The rising cost of office space, particularly in the CBDs, highlights the need for businesses to get even smarter about how and from where they run their enterprises. The traditional office can work, so do co-workspaces but have we forgotten one obvious option?
One of the things we hear quite often from business owners, employees and people in general, is that they have to deal with a “killer commute”. Hours and hours are lost each week on public transport and gridlock in big cities but some business owners decide to simply work from home. A step further actually. They have based their business at home.
Now, we are all about ensuring your business does the best job it can to support your family and make your life better. Yet here, we are encouraging you to blur the line between work and family. Well not really. Well, not at all. If you are say, a consultant of some kind, maybe client-facing meetings only really happen at their place or at conferences, it’s not a bad way to save on expenses and even reduce tax. And that is something we do advocate. Strongly.
The best rent-free offices we’ve seen to date
This whole idea came up when I first noticed some of these really cool home offices. They range from the simple to the absolutely stunning but none of them look like the owner had settled for a space in which to merely slump over a laptop. Home offices can (obviously) look great and if you’re heading down that road, you may as well do it really well and take pride in it.
Besides, you will be able to:
- Eliminate your commute or at least limit it to a (really) short walk
- Claim a portion of your utilities such as water and electricity at tax time
- Claim a portion of the interest charged on your mortgage! (yup!)
Have a word to us about your circumstances if you’re looking at better ways to work. If your business can be run from home, we’d love to help you sort through the numbers so feel free to drop us a line.
Isn’t a home office a bit limiting though? Well you don’t have to usher clients to the nearest coffee shop to have meetings because you could of course welcome them to your home office. To make sure that those work/home lines don’t get too blurry though, there are a couple of pointers:
- Separate entrances work best – clients shouldn’t have to trip over toys or rub shoulders in the corridor with your teenage kids. A lot of home offices have separate approaches or are entered via a side door.
- Common walls are the enemy – Loud music heard through the walls are distracting and may paint an unflattering picture of your business.
- Really lean into the office décor, look and feel – if you really want to work well at home, ensure your space doesn’t remind you of your bedroom, or broom closet. Invest in its functionality with some of the money you save on office rent.
- Keep a coffee machine or beverage bar in your office – if you find yourself wandering towards your own kitchen to make tea or coffee 4 times a day, eventually you’ll realise that your lounge and TV is just a few steps further on from the fridge! Yikes!
We’re sure there are few more important tips to consider but for now, think about how you could decrease your expense burden (both time and money) within your business and increase family time… and we’ll do the same.