Investing in your own office space. What Has worked for you?

51 replies
For the past couple of years, i have conducted my online ventures from home. Now, I am finding that it might be worth investing in office space to get more value work done and getting a formal separation point between work and home.

At home there are too many distractions.

What works for you guys?

Home
Library
coffee shop
your own office space

I'm interested to hear your thoughts.
#home #investing #library #office #productive #space #worked
  • Profile picture of the author Cyber Rankings
    An office space does work really well from my experience, the important thing is as you have all ready mentioned "getting a formal seperation" I don't feel it's healthy to be stuck at home all day everyday. When i was working at home it was hard to tell the difference between work and after hours.
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    • Profile picture of the author squeezecpa
      Hi Chris. So, are you still renting office space? Are you doing it individually? And how did it work in terms of quality work output?
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      • Profile picture of the author Cyber Rankings
        Originally Posted by squeezecpa View Post

        Hi Chris. So, are you still renting office space? Are you doing it individually? And how did it work in terms of quality work output?
        Yeah, I don't go in everyday but when I have some serious work to do and I need to concentrate then I go in. I have part time workers who join me a couple of days a week.

        I alway find that I get more done at the office, not entirely sure why it is. Most likely because there are no distractions.

        I would only get one though if your making enough that it doesn't really effect your income, i.e. just off set it against tax. If your only earning say £1,000-£2,000 a month then I am not sure it's worth it. It of course depends on how much it will cost you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael D Forbes
      Originally Posted by Cyber Rankings View Post

      It was hard to tell the difference between work and after hours.
      There's a difference?
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  • Profile picture of the author nrmillions
    as long as you have a laptop you dont need to rent an actual office space. for me i would get bored working from the same room every single day. you can work one day at home then another day in a coffee shop and the next day in a library and then a different coffee shop and then back home etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author squeezecpa
      Interesting point. Having the flexibility to work from different places is less costly then investing in office space. I think I'll give this a trial next week.
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    • Profile picture of the author Socialbakers
      Originally Posted by nrmillions View Post

      as long as you have a laptop you dont need to rent an actual office space. for me i would get bored working from the same room every single day. you can work one day at home then another day in a coffee shop and the next day in a library and then a different coffee shop and then back home etc.
      I completely have to agree with you. All I need for my work is my laptop and I need a productive workspace, but not the same all the time.
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      • OP, you keep saying "investing." Rental office space isn't an investment, it's an expense. If we're going to treat expenses as investments, then the $40 I spent on Indian takeaway last night is an investment. (In future indigestion.) :p

        By all means try it. You won't know if it improves your efficiency until you do.

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  • Profile picture of the author wizzard74
    Or you could hire a desk for the day.
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  • Interesting thread.
    I am considering converting my garden shed into an office space this year.
    Its not like renting a separate space but think it will feel more like an office space and can cut off home and office and separate the two. It can be tempting to feel like you are always at work when you use an office at home
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  • Profile picture of the author SBtells
    Hi,

    Depending upon the money you can spend....

    If you have enough money hire a office and if you don't have that much amount of money to spend in the rent go to thee coffee shot(it worked best for me)....
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  • Profile picture of the author FreeMeal
    Some universities have office spaces that they offer quite cheaply to small businesses (sometimes the call the incubators and pods, fancy names like that). Sometimes, if you live in a "deprived area" there's special help available for individuals in the way of affordable shared office space and studios etc. Maybe have a look down that route?
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    • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
      Originally Posted by FreeMeal View Post

      Some universities have office spaces that they offer quite cheaply to small businesses (sometimes the call the incubators and pods, fancy names like that). Sometimes, if you live in a "deprived area" there's special help available for individuals in the way of affordable shared office space and studios etc. Maybe have a look down that route?
      This. I've known community college incubators to be successful for a few friends. You also have the added benefit of access to students for internship opportunities if you want... But isn't required.
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  • Profile picture of the author WhiteDove
    What's wrong with setting up a special work corner for yourself away from distractions.
    You will focus better by having your space, your routine and no distractions.
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  • Profile picture of the author chelsie
    Its a better to have make improvement if have vacant space for lesser investment..
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    • Profile picture of the author squeezecpa
      Interesting points. I think there is no standard answer. It depends on the individual. For me, i am finding that there are distractions which i can't find a solution to within my current environment so i am exploring other options.

      I am leaning towards trying the coffee shop first. money investing in a small isnt too much of a problem. However, i always measure the investment. So, if i am finding i am generating less quality work or more or less the same, then i'll have to review.

      I think it always worth experimenting as you may find you get different results.
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      • Originally Posted by squeezecpa View Post

        Interesting points. I think there is no standard answer. It depends on the individual. For me, i am finding that there are distractions which i can't find a solution to within my current environment so i am exploring other options.

        I am leaning towards trying the coffee shop first. money investing in a small isnt too much of a problem. However, i always measure the investment. So, if i am finding i am generating less quality work or more or less the same, then i'll have to review.

