Should I get an office? or stay in my apartment with my pajamas?

by vbkid
38 replies
Hey Guys,

I'm new and really like this forum. Like I said in my intro post, I just graduated and can not find a job, so I'm utilizing my old skills of IM to make some money.

My problem is concentration. I feel like I might be more efficient and my business will profit more in an office atmosphere. Something to dress casual for instead of sitting in my Hanes.

Don't get me wrong, I love waking up eating a bowl of Frosted Flakes, drinking my coffee in the HANES, but business is business.

Has anyone made the 'office' move, and was it for the better?

Since this would be my first office move, I was also wondering if there are
any precautions or situations I should look out for?

Thanks,

SW
#apartment #office #pajamas #stay
  • Profile picture of the author Theresa_wahm
    It's definitely a good idea to have a separate work space! So...you can stay home in your pajamas and work...or you can get an office so your mentality can be "work" mode. Which one do you prefer?
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  • Profile picture of the author sunnyman
    How about this: FIRST make some money - THEN invest some of it to get some type of office space....
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    • Profile picture of the author naruq
      I have commercial property that I own. I also have a home office in my home. I use both. However, if you are just starting out I would work from your apartment until you are earning enough residual income where you can invest in an office.
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    • Profile picture of the author Anup Mahajan
      My take - its good to have a separate office space. But it should be near your home.

      Regards,
      Anup
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    • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
      Originally Posted by sunnyman View Post

      How about this: FIRST make some money - THEN invest some of it to get some type of office space....
      When you start making enough money to justify an office then you maybe should get an office.


      TL
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  • Profile picture of the author vbkid
    Hey,

    Thanks for our insights... I may use my ex-gf's closet as an office, seeing that it is 7 feet by 6 .
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi,

      Should I get an office? or stay in my apartment with my pajamas?
      Get an office but continue to turn up and work in your pajamas. That'll make 'em scratch their heads.

      I may use my ex-gf's closet as an office, seeing that it is 7 feet by 6
      Be sure to let her know if that's your decision. I've heard of people being arrested for stuff like that, and I doubt that they'll believe your alibi.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      This is my office. It's in our apartment, but with a door to shut it off from the rest of the apt. Lots of room, productive space, and I don't have to commute (plus I get tea brought to me.

      Kevin Riley Inc The New Product Creation Labs
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      • Profile picture of the author IMChick
        Originally Posted by Kevin Riley View Post

        This is my office. It's in our apartment, but with a door to shut it off from the rest of the apt. Lots of room, productive space, and I don't have to commute (plus I get tea brought to me.

        Kevin Riley Inc The New Product Creation Labs
        Wow, that's really snazzy. I'm going to email you a big plant for your prosperity corner so the business can grow out of this space!
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    • Profile picture of the author Glenn Grundberg
      Originally Posted by vbkid View Post

      Hey,

      Thanks for our insights... I may use my ex-gf's closet as an office, seeing that it is 7 feet by 6 .
      Hey, I ran my first contracting business out of an "office" that was in a walk-in closet no bigger than that.

      Problem is, I am a heavy smoker, and I almost suffocated myself

      But hey, you do what you have to do...

      When I started working 100% online and had trouble with focus in the beginning I found it helped to:
      • Get up at the same time every morning...
      • Get DRESSED...
      • Eat breakfast...
      • THEN sit down and start working!

      Resist the temptation to check your e-mail first. Really.

      Once you develop a routine, it gets easier, and then you can slack off a bit, but not in the beginning...

      HTH!

      Gman
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  • Profile picture of the author vbkid
    hey Man,

    That looks awesome, I may want to borrow your info rack... would that be ok?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
      I work from my house. I have a separate area as my main office but I'll mix it up. I'll work from my dining room, kitchen breakfast nook area (that's where I'm at right now), etc.

      If the problem is lack of concentration (we all suffer from this) you need to work on that first. Having an office to go to won't magically make you concentrate. You can waste time and not focus casually dressed in your office just the same as in your hanes in your apartment.
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  • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
    Quite often, I use KFC as my office in the morning and Starbucks in the evening.

    I connect via Wifi or wireless broadband.

    Derek
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Brian
    I've moved to an office late 2008. It's much better than sitting at our dinning table at home w/ a laptop. And also, I don't hear when my mom screams at my brother :p Hmm.. how about a Post your office/workstation thread?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    Hey SW,

    Frankly it's going to come down to your own mindset and the availability of funds.

    If you have an apartment full of room mates or family you will need to set up a work space that is off limits to everyone else. You need to let them know when your in the work space, that is what you are doing working and not to disturb you? (Much easier said than done, especially with small children.)

    I find it much easier to get in a work frame of mind when I'm dressed comfortably, showered and shaved. My work space is in the 2nd bedroom of our small house. The work station has everything I need to work on my products.

    Make sure you turn off the TV and if your playing music turn it down so it is a background sound only and not distracting you.

    As far as focusing you know how to do that. I'm assuming you crammed for exams and that is the type of concentration to bring to your home office. It of course is the same concentration you will have to bring to an office.

