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Home Office to Rented Office?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by Greg, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hi everyone,

    I've been working from a home office for a few years now, ever since I started freelancing, and have recently been considering moving to a rented office in a dedicated office building, whether that's a rent a desk type setup or something more substantial. It won't be for a few months if I did decide to go ahead due to finances at the moment, but weighing up the pros and cons, I'm leaning towards thinking it could be a good move for productivty/sanity :)

    Has anyone else made the move before? Did you find your quality of work/home life improved as a result? Did you get more work done in regular office hours?

    Thanks for any feedback.. Greg
  2. been there done that mate :) its a different thing altogether :) did increase my productivity thats for sure :) I just did a rent a desk thing :) but it worked for me :) I just found that I ended up travelling to the office and working 8 hours then working more when I got home.. so it really depends if you want to make a real stop of work after the hours of 5pm or that sort of thing to define your work and personal life :)
  3. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Thanks Chris, and wow 6x :) in one post! Maybe time to add a limit to smilies per post? :D

    Anyone else made the move from home office to rented office?
    Thanks, Greg
  4. LOL at the smiley limit :lol:
  5. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    ok different take on things

    I work from home, have a dedicated office space, in my case it's nothing but my office furniture, office equipment/materials, sofa/chair and tv. Now working out of an office would cost me more money (even with tax deductions), I probably wouldn't have as much space and I'd also have an issues with my nda's and also leaving my pc on 24 hours a day while rendering (peace of mind in case it goes boom for example).

    I'd way up the costs and then see if it's really worth it.
  6. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Thanks Levi, appreciate the input, have been speaking with someone on Skype who's been leaning me towards kitting out a room at my parents house to be more office focused, at the moment I work from my old room, which whilst it has my office furniture the remainder of the room still has a bed, wardrobe, etc. I can feel a trip to IKEA coming on, and some painting!

    Levi, have you ever struggled with concentration/focus working from home? Did you setup the dedicated home office from day one?
  7. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    I've always had an 'office' type space even while at school (joys of being an only child :)), the only time I didn't was when I was at uni and to be honest it was pita not only due to space but you never got away from your work. The things with my 'office' is that I've always designed it to allow me to get everything set up in a way for maximum productivity, all printers/scanners etc are plugged in meaning I don't have to get things out of cupboards and I have set places for things like paper, ink that sort of thing. My current office even has 2 desks, one which is setup to deal with drawing/note taking etc (you know the stuff you do by hand) and another (corner type in my case) thats set up for pc work. I'm quite lucky in that the space is quite large but to me it does help to define areas for certain tasks etc.

    Having said that I suppose in my case my work is a little different, my work is kind of in spurts anyways, I normally have to wait between my renders (and that's the short ones) so I can normally trundle off and do something else.

    I also set aside time to do 'my things' but I'm also flexible in my work hours, there's no point me trying to do work if I'm not in the 'mood' as I just won't get much done, and I'm also more productive nearer a deadline (always have been) - as a side note and in case a potential client reads this - I haven't missed a deadline yet :)
    There's also the fact that I can work at 2am because of 'that idea', I'm not sure how many shared offices/desks allow you to do that.

    Now just got to break the smiley record :p
  8. Thomzo

    Thomzo Member

    I've never 'made the move' but a client of mine (in my day job) did and moved into one of these rent-an-office-by-the-week type places. It really worked for him as he had clients visiting and it was a lot more professional. It also had a receptionist who would answer phones and take in deliveries if he was out or busy.

    The downside for me (being a girly) was that the place was dead after 5pm and I found it really spooky being there on my own.

    I'm guessing that a lot of these places will be half empty at the moment so you should get a good deal.

  9. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Thanks Zoe, like the idea of the extras as you mentioned the reception and meeting room facilities, but the fact I wouldn't be able to work til 2-3am could be a bit of a negative, as sometimes get on a roll with projects :)
  10. Russell

    Russell Member

    Been debating this one myself recently. Looking for a more professional set up and to separate work and home a bit more. I'm planning on moving from a flat to a house though so makes sense to spend the extra cash on a bigger property/ mortgage than renting office space.

