A guide to office space for working mums

For a working mum, the decision to move to an office can be tricky and potentially daunting, but ultimately rewarding. This guide can help you decide if moving is best for you by looking at the different options available.

Homeworking

Pros:

You can continue to build your business from the very place it has been successful so far.

Working from home can be particularly flexible. You can work whenever you please, guilt-free, whilst being on hand when the family comes calling.

Cons:

There are a host of distractions that affect productivity: phone calls, family matters, and the lure of television. In addition, the perception clients get of your business may suffer when working from home.

Office life 



Pros:

Working away from the distractions of the home can focus the mind on your business goals, and generally promote a healthy work/life balance. Even your commute could become a valuable time where you can get into the best mind-set for work.

All of this could contribute towards you and your business looking, and feeling, more professional.

Cons:

You will not be immediately on hand to your family, meaning that you might have to pay childcare costs, in addition to missing the company of your loved ones.

Home can feel like a long way away during a tiring day at work, and time spent commuting could begin to feel like wasted time.

However, there are many offices out there. You can cut commuting times by renting one of the following options that may be just minutes from your home:

Traditional Office Space Leases from a landlord can give you the chance to create a working environment that is just what you envisioned for you and your business. This may also be the cheapest workspace option, as you can pay for exactly the services you require.

However, there are often lengthy contractual obligations involved in renting your own space (the shortest leases are usually around three years). This is perhaps an impractical option for the working mum, whose family and work responsibilities can change abruptly.

Shared Offices offer you the chance to rent a desk in a building owned by another business, and they are a great option. They can provide access to features such as maintenance, broadband, and even meeting rooms. These are all included in one monthly bill

Space is often immediately available, so you could soon find yourself thriving in the buzz of a stimulating working environment. Furthermore rolling month-to-month contracts mean you can enjoy all this without any potentially problematic long-term commitment. In addition there are other, yet more flexible, options such as hot-desking. This is when you pay for desk space on a per-use basis.

However, you will probably have little control over the office. If you have specific requirements for features such as broadband and security, this option may not be for you. There is also no guarantee of a quiet working environment but a shared office may still be considerably quieter than a home-office!

Serviced Offices are similar, but are run by an external management company. Basic to executive serviced office packages could include a range of features such as furniture, phone-lines, broadband, post and reception, IT support and maintenance. Importantly for the working mum some serviced offices even offer childcare facilities.

These extras are often reflected in a higher cost. Endeavour to make sure these options fit within your budget and other areas of your financial life do not suffer.

*Peter Ames writes for www.officegenie.co.uk, a UK site dedicated to finding people the right desk space.





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