When you’re starting out in business you want to keep spending to a minimum. Expenditures are weighed up, deliberated over, and some will wake you up at 3am and insist you ponder till the birds start singing. For many people starting up a new business, or trying to cut costs in an existing one, office space can be the source of many stress headaches or sleepless nights. More and more people are opting to operate without a bricks and mortar base. So, office or no office – what’s the best option?
It’s arguably much easier to maintain a team mentality and a sense of inclusion if everyone in your team is in the same place but there are other benefits from having an office base. Your team are more likely to learn from each other organically as they converse about the projects they’re working on and any stumbling blocks they’re encountering. Casual conversation can actually help to keep the whole team informed and working together as a unit.
Some people are more likely to thrive in a professional environment, being able to physically separate home life from work life helps focus and it often makes them more productive. By having your team together in one place you can reinforce your company’s ideals and goals through your office branding. You can also monitor consistency in your team and your meetings or presentations will have a human touch.
Having an office is expensive. It can be a huge drain on the resources of a small business and with so many effective methods of communicating and connecting readily available it’s entirely possible to run your business with each team member working from home. As well as being able to communicate via email, telephone and Skype, you can also use project management software that helps your business function well in a virtual world. You can create an inclusive environment by using things like Google Chat to allow people to have the same type of informal conversation they would have in an office.
Many people are more productive when they can work in their own space, without the distractions that come with working in an office. Similarly, people who work on the move and choose to work from different places are often found to be, not just productive, but creative because they receive a wider variety of stimulus and interaction than those who are based in an office.
It comes down to what works best for your type of business and which approach is best for your staff. There are undoubtedly many reasons for and against but is there a middle ground?
There is always a third way, and if neither of the above options seem quite right for you, hot desking may be the answer. If you don’t want, or can’t afford your own office space, there are options available where you can reap all the benefits of an office for a fraction of the outlay. Not to mention the time saved in administration and replenishment of sundries that come with running an office.
There are organisations out there who offer space to rent in their office on a desk by desk basis. This way you have access to the internet, printers, tea and coffee facilities, meeting rooms, etc., without the headache of running your own gaff. This way you can scale and grow your business naturally, moving to premises of your own eventually, once you have the need.
It gives you a fantastic opportunity to network with other new businesses and in some cases hot desk offices will have experts on hand to offer advice and assistance. With a hot desk you can have the best of both worlds, a few less sleepless nights, and get on with growing your business.
There are options beyond the traditional office for companies willing to think outside of the box. Don’t get trapped by your preconceptions, if you want to be in a professional environment, find a business space, whether your own office or a hot desk. On the other hand, if you feel like you’re stuck in a corporate machine you can shred its constraints and fly free, work on the move. Or find a new way that specifically meets your needs. Business favours the innovative, don’t be afraid to be different.
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