Monday, May 22, 2017

Working from Home vs. Working from the Office - Which One Wins?

A surge in self-employment over the past few years has spurred debate around working environments. One of the very benefits of self-employment and ‘being your own boss’ is the ability to work from home - but does it beat the office? 



Granted, working from home has many benefits; no over-head costs, eliminating traffic and daily commute, proximity to home and family and best of all, ability to complete a working day wearing slippers and pyjamas. 

However, we think that office space is still something to shout about. 

Of course, it’s all about finding what works for you and your business. Whilst office space is undoubtedly more expensive, ‘office space’ doesn’t have to mean traditional rented space. In today’s business landscape, an office can be your favourite table in a coffee shop, the library, a hired co-working space – pretty much anywhere that offers WiFi, and in this day and age, where doesn’t have WiFi?

So, what are the benefits of working in an ‘office space’?

Your working-day has a definitive start and finish:



If you are always home, abiding by pre-defined working hours requires a huge amount of self-discipline. When you work from home you never really ‘enter’ or ‘leave’ the office, so it becomes all too easy to have that extra hour in bed or carry on working past your ideal working hours.
On the other hand, time management is integrated into office-life. You will most likely have a generic start and finish time, lunch hours and breaks. Early mornings and punctuality become routine and easier to follow.

Is the work life balance of working from home a myth?:

When you work from home, your colleagues assume that as your home is your office, you are always available. This makes it harder to shut off from work. If you know that colleagues or customers can and will contact you at any moment of the day, you’re more likely to check emails and take calls.
However, when you leave an office space, colleagues generally assume that once you are unable to contact. This helps you to mentally switch off from your working day and detach ‘work’ from ‘life’.  



Interaction with others:

When you run a business single-handedly, it’s important to be out and about as much as possible. We all know the benefits of networking and how the majority of business stems from recommendations. But, it’s important to remember that networking doesn’t just take place at events, it happens in coffee shops, hallways, communal areas, meetings. Being part of a business community, such as 54 St James Street, and interacting daily with various kinds of people opens many possibilities.

If there is more than one of you in the business .. interaction with colleagues:

Sharing an office environment with colleagues allows you to understand the business more – you will have a more thorough understanding of the long-term plan of the company.
Additionally, increased face-to-face interaction is great for staff morale, building a better team ethic and developing your communication and interpersonal skills. 



Increases creativity:

Being able to bounce ideas from your colleagues is great for creativity. Sometimes a ‘silly idea’ said out loud can blossom into a fantastic outcome, and these are conversations that wouldn’t have happened from separate locations. 

Increases productivity:

Distractions in the work-place are far different to distractions at home. At home, a distraction could be dishes, a knock on the door, a stack of ironing, or whatever else. In the office, a distraction is usually still work-related, so your productivity isn’t affected because you are still working.

If you’re looking for the right workspace for you, we have a number of options suitable for all types of business available at 54 St James Street.

Office Space:

54 St James Street was designed to provide a light, modern, welcoming and distinctive addition to city life. If you are looking for office space, we currently have spaces available to fit businesses of 2-5 people. 54 St James Street was developed as part of the 'WICED' project to create a Women's International Centre for Economic Development. Our building is a flagship facility for female enterprise and home to many women-led businesses, for this reason we are looking for female-led businesses to fill the available office space. 



Hot Desking:

Hot Desking is an innovative alternative to traditional office space – it is a pay-as-you-go service with no ties that allows you to hire desk space as and when it suits you. This can be particularly useful if you are self-employed or travelling for business and crave the office environment, but don’t require a full office. To find out more about our Hot Desking services, head to the blog. 



Siren:

Siren is our on-site café and catering partner, it’s also the light, bright and welcoming home to many of the Baltic community who pass through each day for coffee or a hearty and delicious breakfast or lunch. With free WiFi, it’s the perfect environment to pull out your laptop and take in the mellow bustle of 54 St James Street.  



If you would like more information about hot-desking or business incubation, please contact our team on 0151 706 8100 or venue@thewo.org.uk.

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