For well over 10 years I’ve worked out of my house. I am fortunate enough to have a dedicated room for an office – not having to work on the kitchen table or some odd corner of the house. But each summer my office swelters, plagued by insufficient aircon and less then optimal southwestern exposure. I can tough it out no longer.
I’ve started using Regus day offices. After just a couple of days, at two different locales, I’ve already formed some strong opinions.
Routine. The value of getting dressed and getting out of the house can’t be underestimated. The act of going to another physical location builds routine and structure to your day. That’s good.
It’s not your house. (also a con, see below). While the rest of the work world surely understands this concept, those of us who have grown accustomed to working at home have forgotten what it’s like to work in an office. You feel an innate sense of purpose and focus when you’re in a place to do a specific thing. There are a hundred less distractions.
Change of scenery. Using Day Office services often means you have a variety of locations you can work from. In the greater Phoenix area Regus has around a dozen offices. This can provide a change of venue and convenience, depending on your schedule.
You work more efficiently. My Day Office use will be just a few select days a week. This has motivated me to batch work. I have a set job list I try and get done, and I usually do. Sad truth be told, in two days I can probably get done what I was spending a full week at home inefficiently plodding at.
You’re part of the outside world. This is perhaps the single thing that trumps all of the disadvantages. Working from home tends to be a very isolated experience no matter how ‘connected’ social media makes you think you are.
You don’t have all your ‘stuff’. It’s impossible to take everything you need from your home office, and invariably you find you needed something that you don’t have. Typically this is a file that’s on another drive or machine. (Sure, the ‘Cloud’ exists, but that’s another logistical conversation).
It’s not your house. This is a con too. You can’t make an absolute mess of things and leave it for tomorrow. You can’t crank the tunes up to 11 or scream at your progress bar. The office isn’t your space. It typically feels pretty barren and sparsely decorated. Very nice by any office standards, but compared to the home office experience it’s a very clinical feeling.
Lost travel time. If you’ve found a nearby Day Office location, then this really is barely a factor. You’ll find all of the Pros far outweigh the minor loss here.
More thoughts to come as I log more days.