    One thing I do recommend is that you have a "Casual Friday" at the home office or the office office. It is a change of pace and will do much to refresh your mind and help ease the tension of a long work week. My mentor is the one who recommended that I do this every Friday and he is well known here on the forum as the "Drunken Greek" or B.. Mi..

    He in fact was so concerned about "Casual Friday" he made sure I had the full picture and understood clearly the full meaning of "Casual".



    Here to your success no matter which decision you make.

    Ken Leatherman
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      As long as you have a quiet space to work, you should be OK working at home at least to start with.

      BUT - best to get up and prepare as if you are going to work. Shower, dress, eat some breakfast and then "go to work" prepared for the day. The beauty is the "dress" can be shorts and a tshirt - but getting ready for the day puts you in the mindset to work.

      Have a work schedule in mind - such as work two hours, take a break. Leave your workspace to have lunch, etc.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author lynzki
    I have a home office too. I converted one of the rooms in my home as a place to 'work.' That way I can focus and get the work done. I think it's not where you work that matters, it's the mindset actually.

    But do the right thing if you feel you'll be productive by doing it. My $0.02!
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  • Profile picture of the author vbkid
    Ken,

    Thanks man, I definitely know what type of concentration you are talking about, and for me to be able to do that I need a library booth on the sixth floor with a Box -O -Joe from Dunkin Donuts lol.

    However, I think I'm going to plan out what I want to do, rental space is expensive here and so I'm looking more for a workstation.

    I definitely have utilize Starbucks and other Coffee Shops as an office from time to time, one hard thing about the Internet is the lack of communication with others.

    I may start with a large desk and see where we go from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shonee
    Hey,if you have a spare room in your apartment, you could make it your office and make the arrangements like an office.. that's what I have done. BUT if you want to experience how it is to work on fixed timings and commuting to office daily in formal clothes, then you might consider taking up a place and operate out of it.
    It absolutely depends on your mind set as well as your resources.
    However, I believe you'd work the best in a quiet place with no disturbance and where you can concentrate to think sharp for your business. That's what really matters.

    Just my 2 cents
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  • Profile picture of the author Melody
    If you can't develop focus and dedication at home for something as important as your own business - do you really think an outside office is going to make that much difference?

    In an outside space you are likely to have other kinds of interruptions as well - people in the other offices stopping in, people calling or visiting to sell you business services etc.

    Learn to focus FIRST - then when you have the income, revisit the issue. The problem of focus won't change - you will just have different set of distractions.

    Melody
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  • Profile picture of the author BrainDance
    hi SW
    I haven't read anyone else's responses yet, but wanted to let you know my experiences. I've been on my own for 10 yrs and have considered several times getting an office.
    Several Points i wrote down and thought on myself
    Why do you want the office.
    • If you are looking for standalone office space, would the investment be best put into a larger apartment.
    • Are you planning on promoting locally and will a standalone office help your business income in any way with the community or simply be a hindrance.

    Is it affordable
    • Rent, phone,internet,utilities, any new hardware,software needed. Office furniture, security for your office.
    • If you will have people coming and going, what type of insurance will you need. What kind of business licenses will you need to acquire.
    Downsides:
    • Pop-ins: those that stop by for whatever reason, free advice, shoot the breeze, sell you something,etc. Its great to be nice, but distractions are a hassle
    • Additional expenses
    • If you are in an office building, are the hours limited? Not all of your clients are on a 9-5 schedule and within your time zone

    It's a new work world

    Why is working from a in sweatpants a bad thing? In my ten years I haven't lost one client because I wear sneakers to work and my office is 10 feet from where i sleep!
    I have to say I have my self on a schedule, where I eat, actually get dressed then "go to work" or i will find myself, 12hrs later still in my sweats, with bowls all over the place and the apt a mess. So there is a schedule and discipline involved. My office space is just that, my office. all work and product photography and phone work is in one area.

    Business is Business, yes.
    In the world of internet marketing, what makes a business is how you run it, not what you are wearing while you are running it! Unless of course you do video conferencing, then getting dressed is always a good thing.

    hope you find the help you need, people here are always willing to dole out advice based on real experience!
    Linda
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRealDomainer
    I started from my home, got an offie for:
    consultation and meeting my clients.
    Giving out one-on-one training
    Selling my physical IM Videos, Cds, Mannuals and Books

    Yes, you need to have an office
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  • Profile picture of the author TeamDad
    I started from home and found typically unpleasant home tasks taking priority over unpleasant work tasks. I.E. Cold calling lost out to doing laundry and mowing the lawn. I earned more money out of the house and going to "work now".
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  • Profile picture of the author IMChick
    Put yourself on a disciplined schedule, and make sure that the exceptions to this schedule are few and far between. For instance, sleep till noon and stay up till 3 am if that's how you work best, but make sure that the 'noon' (or whatever) doesn't vary with very few exceptions.

    Once you have a schedule going, you're probably going to benefit from the extra income. The post above by BrainDance is great for trying to figure out if you can actually afford an office. Maybe you can, maybe you shouldn't. But make your decision with all the facts.

