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Should I Work from Home or Rent a Desk?

February 27, 2020
Working from home has its perks, but it can be lonely and unproductive too, so should you work from home or rent a desk?

Whether you’re freelance, running your own business, or simply a remote worker, working from home can seem like a huge perk in the beginning. From not having to get dressed in the morning, to staying on your sofa all day long, it can be difficult to see how working from home can have a downside. However, after a while, working from home can begin to feel lonely, tedious and give you major cabin fever, which is when people begin to look into other options, such as hot desking or a dedicated desk in a coworking space. So if you’re not sure whether or not to work from home or rent a desk at a coworking space, these pros and cons of both are sure to help you make a decision. 

Should I Work From Home or Rent a Desk?

The Pros of Working from Home

There’s No Workplace Politics 

Everyone who’s ever worked in an office will tell you how frustrating office politics can be. From people throwing you under the bus, to nepotism and favouritism, workplace politics can decrease morale and make you end up hating your job. 

However, when you’re working from home, there’s very little space for workplace politics. Although you might get the odd email from a colleague or client, workplace politics is a lot easier to manage from your own home. 

You Can Set Your Own Hours 

One of the main reasons why people choose to go freelance is because they have the ability to set their own work hours. 

Whether you’ve got to work around your children, hobbies, or simply find that you’re more productive in the evenings, when you work from home you’re able to choose your own work hours to suit your lifestyle. 

You Can Wear Whatever You Want 

Whether you want to wear joggers and a hoodie all day, or you’re simply fed up of wearing suits - working from home gives you the freedom to wear whatever you like. After all, who’s going to be judging your appearance when you’re in your own home?

You’ll Save Money on Lunch 

From buying your lunch from your favourite sandwich shop, to grabbing your morning coffee on your commute to work, the costs can add up. The average UK employee spends around £10-15 on lunches each week - that’s up to £60 per month! 

However, working from home means that you can resist the temptations of a huge baguette or barista coffee and save yourself a fortune. 

The Cons of Working from Home

There are Lots of Distractions

From household chores to your TV and games console, your home comes with a lot of distractions. So unless you’ve got incredible willpower, you might find your attention shifting from your work to leisure activities more than you’d like to admit if you work from home.

However, one of the best ways to combat this is to set yourself strict work hours and build yourself a dedicated workspace. Whether it’s a corner in your bedroom, or an entire home office - having a dedicated space to work from can work wonders for your productivity. 

It Can Be Difficult to Switch off

When you work from home, it can be difficult to switch off and relax in your home. Whether you find yourself replying to emails 24/7, or simply work all evening until you go to bed, not switching off can lead to increased stress levels or even work burnout.

Therefore, it’s incredibly important to ensure you maintain a healthy work life balance, taking time out to enjoy your favourite hobbies, or even just some downtime, to remain healthy and happy.  

You’ll Be Spending a Lot of Time Alone

Anyone who works from home will tell you how lonely it can get. Although it can be tempting to work from home to avoid workplace politics, the novelty can soon wear off.

That’s another reason why it’s important to maintain a healthy work life balance and take time out to enjoy hobbies, otherwise you could find yourself spending days at a time on your own not talking to anybody!

The Pros of Renting a Desk

It Gives You a Base 

If you don’t enjoy working from home, you might have tried working from coffee shops, moving between different locations throughout the day. Not only can this decrease productivity, but it’s not a solid place to base yourself from, meaning you might not have all the amenities you need to get your work done (such as a plug socket!).

But that’s the beauty of coworking spaces. Not only do they have all the things you need to ensure your business thrives, such as meeting rooms, plug sockets and storage, but you also get free tea, coffee and biscuits on-tap, meaning you’ll save money on all of those expensive lattes!

It Makes it Easier to Maintain a Work Life Balance 

When you work from home, it can make you feel as though you’re always on call, making it difficult to switch off. 

However, when you work from a coworking space, you’ve got somewhere to base yourself from, so you can set yourself specific work hours before heading home to switch off from work and enjoy your evening. 

It Prevents Loneliness 

One of the biggest complaints people have about working from home is how lonely it can be. 

However, working in a coworking space can help to diminish these feelings of loneliness as there are always people around. Whether you make friends with your ‘desk neighbour’ or just have a chat with a stranger whilst making a coffee, these simple interactions are much more healthy than working at home on your own all day.

It Can Increase Your Productivity 

With all the distractions going on in your home, it can be difficult to remain productive. However, when you’re working at a coworking space it’s a lot easier to stay on top of your work. Not only are you surrounded by like-minded people who’ll be busy getting on with their work, but there aren’t as many distractions as there are in your home, so you can get your head down and get your work done.

Memberships are Flexible

Whether your income is unpredictable, or you just don’t want to be tied to a contract, one of the best things about joining a coworking space is that the memberships are flexible, usually on a rolling contract. 

So whether you just fancy trying out a coworking space for a couple of months, or you just want to be safe in the knowledge that you’re not tied into any long contracts, flexible memberships are a huge perk.

The Cons of Renting a Desk

It’s an Extra Expense 

Aside from your household bills, which can be partially added to your business expenses, working from home comes with very little overheads.

However, a coworking space will set you back up to £300 each month. If your business is doing well and the pros outweigh the cons, then it’s certainly worth renting a desk. However, if your income is unreliable, then hot desking a few days per month might be the better option, giving you the best of both worlds. 

There’s a Lack of Privacy

One of the most frustrating things about coworking spaces is the lack of privacy available. Unless you’re renting a private office, coworking spaces are generally open plan, meaning you’ll have to book meeting rooms in advance for phone calls or meetings with your clients. 

Although this isn’t the end of the world (and will help you to stay organised!), it’s something you need to consider if you’re thinking about renting a desk in a coworking space. 

It’s Dangerous for Caffeine Addicts

With free tea and coffee on tap, coworking spaces can be dangerous places for those with an addiction to caffeine (or biscuits!), with no limit to how many cups you can have each day.

However, if you’ve got a healthy relationship with coffee, tea and biscuits, then coworking spaces are perfectly safe. 

So whether you rent a desk or continue to work from home, it’s important to evaluate the pros and cons of both to ensure you remain productive and happy whilst maintaining a work life balance.

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