        I think it always worth experimenting as you may find you get different results.
        Its always great to get out of the house and try to work even if its just for a few hours a week. I enjoy going to my local starbucks and working sometimes or sitting outside where I can get WiFi. Try this first before investing in renting a place
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  • Profile picture of the author rooze
    Many US cities have Government funded business 'incubators'. Basically you rent mid-quality office space at very affordable rates and you receive access to shared resources. There's usually a community conference room, fax/photocopier etc. Many are also staffed with a receptionist who provides basic answering services for all businesses in the complex.
    Another concept gaining popularity is the 'open office' idea. They're usually a private enterprise where you get to lease a desk/booth in an open area shared by other 'entrepreneurs'. You get the usual HSI and other facilities but it's laid out in more of a community format. The idea is that it promotes interaction and networking opportunities with like-minded entrepreneurs and business pros.
    They're fairly inexpensive but in some cases you do have to commit to a lease.

    Getting out of the home at key stages of your business development can have REAL advantages.
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  • Profile picture of the author squeezecpa
    That's a great idea. Off to jot it down.
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  • I've always worked from home and never had a problem. At this moment, I don't see why I should pay an extra rent and commute to an office when I can do it all from my own desk at home.
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    • Profile picture of the author squeezecpa
      I don't there is a one size fits all approach. I have recognized that the quality of my output has dipped 'because' of my environment. I believe its worth trying something new, rather than getting the same results because I've not changed a factor in my dip in output. i envy you!
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  • Profile picture of the author accessoffice
    In my opinion, the decision to buy or to rent an office work space may at times be really tough to make especially if you're just starting off. Although it can be difficult to fit into the budget at first, the benefits of having office space outweigh the extra overhead.
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  • Profile picture of the author uniquecontent
    Absolutely its a good idea After working for 2 years from my office and apartment. I rented a office space recently and things are more corporate now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Trev81
    Try a short term office let. Two months or so and measure it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    Banned
    I've personally found success working at Panera while I have breakfast, and then out of the campus library for the rest of the day. I work very little (if at all), when I get home at night.

    Don't use internet from any of these places though. I'd recommend investing in a mobile hotspot, keep yourself secure and all that.
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  • Profile picture of the author OrangeBull
    My basement has a former kitchen table with my dual monitor Hackintosh that makes for a nice quiet office space separate from everyone in the house. It is warm in the winter, cool in the summer and my wifi works just fine connecting to the network router. I used to rent a large office for my previous business which needed a publicly accessible space, but for an online business, why add to expenses?
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Years ago I rented a $500 a month shared office suite. They included use of secretarial services, conference rooms, and an upscale location. Even though it was to support my offline business, after a year I gave it up, as I found no benefits worth the costs.

    Clients almost never visited me there and the lessor 'nickled and dimed' the tenants all the time.

    For an online/offline business, a dedicated room in my home has been sufficient for years. My mobile office, if you will, is Starbucks, for a change of pace. ( and Starbucks rent is very cheap :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author donahue1327818
    That sounds a good idea.
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    • Profile picture of the author DeePower
      We've had our own offices, leased an executive suite and have worked at home. The offices at home worked out the most productive. Each of us has an office on the second floor of our home which is used strictly for business. We go up at 7:00 AM, break for lunch about noon and come downstairs for 45 minutes. Then back upstairs until quitting time.

      Dee
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      • Profile picture of the author Meharis
        squeezecpa,

        After reading all comments, I'm including another one with my own
        personal point of view.

        The alternative is to rent a space in a storage facility according to
        your needs and use it as office. (10x15 ~$150.00 in US)
        Most places have free conference room, mail reception, PC, WIFI,
        parking and even coffee.

        If there's no WIFI available, you can get wireless service from
        Boingo, Verizon, T-Mobile, ATT or many others.
        Also, you can ask for an outlet for your equipment by paying few
        extra bucks.

        No matter what your option might be, everything will depend on your
        personality, way of life, etc, etc.
        Therefore, anyone thinking working out of the house, an option could
        be, by testing for couple of weeks each alternative and making your
        decision after evaluating results and or preferences.

        Meharis
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  • Profile picture of the author katherineolga
    I work at:

    Home
    The Library
    Dunkin' Donuts (where I am now!)
    Other Coffee Shops
    Local Vegan Restaurant with WiFi
    Local Mall with Wifi
    Barnes and Noble

    I am at home 75% of the time. I do the other stuff about once a day around 2 or 3 PM because otherwise I'd be taking a nap. (I keep Mediterranean hours otherwise).

    Maybe I would pay for office space down the line but I like chaotic environments so it seems like a quiet office would be a waste of money for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
    It seems like an unnecessary cost just for the sake of a mild psychological shift.

