A lot of entrepreneurs and growing startups have many options to pick from when it comes to selecting an office that works for them. Depending on your finances and needs you have many options, including – work at home offices, coffee shop offices, open floor plan offices, co-work spaces, mid-size startup offices, large corporate offices, back of the nail salon offices, and hotel room offices.
Work At Home Offices
As I write this post, I’m writing it to you from my work at home office. It’s not my only choice in offices that I could use today but personally I highly value the work at home office option. It’s the ultimate privacy when it comes to office space.
It comes with a unique set of freedom that other offices can’t accommodate. In my own personal space I don’t have to worry about unexpected things bothering me, or co-workers wanting to chat or gossip for hours.
For people that work in large corporate offices, they sometimes dream of one day being able to work from home. They dream that they can turn their 1-hour commute into a 20-foot commute.
It’s not all glitz and glam. It comes with its own set of unique challenges too. Working at home can be tough if you have a small house/apartment and don’t have a dedicated work space. It can feel like you are living and working the same place and can sometimes get annoying or lack inspiration.
However, for many people that have enough space for the work at home office, they love it. They love being able to wear what they want, work how they want, not have to worry about randoms looking over their shoulder and can go mostly distraction free. It also allows the ultimate flexibility in phone calls, scheduling and makes dieting rather easy.
Coffee Shop Offices
Coffee shops are notoriously visited by freelancers, designers, writers and other service based online professionals. Coffee shops are a great way to get out there without having to spend more than a few bucks on a coffee or a tea. It gives the illusion of an office if you find a nice table to sit at that’s clean and not too noisy.
Not without a list of Cons though. Coffee shops can be noisy, smelly, dirty, and if you are sitting outside it can be weather dependent. Wifi can also be a problem so you better have your own tethered internet connection on your phone if you want any stability or speed at most coffee shops.
I personally go to coffee shops occasionally and would say that I spend probably around 4 hours a week at coffee shops on average. I find that it’s a good change of pace from other office options and helps my creative energy.
Open Floor Plan Offices
My last office was an open floor plan office. It was great for open communication, team building and getting things done as a group. Facebook most famously started (and still has) open floor plan offices. They are a bit different though because they still have separate closed-door rooms such as conference rooms, private offices, etc. However, this combined with other types can work really well for large startup atmospheres that want to be fun rather than corporate and serious.
The open floor plan style works really well if you have teams that have to be in constant communication. It works great when a team is building up a new product or developing out a marketing strategy that needs to be carefully executed. The face to face access and open communication style works really well in high paced environments.
The potential downside would be distractions, without having any physical barriers between you and others – you could be disturbed at any moment. A lot of people will use headphones which basically act as a “do not disturb” sign. Another downside is that sales calls or any type of phone call can be distracting to others around you.
Co-work spaces can be a great step up from the coffee shop. You get similar creative energy where people are all working on similar projects while not having as many distractions, smells, cleanliness issues, etc as the coffee shop.
I’ve worked in my fair share of co-work spaces over the years and while I’m not a huge fan over say a Work At Home Office or Coffee Shop Office, it definitely does have it’s value.
I hear from people all the time that make great connections at Co-Work Spaces. That’s because many people are working on similar things and they generally allow you to chat in some areas, so it can be good for networking.
A potential downside is that if you are working with a team, it can be hard to get privacy at the Co-Work Space without spending $50-150+ more an hour for the conference room.
Back on the advantage side, you can sometimes get access to a country or even world-wide network of co-work spaces with one single membership. That means you may have access to office spaces all over the country/world depending on the company and membership package. There are more and more of these popping up all the time now, and I think in the next 5-10 years there will be many more that offer worldwide membership packages for multiple locations.
Mid-size Startup Offices
A mid-size startup office generally combines Open Floor Plan Offices with a touch of Large Corporate Offices. This could be mid-size or even a large space.
Mid-size funded startups are usually the ones with these types of offices. Often times you’ll see something especially trendy, funky, colorful, modern or unique about them. These types of offices are typically designed by interior designers for look and functionality, rather than just thrown together by office staff.
Depending on the startup they may have completely built the space from the inside in. That means that they likely didn’t build the building but converted it from an office or whatever it was prior into a completely new space inside.
Large Corporate Offices
When I think of large corporate offices, I think of rows of cubicles for the average employee, the suite offices on the walls by the windows for the higher ups and giant conference room overlooking the parking lot. The cliche is that they are boring, dull colors, etc.
This isn’t always true, however. There’s a new wave of modern corporate offices that are popping up. These companies are finding that if they invest into their office space with things like large glass windows, bright colors, modern furniture that employees feel happier at work. This happiness leads to more productivity instead of counting down the minutes until they can leave.
Back of the Nail Salon Offices
If you’ve seen the hit show Better Call Saul you know exactly what I’m talking about, pictured above. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a nail salon, but could be any business where they rent out a (usually small) room in the back.
The pro here is that it’s usually really cheap and can sometimes be private-ish. The con is that it can be noisy, smelly, distracting, lacking-of privacy, or just outright awful in multiple ways.
Hotel Room Offices
If you are a business person or entrepreneur that likes or has to travel, you know all about this. I have spent my fair share of days in hotel rooms working. While I think there are more suiting places to pull out a laptop and work from in exotic travel locations, the hotel room is certainly convenient.
Most hotels rooms come with desks, making it almost perfect. It’s private, you can order food, no distractions, just like your own personal private office. You may want to put up the do not disturb sign, though.
This is the ultimate mobile office while traveling, it beats the coffee shop in privacy and noise, hands down. If you are traveling and already have a hotel room, check to make sure it comes with a desk and enough room to move around.
Everything Has Pros and Cons
No matter what you choose, everything has its pros and cons. This should help you figure out some of your own personal pros and cons and what works best for you, in terms of office choices.
Please comment below and share to social media and tell us what your personal choice is.
Brian is an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur, who built the 25th fastest growth marketing and advertising agency in America. Brian is an advisor to many startups and mentor to many entrepreneurs. He is a columnist at the world’s top publications. Brian is the Founder of Influencive and the Founder at BDE Ventures.