Any ideas for renting office space? (or a small room to function as such)
August 24, 2007 9:21 AM   Subscribe

I just took a programming job in Atlanta. The job is great, but I work from home and the lack of structure is killing me. I would love to have a small room somewhere to separate work from home. It could even be a cubicle as long as there is internet access. Anyone been in a similar situation?
posted by shoesandships to Work & Money (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yes. Although I eventually came to peace working at home, I found numerous reasonable alternatives. One was at one of those office hotels where you rent a room fully internet accessed. Example. Do a Google search for executive suites.

Also, depending on where you are, I bet some of the small offices in town would rent you a room. I had three friends or near friends offer to rent me an empty office within their suite. I would post an ad in the local paper or in town.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:32 AM on August 24, 2007

Investigate coworking.
posted by lubujackson at 9:32 AM on August 24, 2007

My husband works from home (and is also a programmer). He works in the basement. It's actually a good setup for him, especially when the washer or dryer are on - kills all the noise from upstairs. If you don't have an extra room to spare (and it sounds like you don't), you certainly could set something up. I found this site, which tells you how to buy used office equipment (including cubicle walls), it looks like eBay has cubicle walls and desks for auction, and typing in "cubicle walls for purchase" in Yahoo brought up tons of sites.
posted by cooker girl at 9:33 AM on August 24, 2007

Perhaps you could just set up a work space that feels more serious and functional, using a screen and minimizing the homey decor items.
posted by orange swan at 10:31 AM on August 24, 2007

I started a lease for office space a few months ago after working from home for two years. Let me tell you, the home/work separation is wonderful and I definitely recommend it for your sanity. I basically get a desk in a nice office downtown that I share with two other people. I've already made one interesting contact through them and I anticipate there will be many more. If you can afford it, do it.
posted by AaRdVarK at 10:48 AM on August 24, 2007

I don't know their rates, but you might want to check out Regus. They basically provide an office environment (receptionist, copiers, meeting rooms, etc) for independent workers.
posted by mjbraun at 11:09 AM on August 24, 2007

I used to work in a large office building where many, many suites offered one of their offices for rent. The deal usually included furniture and Internet access as well. Maybe you could put up a notice on the bulletin boards at some of the office buildings in your area stating that you're looking to sublease some office space. Most buildings have a notice board somewhere on the first floor, either in or near the cafeteria or vending machine area.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:20 AM on August 24, 2007

At my old job, a random guy rented one of the offices that the company was still too small to use. I'm not sure how they found one another, (Craigslist? talking to office space brokers?), but it worked out well for both parties.
posted by salvia at 11:30 AM on August 24, 2007

I found that I got more done when I left my apartment and went to a free wifi enabled cafe to do work. Maybe it's different for you, but for me it was simply the isolation that made it hard to be focused on work. Unless it's an expensive place the increased productivity may be worth buying a coffee every hour or so to keep the people there happy.

This works even better in Egypt, where a latte, a juice, a bottle of water, and a bowl of soup can be got for around $6. :-)
posted by Deathalicious at 11:35 AM on August 24, 2007

I worked from home in Atlanta for about a year. It worked fine, but when I did feel the lack of structure, I would just go somewhere else. Coffeehouse, downtown Decatur, somewhere with a different look, and just work from there.

It worked for me.
posted by Pants! at 12:02 PM on August 24, 2007

I'm a consultant and I run a website on becoming a consultant. I've covered this issue several times. It's not really about the space you set aside. It's more about the attitude and rules you bring to that space. So your office could be your kitchen table, your bedroom, a cubby under the stairs, a shared workspace offsite or even a coffee shop. What makes this space your office is the way you approach it. You've got to set yourself up so that you are not distracted by housemates, TV, social phone calls, intant messenger, floors that need sweeping, food that needs eating, shopping, websites (I could use some help here, couldn't I?), and so on.

What you need to do is work out a schedule. Set goals for yourself. You may need to set goals for the morning or afternoon, as well as for the week. You may have focused on work in an office environment because you were worried someone would notice you in the washroom, cafeteria, lunch room, etc. If you can't work out this sort of structure, it won't matter where your office is. You'll simply find your way to different distractions.
posted by acoutu at 3:12 PM on August 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

Seconding acoutu. Working from home is great, but it requires serious discipline. You should make your work space your work space and don't bring other activities into it (this is especially true if you plan to deduct it from you taxes. It must be completely separate and 100% business use to qualify).

Keep regular hours. Act like it's an office, (Because it is), even to the extent of putting on office attire. If you "go to work" in your p.j.s you're not going to feel like you're at work.

But that doesn't answer your question. I tried googling "business incubators Atlanta" but just came up with shared dental offices. Try calling the small business support arm of the Atlanta city government and see if there are any business incubators in the area. These are usually places with shared support (clerical staff, phone, internet, etc.) where you can rent a cubicle at a reasonable price. Some of them also offer classes and seminars, and they all have the advantage of not being quite so isolating as working from home. I was in one for about 5 years and it was great.
posted by nax at 7:47 PM on August 24, 2007

I just bought a small computer desk on wheels. I have a space with all my work junk in it, but I didn't like to work in it (why work in a cubicle when the best advantage of working at home is not working at a cubicle). The rolly desk allows me to sit in my living room and do computer work with my main work needs at hand, but then it rolls back into the room with all the work junk when I'm done. Basically, I'm 'at work' when I'm either working with my stuff in the room, or when the desk is in the living room. This helps define the space/time. The cafe is great too.
posted by kch at 10:30 PM on August 24, 2007

Can you find a private study room at a local univeristy library? At the three universities I attended, all the libraries had private, individual study rooms with internet access.
posted by santojulieta at 12:55 AM on August 25, 2007

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