Let’s take a second to address the elephant in the office: working from home kind of sucks.
Whether you work for yourself or you’re part of the new wave of work-from-home pros that was banished to your condo when the pandemic hit, you might now be realizing it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.
And the sad reality is that, for a lot of people, their budget is the biggest factor keeping them trapped in their tiny condos serving 40-hour week sentences.
Or so they think…
For those budget-conscious professionals out there, we’re about to blow your mind by explaining all of the monetary and intangible factors that you should consider when weighing the real cost of working from home.
1. Absolute Discomfort
First and foremost, let’s get this one right out of the way: if you live in downtown Toronto and you’re not paying $4,000 plus per month in rent, there is a very slim chance that you’re actually spending your days in a comfortable work environment.
In fact, there’s a good chance you’re sitting at a tiny, cramped desk. Or, worse yet, you’re on your couch or at your kitchen island on a barstool that breaks your back from bad posture.
Is this hitting close to home?
And don’t even get us started about the fact that you spend your workdays looking at your couch, and your couch time staring at your workspace, making it nearly impossible to ever truly disconnect.
Your living room is not an office.
And while it’s hard to put a dollar value on this, it’s our opinion that it’s priceless.
Speaking of tiny desks, that’s just one of the many things you needed to buy when you started working from home.
Add to that a new office chair and all of the other random essentials you ended up getting—like risers for your monitors or… fidget spinners for when you inevitably get restless—and the costs start to stack up.
And here’s another thing with home office furniture: the odds are pretty good that you either spent more money than you needed buying high-quality office furnishings or you got the cheapest of the cheap (we don’t blame you!) that will ultimately need replacing and will inevitably end up in a landfill.
Whether you spent a few hundred bucks or a few thousand, this is a cost you could’ve better spent elsewhere.
And with a dedicated desk membership, you get a desk and chair that you don’t have to get rid of when you’re done with them.
Got a dog? Got a cat? Ever find yourself talking to them?
Worse yet, no dog? No cat? No roommate? We hope you’re not talking to the walls…
While you can’t put a price on the toll isolation takes on you mentally and emotionally, the intangible cost is high.
We don’t even have enough data to work with yet in order to accurately determine just how much our pandemic-induced isolation is going to impact us in the long term.
But it doesn’t need to stay that way.
Getting out of your home office and being part of an incredible professional community stimulates you mentally and makes you feel better and more engaged every day.
And who knows: you might even meet someone who you end up doing business with or who connects you with your next client.
If you don’t put yourself in that environment, how can you truly calculate that kind of opportunity cost?
4. Services and Utilities
This might seem trivial, but you also need to consider the extra expenditures you’ll be putting into things like heat, hydro, and WiFi usage.
After all, when you’re out of the house for eight hours a day, you’re using significantly less of them all than you are when you’re at home, actively using your devices and appliances all day.
When you’re at a coworking space, all of those costs are baked into your monthly membership so you don’t have to worry about keeping on top of elevated bills.
5. Tools and Necessities
If we asked you right now to print or scan something for us, what would it take for you to be able to do it?
Most of us don’t have a printer or scanner at home because… why would we? We’ve never needed to.
But now, if you do need to print or scan something, you’re probably running to Staples and fumbling with a flash drive or trying to email stuff to a WiFi-connected printer.
We’re not saying this is a daily need, necessarily, but it’s a nightmare when you need it and don’t have it around.
6. Coffee and beer (kidding, kind of)
We know that when you think coworking, one of the first things that come to your mind might be free coffee and beer. It’s almost a cliche.
But that doesn’t mean it’s an invalid consideration.
When you’re working from home, do you burn through Keurig or Nespresso pods at a staggering rate? Do you find yourself going for a coffee run to Starbucks, spending five bucks just for the sake of getting some air?
You can actually save yourself money by crushing free coffees and beers at a coworking space rather than forking out cash from your pocket to buy your own.
If you ask us—which, if you’ve read this far, we’re assuming you probably are—it’s time to put your home office gear for sale on Facebook Marketplace and find a better way to spend your workdays.
Project Spaces is a vibrant place full of amazing work friends who make life even more enjoyable for one another.
And, best of all, with our founder-friendly pricing, you won’t have to break the bank to be a part of it all.
In fact, you can get your first 21 days for just 99 bucks so you can see how much you love it before you commit to anything more serious.
Want to see the space first? Then stop by, drop in, and come visit us. We’d love to have you here.
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