Using your home as a base for your business is becoming increasingly recognised as a sound commercial decision, rather than simply the last resort. OK let’s face it, it just wouldn’t be practical for some companies to operate from home, but many can, and with the right home-working set-up business growth can be accommodated as well as early days start up.
The key to successfully running your home-based business, ironically, is having access to workspace outside of the home that you can use whenever you need it, and that perfectly suits your needs.
Domestics and business don’t mix!
The idea of meeting customers, suppliers and associates in your own home no doubt has the effect of putting many people off the whole idea of home-working. As well as a real invasion of your private space it can also present a potential security risk, and at the very least it can be a real inconvenience (I speak from experience, having frantically run around with the hoover in advance of a kitchen-table meeting more times than I’d care to mention). It’s difficult enough when you work from home to keep domestics and business separate, but having to worry about whether the dishes have been done brings a whole new perspective to business planning and prioritisation!
Then of course there are the family considerations. Many home-workers work non-traditional hours, starting and finishing work in the early hours and often working at weekends, with the joys of working in your pyjamas having been well documented as one of the real benefits of home-working. When the family’s at home, though, concentrating on work can become a real challenge, and when the ear-plugs and ‘mummy’s working’ sign just aren’t cutting it, dreams of finding a work sanctuary for a couple of hours can be overwhelming.
External workspace makes home-working a viable option
Home-working is a fabulous way to achieve maximum life/work flexibility while keeping your operating costs to a minimum, so it has a lot going for it. Combining home-working with using external workspace on an occasional basis makes home-working a viable option for businesses that need a public place for meetings and drop-ins, but not all of the time. It also makes sound business sense as you’re only paying for space when you really need it - the ‘shop front’ just doesn’t have the same place in today’s society, where values are changing and business image can have more to do with whether you’re on Twitter and Facebook than whether you have the latest interior finish to your reception area.
Find the perfect place for you
Having said that, wherever you adopt as your occasional external workspace has to say something about you and your business. There are so many space options available, from community to creative, quirky to corporate, you can literally choose the impression you want to give and select a space accordingly. The alternatives are infinite in the North East region for both public and private occasional work and meeting space, with easy to access wi-fi increasingly becoming the norm even in spaces you wouldn’t naturally associate with business. Cafés, cinemas, libraries, art galleries and community centres, as well as more traditional serviced office space, have a great selection of space that’s available on tap, many of which are either free or available for hire by the hour.
Space on Tap is a home-based business that currently employs three staff including its founding directors. Space on Tap's Perfect Places Directory is opening the doors of many of the versatile places that exist across the North East, connecting people with their perfect places. Through Space on Tap’s unique Open Door service private companies are also starting to offer their own spare meeting and workspace for use by businesses that aren’t looking to invest in their own premises at least in the short term, with the obvious spin-off benefits of meeting new customers and suppliers while they use their space. With an online booking service and space available for booking for periods of 90 minutes+, this is also a great way to find occasional workspace during the week and at weekends.