Getting a first-hand insight from our very own CEO Chris Meredith, Londonoffices looks in to the many struggles that working from home can bring and how beneficial moving to a serviced space may be.
‘Growing up I saw the challenges that working from home can bring first hand. My father worked as a marketing consultant and whilst he was a one man band he offered a great set of skills and services to his clients; a client of his actually being one of the largest corporates in the world, with their head office based in America. Keeping up appearances was a constant battle, the home phone needed to be answered in a professional manner and my Dad had to juggle discussing multimillion pound contracts with having his two teenage sons fighting over the TV remote in the background; not to mention the dog barking at the window cleaner who had just arrived. When he had meetings with said company, a suitable venue would need to be found and this often resulted in expensive meeting room usage at a local corporate hotel chain. That was 15 or 20 years ago and the market has changed; now the solutions are endless to the multiple challenges that I saw for a small business working from a home address.’
Moving away from costly and stressful circumstances such as these in to a professional and flexible serviced office can change your attitudes towards your business as well as your mind frame, helping you to feel more supported and motivated.
The physical acts of dressing for the office and leaving your relaxing, comfortable home for a setting which your brain associates with work automatically prepares your mind for business without you even noticing. Remaining within the home on the other hand means that your brain has not necessarily made that switch and hence will find it more difficult to kick itself in to action, resulting in a less productive start if not whole of a day.
Another benefit of going in to the office environment is the fact that it provides you with a more rigid time frame for work. It may be the case that you still chose your own working hours as more often than not modern business centres are open 24hrs a day, however, the office environment is never as enjoyable, particularly with co-working space, as when it is full of like-minded enthusiastic people to bounce off. Working from home however does not present the same opportunities and it is much more difficult to enforce a strict time in which to begin work when there are no such benefits and nobody is going to jump on your back for spending that extra hour in bed. Telling yourself you’ll get up late and stay up late is never as effective as it may occur to be; our enthusiasm and attention span begins to lag the later in the day it gets and hence productivity slows down.
Networking and Support
As just mentioned one of the best things about having an office space and submerging yourself in a professional setting is that of the networking opportunities. Many co-working providers that Londonoffices work with offer an extensive range of networking events. WeWork for example offer anything from scheduled office hours with industry professionals to tequila tasting happy hours with the entire community, something that wouldn’t be as wise whilst sitting alone at home! The Office Group also offer a range of social events that are not only great for your business but for your wellbeing too, being able to get out of the office and socialise with people is always positive for the mind. TOG’s events cover anything from inspirational talks from specialists to yoga-lunches with the team. These events and socials are usually organised by a support team within your office who as well as creating these opportunities are available throughout the day to offer you guidance and feedback if you require it whilst you work. Although there may be the option of similar support via e-mail when working from home, this more personable experience may prove much more effective and beneficial as well as providing a boost in enthusiasm.
Something that may seem like a small factor although can actually make a big difference to your mind set and your businesses’ perceived status, is that of having a business address. Even if you do not regularly correspond with clients, especially via post, having a business address for those instances which do require you to provide one will more than likely cause clients to regard your company in higher precedence than when providing them with your home address. Having a home for your business may even increase your pride in both yourself and your work, causing your subconscious to take a day in the office more seriously than a day with your laptop on your couch. Financial Times Associate Editor Lucy Kellaway wrote in a recent column, one of the five reasons we should physically go in to work is in order ‘to convince ourselves that what we do has some purpose,’ supporting the theory that physical prompts can subconsciously change our mind set.
Selling serviced space to small businesses daily at Londonoffices, Chris summarises the fantastic benefits of today’s offices which weren’t available to his dad years ago,
‘Now you can get a professional phone answering service, an address for your post and a place to meet by just being part of a working community whether this be in a private office or a co-working space, both bring the above benefits. This however, doesn’t even touch upon the physical interaction with like-minded businesses and business owners, up against the very same challenges as you, who are available to collaborate with, talk to and learn from in a professional office. Co-working and serviced offices now provide the environment for a sole trader or small business to not feel alone in the challenges that they face and to actually be part of a professional community with the added benefit of portraying a positive image to their current and potential future customers/clients.’
Back in 2013 there was much controversy when Yahoo! Sent round an e-mail to all employees informing them that working from home would soon become unacceptable within their company and whilst many people working for the search engine were outraged by this, Chief Human Resources Officer Jackie Reses gave this reasoning within her staff memo, ‘Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings.’ Adding that, ‘Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.’ Whilst the latter part of this e-mail may not be strictly true to all who work from home, there are certainly many social aspects that are vital for a successful and booming business with many of these being unachievable when working away from an open office environment.
Whilst there are many proposed positives of working from home including, saving time and money on the daily commute, making balancing home and work life more manageable as well as losing those distracting colleagues or noisy environments, a study published within the Quarterly Journal of Economics found that these benefits may not always outweigh the negatives. Employees working at Chinese travel agent Ctrip were offered the choice to work from home over a nine month period and despite reporting higher levels of work satisfaction when working in their home environment, over half of the 250 employees chose to come back to working in the office once the research was complete; many attributing loneliness as a major reason for this decision.
Considering the many positive outcomes of working within the office, it may be the right time to give your home back that spare room and find yourself a spot within a professional business centre. It may be the only way to stay both productive and personable. Call us on 020 7166 7981 to make the moved into serviced space today.