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To home office or not to home office

To work at home or to work out of an office; that was a client’s issue today.  This client has been ln business for approximately 11 years and has moved back and forth between a home and an executive suite. I asked for a short list of pro’s and con’s for each location.

First, home office pro’s and con’s

  • At home I don’t get motivated
  • I find myself working in “jeans” instead of getting dressed in a business attire.
  • I can’t invite my clients to my office
  • It doesn’t feel as if I am really working
  • Family issues can disrupt my work
  • Saving on rent is a big advantage to working at home’s
  • I have all my material with me in case I have to work late

Now, executive suite pro’s and con’s

  • There are other people working there and there is a lot of energy
  • I have a nice conference room to use when meeting with clients
  • Because I have to work some evenings, it’s hard to know what I need at home
  • I sometimes skip going to the office because I am to lazy to drive so I work at home
  • I take my computer home with me every day and that is a lot of extra work.

Neither list was very long and I did not get a sense of a particular preference from my client. Because the company has been in a growth pattern since its inception, the location did not make a difference as to  the income generated. Since the office is currently in the home, we worked out a set of rules for the next six months and then we will re-evaluate our options. The rules are as follows:

  • Plan a meeting with someone everyday. (business support group, client visit, civic organization, etc)
  • Find a place in the home which will be the permanent office and can be isolated from the rest of the family.
  • Furnish the office so that it looks like and functions like the office at the executive suite.
  • Since the clients are buying knowledge and service, tell them at the initial meeting why you use a home office and how it benefits them. (challenged my client to create a list)

A short and simple solution; one of  the weekly meetings has to be with me at a local coffee shop, our focus will be on growing the business. Ask me in six months how it turned out.

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In the last analysis, our only freedom is the freedom to discipline ourselves.

Bernard Baruch

Have a great day!

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