Corporate culture is taking a back seat as a new wave of entrepreneurs, start-ups, small business owners and solopreneurs sweep into the business world. The environment we work in can drastically affect our mindset, mood and well-being, and an entrepreneurial working space should be a comfortable, productive and inspiring place to work to allow free-flowing and innovative ideas.
Whether you work from home, in a co-working space, or at your local cafe, each working environment comes with its own list of pros and cons.
Working from Home
With the benefits of technology right at our fingertips, working from home may sound like the perfect lifestyle for the new entrepreneur or small business owner. No more bosses, more flexibility over your schedule and the comforts of home within your reach. However glamorous it looks on the outside, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make a business succeed.
Reduces travel and saves you money:
No longer having to travel to and from work saves you time and money — allowing for more flexibility in your day. Entrepreneurs are always looking to save on costs, especially in the start-up phase, and working at home is one of the most cost-effective ways to start running your business. Especially when there yet to be any overhead costs.
Comfortable environment with less interruptions:
Your workspace is the place to make magic happen so make it supportive, comfortable and inspiring. Having your own working environment means less interruptions and enables you to switch off from the world whenever you choose to — especially when deep work is required.
Virtual access to everything you need:
For a monthly fee you can access a virtual office right from the comfort of your home. A virtual office provides a variety of feature-rich set of programs, applications and services. Add in ongoing remote support and access to cloud technology and you get the basics of what every small business needs.
More time with family:
Working from home allows for more time spent with family. However, whilst you can now attend school events or help watch the kids when needed, what you want to achieve in your business takes a lot of dedication, so it’s important to make sure you stay focused and disciplined with your time.
Whether it’s the neighbour’s lawn mower, your baby crying or the dog barking, working from home can get quite noisy at times. Whilst you can silence the world with earphones when doing work, this environmental noise can make it incredibly hard when needing to talk to clients or customers.
You might forget to clock out:
Most entrepreneurs and start-ups are ambitious. They want their business ventures to succeed and will work hard to get there. This means that the clock never stops ticking and can blur the boundaries of work and home life. It’s important to remember to take regular breaks throughout the day as this will help maintain your productivity and energy levels.
You miss the bubble cooler and bathroom chats:
One downside is that working from home can get very lonely at times. In an office environment there’s always someone to talk too and connect with. However, it’s a little harder to replicate when you work from home.
There are distractions everywhere!
When you work from home, you’re surrounded by distractions. Whether it’s the pile of dirty dishes that need your attention, your dog pining for a walk, or your child calling out for you, there are endless distractions which can keep you from your business.
Your Local Cafe
With such an abundance of cafes in every city, we really are spoilt for choice with where we can work and meet with others. A cafe gives us a place to enjoy good food and good coffee, strike up conversations, conduct meetings, form new connections and is a popular choice for many small business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs.
A great environment to conduct meetings:
With its diverse atmosphere, buzzing one minute and quiet the next, cafes are a great place to meet clients and take the edge off. Whether it’s an informal meeting or one with importance, allow the scent of coffee to waft around while you talk business.
Working in a cafe could also be just what is required to get your creativity flowing. Whether it’s the buzzing background noise or diverse collection of people, there’s something about cafes and creativity that go hand in hand.
As we are all social creatures, working for yourself and not being part of a team can become a little lonely at times. When you visit the same cafe a few times a week you begin to get to know the staff and other locals — leaving you feeling more connected with the belief that you are part of something bigger.
A change of scenery:
If you’ve been cooped up at home for too long, heading down to your nearest cafe could be a welcome change of scenery. There are many trendy coffee shops which have funky decor, especially inner city — making for a very comfortable and stylish place to work at or hold meetings.
It gets costly:
If you plan to stay at a coffee shop for hours, especially if you have a few meetings, to avoid guilt you may feel the need to keep buying food or drinks. Whilst a coffee can fit the budget, adding other items such as lunch or treats can become costly over time.
Frequent interruptions and distractions:
It is known cafe etiquette for a waitress to come over and ask you how your meals or coffees are, or if you would like anything else. While this is great customer service it can get quite frustrating during deep work or in a meeting with a client, especially when you’re constantly interrupted.
It can become very busy:
If you’ve decided to spend a few hours of your time working in a cafe whilst getting your coffee fix, even if you arrived to an almost empty cafe and were able to grab a private place to work quietly in, cafes can fill up quite quickly, especially around lunch time —making it harder to take that important phone call.
Lack of security and privacy:
Spending a few hours working in an open space with large volumes of people wandering around might not be the most private or secure place for your devices. Even if you have your mobile phone right in front of you, all it takes is being inattentive for a few seconds for it to disappear.
Coworking spaces are fast becoming a working trend amongst freelancers, entrepreneurs and start-ups. With so many coworking spaces opening around the world on a regular basis, it is now a popular choice for self-employed bosses who are missing office interaction. Not only do coworking spaces offer the comfort and amenities of an office, they also provide a community environment of like-minded individuals.
Inspires innovation and creativity:
When you spend your days working alone you could be limiting yourself and/or your business. However, working in a shared environment with other creative and motivated people allows to you form connections, ask questions and bounce ideas — leading to more innovation and creativity.
Endless opportunities for collaboration:
Whether you’re a graphic designer who can offer web design to a web developer or a photographer partnering up with a marketer to offer full personal branding packages, working in a space with other entrepreneurs can often lead to great collaborative partnerships.
A place to meet your clients:
Most coworking spaces offer a variety of designated rooms and spaces to hold meetings. You can choose a quiet space for you to meet with your clients, talk on your phone or shut yourself away in deep work. They also offer a business postal address, which is great for Google Locations.
Flexible Lease Terms:
To cater for many different business and individual needs, a variety of coworking spaces offer long and short-term leases, as well as day rates for those who like a little more flexibility. Weekly, monthly and annual plans give you access to a desk, meeting rooms, hang out spaces and wifi.
Can be costly:
If you’re still in startup phase, a coworking space might not be the best option for you. Whilst there are no costs working from home (plus tax benefits) or from a coffee shop (minus the latte), the rent of a coworking space can add up over time. Even hiring a hot desk can start at $300 per month.
Lack of privacy:
Unless you’re prepared to pay for a private room of your own, you may lose a level of privacy. Many coworking places use glass dividers instead of walls, which means you may have others overhearing your phone calls. Though there are places to go for privacy, it won’t help if you need to pick up an urgent phone call, or stop someone from looking over your shoulder when working on a confidential client project.
Could get distracting at times:
If you need to prepare a presentation, make a few phone calls or switch off and get stuck into your work, it could get a little distracting hearing ringing phones, pinging emails or others walking around or talking near you. Always keep a pair of headphones nearby which you can quickly pop on whenever you need to.
Parking can be a nightmare:
A popular coworking space or one located in the heart of the city generally has limited parking spaces. Some places do offer allocated parking but it’s always a first in best dressed scenario. This might not only be an issue for you but also for anyone who wants to visit you too.
As you can see there are many positive and negative aspects for each entrepreneurial workspace. A great entrepreneurial-style work environment should be good for your wellbeing, motivating, spark up your inner creative spirit and inspire innovation. Whether it’s a coffee shop, home office or shared coworking space with others, finding the right working environment for your business is extremely important when it comes to start-up success.