In years gone by, you couldn’t run a business without owning or renting some form of office space. Nowadays, the need for office space has been greatly reduced – digital technology and the growth of outsourcing has made it possible to run a large corporation from home or even on the go. This could save your company a lot of money in rent, energy bills and general maintenance.
Office space still has an appeal in its status – many companies don’t feel they’ve ‘made it’ until they have their own premises. However, this may be the only valid reason to rent an office. Here are several other reasons companies rent office space and how you can get around them without needing an office.
Many companies feel that they need office space when taking on employees. However, a growing number of companies are now starting to hire staff virtually. Video conferencing and instant messaging can provide quick communication and you could share files via the cloud. A virtual workforce can have many benefits – studies show that remote employees take less sick days and are generally more productive. Your employees may have to use their own equipment, but they may still save costs in commuting whilst enjoying the freedoms that come with working from home.
You can also run a virtual office by outsourcing roles rather than hiring employees. Outsourcing a phone answering service could be a cost-effective alternative to hiring a receptionist, whilst you can outsource an IT support service rather than having to hire a full-time IT specialist.
Inviting clients to your home for meetings isn’t ideal and may even come across unprofessional. Having office space can give you a place to hold such meetings – however this needn’t be a sole reason to rent an office.
Many companies now conduct meetings from coffee bars as a neutral ground. Coffee bars are great because they generally aren’t too noisy and often have good wi-fi. Hiring conference space for single use has also become popular, with many companies offering this facility.
Then of course there’s the most efficient option which is video-conferencing – neither party has to travel to meet up and you can still have a face-to-face conversation (although certain clients may still prefer to meet in person).
Storing equipment and files
Office space was once necessary for storing cabinets of files and equipment such as large computers and printers. However, most offices no longer need to serve this purpose. Most companies are going paperless and storing files digitally. Meanwhile, equipment is a lot less bulky. In fact, you can run most businesses on a laptop. As for printing, such services can be outsourced to save the need to own a printer.
Accepting client mail
When it comes to receiving physical mail from clients, having office space can allow you to provide an office address rather than your home address. This can be useful if your don’t want clients to know your home address.
There is however a modern route around this too. It’s now possible to outsource a virtual mailbox – such companies are able to collect your physical mail for you and then relay it onto you so that you can work from home without needing to giving out your personal address.
Eliminating home distractions
Whilst many people find that working from home makes it easier to concentrate, others find the environment too distracting. It could be hard to concentrate if you have kids or noisy housemates. Alternatively, you may find that you’re just too tempted to watch TV.
Finding somewhere to work from could get you away from the distraction of home. This doesn’t have to be your own office space – you could work from a coffee bar or a library. Make sure that you have the ability to work portably such as owning a laptop and possibly considering pay-as-you-go wi-fi just in case you’re not able to get wi-fi connection whilst you’re out.