If you are thinking “Should I build an office out of my garage, Apple or Hewlett-Packard style?”, read on.
“The garage didn’t serve much purpose, except it was something for us to feel was our home,” Steve Wozniak told The Guardian, clarifying the real role of Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage in the creation of the first Apple computers. It is up to you to accept this pragmatic view or stick to the romanticized version. Nowadays, if you are bootstrapping your way into business, you should not isolate yourself in the garage, the basement, or the attic. Entrepreneurs have become more resourceful since the 80s, and your options are more diverse as well.
Here are 4 location types and their benefits for you to consider.
Cafe for Digital Nomads
The Instagram lifestyle may have inspired a slew of would-be entrepreneurs to merge work and travel as never done by previous generations. Laptops and coffee cups go together in a flatlay image of a digital nomad’s desk. Thanks to globalization, a professional freelancer can sign up on platforms like Kajabi, a startup that allows you to sell e-courses and host online workshops. Then you can literally run your business from any location. From Kathmandu to Prague to Medellin, you can find work-friendly spots to sip your coffee while answering emails.
Shared workplaces for professionals have emerged in recent years. Part of what makes them attractive, aside from the lure of caffeinated drinks all day, is their semblance to corporate offices. Many coworking spaces offer individual desks for freelancers. They also provide meeting rooms that can be rented as needed, as well as exclusive areas for fledgling startups.
The dynamics of the shared economy are well-represented in this scenario. If FaceTime or Skype is not enough during crunch time, just book a room in a coworking hub. You are not tied to pay monthly rent for an office, but at the same time, you have a place for quick huddles and other group activities.
Traditional apartment rental has little appeal to millennials who like to “shop for spaces.” With flexible terms and a sense of belonging reminiscent of college dorm lifestyles, community-based housing is on the rise. The roommate situation varies depending on who is running the property. But co-living with your founder is possible.
Most of the studios come semi-furnished. It is possible to add a few touch-ups as some are designed minimally. But more importantly, find one that can fill your connectivity and security needs. Whether you sell an online course or run an e-commerce store, you are collecting data from customers. It will be better if you are allowed to set up your own internet service for data protection. This way, you can adjust your router settings to enable network encryption and limit unauthorized access. Check out the following infographic on how to get your apartment startup-friendly by securing your own Wi-Fi.
If you decided to become a work-at-home entrepreneur, then you might as well live up to it. For 41 percent of people surveyed by ReportLinker, the home office is still the best course of action. Through writers like E.B. White and the famous BBC dad, you can get a glimpse of what this area should look like. And no, it should look nothing like a damp, claustrophobia-inducing basement. Go ahead and transform that spare room into a space where you can think deeply. But unlike Googleplex, it should be free from clutter and distractions as much as possible.
Pragmatic or romantic, you still need to draw the line between personal and work spaces at home. Primarily, this decision is for your sanity. But practically speaking, you need to make sure your business files do not get mixed up with your children’s coloring books.
Read more about the life of a digital nomad on TechCo