FROM CORNER OFFICE TO HOME OFFICE: Shifting Your Business from Downtown to Down the Hall
The cool morning breeze swirls through the half-rolled windows. The over sweetened mug of coffee steams in the cup holder. The hum of talk radio ambiently perks up your senses preparing you for bustle and buzz of working in the city office.
… Until you turn off of the side street, and onto the beltway, onto the sea of gleaming commuter machines interweaving the ribbon of highway between the comforts of home, and the perils of the office. The vast open sea of vehicles inching down seemingly endless miles of highway. Across this sea, you recognize a storm brewing on the horizon – but it's not in the sky. The storm is a swirl of red and blue lights, of flashing orange signals, and glaring red brake lights coming into view.
A procession of moving vans sail by in the opposite direction, down the Southbound lane like an industrious blur of hope and renewal. The moving vans find us beleaguered and noncommittal in our dedication to the physical office space of the downtown high rise. We begin to wonder what it would take to move the business from the city, to the undecorated guest room at home. Is it possible? Could it really happen?! We'd need a moving company, and all kinds of boxes. We'd need them to pack everything up, and then unpack it for us at the home office. We've got to keep the business moving – we don't have time to pack and move, right?
You snap back to reality, as the morning breeze has shifted. Your tailwind has become a stale, auto-circulated fan pumping hints of exhaust, and wafts of the Italian restaurant off exit eight ubiquitously through the vents. Years pass, and you've finally made it to the fifth floor of the parking deck, where you've gathered your coat and briefcase and insulated lunch bag. During the bustle, you unknowingly let slip your glasses from the side pocket. They slide between the passenger seat and center console, as you lock your door from ten paces toward the elevator bank.
Settled into your corner office, you boot your computer on to the droll and drivel of colleagues and coworkers squawking about the fumble from last night's game, and their machismo puffing and threats to quit if this or if that. As your computer processes the start-up sequence, you cram your lunchbox into a tiny gap in the stay-fresh drawer of the office refrigerator. You notice something of yours from last week rolling around in the back. You inspect it for the sell-by date, but it's blurry. You reach for your glasses, but can't find them anywhere, until you conclude they must be in the car... down the elevator; outside down the block and around the corner; up the garage elevator; down the fifth floor; searching somewhere, everywhere in the car.
This is just another Tuesday for the commuter! While the traditional drive in to the office downtown may have been the norm, adjusting to a home-office work style has advantages that may outweigh all the aforementioned upside of commuting into work. But where do we begin, you're wondering? We begin with the move.
There are a multitude of components to moving an office: furniture, sensitive information, fragile technical equipment. Moving an office from a major city like Chicago, can offer especially demanding logistical challenges. Researching and hiring a qualified commercial moving company takes the stress out of the office move, and frees us up to focus on what really matters: our business.
In today's omni-present linkage of information and interpersonal accessibility, fully operational and thriving businesses can be successfully run from just about anywhere. The home office provides a perfect platform for the following reasons:
Personalize a perfect work space. We function at a stronger clip when we're comfortable. The freedom to personalize the home office in any imaginable way that pleases us will make our work stronger. Stepping into a space we've designed for ourselves every morning is a healthy and productive way to begin each day.
Flexibility. The home office, virtual office, remote work space – whatever you title it, provides invaluable flexibility. Make your own hours. Work in your Nike's. Get some bacon frying while your computer boots up. Productivity is rarely stifled when we're happy at work.
More time. When we have more time for ourselves, we engage in a better work-life balance. We'll save time once spent preparing in the morning and commuting to and from the office. We can direct this new gift toward building our business, or use it constructively outside of work, in other enriching ways.
Money saver. We're not commuting, so we're not filling the gas tank up every week, so we're saving a boat load of money. Our wardrobes may suffer, as we're not staying up on the high fashion of the city office. Working from home keeps money in our pockets.
The home office will save you money and time, but to keep your business looking professional you will need a Virtual Office Address. Keep that downtown address without the high price of the downtown office space.
Shifting your business from downtown, to down the hall has invaluable upside that benefits us mentally, emotionally, and financially.