One of the first decisions you’ll have to make if you work for yourself is where to work.
You have two choices: either you work from a home office or a separate workspace. Depending on the kind of work you do, there are pros and cons to either scenario.
Pros to Working from Home:
- A home office saves you money. You’re already paying your rent or your mortgage for your space, so there’s no additional overhead to incur.
- Your commute time is zero. With an office down the hall, you’re always at work on time, you’re saving money on gas, and you’re not stuck in traffic.
- There is no boundary between your work life and your home life. If you need to run a load of laundry while you’re working, you can do that as you’re getting other tasks done.
Cons to Working from Home:
- There is no boundary between your work life and your home life. Yes, this is both a pro and a con. While it can be nice to do the laundry during the day to save you from some weekend or evening chores, sometimes those home-related tasks can quickly become distracting—even enticing.
- Working from home can make you stir crazy. As nice as it is to wake up and simply walk down the hall to work, sometimes the walk “home” can feel stifling. It can be difficult to get out of the house and get some sunlight and see other people, whether for work or for fun (especially in the age of email and Facebook).
- Working from home requires greater self-discipline. Even without co-workers stopping by for water-cooler talk, it’s a lot easier to get distracted by time-wasters like the internet or even television. And with no one looking over your shoulder, it’s up to you to stop yourself from wasting that time.
Pros of Working in a Separate Office:
- There is a very clear line between your work life and your home life. A separate office space doesn’t contain the same temptations as when you work from home. There’s no TV, no kitchen, no laundry, or anything else that can distract you from your revenue-generating or marketing tasks.
- A separate workspace seems more professional. Having clients or vendors meet you at home has a more casual feeling than inviting them to a separate office space, which is more business-like.
Cons of Working in a Separate Office:
- You need to pay for it. Incurring the additional costs associated with renting a space can be challenging, especially if you’re just starting out.
- Finding the right space can be a challenge. Unlike renting an apartment, leasing a commercial space often requires a long-term lease. That means a greater commitment in terms of the look and location of your space—not to mention a greater financial commitment.