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No office or home office?

 by Yvonne DiVita – Co-Founder of BlogPaws

MychairAre you struggling with the concept of a home office as opposed to an office away from home? Entrepreneurs and solo-preneurs often have issues with working from home. If you're part of a family (of more than two – more than you and your significant other- like kids and pets), having a home office where you can shut the door seems like a great idea. Doesn't it? 

I've never had a home office with a door. For the most part, my office is the dining room. It's not the dining room table – it's the dining room. Open to the living room (or family room) and the kitchen. I like it that way – coffee is just a few steps away! – but if I was 25 years younger and doing this with my 3 kids milling about, I don't think it would be ideal. (not to mention we'd have more than Emily and Olive fighting over the chairs – as they are in the pic here)

Some folks favor the basement for their home office. Some choose a spare bedroom. Whatever your choice, making it work can be tricky. And, that's why knowing you have options for an office outside of the home, can be helpful. Also, an office away from home makes it easier to meet clients in person – rather than always at the local coffee shop where you have to do business out in the open, and compete with all the chatter in the room

Here, directly from my Smart Brief on Entrepreneurs newsletter, are some alternatives to the home office:

Save Your Startup Some Cash With These Office Alternatives (thanks to YEC – Youth Unemployment in America):

1. Business incubators. Back in the day, before moving to CO, our book publishing business was located in a local Tech Incubator. Small office, not too expensive, and not too far away. 

2. Your local library. Interestingly, our libraries have rooms to rent. I know folks who hold organizational meetings in libraries so why not book a room for a once a week office? 

3. Talk to your friends and colleagues who have office space that is sitting empty, unused. Chances are they're open to renting it at low-cost. 

Where do you have your office? Is it ideal? Would you take advantage of any of the above suggestions? 

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  1. I have to have a separate work space as a telecommuter/work from home individual. From as far back as I can remember, noise distracts me from focusing. So I have to shut the office door, keep myself being distracted and it works famously for me. A bedroom in our place was converted to be an office. With my dog by my side and working independently yet part of a larger group, I love my work from home set up.

  2. I’ve been working from home for about 6 months and I’m considering getting an office away from home. Right now I’m having some difficulty separating work from play. Basically all I do now is work all day. I think having a separate work office will help me balance my time a little bit better.

  3. Mom could definitely use a nearby – but not in our apartment – office. Working from home for her often ends up with her working on the computer 24/7. Just when she thinks she’s ‘done’ for the day, or taking a break, something triggers something else she needs to do and there she is, working again. Dad hates it. He wants her to go back to a job with an office so she can ‘come home,’ rather than being home all the time, but unavailable! I love it though, since my favorite spot in the world is on the floor at her feet when she’s on the computer! =^..^=

  4. I have also learned that closing the office door helps. It is a separate part of the house and when the door is shut, I am less likely to “just look for one more minute” 😉 – I love a virtual commute

  5. My husband took our 2nd bedroom and kindly offered to turn it into a “office” for me…that room is FULL of cat and dog items, a super messy desk, printer…and yes, a door…..(we installed an opening for cody to come through when I have to shut it to avoid Dakota’s barking)
    My second computer is at the kitchen table…where do I spend most of my time? The kitchen table, it’s centrally located, and I am NOSY. But…I get way less done there than when I lock myself away where I SHOULD be

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