    Two other points to consider--can you do an office share somewhere? You can rent a desk, phone, office with a door set up in a shared suite with one receptionist. If you're really lucky, you know someone with space in their office who will let you freeload. Plan to pay rent there after a short while though.

    Break up your day (stick to the schedule you set above, though). Get out of the house with an old fashioned pad of paper and a pen or take the laptop out for some fresh air. Bookstores, coffee shops, the public library, your school library, places with internet connections, if you need the 'net for something and you have the proper virus protection in place. But only do this if a change of scenery helps you to focus.

    FOCUS and discipline are the name of the game here. These are the new work skills that you'll need to develop for this IM adventure, or for any job. Not everyone is cut out to work for themselves or are disciplined to work in their sweats from home. Try a few tricks to get moving in the right direction and see where you end up.
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  • Profile picture of the author patchua17
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    • Profile picture of the author Dredger
      The key is organization and self discipline. As you work through the day, keep a pad and pen handy and start your to-do list for the next day. You will be the one to decide what your most important tasks are. Do you need to get keyword research done first? Maybe site design takes a front seat to keyword research in your work flow. Whatever it is only you can decide. Write down each step in the process of what it takes to accomplish your goal - build one website a day, work on backlinks, product research, keyword research, etc. As someone else has already stated, you will not get the gift of focus from a different geographical location.
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  • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
    Yep I agree with the post up there.

    Make some money first....then invest in an office space.

    Trust me, I know what you mean about concentration and having a better atmosphere.

    Take care

    Omar!
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    • Profile picture of the author Joanne Greco
      It depends on your lifestyle and your needs. I have kids that I like to be available for, so my desk is right in our family room (kind of like a hang out room with books, playstation, tv, etc). If I need alone time I have that in the morning before they come out of their rooms, in the evening when they're in their rooms for the night or when they're out at Girl Scouts, sports or a friends house.

      I actually like being in the hub of my house...I don't think i would enjoy being isolated away from my family or the rest of the house.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbshort
    It's critical that you set a schedule for the day so you don't get sidetracked. It's not easy to do when you work from home, especially when you work alone.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Here are a couple of added suggestions...

      If your need for office space is only occasional --

      > Check into a hotel for a day or two and live on room service until your project is finished. Get a room away from other guests, if at all possible.

      > If you need to meet with customers and want to do it on neutral territory, use a hotel lobby or coffee shop. They're used to this type of business meeting.

      > If you only need some isolation for a few hours, see if your public library has isolated study carrels with a door you can shut. Or see if there is a college library where you can stake out a corner for you and your DD.

      If you really want permanent space --

      > Check into renting another apartment. It may be cheaper than commercial space. Turn a bedroom into your inner sanctum, with desk, computer, etc. Main room becomes the conference room, meeting room, recording studio, even a place for small seminars or workshops. You even have a break room (kitchen) and private rest room. An efficiency might be cheaper yet, and the only thing you lose is the walls around the inner sanctum...

      As others have said, though, the time to look into this is when you're already making enough money to pay for it. When you have no job or steady income, voluntarily adding to the stress of paying bills is downright masochistic...
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  • Profile picture of the author Talltom1
    One suggestion that I haven't seen mentioned so far are the 'virtual offices' or the executive offices.

    For $250 per month I have the ability to schedule up to 16 hours of office time per month, plus I have a mail box/street address for my business, plus I have a dedicated phone number that someone actually answers during my absence.

    For $1000 per month these same facilities will give you a fully equipped office totally complete with state of the art equipment and furnishings. Plus the amenities I mentioned above.

    Most larger metropolitan areas have these types of buildings. Check Craigslist under Real Estate. They all list there.

    There is one large one with internationally located facilities (something like 750 different locations around the world). However, I found their pricing structure and policy to be downright predatory and I walked away.

    Talltom
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Bridges
      My office is in a corner of my living room. Fortunately, my wife and kids are away during the day, so I am able to focus more easily on my priorities.

      However, if you are easily distracted...tv, dishes, laundry, pets, WII, etc., then it may be best to separate yourself in order to insure focus. That being said, I recommend making some money before springing for an office lease. The truth is, there will be things to distract you there as well, so you just have to suck it up, block out your surroundings(maybe noise cancelling headphones in a noisy house), and get to work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
    I bought one of those Garden Offices. It paid for itself in just over a year as there was no office rent to pay.

    Very comfortable inside and it means I can work from home but not actually be in my house.

    When the wife is screaming and the kids are nagging I can easily sneak out to the office. Ooops - kids screaming, wife nagging ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author knallanon
    It don't really matter as long you are comfortable at what you are doing.
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  • Profile picture of the author warriordd1
    I heard of this guy who had a home office and he would get up in the morning.... get into work clothes(casual office attire).... as if he was going to a regular office job....

    then he would go out the door of his house and return thru a different door.... then get to work.

    it made him feel like he was leaving his home and doing a regular job. He said it made him really productive.
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    • Profile picture of the author Makabongwe Maseko
      I think having a different room in your house is a good option.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    I have a home office except for those times when my 26 going on 17 year old daughter breaks up with her boyfriend again and then I have a laptop at the kitchen table

    Any cute, smart, single guys here with a job?

    Matt
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