One of the main advantages of a live/work property is the huge amount of time it will save you.
The average UK worker commutes 2,906 miles per year and travels 1,622 miles on business by car.
The average commute time in the UK is the highest in Europe: 45 minutes a day (source: RAC Foundation) per trip. That's the equivalent of one working day every two weeks.
And of course many people spend much longer than 22.5 minutes getting to and from work. A survey by Barclaycard found the average commute time to be 74 minutes per day, 85 minutes for those based in London.
Having live/work premises can therefore produce a significant increase in working time at a stroke - very important for those building up their business. For someone used to a 45 minute travel to/from work, for example, the figure would be a huge 20%.
But that 20% is just the start of it. Those who commute will testify that it often takes half an hour or longer just to recover from the stress of the journey. This applies upon arriving home too.
And what about those unnecessary meetings at work? All the polite office chat about football, soaps, house prices, the weather? If you live/work, you only go to the meetings you want to, you only gossip, socialise and network when you want to. You cut out not only the commute but a whole range of things that remove your control over your own time.
It is little wonder that all respected reports on productivity and homeworking have concluded that those who work from are significantly more productive - most reports suggest anything from 15% to 30%.
And those who work from home are also said to be much less likely to take time off with illness: there is no challenging commute, so a few hours work can still be possible, perhaps in pyjamas.
It's this simple: working in a live/work unit will save you an awful lot of time and effort.
For those who see more to life than working all hours, live/work also comes to the rescue. Combining workspace and home means working when you want to - no closed offices, no special journey. It also means time off when you want. Those who work from home often work longer, it is true. But they choose to do so, control their own hours and (according to studies of BT homeworkers) feel less stressed. See www.sustel.org for more on this.
For those with kids, here is a way to be close to school if they are ill, to choose ways to work around their school day (or link with after school clubs), to work less during holidays, to see more of them in a good frame of mind rather than come across as the techy commuter. No more panic stations at breakfast time either.
And unlike normal homeworking where family/personal life often intrudes on the workspace, live/work property usually creates either a separate space for work, or enough space to ensure the one does not dominate the other. Only live/work property, remember, was designed from the outset to provide workspace as well as home.
Well designed live/work property keeps your workspace easily available. But it also allows you to shut the door on work when you choose.
Save time - at a glance
Not yet convinced? Here is a checklist for you. See if any of these could apply to you if you choose the live/work approach:
- no commuting - to work or back to home
- no need to recover from commuting every day at work and home
- no need to wear work clothes or do the full make up
- no breakfast time panic to get to work on time
- no unnecessary work meetings, only the ones you want
- no chit chat with colleagues you didn't choose to work with
- no constant interruptions while you are working productively
- no backlog caused by full days off when you were ill but could have worked some of the day
- no long journey to the office/workshop for extra work out of normal hours
- no normal hours any more at all - you choose when to work
- no problem taking a nap, pottering in the garden, whatever - quality breaks at your fingertips
- ability to work evening and weekends if/when you want
- ability to go to places that are less crowded when everyone is at work, eg supermarket, gym, beach
- no panic to get back in time to get the kids from school or club
- ability to work at least some of the day if your child is off school ill
- ability to work around school days and holidays.
The list goes on and on...