By Elephant

I Ditched My Office

As a freelancer, I’ve worked out of private offices, shared workspaces and occasionally cafes. About two years ago, I decided to set up my desk at home and abandon any notion of a dedicated headquarters. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

There were pros, cons and as with anything; teething problems. There was simple stuff; re-directing mail, altering my phone line and transporting the equipment and props I’d accumulated over the years. However, I now needed to conduct client meetings in coffee shops, curb the temptation to work into the small hours and attempt to eliminate distractions where possible.

On the positive side, I found my overheads were significantly reduced, my productivity increased, my general mood improved and I could now take my dog for a walk any time the impulse struck. When making this decision, I considered three main points.

Do you need an office?

Are you able to afford it? If you can’t, you probably shouldn’t have an office. Even if you can, it’s worth considering how beneficial it is to your business. If you only have a few clients or colleagues crossing your doorway per week and you could operate from home, why not do it? What you will save on overheads, commute time/costs and actually having to find jeans in the morning is priceless. Essentially, if you only have an office to stroke your ego when informing people that you have an office, you don’t need one.

Can you work remotely?

Half the time that I was in an office, I was distracted by conversations with people who I worked with and my productivity was slaughtered. More often than not, I found myself coming home with external drives and working at home anyway. If you have the self discipline to actually park yourself in your chair each day and avoid the lure of Netflix, then you will be fine. I absolutely love having my equipment on hand so that I can head out to film any time that I want or work on a project in my free time if I feel like it.

Will you make time to socialise?

This is by far the hardest part of working from home for me. It’s very easy to turn from a social butterfly into a very isolated person. However, if you make the effort to get out for a coffee/walk daily and are prepared to actually go the extra mile to make time to catch up with your network regularly, then you shouldn’t have any problem. This will take some fine tuning.

If you’re in the early stages of your business and don’t have staff yet, then it’s absolutely a great option to work from home to cut costs and increase productivity. While this worked for me, I know a tonne of people who can’t work at home. They enjoy having a dedicated workspace and the ability to leave work at the office and relax when at home. I need a ‘decompression’ ritual after work to wind down (which is basically me spending some time with my cat on the sofa).

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