It’s an age-old debate for most small-business owners--working from home vs. working at an office. There are benefits and downfalls to both, and it really comes down personal preference. Some thrive at home while others need the structure of an office. We asked top event professionals to weigh in on what works best for them--check it out below.
What Makes You Productive?
You can’t have a business if you don’t have good productivity. When you find yourself not able to complete tasks or continuously unmotivated, that’s a sure sign of a business in trouble.
A big part of that is your environment. Becky Baker of Becky’s Brides explains that for her, having an office has helped her focus and productivity exponentially. “I go into the office ready to get work done, and go home when it's done,” she says. “I found that working from home had too many distractions, and I was never able to accomplish as much.”
However, Leah Weinberg of Color Pop Events finds the office to be equally distracting, “For me, there is too much noise, too many opportunities to socialize, and too many ways to avoid working,” she shares.
Do You Need Flexibility?
For those who choose to work in a home office, there is no denying the flexibility it allows. From office hours to wardrobe, you get to decide.
As Weinberg explains, “The flexibility it affords me is invaluable. If I feel like watching TV while I eat lunch, I can. If I want to take my dog for a walk so I can get some fresh air, I can. I feel like I can get more done because I'm able to structure my day however I want.”
How Important is Professionalism?
Working from home but also meeting clients often presents a challenge for business owners. Having to come up with a location that works for both of you that isn’t going to be too loud or distracting gets old fast.
Michael Coombs of Michael Coombs Entertainment shares his solution: “I ended up getting a membership at a shared office space downtown,” he says. “Being able to book a quiet space to meet clients and have them come to me instead of travelling back and forth to a number of different locations was so convenient. And it does add a level of prestige that Starbucks can’t offer.”
How Important is ‘Balance’?
Balance is a tricky word when you’re a small-business owner.
We’re all striving for a good work/life balance, no matter how challenging it can get sometimes. For some, working from home blurs those lines and can make it difficult to turn work completely off, and vice versa.
“When I work from home I essentially sit in my pajamas for 10-plus hours and stare at a screen, with no real way to ever stop because there's always something that needs to be done,” shares Crystal Salazar of Cherry Blossom Planning Factory.
However, having a deadline or the “whistle blow” at a certain time to indicate the days is over can be a great motivator, Salazar says. “When I work from my office, I'm rushing to finish up my work so I beat traffic or so that I make it to dinner on time. Sometimes those sorts of arbitrary things become my deadline for the day.”
So what’s the moral of the story? You have to find a balance and environment that works for you and your personality. There is no one way to be productive and get work done because it’s different for everybody. Take these thoughts from fellow event pros and apply them to your own life and see where you land.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.