    I'd just work on those distractions.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Have you tried a virtual office? This is a good halfway step between a full office and working from home. Many VOs allow you to work from their place on an ad hoc basis.
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    • Profile picture of the author greg80221
      The main problem is that once you have a office space you then need heat and water and internet. I have to agree that I do get more done when I am away from home its more of a comfort thing and a mindset more than anything. I can get a great deal done at home if I create the time and area to do it but I do tend to have the tv break and snack break that I would not do at a office. We are all different and work better in different situations
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    • Profile picture of the author Des Lau
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

      Have you tried a virtual office? This is a good halfway step between a full office and working from home. Many VOs allow you to work from their place on an ad hoc basis.
      I've recently signed up to virtual offices here in my city, it's like a gym membership, you can go to any of the facilities and work in your own space, for less than $30 a month!
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  • Profile picture of the author PPC-Coach
    It is a psychological shift. But I think it's one worth exploring.

    I just found out a buddy of mine leases in one of those university incubator sites for $400 per month. It's a nice building and office too.

    I think the physical seperation of work and home is sometimes necessary but I've also considered that bad habits are meant to be broken.

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  • Profile picture of the author Lightlysalted
    Great idea finding your own work space. I would opt for a coffee ago approach. You'll probably spend $10 a day on coffee which will save you loads on utility bills. I love the buzz of coffee shops, great for creativity!
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    I have an office in my place ( separated ) I use it for my work only.

    I found some of the interested thing is the places where you can pay monthly membership and have a shared work place.

    Although my office is great place to work, I find myself always more productive in a coffee shop over a cup of coffee
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
    I've tried it all (working from a bedroom, separate office room, the car, cafes, libraries, parks, shared workspaces, rented offices). What I learned I need to do the best work:
    • Fresh air
    • Absolute quiet when I need to concentrate for long periods to knock out some code
    • A view of the sky -- absolutely critical for big-picture thinking like coming up with ideas

    So I bought a house and I set up 2 workspaces. In the cold months, I have a home office; separate room from the rest of the house with a door and good window views (important to me) but still at home. Big desk, built custom shelving in the closets for office supplies and such, giant whiteboards, lots of screens to dock a computer to.

    In the warm months, I work as close to outside as possible without being outside; actually going outside introduces too much screen glare. I have a custom built sunroom with giant windows that span the entire perimeter. With them all open, I can feel every breeze and see the whole sky. The critters are nice too (full bird and squirrel feeders make sure the yard is always active).

    Not a great picture since it's night already, but... this is all it is. A popup table I take down when it gets too cold to work outside in Sep/Oct.

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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    I never understood the people who say they go and work in coffee shops to get away from distractions. I don't possibly think you could have anymore distractions than the constant comings and goings of a regular coffee shop.
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    • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      I never understood the people who say they go and work in coffee shops to get away from distractions. I don't possibly think you could have anymore distractions than the constant comings and goings of a regular coffee shop.
      WillR there are many studies prove that people can be more productive in coffee shops not because of the coffee but because of that environment, there is even a website that create for you a similar noise to what you get in the coffee shop to increase your productivity
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by onegoodman View Post

        WillR there are many studies prove that people can be more productive in coffee shops not because of the coffee but because of that environment, there is even a website that create for you a similar noise to what you get in the coffee shop to increase your productivity
        Obviously it works for some people. Just never understood the logic behind it though.
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  • Profile picture of the author HumbleGuy
    I believe it's an interesting consideration, but when you have ample of money. Or at least a reasonable regular revenue. Without it, it's better to focus on making more income and all these things will naturally come to you. If you think like I can't work because I don't have a separate office for work, that's not going to help. Be thankful to what you have and go ahead, live your life. It will soon create a positive mindset and make you successful like never before!
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  • Profile picture of the author ReferralCandy
    Are there any coworking spaces in your area? Look them up! Office space can be pretty costly.

    Before you do something relatively drastic like that, why not do more to improve your working conditions at home?

    Have a daily routine, set aside a space for work and nothing else, etc. Have you already tried that?
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneymaker2012
    That is a good question, I had the same issue earlier. Working from your home is sometimes very difficult. There are different distractions at home and even sometimes it is even harder to focus on work. So I'd say that "Office" is the best option.
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneymaker2012
    Coffee shops!!!??? are you serious???
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  • Profile picture of the author ceenote100
    Just a laptop and a desk at home. I need total privacy. I can't work in public places. People are too damn nosy.
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  • Profile picture of the author MouseandMice
    Treat it the way you feed a snake: One tank for chilling around, one tank for food.

    You have a location that is your "work" location. You have a location that is your "real life" location. You do not mix it.
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  • Profile picture of the author smith33122
    This would be a major benefit to me - although I am the main earner. My wife still thinks because I am at home I should do the cooking and shopping, because my day is so much more flexible hehe you have to love the wife logic

    From her perspective I am the old man working in the potting shed growing roses and the internet is just tinkering around
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  • Profile picture of the author curationsoft
    having your own office can add another expenses to your budget. if you have extra then consider it but if your budget is tight, you might also consider to think it twice.
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