Office at Home or Expensive Commercial Space?

Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

I have worked from home since the start of CIMA IT Solutions in 2008. Prior to that my office was also my home because while working for American Systems in DC while living in Puerto Rico. The only time I physically entered the office was for New Hire Orientation!

Working from home has its pro’s and cons but after 4 years I have to say the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

If I had a large team I would have a separate space for my office.  When you pay for an office that expense is included in your operational costs.

Operating from an office at home allows me to keep my business running in a lean way. These cost savings I transfer to my clients by giving them the best possible resources and quality service without having to charge them a dime to cover extra expenses.

No Office makes me lose Local Business

On occasions I lose business locally because they can’t see my physical office. Living in Puerto Rico where people are tied to traditions, this can turn into an obstacle.

When I bump into a business focusing more on my physical address than how I can solve their problems it makes me lose interesting in working with them. If they are looking for someone with a high-end office, filled with priceless artwork, expensive furniture, and plenty of office space, hiring me might not be what they are looking for.

Priorities, Priorities

The Irony in these companies seeking a physical address is that many of these companies are throwing away money on material things but when it comes to paying for quality resources and good services they quickly tend to ask for discounts and quickly mention they have small budgets.

For me it is extremely difficult to walk into a place where they spent millions in infrastructure (some unnecessary) and then complain when they see a proposal of thousands of dollars for a website (completely necessary).

Those Who Penny Pinch and Waste your Time

A while back I was in a meeting where people wasted my time and the time of others. What really bothered me other than they where always late was that they made a comment on my physical presence and how a competitor was not working out of a garage office like I was.  Being that many large companies HP, Google, Apple, and others started out of a garage I had to disagree with them.

They are spending millions of dollars on new infrastructure that won’t necessarily bring them new clients or enhance the current customer experience but they can’t stop complaining about cash flow issues.

In my case I maintain my cash flow issues in check by looking for intelligent ways to cut back and including not having to pay for an extra office.

Working from home at the moment has help me connect with great people I truly want to work with because they are focused on meeting goals and how we can work together in the most organic ways.

Do you work from home? If you do what experiences have you encountered?

If you don’t would you give it a try if you had a chance?



  1. Bianca* on August 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Raul.

    Great post! But I want to add the employee-perspective. You wrote as small bussiness, but think now as an employee. Working from home you don’t have traveling expenses (home to work and viceversa). That means no worries for traffic jams and spending for gas and tolls. Technology and internet are such great things!!!

    • Raul Colon on August 9, 2012 at 2:38 pm


      I agree on the Employee side. When working at American Systems which I mentioned at the beginning I had many advantages of not wasting time in traffic unless I had to visit clients. The efficiencies are endless. Thanks for brining that point up! 

  2. cabezas on August 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Good article, hermano!  I agree with your sentiment 100%.

    I think you framed the home office/commercial space argument perfectly.

    I work from home like yourself and unless I ramp up with staff, feel no need to change-especially with all the technological mobility platforms/devices currently available.

    ¡Saludos desde NYC!

    • Raul Colon on August 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm


      Thanks for the comment. If you have little or no staff you are probably better off working from home and remotely! 

  3. Luis O Maymí on August 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Great post Raul. I agree that working from home has more advantages than having an office. In fact having an office opens you to so many legal aspect which takes a considerable amount of money to get. It hurts me to say it, but in Puerto Rico getting all this permits from government office is pure hell (a sure way to waste a lot of time). Luckily our corporation didn’t needed a permit for location (use permite) because we work “on the cloud”. Yes that exactly what we put in the application to explain that we don’t have an office and work were our clients are. 

    If you don’t work in “the cloud” and you absolutely need a physical location well let’s say it will take you forever to get all the permits necessary  to just start operations. In Puerto Rico (sadly again) government office take a ridiculous amount of time to process all the permits necessary and make it a sure pain to get them. All documents you need are scatter all across government offices in the metro area of Puerto Rico and you waste a whole days travelling and waiting. How can a small business even start when they make it nearly unattainable to get all the necessary permits? You go broke even before you start business. 

    • Raul Colon on August 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      That is a great point I wonder how the @PRSECSTATE:twitter  is working on improving that process to motivate more entrepreneurs and healthier local businesses. 

      I work on the cloud also! 

  4. Jade on August 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Raul, I absolutely agree with you. Facebook started in a house. So did lots of other technology companies. It doesn’t matter where you are, it’s all about what you are accomplishing. 

    • Raul Colon on August 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      @799d27b3ca50dbce65d154a013e7ac90:disqus , 

      Thanks for stopping by. The end result is clearly what people should be judged on.