It has been about 6 months since I broke free from the corporate world and started up my own business working from home. While it has been challenging, it has been the greatest decision I’ve made for my career. Working from home has given me a lot of freedom, however the past few months I’ve started going a little crazy always being there. Working from home is definitely not for everyone, but there are plenty of options outside of the home office office where you can go run your business.If you work from home, you probably know what it can feel like always being at your house. Sometimes if I’m not careful, I will let 3 or 4 days go by without ever leaving the driveway. Don’t fret though. Here are a few options open to you.
Rent an Office
The first choice a lot of people think about when transitioning out of a home office, is to move in to their own small office. This is definitely a good option if this is something you can afford, but can add additional costs to running your own business. Before taking the plunge into your own office, consider the extra costs other than rent such as an Internet connection, utilities, gas to get there, and other expenses.
The benefits to your own office is the fact that you will have a place to go every day that is quiet, your own space, and is a good boundary between work life and your home life. This is a great option if you have kids or other distractions at home that is preventing you from getting work done.
A few downfalls of the private office is cost, and being alone for that long in an office might not be the right fit for you. If you need people around you, you may have a hard time being by yourself all day long.
There are multiple places to search for small offices on the net, but my favorite is CraigsList.
An alternative to your own private office, is a co-working facility. This is basically a place where entrepreneurs can come together and share the costs of a workspace. Each facility tends to be unique in what they offer, but most are a great cost effective choice that will alloy you to be around other entrepreneurs throughout the day. Many of these facilities charge by the day, week, or month.
Check out http://wiki.coworking.info for more information on locations near you.
Coffee Shops and Restaurants
As I write this post I am sitting in my local Starbucks (only because there isn’t much else around with Wi-Fi), sipping on some coffee, watching a few people laughing, and listening to some jazz. I tend to come to this Starbucks a couple of times a week to get out of the house and see that there is life outside my home office. If you aren’t easily distracted, this can be a great place to come work a few times a week, meet clients, or just relax. Most cafes now offer free Wi-Fi, or if there isn’t a good local shop near by, you can hit up Starbucks for their 2 free hours per day of internet access.
Don’t forget about the old library. Pretty much every library has Internet access and is a great place to crank out work if you need a quit atmosphere. It probably isn’t the best place if you need to be on the phone a lot throughout the day, but can be a great alternative to a coffee shop or your house.
Restaurants and Pubs
Many local restaurants and pubs are now offering Wi-Fi access. If you are the type that might get distracted and try that new seasonal brew while working on your laptop, you might end up not producing the best work. However it can be a great break in the middle of your day to grab an extended lunch and be able to crank through some of your backed up emails or catch up on some blog reading. Just try not to order the pitcher of beer even if you know you are going to be there awhile. Trust me, your work quality will decrease.
If you are the travelling type and can afford it, take a trip somewhere relaxing and bring your laptop along. Many hotels have Internet access so you can make it into a working trip. Take some time to relax and some time to work. You will be amazed at how much you can get done when you are on a relaxing working trip.
Whatever you choose, make sure to pick what works for you. Lately I’ve been searching for a private office, as the coffee shop can be a little too distracting for me and my home office is starting to drive me crazy. What works for me though, will not be for everyone.
How do you handle from working for yourself? Where do you work?