inspiration and Motivation
In a home office, you’re surrounded by reminders of your life at home. There’s a clothes washer to put on, you remember that there’s nothing in the fridge for dinner and your mother’s constantly on the phone. All of these everyday paraphernalia can make it hard to get into a work mentality. Equally inspiration and motivation won’t come easily when there are so many distractions around. Finding a light, airy, purpose-built office space can really unleash your creativity and help you to give your start-up the boost it needs.
5. You’re Unhappy with Your Lifestyle
Working from home can make you feel isolated. When you don’t leave the house all day, you’re unlikely to experience any positive social interactions. It can also make you feel unhealthy because you don’t have a bracing walk to work or a dash around the block during your lunch break. And if you struggle to make a distinction between work and home life, you could find your work-life balance spirally out of control. When a home office starts to impact negatively on your quality of life, it’s time to venture out into a new office space.
Moving into your own office space will mark a new and exciting chapter in the evolution of your start-up. Look out for these signs and, when you spot them, find an office that gives you space, the image and the motivation you need.
Amelie Mahone is a loving wife and a mother of 3. She loves to read about history and write articles on various topics, such as: business, education, history, teaching. Amelie is a Communications Specialist at Spacer US – a sharing community website where you can rent or find space.