Your Travel Agency

Home Office or Office Outside the Home; What is right for you?


Written By: Joanie Ogg CTC, MCC



If you have the choice, should you work from a home office or an outside office location? This question may be something you have in the back of your mind if you feel as if you may be outgrowing your home office. Perhaps changes in your home life have altered what was once the perfect place to work from and now plagues you with more distractions. Some might say a home office is only a stepping-stone to ultimately moving to an office outside of your home.


Let’s take a look at this from two perspectives, shall we? One being the personal reasons and the other being the business reasons why working from home can be a great option.


Personal Perspective

  • Value to Your Home

Taking a dining room or living room and turning either into an office could well in fact impact the value of your home in a negative way. However, taking unused space or perhaps adding on to your home could benefit you as it pertains to the real estate value of your property. Ask any real estate agent these days and they are likely to tell you that many buyers are seeking a home office as one of the items on their home buying wish list be it for a personal office or for professional use.


The Green Effect

Making the decision to work from a home office takes out the commute element and therefore helps our planet with fewer emissions.


Time With Family

I have had the pleasure of experiencing this colossal benefit on a personal level for two generations. We raised our son Andy while working from home from the time he was about 12 years of age.  Sure it had its challenges from time to time, but we would not have traded that time being able to be with him and there for him, for anything in the world.


Now, he too works from home and has since his daughter Peyton was born. She is now a toddler and I suspect he will choose to work from home till she is off and on her own as a young adult. I often meet with him at his home office and she will tell me when I arrive “Shhh, Daddy working”. The beauty of it is that he is there and can witness all of the milestones in her life. Sure, it can be hard to draw the line and be unavailable even while being at home, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. This week that milestone for Peyton is potty training! This is certainly something a parent does not want to miss. When you do the math, a 40-minute commute each way is at least 320 potential hours lost with family and lost forever.


Business Perspective

The Financial Advantage

Be it a start-up or established business, having to pay for rent, utilities, parking, commuting costs, and other costs for an office outside of the home can create a significant monthly nut to crack. Additionally, there can be some tax advantages operating a home business. The tax guidelines are strict though, so be sure you see a professional tax consultant or a tax attorney to help you plan accordingly. You can deduct some portion of your home expenses such as prorating utilities and some types of maintenance. You might even be able to depreciate the portion of your home that you use for your work. Keep in mind taking depreciation can make accounting and tax issues a little more complex should you decide to sell your home. Seek a professional’s advice on anything tax related!


The Service Angle

You might have clients all over the world and having the ability to adjust your schedule to meet their communication needs can be a huge advantage. What’s worse, having a client call after normal business hours when you are warm and cozy at home, or having to stay late or go early to an office outside of the home to consult with your client.


Home-court Advantage

An office outside of home is kind of like renting an apartment versus owning a home. When you rent or least office space you are far less likely to make regular changes to that space. Deciding to paint, add on or improve that space can be done perhaps, but at your cost most likely. Then if move, those improvements don’t travel with you. Having your office at home can offer a huge advantage and allow you to have just the office you want according to your personal choices.

Tom and I recently moved to a larger home and on our list of must haves was larger office space for both of us. We found the perfect spot to call our new home and office space. Plus, there is ample space for our St. Bernard Zoe to have large dog beds in each of our offices. I hate to think how much a similar commercial space would cost.


  • A Lesson in Self Discipline

I believe one of the most challenging issues those of us working out of a home office face, is that of managing our time. Self-discipline is something that we all must keep in check in order to be successful entrepreneurs working from home. There is something about going to and being in an office outside the home with fellow employees sitting nearby that seems to be a discipline in and of itself.  However, when your income is based on the results of personal motivation that creates the discipline needed to enable success in your business.
Perhaps I am biased, having worked from home for so many years and co-authoring the book “How to Start a Home Based Travel Agency”. I truly believe moving home to operate our businesses has been one of the best decisions we have ever made. When I look back on all the years I have enjoyed being home with family during my working hours and I think of all that I might have missed had I not been able to have a home office, I feel so very thankful and lucky to have had the choice. Whatever feels right for you is the path you should follow to continue your success in travel.