Shared Office Space vs. Working at Home: What’s the Difference
Posted on January 26, 2017 by Franco Alvarez
To each his own shows how people has the right to make their own choices. Now, these choices are extra crucial when it comes to the professional aspect of your life.
Preferences like job description, job position, salary differences, and even the work environment matter heavily because of its effects on one’s work performance. Undoubtedly, you’ll prefer a work environment that fosters creativity, allows flexibility, and motivates you to put your best foot forward.
In the past years, the trend of working from home has seen a definite increase. For example, 38% of employees in management, business, and financial operations occupations and 35% of employees in professional and related occupations did work at home. It has experienced a huge leap from 19% in 2003 according to the 2015 U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics’ study. The comfort of having your own space and using familiar things at your own discretion surely clicked with a lot of employees.
However, the shared office space trend is on the rise this 2017. Based on a study by Global Coworking Unconference Conference, there will be about 13,800 coworking spaces globally this 2017 in comparison to 2016’s 11,300. The boom is because of the supportive environment (perks like free Wi-Fi and comfy seats) shared office space brands itself with. Not to mention, they are much more affordable than traditional offices spaces.
In the infographic below, we’ve identified the differences between a co-working office space and working at home, and how it all rounds up to the value of a great work environment.
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Right off the bat, working at home saves your business a lot of money. As you aim to lessen the expenses on renting an office space, it seems to be a good decision for your small business to start with work at home set up for your employees.
However, a co-working space banners a professional environment. It is definitely cheaper than your traditional office space which makes it a decent alternative. The key is projecting the expenses of your business and where you could potentially pull strings and move the money spent on a workspace somewhere else.
Set-up and Atmosphere
Having a space by yourself has a different vibe and atmosphere to it. It is peaceful, quiet, and promotes a laser-like focus on the tasks at hand. However, looking for that perfect spot for work in your home can be quite challenging especially when you don’t have the budget to build a legitimate home office.
On the other hand, a shared office space has designated work areas built right away. Some shared office spaces also have a brainstorming room with couches and bean bags for comfortability. There are provided office equipment like printers, scanners, and Internet service—all of which you can remove from the things you worry about when you work at home.
A set up like this will look more credible especially when the nature of your business are keen on meeting clients and guests. Just imagine the situation when your client visits you at your own home. That won’t give a good perception to your business.
A person’s productivity is highly dependent on one’s preference. It is important to take note, though, that having that buzzing energy around you will push you to be extra productive. On the other side of the coin, you’ll likely be more productive with work at home because you’ll allot your commute hours to more important tasks—eliminating time wasted on traffic and other miscellaneous activities. Moreover, only having yourself to cater to your own needs and having an uninterrupted workflow enable you to check more tasks on your to-do list.
It is much easier to collaborate and brainstorm when you can meet face-to-face with your co-workers. Although there are available apps you can use to do conference calls, sharing ideas and throwing opinions back and forth in person have a different effect on the quality of work done. Besides, easily walking and tapping the person on his or her shoulder when you need a quick feedback is possible in shared working space. As to when working at home, a person might be away from his keyboard when you’re asking for an urgent reply to an important matter.
In the day and age of short-attention span due to social media, distractions are inevitable. It’s up to you to decide in what work environment you can lessen these distractions. Peace and alone time are what you’ll get when you work at home. However, this is a double-edged sword. Since you are at the comfort of your own home, your tendency is to do other familiar activities like watch TV, do household chores, or worse, go to sleep.
In a shared office space, you can’t control who you share the workspace with. You might work with people who prefer having fun and free-flowing brainstorming, while others might prefer a strict and sit-down meeting. The form of distraction is different, but at least, you’re in a designated space that conditions your mind to work.
It is safe to say that you are more secured at the confines of your home. You are familiar with the people who come in and out of your home. While in a shared office space, the diversity of people in the area also puts the security at risk. Although these are professionals, you are still outside and exposed to a lot of other factors that are beyond your control.
In the business industry, growing your networking is a daily task. You should never stop creating connections from yourself to other people, and from your business to other potential business partners. A shared office space allows a good breeding ground for networks because you can interact with people from different industries. On the other hand, working at home literally limits your connection to a device and internet.
Furthermore, shared office spaces have common events for all the renters of the area. This will make your work open for feedback, and as you know it, constructive criticism will only make your product and service better than ever.
If you want a tight and professional work ethic, a shared office space would satisfy your taste. In the presence of your co-workers, you’re likely to mimic their hardworking and positive attitude towards work. Working at home won’t teach you to be sensitive to other people’s intricacies, and your interpersonal communication will surely be negatively affected.
Nowadays, people have the perception that working at home permits you to fit your schedule and life around it. By removing the travel and preparation time to go and come from work, it leaves blanks in your schedule to insert recreational activities for personal reasons. However, can you really find the separation between work and personal life when there’s only one space you do both in?
It should be easier to put a division when you work in a shared office space, as it operates similarly to a traditional office. Office hours, designated workspaces, and co-workers surrounding you condition your idea of work, and when you leave the area, you get to enjoy some personal time.
You’ll probably manage your time better when you work at home, but what’s in question at this aspect is the quality of work. Efficiency is not just about how many tasks get done, but also the quality and the amount of time spent on it. When you’re surrounded by creative and innovative ideas in a shared office space, a fresh insight on your work is always available.
Weigh your options properly and decide where your business could benefit better. Businesses that offer shared office space like Foxhole can give you a first-hand experience just in case you decide to step out of your home. At the end of a work’s day, you perform better in an environment you think suits you best.
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Franco has always had a passion for entrepreneurship. Even at a very young age, he would constantly find an opportunity to make a little cash on the side. May it be selling women’s bracelets made out of safety pins and cheap stones or writing research papers for his rich classmates who didn’t want to study, he took advantage of each chance he got. Now, as a father of three and a full-time entrepreneur, he believes that there is always an opportunity to be of service to your fellow businessman. All you need to have is the right intention, and the proper skill set to be of help to others. In his downtime, he and his wife find new things to distract their kids with.