It’s a question every small business must answer, the difference is often when the question is asked.

Should I work from home, or set up in an office?

The cons for those starting out on their own immediately come to mind, with the biggest being the extra cost. Starting out on your own can be scary, and most of that fear is generated by the lack of a guaranteed incomings versus certain outgoings. The one thing in your control is how much you spend.

But as someone who has both worked in my own small business from home, and in a shared office, I would argue that not setting up in some kind of office will cost your business more in the long run, than what it saves.

Until recently I’ve run my social media, digital marketing company from a hot desk at The Commons shared workspace in Collingwood and have found the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

More than a serviced office The Commons are part of a new wave of shared office spaces that provide a workspace modelled on the modern staff friendly offices of Google and Facebook.

So without further adue, here are the ten reasons working in a shared office space, is better than working from home.

1. Your IT and phone services are already set up.

And even more important when something goes wrong, you have someone to call.

2. Shared offices provide opportunity.

Depending on what your small business offers you can source much of your business from the other tenants. Every day in the shared kitchen can be a networking opportunity.

3. It helps separate work from home.

The biggest failing for me working from home was knowing when to switch off. Working in a home office lends itself to not having regular working hours. In a world where we are so contactable, you need to have a dedicated start and finish time. Working in an office can supply this.

4. Get the office right, and you will want to go to work.

An environment like The Commons provides a great environment to work in. They have designed a beautiful space where members have places to work and socialise together.

5. Need advice, there are plenty of people to ask.

Working in a shared office with other small businesses in a similar position to you can provide mentoring opportunities. If you need a question answered, there can be plenty of people to ask.

6. You have a social network built in.

While working for yourself can provide freedom, it can at times be lonely. Working in a shared office gives you the opportunity to chat with people, or join in Friday night drinks.

7. It keeps you honest.

It can be easy working a home to be distracted; I found it difficult to stay on track at home, in the office, it’s much easier to stay focused. You can’t stop to do the washing.

8. It presents a better image.

You can only meet clients in so many cafes, having an office with a shared boardroom makes you look like a much more professional outfit.

9. It separates work from home.

Home is where your heart is, work should be mostly where your head is, by being able to separate them means the home can still be a refuge from a bad day at work.

10. It’s more fun

People are social animals; we often operate at our best when we are surrounded by other people. We are happier, more relaxed and better handle stress when we are surrounded by like minded people.

Daniel Hoy is a journalist who runs his digital marketing, social media, content creation company, who until he recently returned to full-time work, held a hot desk at The Commons in Collingwood.