I think I’m suitably qualified to talk about working from home. After spending 13 years in a corporate environment, I made the transition to working from home. I learned a lot about myself, about productivity, about the human condition, about sanity.
The eerie silence
Working from home, for me, was a solitary experience and a vast culture shock after so many years working in a crowded environment. I’m someone who is quite happy to spend extended periods of time on my own, but I found the eerie silence of an empty house depressing. As a result, I probably spent more time on the phones, chat apps and social media sites than was good for my productivity. Others have quite a different problem – their houses resonate with the noisy activities of children, making concentration impossible. Try talking to a client while a crying toddler is demanding comfort. It isn’t ideal, for you, for your client or presumably for the toddler.
When you are your own boss, procrastination can become a problem. Before you know it, you’re sleeping in for an extra 30 minutes, and showing up for work in a dressing gown with a bowl of cereal. Conversely, there’s no set going home time. Many times I found myself still behind the keyboard far into the night, without realizing how long I had spent at the desk. Ultimately, it’s all about discipline. Home office workers need a structured working day, to ensure they get their work done and manage to have a life too.
Meeting with clients
By far our largest issue, before acquiring our first proper office was meeting with clients. You can go to the clients premises, or meet up in hotels, but this means a lot is left to chance. Computers, broadband connectivity, noise levels – all are potential problem areas when meeting a client in an environment you don’t control.
The fact is, for many small start-ups, a proper office is out of reach. Leasing terms, rents, rates, utilities and fit-out all make the leasing process expensive. It doesn’t have to be like that, though. A number of businesses now do hotdesk rentals, virtual offices and short term lettings. These can be ideal for small businesses who maybe only need a small space, or want access to a plush office for meetings a couple of times a week.
We now offer hotdesk, private office, meeting room and training room rental at the Spiralli business center. We decided to provide this service because we knew nobody else was doing it in Mallow. If anybody else was doing it, we would have been their customer! If you’re in the Mallow/North Cork region and are interested in having an office presence in the center of town, come and have a chat with us.
For more great insights check out Ivan’s blog over at spiralli.ie/blog