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Switching From Office To Work From Home

Discussion in 'Researching & Planning your new business' started by Gemma Rowlands, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. Now, as a lot of you know, my work falls into two groups. I have my freelance work which I do on my own, and I also run a book editing business in an office which I visit a couple of times a week, but is staffed full time. Recently, I have been thinking that I really need to think about moving this to work from home, because it just costs too much to rent the office and run it. I like to think that my current staff would be able to stay with me, because they are all very talented, but I am aware that just because I prefer to work from home doesn't mean that everyone else will.

    How do you think I should go about this? And how much notice do you think it is fair for me to give those who don't want to move?
     
  2. Pete Brindle

    Pete Brindle Member

    Not everyone would want to do it, but it's worth asking around the office to see who would. You never know, you might be surprised. As long as they'd be on the same wage it should work out better for them. No commute to pay for, no work clothes, no expensive sandwiches at shops during the day, no extortionate coffee fees. It's amazing how much just going to work can cost!
     
  3. I am going to try to go down the "think of all the fuel money you'll save" route. I asked two people yesterday and both sounded as though they would love to give it a go! So just a couple more to go and I think we could probably make this thing work!
     
  4. Bringing it up informally in discussion is probably the best approach initially. That way you get to detect whether there may be any potential issues ;)

    Flexible working is now becoming commonplace so hopefully you can sell it to them in a positive way.

    Personally I can't work from home as there are simply too many distractions so I have to have an office just to get the work done. I'm about to move into a new shared office hub shortly and am really looking forward to mixing with other small businesses :)
     
  5. Pete Brindle

    Pete Brindle Member

    This would be my problem too I think! But that being said with the job I'm in at the moment I would give lessons at specific times so I'd have to stick to them. I love my little music hub too much to think about shutting it down though!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2018
  6. I guess my worry would be whether you feel you could get the same productivity from them? Without sounding like a dictator, I think some people (myself included) need an office environment to maximise efficiency. I would be happy to work from home but I know I would get less work done or, at least, do the same amount of work but take a bit longer
     
  7. That's something I wouldn't know until I tried it I suppose. They would be given assignments and a deadline, and could then fit the work in whenever they wanted to. As long as the deadline was met.

    Back when I first started working from home, I was distracted SO easily, was an expert on morning TV, and had the highest Candy Crush scores ever, lol. But then I realised what I was doing, deleted all social networking, set my alarm each morning for 6, and usually my work is done by the time most people are leaving for work on the days I don't go to the office! So effectively every day of my life is free in return for 3 or 4 hours of work first thing in the morning.
     
  8. Pete Brindle

    Pete Brindle Member

    Yeah. This would be me too. But you have to discipline yourself, remove the distractions, and help your staff to learn how to do the same thing.
     
  9. I am planning a meeting for the beginning of next week where I will officially put forward the plan that I have. If they don't want to work from home, there are some blocks where you can rent personal office space - I would be happy to do that for the staff who need somewhere else to go, as it would still be a lot cheaper than renting the place we do at the moment.
     
  10. Pete Brindle

    Pete Brindle Member

    If you're a small business it can often be better to rent individual office spaces rather than occupying a whole building anyway to be honest, so even if you decide not to go for the whole work from home thing, you should think about that. How long do you have left on the lease of your current premises?
     
  11. Good idea. When we set up I just wanted somewhere of my own. Meeting's scheduled for tomorrow so I will report back as soon as I know more!
     
  12. Just an update for everyone who was interested. The meeting went surprisingly well. There were a few who were surprised, but those who were against the idea initially at least said that they would give it some thought, and a few were up for it straight away. So I do think we will try it and go ahead. I have said that there would be a slight pay rise as we would be splitting the difference in running costs between us, so that should encourage them a little bit.
     
  13. Pete Brindle

    Pete Brindle Member

    That's good news that they're interested. Just a warning though, they might find it hard to adapt. Working from home is something that a lot of people tend to see as a dream, but they don't yet understand the realities of it, how lonely it can be, and how their life at work and home might get blurred. But as long as they're prepared there's every chance it could work very well indeed.
     
  14. I know, and I am prepared for that. But I have to try, because financially it will be so much better for all of us if we can cut out the costs of having to run the office. And if it fails, we will just hire somewhere else, I am fully aware that we may have to do that in the end.
     
  15. Robert Frost

    Robert Frost Member

    Good news that they are willing to try it Gemma - good luck with it
     
  16. eeyorebob

    eeyorebob Member

    Great news Gemma not many firms want to try this these days - very big brother like needing to know where they all are and what they are doing all the time
     
  17. Yeah I understand why they might think like that, but I don't really mind when the work is done as long as they meet the deadlines, so they might find that they can improve their lifestyles and actually increase their hourly wage comparatively, because they were often sitting doing nothing for times during the working day, so that would stop because they could simply go off and do other things if they wanted to.
     
  18. Pete Brindle

    Pete Brindle Member

    Cutting office costs is like a dream for a lot of companies, and if you have a lot of trust in the people who work for you at the moment then there is a chance that you might just be able to make it work. Make sure you're clear about your deadlines though, and when staff need to be available for contact, and what the consequences are if they miss the deadlines. Being clear now will definitely avoid arguments later down the line.
     
  19. Mike Turner

    Mike Turner Member

    When I was in my old job, a minimum wage administrator, I was able to take one day per week to work at home because everything that I needed was on a central system that could be accessed from anywhere. I will admit that I very rarely got all that much done, and as a result I would be wary of working from home myself again. That's not to say that some people don't thrive on it, though. But they would have to be very highly motivated, there's no doubt about that. And you would have to monitor them closely for the first few months to make sure they were doing everything that was needed of them.
     
  20. Don't you think that it might just have been because you were used to being in the office, worked one day from home, so didn't really manage to get into the spirit of work because it felt like a holiday? Would it not have been different if you worked from home full time, could have got yourself into a proper routine, and worked specified hours that you could stick to? I'm just keeping everything crossed that this works for my team, because cutting out the cost of the office would mean that I could afford to pay them more, which I'm sure they would be very happy with.