I’ve seen many stories of advisers thinking about relinquishing their office space in favour of remote working for them and their team.
I totally get this.
I worked from home for six years running Plan Works, and at the time I thought it was great. No rent to pay, my internet paid through the company, no travel. No downside, right?
But what I actually found was working from home can go one of two ways - you either work too much or too little. For me, it was a mixture of both.
If I had a report I didn’t want to write, there would always be something more important round the house that needed doing.
Equally, if I was really enjoying what I was doing, then I would happily work into the late hours of the night.
Another thing to consider is while working from home might work for you, does it work for your partner?
On many occasions, my wife would get in from work and I’d be on the phone, so she knew she had to be quiet.
As I have learnt the hard way, you don’t want to have to tiptoe round the house because your partner is still on a work call after normal business hours.
For me, getting an office was one of the best things I have done.
It serves as a separation between work and home life, and stops you from being available for work 24/7.
Also, I was missing human interaction.
The advisers I work with will tell you that I love a good chat - they probably can’t wait to get me off the phone.
I actually noticed my ability to socially interact began to decline due to working on my own.
I might regale an experience to someone that was the highlight of my day, only to realise I'd just told a pretty boring story!
That experience of working from home has led to my decision to sign up to a new office space.
And that is the new office lease signed. pic.twitter.com/ULVmgSgyt5— Nathan Fryer 👨💻 (@fryer_nathan) July 21, 2020
My new office will be shared with a friend of mine who creates websites and offers SEO services.
I've always liked his office and asked him that if any spaces came up in his building, could he let me know.
A few weeks ago he called and said a double space had become available, and did I want to share with him?
I jumped at the chance.
We have a great working relationship, he's a hugely successful businessman and a general all-round nice guy.
What's more, I feel that having someone to talk to (and not about financial stuff) will be hugely beneficial for my mental wellbeing.
The move has the added benefits of a) not annoying my wife with work phone calls when she gets home, and b) having some more exciting stories to tell. It's a win in my book.
It's probably worth mentioning here that the new office is big enough for myself and my friend to be able to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
We've also agreed to be tested on a regular basis, and we sanitise our hands and any handles after entering and leaving the room.
I don’t want to come across as preaching that my way is best, as everyone will do what they need to do during these strange times.
But it may be worth taking the time to consider the mental impact that flexible working might have on you, your partner, your family and your team, while also thinking of your bottom line.