Since the work place market shifted to incorporate more flexible and affordable work space options, we’ve seen an increase in people leaving their home offices to work in a co-working space, a shared office or a serviced office. We met with these workers (typically small business owners, mobile workers and independent workers) and asked them what their main reasons were for moving away from home based working.
They come in all shapes and sizes. Children need entertaining, washing needs doing, the post man realises you work from home and uses you as a holding office for the rest of the streets deliveries, granny pops in for a drink, dinner needs prepping, a quick trip to grab a coffee turns into a quick clean of the kitchen, friends calling for a chat or a pet of some description vying for your attention. Disruptions are one of the most common reasons we hear for people wanting to move on from working at home.
Work/home life balance:
Many people who work from home report that very subtly, the lines between home life and work life become blurred. You can never escape your office. Leaving for work and leaving the office for home is an essential part of the day for some, the journey alone allows them to transform from ‘work professional’ to ‘parent/spouse/friend’ and vice versa. Staying home when ill or when the children are ill means a chance to rest, and you don’t have to deal with the children being home all during the school holidays! People are likely to call round ‘whilst you are home’ for a chat. One home worker reported being constantly contacted by family members with task’s because ‘as you’re at home’ or ‘whilst your off’ and ‘the rest of us are at work’
Humans are social creatures, we are designed to seek out others for interaction and companionship. Whilst working from home initially seems a productive and efficient solution as there is no one there to distract you, it very quickly becomes a lonely and isolating experience. People often reported having the TV on in the background, or the radio playing, or making trips out to the shops specifically to break up the boredom and loneliness. Being able to bounce ideas off others in the office, have a moan to someone over a coffee or just take a quick break from a work project actually increases productivity.
Working from home has the perception of being a cost effective solution for smaller businesses, but there are many unexpected and hidden costs. Being at home in the day means your utility cost’s increase and you may need to pay higher rates for phones/broadband. You need to purchase office stationary and furniture/equipment commonly found in office/work spaces. Your home is not the ideal place to meet with clients and suppliers, so the added costs of using external meeting rooms or coffee shops is there. Many people who made the transition from home to office said their expenses dropped because although they were now paying for office space, they were benefiting from the buying power of being able to order larger quantities (storage) and having business broadband/phone lines already in place.
Motivation dips and this is normal. We naturally do not want to complete boring and tedious tasks. In the office we are forced to continue with these tasks regardless, we are forced into work mode to complete the tasks at hand. Working from home gives us far too many opportunities to avoid these tasks – the washing needs to be put on, dinner needs prepping, it’s too easy to take a break to watch a bit of TV. One worker told us whenever he lacked motivation he would promise himself a break, he’d put some TV one with a cup of tea and promise himself he’s just take a 1/2hr break and then get back to work, but that ½ hour always dragged on as he avoided certain tasks.