    My ideal will be to get somewhere with a decent garage and joining utility space/ WC and convert it or potential for an out building. I'm looking to take on interns and maybe a junior long term so would like to keep the house and office kind of separate.
  11. Krey20

    Krey20 Senior Member

    I'm actually in the midst of moving homes at the moment. Nothing fancy, but we're going to a slightly bigger flat. It has an extra bedroom which I'm tempted to steal away as an office type space.

    I've never really needed a set 'room' to work. I seem to be able to plonk myself down anywhere and get things done.
    Because of the size of our current flat I've always had to carve out a little working area in the corner of a living room, my finacee doesn't like the idea of me having an office because she believes she'll never see me!

    This sort of decision is purely business though. You have to assess how you work, under what conditions you work best and balance that with the cost. There's no point renting somewhere that you feel comfortable and productive if you can't afford it. I also don't think you can justify it by saying that you'll get more work done, so you'll get more money and be able to afford it.
    Just because you'll be more productive, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll earn more.

    If I were to put myself in your situation, I would consider the biggest plus to have somewhere that clients can come to you. Currently I visit them or we meet at a nice bar or cafe. That seems to work quite nicely, but it's not the most professional way to go about things, I guess.

    Then again I'm a big advocate of 'if it ain't broke...'
  12. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Thanks for your thoughts Russell and Ken.

    Russell, the home office setup in a separate area from the house sounds great, I don't think I could convince my parents to let me convert the garage otherwise that would be brilliant! :)

    Your thought of separating the work space from your living space reminded me of Amanda's office at Truly Ace > Truly Ace Graphic Design Blog

    Ken, I very rarely meet with my clients, as I don't have many local clients, so the advantage of having meeting facilities would be missed on me. I think I'm leaning towards improving my office here, perhaps by moving room and making it a dedicated room, will try some room layouts in Illustrator to see what I can come up with.

    Thanks everyone,
  13. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Greg, you could always look at a loft conversion if you have the option, if there space is there for the required height (2.2m iirc) you usually just need the planning regs to come round and make sure everythings up to spec.
  14. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Thanks for the idea Levi, unfortunately that would take a huge amount of work, I know my parents looked into it before, and there would be some issues with the way the roof is constructed meaning a lot of extra work compared with a normal conversion.

    There's space here, it's just working out to best utilize it, and a lot of stuff that needs moving around!
  15. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Another option is you could always add a wall, partition walls don't need planning permission as far as I know and would give you a clearly defined 'work' area if you did it well. Biggest issues I find is usually lack of 'walls' in smaller spaces so it might be something to consider if you can do it.

    Putting up a partition wall is a piece of cake, it's a few 2x3" lengths of wood nailed together and to the floor/ceiling. Cover it with plasterboard and the mesh tape if needed (insulate if you wish) then either dot and dab (basically filler over the mesh covered gaps) or fully render (plaster) the wall then paint when dry.

    Actually thinking about it, depending on how big your parents garage is you may be able to do it down the bottom of the garage (ask nicely about a separate door), it might be better to use breeze blocks to make the wall but it's another option.
  16. Thewholehogg

    Thewholehogg Active Member

    ...or dig a 'Bunker' in the garden.
  17. charles

    charles Senior Member

  18. Now I would love an officepod :D they are sooooo cool :D
  19. Thewholehogg

    Thewholehogg Active Member

    ooooOffice it.

    Maybe a bit snug after a while.
  20. Thomzo

    Thomzo Member

    I expect you've already thought of this, but before you take the plunge, check whether there are any restrictions on running a business from the house of your dreams. A lot of builders put clauses in the deeds of new houses prohibiting it and some planners don't like you setting up business in a residential area. You'll also need planning permission to turn part of your house into a business premises (not quite the same if it's just you working from home) but if you want to take on staff and have clients visiting then you would probably need it.


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