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Trading in an office space -- pros and cons
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View Poll Results: Do you trade at home, or outside your home in an office?
I trade at home, and always have. 48 78.69%
I currently or previously traded in an office, and found it to be overall a benefit to my trading. 10 16.39%
I currently or previously traded in an office, and found it to be overall a negative to my trading. 3 4.92%
Voters: 61. You may not vote on this poll

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Trading in an office space -- pros and cons

  #1 (permalink)
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Trading in an office space -- pros and cons

There are a couple other threads on commuting to an office to trade versus trading at home, but they do not cover much detail. I am at a point where I am strongly considering trading outside my home.

Pros:

  1. Other people: moving my office outside the home would free up a room which a member of the household could greatly use.
  2. Other people v2: I would be free of distraction from people coming and going, neighbor's dog barking, delivery person, repair man, etc.
  3. Relationships: separating office from home would allow me to more easily leave trading at the office, and have the home be a place to be more focused on family and home things, though I still will need a small space at home to monitor the occasional overnight trade and keep tabs on world markets before I go to bed.
  4. Attitude/Performance/Discipline: while I do my best to maintain a professional attitude, how easy is it to be professional about some work when one is in his pajamas? I don't really do the whole pajama thing, but going through a morning routine of getting ready, driving, and "showing up for work" will be more likely to put me in a frame of mind that this really is work. I am sad to say, but when I can walk from my bedroom to my "office" in 5 seconds, it can be very easy to not take it as seriously as one would a job. I'm not suggesting that "showing up for work" makes one a professional any more than wearing a crown makes him a king; I'm only suggesting that effort is required to actually get to work, and that effort can put one in a frame of mind where he takes his work more seriously.
Cons:


  1. Driving: I hate commuting to work, and haven't done it in ten years, in the traditional sense. But, it's a 7-10 mile, 30 minute drive each way most likely, and I can handle that I think.
  2. Cost: At a minimum of $400 or so for a 100-150 sq. ft. space, it adds a non-negligible overhead each month.
If you can add any other pros and cons to the list, please feel free to do so. What are your thoughts? For those who currently trade from an office or who have in the past, I would love to hear your experience.

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  #2 (permalink)
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@josh, I think just based on you thinking about this, creating a thread, and listing the pros and cons --- you have your answer. For you, it seems like this is a good idea.

For me, I think it is not a good idea. But I live alone and am free from most everything on your list that would get in the way of treating my home office like a remote office.

The $400 seems a bit on the high side, but it will all depend on what is near you. Here there are a lot of "virtual" office places that let you lease a small cube with an internet connection (bring your own notebook) for less than that, but it might be too far of a drive or still too noisy of an environment compared to what you are looking for.

I see plenty of people that list distractions as reasons for poor performance. I understand that in a traditional family environment, unlike a 'bachelor pad' like me, there are a lot of interruptions and it can be difficult. I think in this scenario it's a no brainer to get a dedicated remote office space, cube or whatever, to help solve that problem.

My advice is simple -- go for it! If you can justify $400 as a trial expense, it is worth it. Don't sign a lease longer than 1 month anywhere, and see how it goes. You obviously know that if it really can improve your focus, it's worth far more than $400. So I'd say spend the bucks and consider it a trial experiment, 1 month should be long enough to get some general ideas on how it has affected your performance.

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  #3 (permalink)
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Just an idea, and I really don't know how practical this is, but if you can trade on a laptop (plus maybe an extra portable LCD monitor)... Most libraries have private "study rooms". Some are literally the size of a small closet. I believe most of the time you're suppose to reserve them, but if none are already reserved then I imagine you could get one. The downside is you would be using a shared or wireless internet connection. At the very least its potentially a free part-time workspace.

There are also Coworking shared office spaces that should be much cheaper than $400/month. Generally internet, coffee, power, etc. is all included. Hopefully you can find one in your area. If not maybe look for others interested in sharing space. EDIT: Looks like there are several in Atlanta.


