Working from home. Renting a shared workspace. Moving into — or relocating to — your own premises.
There are pros and cons to each of these options.
Choosing where to work may come down to your situation and budget. But it’s important to think about what suits your working style too.
Working from home can be convenient — especially if you work around other commitments, eg your family. But it’s not for everyone. It takes discipline to avoid distractions or avoid working too much.
Sharing a workspace — or co-working — is when you rent a desk or area with other self-employed people. Once mainly the choice of start-up businesses, co-working is now popular with a range of people, including sole traders. It’s a good way to beat the isolation you can feel when working for yourself.
Find co-working spaces(external link) — Sharedspace
Dunc and his business partner have been working in a shared workspace in Wellington for the last two years.
“We looked into moving into our own premises, but were put off by the length of commercial leases — which were generally three years. We’re in growth mode and are not sure where we’ll be by then.”
“There’s a real buzz about this place — it feels like everyone’s got your back. It’s a bit like being in a flat-share or university. One of the downsides is that it can be noisy. You’ll notice most people working with headphones.
“It can be hard to find a quiet corner to make a phone call, and it’s a bit gutting if you’re still working on a deadline, or trying to close a deal, and everyone else is right beside you enjoying Friday drinks.
“That said, we’re really happy here. I think the things that annoy us, we’d miss if we moved into our own space.”
Moving to your own premises means more freedom and can make you feel like your business has taken a step forward.
You can either buy or lease your own workspace — both offer different levels of stability and flexibility. In either case, it’s big financial decision, so get good advice and do the sums.
Serviced offices share facilities, eg a reception area, cleaners, power and IT, but each workspace is private.
If you’re thinking of moving into your own premises, but aren’t sure where your business might be in a couple of years, renting an area in a serviced office can be a good way to dip your toe in the water. They offer shorter leases and many allow you to increase and decrease the size of your area — so you can downsize or grow over time.