Home Sweet Home Office? Maybe Not.

We live in an economy of freelancers, independent contractors and more people than ever starting their own businesses. Much of that work is done from home offices, but there are limits — and drawbacks — to running a successful business from your home.

Blurred lines

Blurring your work life and home life can be a significant problem, according to a recent article by US News and World Report. Completing necessary assignments can compete with distractions such as child care or putting in another load of laundry. A work day that may normally end at 5:00 p.m. can easily bleed into the evening hours when your workplace is also where you live.

According to Stewart Friedman, director of the Work/Life Integration Project at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and author of the book Baby Bust: New Choices for Men and Women in Work and Family, “A lot of people think, ‘Oh this is going to be great,’” only to find out that one of the hardest aspects of working at home is “creating boundaries at home that really keep you focused.”

Additionally, while a company’s online presence may help bring in customers, not having a physical office (other than your home) may cost you business. Case in point: Sunday Steinkirchner who, together with her husband, started New York-based book company “B & B Rare Books” from their studio apartment. Currently, while they still occasionally work from home, most of their labor is done at a rented office. “Working in a residential neighborhood, we were missing out on a lot of traffic that we’re kind of getting now having an office,” Steinkirchner told US News.

Without an office a potential customer may not think your business is worth considering

Some customers will never feel comfortable with you unless you have a brick-and-mortar location, according to an article in Forbes magazine written by Steinkirchner. She recounts the story of a woman who came to her home office and was hugely disappointed after she trudged up the stairs to her apartment (the elevator wasn’t working that day). Upon entering the apartment, she looked around and exclaimed “I would have never agreed to come if I knew you didn’t have a real shop!”

Whether you are starting a business or have discovered that the cost of your current home office or location outweighs the benefits, Tampa Executive Suites can help you achieve your goals.