There comes a time in every business when you have to decide whether to continue working at home or hire office space to facilitate growth. It can seem like a monumental step for any small business moving from a home office to a office unit.

If you’re an established business or budding entrepreneur you might feel like you have outgrown your home office and are thinking of hiring office premises. Its an exciting move but one that has to be right for your business. So if you have been mulling this issue over into the wee small hours, we hope this article will help you come to a decision.

Home office vs hiring office space: the pros and cons

Home office

If you have just started your business then a home office is ideal to begin with. A spare room is perfect, or adequate space to set up a computer and the all things you need to run your business are all that you need. Basically you need a central area in your home from which to run your business – a place that you can close the door and get on with your work.

Having bits and pieces laying around your house will be chaotic, keep everything related to your business in one place is essential when it comes to getting your business off the ground.

The one caveat I have about working at home is that you need space and more importantly peace to be able to do your work without interruptions. If your home is an extremely busy one and there is always someone around then perhaps a home office isn’t the best option for you. Analyse your situation at home and ask yourself is this a viable option? Do you have space and peace in your home to operate your business from?

Treat your home office like you would going to a job, you would have set times (9-5) and a dedicated space to do your work. Keep the TV out of your office room, as it will become a distraction, its so easy to waste half an hour watching television when you could of been working.

Of course one of the major benefits when you are starting out is that a home office doesn’t really cost you anything. The only costs occurred are broadband and a telephone line, so its a cost effective option to begin with. As I’ve mentioned a home office can work if you have space and quiet time to be able to work from home. Its really important to be able to switch off from work mode when you walk out of your home office, or this could start evading into your private life.

There is also a social aspect to consider when you work from home, it can be isolating working on your own. We are social beings so if you like working with other people, a home office on your own might be not the right option for you.That said many people prefer to work on their own and thrive in this type of environment.

Hiring office space

Hiring an office space is a milestone in the your business journey and one that signals you are doing something right! As your business grows it becomes a need rather than want to have an office, operationally you need to bring your team together to work cohesively. Its more difficult or challenging to work as part of a team when you are working remotely – the level of communication isn’t the same and the rapport of working in a room together isn’t there.

An office also gives you the opportunity to have meetings with your clients in-house and your customers know where you are. I think a commercial business address can also look more professional than a home address, this is especially true if your customers are looking at your website and want to contact you. Having an actual office adds credibility to your business and shows that you are somewhat established as you have your own office premises.

Separating your home and working life can also be a good thing to do. Everything related to your work can be moved out of your house and put in your office. You know that once you close your office door you can leave work behind, giving you the opportunity to separate your business and private life more easily.

We have a number of small businesses occupying office space in our office development on Waverley Road Kirkcaldy. For these businesses hiring an office became a necessity in order to move their businesses onto the next rung of the ladder. Working from home wasn’t an option anymore because they are client based businesses and they needed a hub from which to operate their business from.

Cost is of course an issue for many small businesses but look into your lease options. As I’ve mentioned we hire single office units/rooms that are more cost effective, especially when you’re making the move from home. Make sure you look at the terms and conditions of your lease so you’re are clear about what you are getting and what not.

All in all you will know when your business needs it own office. It will become necessary as your business is no longer a home based enterprise as its outgrown that juncture.

John Kilgour
Managing Director
Fife Group