Our latest blog series has been covering the art of building your business online. Cell phones and wireless technology have made it extremely easy to conduct business from almost anywhere in the world. In fact, the biggest problem is not lacking the the technology to connect with people around the world, but figuring out a way to manage people in different time zones. But whether you work at your home, or in a shared workspace, here are few options to consider when it comes to creating a workspace for your business.
Working from Home
Not having to go into an office can be a glorious thing. You get to avoid office politics and work in your pajamas (if that’s your thing). But for some people, working from home can involve distractions, boredom, and loneliness.
In order to make working from home work for you, make sure you have dedicated space that you consider your workspace. This might be your home office or garage, or it may be your kitchen table or even your bed, if that works for you. The point is that creating a familiar work ritual can help you be more efficient. Make sure the workspace is comfortable. If you have a home office, give it some life with a plant, a nice desk, and a comfortable chair. If you’re going to be spending hours in your workspace, you might as well make it warm and inviting.
Entrepreneur has a great list of things to keep in mind when working from home, and one of the best ones is making sure you create opportunities to conduct work outside of the house. If you need to have a meeting with someone, go to a nearby coffee shop or park. If you find you’ve been staring at a screen for three hours, go outside and take a walk. When you home is your office, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you’re in work mode all the time, but you should make sure you give yourself breaks so you don’t go crazy.
Remember that working allows you to deduct certain costs come tax time, so be sure to track costs like utilities and work-related furniture.
Some people hate working from home. They miss the sense of community that can come with working in a shared environment. If this sounds like you, you may want to look into a shared workspace in your city. While they generally require some sort of up-front cost, they can help you be productive. If you’re working with a team of freelancers, shared workspaces may be appealing because they allow you to conduct business with others outside of your home.
Shared workspaces generally also double as unofficial community centers. Chances are the people you’re working next to are also investing in themselves and running a small business. You never know when you may meet someone whose vision aligns with yours and would be good to work with.
Make the World Your Office
Starting an online business offers you the chance to carve out a little more freedom in your life. So if that’s the case, why not try to run your business from somewhere exotic?
Depending on what you do, you may be able to run your business while traveling the world. If you find that most of your business contacts and freelancers are located in other countries, you’ll probably find that it’s just as easy to work with them from a beach in Vietnam as it is from your apartment in Boston. In fact, depending on where you live, you may find you save a bit of money doing this.
Keep a look out for the next entry in our series which will cover the benefits of running a business online versus having a brick-and-mortar presence.