Where is the best place to work for startups?
When you are part of a startup business, SME or even if you are just a freelancer, deciding on where is best for you to work can be a tough decision.
There is a whole bunch of relevant questions you must ask yourself before coming to a conclusion – what’s best for productivity? What’s best for staff morale? What’s most cost-effective?
Whilst the most appropriate options vary greatly depending on your industry, workload, work culture etc. there are consistent pros and cons for each…
This blog post will explain what’s great and what’s not about working in varying environments. Should you work from home? Rent office space? Or try popular new alternatives such as co-working or the ‘coffice’.
Renting office space has a plethora of benefits that can’t be replicated by working in other environments.
Firstly, your brand image will take a huge jump when you move out of mum’s spare room and into a plush new office. Inviting a client to see you in person will no longer be an embarrassment and your new prestigious office postcode will look great on your website when potential customers or employees stalk your business.
You also have the emotional benefit of working somewhere you can feel really proud of. Every small business will know that staff morale plays a huge part in your success and when you’re working somewhere spacious and endearing, productivity will rocket.
Of course though, renting an office is often not viable for startups when cash flow is slow. Office space in big cities can be incredibly pricey, especially the UK, and London is the most expensive city in the world to rent an office, with prime office space going for nearly £1,050 per sq/m.
Luckily, there are spaces such as Pera Business Park that have over 3,000 Sq Ft of available Grade A office space, at affordable prices. Whilst nowhere in England is too tricky to travel to these days, if your startup doesn’t have to be in the middle of London, then it’s certainly worth considering.
Working from home
Nearly all new businesses will begin as the brainchild of an entrepreneur in their bedroom, so it’s natural that a lot of very new startups are still located where they began.
The rapid growth of technology has only made it easier for business people to work from home and the ability to customise everything in their office easily makes it a very cost-effective and appealing prospect.
If your startup is ran solely by you or if it’s a family business then it can be a very relaxing experience – especially as you don’t have to make an effort with the way you dress or how you look! However, the stumbling block appears when you try and scale up – are you happy to invite staff into your home for 8 hours every day?
Also, when working from home there is a multitude of distractions that you wouldn’t get in a working environment: from children and pets to being side-tracked by house chores such as cleaning, where does the line between work-life and home-life lie?
For startups whose employees work from their various homes this problem doesn’t exist but the problem of communication then arises. A Facebook message, phone call or Skype chat never quite measures up to being able to speak to your boss face to face.
The ‘Coffice’ (The Coffee Office)
The Coffee Office or ‘Coffice’ is exactly what it sounds like – making a coffee shop your office! But why are startup owners and business professionals working in a coffee shop? Well, a coffee shop provides:
- A calming background noise that you don’t get at home
- The ability to interact with other people as not to feel lonely or depressed
- Chance to meet with clients or staff in an environment that doesn’t have your dirty laundry in it!
- Less distractions than home life
- Some coffee shops are designed specifically for workers
- Free Wi-fi!
However, one major downside to this is that not all shops will like you using their premises as an office. Businesspeople shouting on phones and taking up space not buying anything is not ideal for owners of small coffee shops.
Yes, they still exist! In fact, a public library can be a great place to work on a temporary basis. Why? Well…
- It’s usually free and quiet
- There’s usually comfortable seating
- There’s usually plenty of workspace
Of course this is never a given and some libraries can be horrible places to work in. Also, it’s by no means a permanent move.
Coworking spaces have sprung up rapidly over the last few years and are on the rise globally. When you cowork, you share an office with likeminded business professionals, but the arrangement can differ greatly from place to place.
Here are the pros and cons of coworking:
- Some coworking spaces offer meeting rooms
- There is often a lot of social events available to attend
- There will even sometimes be a community manager who can find other professionals to work together with.
- Sharing technical equipment can cut costs dramatically
- Increases productivity and makes work more enjoyable
- Being around likeminded professionals is a great way to learn and exchange ideas
- Not as quiet or private as regular offices
- You may be working alongside competition which naturally leads to conflict
- Dirty communal areas
- It’s never truly your own
Well there you have it.
Each option has its pros and cons. From working in public spaces such as restaurants, libraries and coffee shops to coworking with other companies and renting your own office – there is a variety of options out there.
Whilst working at home can be attractive to many people with the flexibility it provides, there is no doubt that renting an office provides unmatched levels of brand image and productivity boosts.