I get a lot of questions from coaching clients and vendors wanting advice asking when and if it’s a good time for them to get an office space. A year and a half ago I decided to make a big change for Be Inspired PR and moved my business from my home office into an office suite (as seen on Design Sponge). I had reached a point where my business was bigger than my space and a change was needed. I can honestly say it’s one of the best changes I’ve made!
A lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs start in a home office hoping it will one day grow into a viable business and when that happens it’s important to make changes to sustain the growth. Office spaces have such a dramatic impact on work life. They allow you to meet clients outside of your home but still in a place where you’re comfortable and is private. Coffee shops are great for casual get togethers and catch up sessions, but aren’t so great when meeting clients for the first time and discussing business strategies. An office space also helps separate personal life from work life. When your home and office are two in one, often times boundaries become blurred – it’s much harder to leave work at work when your work is your home. Plus, office spaces provide less distractions! No personal phone calls, no visits from neighbors and when out of town company visits you don’t feel rude locking yourself in the bedroom to get work done. Showing off your creativity is also a great opportunity for an office space provides. When clients come to a space that’s completely designed and decorated by you they’re able to get a feel for your style and personality. If done right that’s a great asset to your company! However, as nothing is perfect in life an office space does have some drawbacks. Office spaces cost money – rent, maintenance, decor, furniture, phone/internet, etc, etc and commuting takes time out of your day. If your business is experiencing success these drawbacks are overshadowed by all the opportunities an office space provides.
So how do you know if you’re ready to make a change? Here a few signs it’s time to leave the home office behind:
- When your dining room table has turned into a conference table and your bed becomes a substitute for your desk
- When you’re having family dinner and responding to emails at the same time
- When you’re having to schedule use of your house with clients and your family
- When your at home conversations revolve around work
- Not being productive at home… you’re not reaching the goals you set for yourself
- If your business grows to the point where you need to hire employees ( having more then 1 person working for you in your home space can be tough!)
- You’ve visited every Starbucks within a 20 mile radius to find the least busy one for client meetings
- When your office attire consists of a variety of pajamas and sweatsuits on a daily basis
If you’ve decided to make the move and are looking for design ideas for your new office, check out some of my favorites that helped inspire my office makeover: Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, Pottery Barn… and if you need a good laugh during this whole process check out Catalog Living!
Photo by Stephanie Williams