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Ask business questionsSometimes, figuring out how to run a business and managing the ins and outs of the day-to-day tasks is completely overwhelming. This month, we want to take you back to basics as we focus on office infrastructure.

The first question that needs to be considered is whether you should work from home or if you’ll be better equipped to run your business in a traditional workspace. There are a lot of things you need to consider when making this choice. At first glance, it may seem that working from home is the best choice because, well, it’s free; however, while working from home is easy on your budget, it has its own set of unique challenges that may or may not make it right for you.

 

Here are 8 things you need to consider before deciding where to work:

  1. If you are easily distracted, working from home may prove to be extremely difficult for you. Between interruptions from your spouse and children, not to mention your dogs who bark incessantly every time someone walks by your house, staying focused for hours at a time can seem impossible. Never mind the unexpected solicitors—selling everything from solar panels to religion—the UPS guy that’s delivering your most recent Amazon purchase, and the fact that your couch and television are literally just down the hallway. By renting or buying an office space, you remove yourself from most of your distractions, freeing yourself to focus completely on work.
  2. If you find it hard to “leave your work at work,” it may be hard for you to work from home. Having an office space outside of your home practically forces you to have better boundaries—and a better work/life balance. On the flip side, when you work from home, everything on your never-ending to do list is always accessible. It’s very easy to work twice as many hours from home as you ever would if you were in an office, because it’s always “right there.”
  3. Size of your team. If it’s just you, working from home is a pretty easy decision to make. On the other hand, if you have a team of people, you may not have the space at home for it to be feasible to work there. Or it may simple feel uncomfortable inviting your employees to your home.
  4. If your business requires you to meet with clients in person, you may not be comfortable inviting them to your home for any number of reasons. If this is the case, renting or buying an office space is the obvious solution, unless you plan to always meet your clients at their office.
  5. There are pros and cons to both choices and in this case, it is always best to consult with a Certified Tax Coach in order to make the most educated decision possible.
  6. This should not be the biggest deciding factor but it is definitely something to consider. Working from home means you have no commute at all, no fighting with traffic, etc. But if you do choose to commute, there are some tax benefits you can take advantage of.
  7. Personal needs. If you need to do laundry, be at home for an important delivery or have the freedom to hang out on the couch for an entire day with your sick child, working from home could be your ideal solution.
  8. Social needs. Some people work well alone for hours on end and thrive in an isolated, at-home office. Others need social interaction to energize them for work and do much better in a communal office environment.

There is no standard right or wrong answer when considering if working from home or working from an office makes more sense. It’s very much an independent decision that requires a careful analysis of the pros and cons on each side. No one knows your business (or you) better than you so take take time to think through all of your options. And remember, the decision you make today does not have to be the decision you make forever. Try working from home and see how it is for you. If it’s inhibiting your productivity, you can always rent or buy a space.

If you decide to work outside the home, your next big question to answer will be whether you should buy or lease a space. That’s what we’ll be talking about next week so be sure to check back in with us then!

8 Things To Consider Before Deciding Where To Work

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