Believe it or not, micro-enterprises—businesses with between one and four employees—make up nearly 55% of all Canadian businesses.
And while more than 20% of us work from home, it’s not always the most conducive to building a business.
Eventually, you need to level up your workspace for the benefit of yourself, your team, and your customers.
So, this begs the question: how do you know when it’s time to move your business out of the basement, den, or guest bedroom and into a more professional space?
We’ve got a few telltale signs you can watch for.
1. Yoga Pants Have Become Business Attire
Don’t get us wrong, we like being comfy as much as the next people and we’ve got nothing against a good pair of yoga pants.
All we’re saying is that, as a professional, sometimes you’ve gotta look good to feel good, and there’s a benefit to putting on normal clothes every once in a while. And sometimes, it takes getting out of the house to get you out of your sweats.
So, if you can’t remember the last time you spent a workday in anything besides yoga pants and hoodies, it might be time to find a workspace that inspires you to put on normal clothes every now and again.
2. Your Meetings Make You Look Like An Amateur
Another hard fact of professional life: your meeting venue can either make you look great—or like an amateur.
Think of it this way…
If you’re hosting in-person meetings with clients or teammates, coffee shops don’t exactly convey the most professional image. And it’s even worse trying to host meetings at—dare we say—your home office.
On the other hand, having your home and all its happenings in the background of your Zoom meetings doesn’t necessarily make you look like a sterling business pro either.
There’s something to be said for having an office space with professional meeting rooms and breakout rooms for when you need to connect with colleagues or customers.
It goes a long way in making you look and feel good at work.
3. Solo Happy Hours Kinda Just Feel Sad
If there’s one thing we love, it’s a good happy hour to end our workday. But when you work, cracking a refreshing beverage to end the day alone makes happy hour kinda just feel… sad.
In our humble opinion, it’s way better to wrap up your day with a happy hour surrounded by professionals like yourself who enjoy shooting the breeze, sharing ideas, and having a laugh together.
4. You Find Yourself Having Conversations... with Yourself
One of the best parts about working in an office is the social interaction and banter you get with other people in the space. You know, the so-called water cooler talk.
It helps your day feel livelier and keeps you energized and inspired.
So, if you’re finding yourself having conversations with yourself (or your pet), it might be time to put yourself in a new environment—one where you’re surrounded by cool people.
Chatting with like-minded pros helps you stay sharp and staves off that WFH loneliness.
5. Emerging Into Society is Becoming Rarer by the Week
When you work from home, it can sometimes feel like Groundhog Day: hours and days go by and suddenly you realized you don’t remember the last time you left the house.
Heck, it even had Phil Connors famously saying, “I think people place too much emphasis on their careers. I wish we could all live in the mountains at high altitudes. That's where I see myself in five years. How about you?"
So, if you’ve found that the frequency with which you venture out into society and interact with other humans is becoming less and less frequent, that’s a sign that it’s time to make a change.
Get yourself a workspace so you can re-emerge into the world… ideally not at high altitude.
6. Your Significant Other (or Pet) is Getting Sick of You
Hmm… why is your significant other getting cranky when they come home from work and you’re still just sitting there, right where they left you?
Why is the dog giving you that strange canine side-eye?
We hate to say it, but they could be feeling like it’s time for you to leave the nest and give everyone some personal space.
For the sake of your relationship and your friendship with your pet, we’d strongly urge you to move your business out of the house.
7. Commuting is Something You’re Actually Starting to Miss
Ahh, yes. Commuting. The thing that used to be super annoying until you started working from home.
Now, suddenly, you’re craving a commute just to put some separation between your living space and your working space.
Sometimes, having a little distance—both literally and metaphorically—between home and work can help you create a better work-life balance and make it feel like you’re actually able to focus during the workday then disconnect once you’re done.
8. Your Home-Based Business Tools Are Hindering Your Growth
Here’s a hypothetical scenario that actually applies pretty well to working from home...
If you’re born after 1985, it’s a safe bet that you probably don’t have a printer or a scanner at your house.
But that doesn’t mean you’ll never need them. And when you do, it can be a pain to have to track one down.
That’s just one example of the professional tools that could be hindering your business growth.
When you move your business out of the basement and into a professional workspace, you get a whole suite of business fundamentals that help you operate in a more efficient and effective way.
9. The Lockdown Has Ended But You’re Still Living Like a Hermit
Yep, the lockdowns were tough. We could barely leave the house for well over a year!
But now, the lockdown has ended and you’re still living like we’re stuck under stay-at-home orders.
Listen, we spent enough time being mandated to work from home. You don’t have to do it forever.
Shake the loneliness and get back to work in a professional community.
You and your colleagues will feel way better for it, and you can bet your business will thrive too.
10. You Want to Your Business to Actually Feel Like a Business
When you take your business from a hobby to a career, feeling like a real business owner running a real business starts to become important.
Getting yourself out of the house and working around like-minded professionals can help you transition your mindset from hobbyist to entrepreneur.
It’s great to start a business at home. That’s why so many people do it.
But, eventually, you need to start feeling like it’s a business and like you’re a business owner. And the environment where you operate your company has a big impact on how you feel at work and the results you produce in turn.
Small, home-based businesses are a huge part of Canada’s workforce. But eventually, every business needs to get out of the basement, living room, or spare bedroom and into a place that supports its growth.
That’s where Project Spaces comes in. We’ve got two incredible workspaces (King West and Camden Street) packed with incredible entrepreneurs like yourself. So, when the time comes to move your business out of your house, we’d love to have you here.
Just get in touch and come see what we’re all about.
Founder-friendly coworking in downtown Toronto for entrepreneurs and digital nomads. EST 2011. We create original workspaces, fill them with relentless entrepreneurs, and watch the magic happen. Learn more