In the wake of a recessionary economy more SMEs are cutting down on operating costs by operating out of their respective homes. Similarly a section of the laid off employees are turning the tide up by starting their own companies, their homes being the first choice of office. Under both the circumstances, SoHo as a concept is gaining in popularity.
The ongoing economic slumber has had a lot of impact on the professional life of people. There were massive layoffs in some organization and some companies stopped hiring midway. While an unfortunate event it is by every standard, some of the more enterprising people took it as an opportunity to start their own venture. Turning their homes in to small functional offices, these individuals adapted an architectural concept that is increasingly gaining prominence all over world: Small office Home office. This trend has caught the attention of realty developers lately and there is already a new category of residential real estate on the horizon specifically built for those who want to work their way up right from the comforts and confines of their houses.
The concept of Small office Home office
While there is no set definition, a SoHo is referred to a work place having less than 2500 square feet often borrowed from residential complexes. These SoHo are mainly preferred by small and medium enterprises that have less operating margins and therefore save on office rentals and other overhead costs. Such a SoHo is designed to accommodate at most 10 employees at a time. Although the concept originated in space congested metros like Mumbai, owing to the inherent benefits it has, the trend is fast catching up in Tier II and Tier III cities also. It would be a mistake to consider the small office as short on equipment or technology infrastructure as these spaces are facilitated by special all in one office equipment and compact seating arrangement, although a little informal than regular offices.
The Benefits of SoHo
Under the current economic scenario scaling down operating costs is a major concern for most Small and Medium Enterprises. Keeping up business profitability requires downsizing even if it involves giving up posh and grand office arrangements. Here are some of the reasons why SoHo is growing in popularity in India:
- Considerable cost saving through cut on overhead expenses and office rentals
- Better work-life balance for those who are owner of their business owing to proximity to home
- Better coordination, team work and collaborative work practices
- Better regulation of expenditures such as electricity and water etc.
What makes up a basic infrastructure of Small office Home office?
As explained above a SoHo doesn’t conforms to a set of guidelines and therefore its design and specification can vary as per the nature of business, the space constraint, business requirements and the owner’s preferences. Whether you want to convert your 2 BHK flat in Mumbai to SoHo, or it is a villa in the outskirts of Delhi that you want to utilize for office purpose, the first thing to keep in mind is the scale of the business that you want to operate out of that office. Accordingly make a list of the critical requirements of your home office. Such a list would generally include desk, computer, and All-in-one automation equipment that combine function like scanning, fax, photocopying, and printing among others.
Once you are done with making the list of the required items, the next step involves calculating space requirements. Keeping these requirements in mind dedicate a section of your home to SoHo. The space that you borrow for creating your home office should offer ample privacy to your family and should not compromise on your office needs as well. A separate room with a door would fit the bill perfectly instead of creating cabins in the lobby or drawing room. A home office often faces space constraint and can feel a bit cramped even with the minimum office equipment. This is where you need to be creative. Employing better space organization skills is very necessary for maintaining the fine balance between workspace and home requirements.