How to know it’s time to move out of your home office

Six signs your business should leave home

Working from home is hugely beneficial in the early stages of running a startup, but there comes a point when you find yourself with unbrushed teeth, clacking away at your laptop at 4pm, and realize there may be a more hygienic alternative to running your own business. Need help determining if it’s time to move out from your home office? Here’s what you should assess.

1. Is your productivity suffering at home?
Not everyone is suited for home office life. Even if you have the discipline to put in solid office hours, it can sometimes be difficult to refuse the random errands and interruptions that come up around the home. You might have to do the laundry, pick up the kids, babysit… and little interrupts can put a huge dent in your productivity.

2. Is home office life affecting your health or family members?
While commuting to work has its downsides, the big plus point is it allows the opportunity to mentally transition from a home domain to a work mindset. Having work and play in the same area may be detrimental to your mental health, especially so if the space you work in is dual-function, like a dining room. Being an entrepreneur often means having your business run your life, but if you find yourself overwhelmed and too stressed out by work, it may be time for work to move out of the home.

3. Has your business grown beyond what is legally allowed?
If you’re running a home business registered with URA, you are only permitted to hire up to two non-resident employees. You may currently be running a business with a few employees who work from their homes and come in for regular meetings, but having a centralized system of communication can greatly improve productivity for everyone, and even boost team morale.

4. Is your professional image being compromised?
If you regularly lack a meeting space for clients or find yourself in compromising conference calls – barking dogs, hollering children, clanging pans – having an offsite work office may help to improve your professional image. Don’t get us wrong, working from home is in no way less professional than working offsite, but having distracting background noises can put a dampener in your professional reputation.

5. Are you losing your home to work?
If you run a business like an online shop and have ready merchandise, or run a business needing with work-related equipment, such as an events production company, you might face the problem of work creep: where work slowly starts to take over every corner of your house. This poses the obvious issue of not having a mental or visual break from work, but things can also start to get hairy when you start misplacing orders or losing props.

6. Do you have the financial means to move out?
Finally, before you take the plunge, make sure to go through the accounts and ensure you have sufficient funds to make the move. On top of the monthly rental and safety deposit you’ll have to make, make sure to factor in hidden but important costs: office supplies and furniture, electricity, transportation (parking, travelling time, petrol fare, public transportation fees), and utilities (phone, Internet, electricity, water).


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