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Work from Home or Rent an Office?

When starting a business, one of the first decisions you have to make is whether to work from home or rent office space. Both of these options have the pros and cons. Before making a decision, look at all sides.

Working From Home

Pros:

  • Saves money. With your business just starting out, you can save a lot of overhead by setting up a home office, particularly if you don’t have a lot of start-up cash.
  • Shorter commute. The temptation to just roll out of bed and into your office is alluring.
  • Flexible work hours. When your office is in your home, you can easily work during non-business hours without inconvenience.
  • Home-office tax deduction. When you work from home you can deduct a certain percentage of your home costs from your taxes.

Cons:

  • Procrastination potential. With so many things to grab your attention at home, you may find it difficult to get work done.
  • Become a workaholic. If you have a hard time not working, having a home office can make that worse. Checking you email can turn into hours on the computer before you know it.
  • Interruptions. When you’re home, your family might think you’re available when you really aren’t. Getting work time respected is difficult with a home office.
  • Limited space. Unless you have a large free space, you might find your work paraphernalia doesn’t really fit your home.

Rented Office Space

Pros:

  • Separation of work and home. When you have separate spaces, you can devote your attention to both more effectively.
  • Professional presentation. When you rent a separate space it’s easier to bring clients into your office. Even a small office can project a professional image.
  • Greater productivity. Without the interruptions of home, you will have more time to actually get work done.
  • Adequate space. In a dedicated office you can take up as much space as your business needs. Need more space? Rent a bigger office.

Cons:

  • Instant overhead. Once you sign a lease, you’ll be obligated to put out a certain amount of money every month regardless of how your business does.
  • Less convenience. In cases of emergency when you need to access your files, you’ll have to drag yourself out to your office.
  • Less access to amenities. If you don’t have a lot of money for office space in your business plan, you may not be able to afford one with very many comforts. At home you have, well, all the comforts of home.
  • Loneliness. If you are the only one working on your business, a small office can get lonely fast.

 

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