Last edited by MrYou; September 10th, 2013 at 11:51 PM.
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  #4 (permalink)
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Actually I just realized why it is $400 a month.

I am betting Josh is talking about moving a computer there, and multiple monitors. And not just toting a notebook back and forth.

Maybe I am wrong?

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
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  #5 (permalink)
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I wouldn't doubt that you could get a permanent office space with coworking. Last I recall they have different rates for different uses: daily, monthly, etc. You could possibly even negotiate your own internet connection if you needed.

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@josh have you thought about setting up a powered and wired "office cabin" in your backyard?

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  #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses so far guys. @Big Mike, yes, would be moving my primary trading setup there with multiple screens and all. It is not a cube but an actual room with walls and door, and in a building where I have 24x7 access. There is shared area for lounge and kitchen, and receptionist from 8 to 6 or so. Board room that can be reserved for meetings (not that I will need that). So, it is a "virtual office," like Regus.

In one space I looked at, there is shared internet, over broadband cable, but they are moving to T1 soon. This sounds potentially bad because of the low bandwidth of T1, but I would have the option to reserve bandwidth for additional cost. Ironically, as I type this at home, my broadband internet has just had an issue, and that kind of thing just does not happen as frequently with T1. The bandwidth is small, but as traders we really don't need much bandwidth; more often than not, the problem is with latency or just an outage, and the reliability should be better for T1 than residential broadband. In the other space I looked at, I would be responsible for setting up my own access, and would definitely consider T1 there as well. I have not done an analysis of bandwidth requirements for data, but I can't imagine it's more than 1.5Mbps. It's probably much, much (much) less.

@MrYou, a library is definitely not an option, nor is a coworking setup. The idea is that I want to put myself in a mindset of professionalism, and in an environment without distraction. The backyard office is an interesting idea, but this would not accomplish that purpose given those requirements.

I don't have too many distractions at home--my dog sometimes barks, family members sometimes "bug" me, and the like. So, it's not really literal noises that distract me, for example--this idea for me is more to induce a context shift. It's kind of like this... I have always thought it would be a relatively terrible idea for me to live in a live/work/play community, where your house is very near your work, which is very near entertainment/food venues. Part of the fun in going out for entertainment (like the movies for example) is that you actually get away from home. And part of the joy in going home after work is that you actually get to physically leave one context (work) and go into another one (home). By combining the contexts of home and work, as they are now, it presents a challenge that only physical separation can remedy. I do not enjoy the thought of a commute, even minor, but part of the benefit of that is to get away physically and mentally from home things, and vice versa on the way away from an office and back to home.

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  #8 (permalink)
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@josh

One avenue you might consider is to see if you have a local alternative investment association of some sort. They typically have monthly "networking" meetings and other informative/ educational events. You could likely find someone with office/desk space they are willing to lease you, probably for less than Regus and with the benefit of being around (even remotely) like minded people.


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  #9 (permalink)
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@josh, bandwidth is basically no consideration.

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


14 symbols pulling down 45kb/sec right now, markets are open, near the close (internet, left side).

If you turn the computer off each day, then each morning there will be a backfill request. That might take an extra minute on a T1 (150kb/sec roughly) vs Broadband (say 5000kb/sec) but really not a big amount of data anyway for one day at a time.

The main concern I would have with a T1 is the sharing aspect. If someone is trying to watch a YouTube video, it's going to kill everything for everyone.

Are you sure it is really a T1? That is pretty out of date these days for business internet in my experience. I mean realistically, you can't even watch YouTube on it.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

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  #10 (permalink)
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Most T1 circuits these days are implemented using HDSL. Dedicated T1s (vs frame relay) might be most useful when you need guaranteed bandwidth between point-to-point locations, but thats about it.

For businesses with no large uploading or symmetrical bandwidth requirements I would think business class cable broadband, metro ethernet, or fiber optic connection would be the best options.

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