Friday, 26 July 2013

Working From Home Can Be A Solitary Occupation

With an ever-growing band of people working from home a home-based business is no longer viewed as something rare or the preserve of working mums hoping to balance family and work commitments. A small business run out of a spare room can appear to be a much larger concern when it is an internet-based business with a professional website and a strong online presence. With small companies of fewer than 5 people offering niche goods or services the face of retail is changed already in the UK and continuing to change, with vast opportunities for those who want to start their own business.
People are driven to starting up a small business by a range of factors - redundancy, certainly, is a major factor; offering both the time and financial resources to embark on that dream idea for a new product or services. But many people are simply tired of office politics or the daily commute and want to improve their quality of life. Improving that quality of life does not necessarily mean working shorter hours; in fact, the self-employed usually work longer hours but it does give freedom to work where and when you like whether that is your kitchen table of a country cottage in France.
But what happens when you have been living the "dream" working from home for a few years. If you previously worked in a busy office or other work environment then it can be lonely working on your own. Phone conversations rarely make up for human contact and there may be no one around to bounce ideas off or help talk through problems or issues. Not even anyone to have a cup of coffee with.
And yet many small business owners do not want to spend their hard-earned income renting office, warehouse or studio space and often find there is nowhere available that is small enough for their business if it is simply a one-man-band. So if there a solution to the solitary working environment of such a business?
Fortunately there are a number of facilities that offer flexible, inclusive and (very importantly for most small businesses) affordable community office facilities for start-up and growing businesses. They provide additional benefits that are simply not available to those based at home. They have small but fully equipped offices for 1 or 2 people, or if that is too big a step many also have hot-desking facilities so you only use the space (and pay for it) when you need it. They have super fast broadband, which may be taken for granted by most city-dwellers but is not yet available nationwide in homes.
And they have meeting rooms available, which is preferable to meeting in a coffee shop, particularly if you need to discuss confidential information. They also provide the usual virtual office services such as telephone answering. But best of all there are people there - usually like-minded small business owners offering networking opportunities and support as well as a social aspect.
Of course it is a big step for any small business that is based at home to commit to having a proper office and it is not the only solution to making life easier. There is always the option of self-storage to ease the pressures on space in your home, even if it just means you can have a larger desk and a more spacious working environment. It is an affordable and convenient option and self-storage in London and other large cities is considerably more cost-effective than any of the alternatives for storing business stock.


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