Working from home vs working from a storage centre
Is working from home really working for you? Or could your home and business life benefit more from working out of a storage unit?
Working from home may seem like the dream to many office-based employees. And it certainly does have a number of big benefits compared to office life. But if you have started your own business from home, you may soon discover some drawbacks to the home-working lifestyle. Read on to find out the pros and cons of working from home versus working from a storage unit.
Benefits of working from home
Working from home has some obvious advantages, like being able to wear your pyjamas to the "office" or work from bed.
Homeworking also means zero commute, so you save money on petrol or public transport, as well as maximising your productivity hours.
With no strict office hours, those who work from home can set their own schedule, with no pressure to log early morning hours or stay behind to work late. If you're an early bird, you can power through your list before the sun rises. Or, if you're more of a night owl you can lie in during the morning rush hour and tackle your inbox late into the night while everyone else is fast asleep.
You may also be able to work uninterrupted without the usual gossip and politics found in other types of workplace.
Many people find that working from home offers them a good work-life balance, as it means you won't be tied up working late in the office, missing out on time which could be spent with your children or partner.
Unlike other kinds of workplaces, working from home can reduce stress and anxiety levels, as you'll be in a calming environment controlled by you, rather than a hectic office full of stressful external factors.
Working from home is a great place to start out on your self-employed business journey, as there are no office rental costs to pay and you can keep costs minimal when you're starting out
You could be able to enjoy several tax benefits if you work from home, claiming back costs like lighting, insurance, heating, council tax and mortgage interest as business expenses.
Disadvantages of working from home
However, working from home does come with plenty of disadvantages, and some of the pros could soon become cons after a while.
The novelty of wearing your pyjamas to work could soon wear off as you find your motivation levels low without professional surroundings to boost your productivity.
Equally, while setting your own schedule sounds appealing, you have to be extremely driven to stick to an unconventional work pattern, especially once 5pm rolls around and your friends and family are logging off and relaxing. Do you really have the willpower to turn down that movie night or trip to the pub?
While a good work-life balance certainly can be achieved by working from home, many people find it difficult to switch off and dedicate their time to family instead of work. Being self-employed means the temptation is always there to work that little bit longer into the evening on the quest for that next contract or sale. And nowadays, who can resist checking their emails when their mobile pings during a Netflix marathon? Even the most understanding of family members could grow tired of your business taking over your home and family life.
Space can also be an issue when working from home. If you're lucky enough to have a dedicated home office in your spare room, attic or even shed, that's great news - as it will help you to separate your professional and personal life from merging under one roof.
However, if you don't have this luxury, the likelihood is you are spreading your workspace across communal areas, like the kitchen table. Not only can this annoy your partner, family or housemates, but it could annoy you if they move or accidentally throw out something important!
Another disadvantage of working from home is the loneliness. While the peace and quiet may appear appealing at first - especially if you've come from a busy office environment - it can soon feel isolating to work without a community or regular interaction.
Feeling isolated can then lead to a lack of motivation and therefore productivity, which is dangerous for any startup business at a time when enthusiasm should be at its peak.
Unless you pay for a PO Box or virtual office, working from home also means giving out your personal address to clients, suppliers and more, as well as listing it on your social media and website. For many people, this doesn't sit well and could even pose a security risk.
Benefits of working from a storage unit
Many people working from home and looking for a better solution may go straight to co-working space or consider renting an office, but there is another option out there you may not have considered.
Working from a storage unit has a host of benefits which may surprise you, and could offer the perfect setup for your startup business if you are looking to escape the cons of working from home.
Basing your business from a storage unit means you have a professional address to publicise online and provide to your contacts, without compromising the security of your home and family.
When you use a storage centre, many will accept deliveries on your behalf, storing them safely until you're next around to collect and organise them. This can turn out to be a lifesaver if you're waiting for important kit or stock to arrive when you're out and about. All of our team members are forklift trained and we have forklift facilities at each storage centre to handle your deliveries with ease.
If you choose the right storage facility for your business, it should offer you more than just storage. Check out whether they have workstation you can use to catch up on emails, or boardrooms available for hire when you have an important client coming to see you. Ask about whether they offer free printing for business customers, as this can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Many storage centres with business customers advertise 24-hour access, yet in some places this can incur additional costs. If you are likely to need out-of-hours access to your storage unit, check out how this work at your chosen storage centre to make sure you can get in and out freely whenever you need to.
Free WiFi is another huge bonus of using a storage unit to run your business, as it can help you to stay online remotely and keep on top of your work without disruption or downtime.
When you use a storage unit as a business base, you'll need a space to take a break and relax. Our centres feature break-out areas, vending machines and kitchens for business customers to use, as well as free tea and coffee to keep you going. We also have bathroom and shower facilities at every centre.
Startup business owners can find themselves travelling a lot when establishing themselves, so easy access to a convenient workplace is essential. Most storage centres are in great locations close to motorway networks and public transport links to make it easy for you, your staff and contacts to reach you.
Another important benefit of using a storage unit to base your business is the added security it brings to you and your belongings. Make sure the storage centre has 24-hour CCTV, monitored intruder alarms and a sophisticated access system to ensure nobody else can access your storage unit and its contents. If you choose the right storage centre for your business, this will add an extra layer of security to you and your business assets, which you may not have if you choose to run your business from home.
Disadvantages of working from a storage unit
Honestly? We can't really think of any disadvantages of working out of a storage unit ;) OK, so maybe you can't come to work in your pyjamas, but it's the ideal way to achieve the perfect work-life balance, separating your home and business life and taking your business to the next level.
The only disadvantage of working from a storage unit? You might never want to leave!
If you want to discuss how self-storage can work as a business base for your SME, drop us a line here.