The word “office” may conjure images of dreary cubicles and fluorescent lighting, or, if you’re lucky, a very funny TV show starring Steve Carell. But these days, an “office” usually means any environment to which people dedicate most of their business hours.
Of course, there’s been a surge in the debate recently over whether or not startups need office space at all — thanks to free wifi in most cafes, an uptick in remote work arrangements and the increase in other alternatives to working at a desk 9-to-5. And, naturally, the arrangement that works best for your business depends on a number of variables deserving careful consideration.
But for entrepreneurs fortunate enough to run a business that is growing and adding individuals to its team, the idea of an organized work space with dependable infrastructure and room to fit a budding workforce shouldn’t be so easily dismissed.
Here are nine reasons entrepreneurs should think carefully about providing an environment where their team — and their business — can thrive.
A company’s office space can be a clue to its stature; everything from its financial health to its work philosophy can find expression in the walls of its physical space. There’s a reason the most celebrated companies in the world are recognized for living in celebrated homes, too: Office space is one of the endemic ways a brand communicates its essence.
Among the audiences for that communication, perhaps the most important is the top talent these brands — especially those of growing startups — are trying to attract. The best and brightest want to know they’ll be working for a company that’s going to be around for a while.
They want to know that the physical space they’ll be working in is appealing and comfortable. After all, they’ll be spending a majority of their time there. And, clearly, they won’t get that impression if your company is one without any space at all.
Team-building is more than a lofty exercise; it can result in a supportive work environment, which is crucial to your team’s success. If you’re trying to build a top-notch sales organization or make sure your product and marketing are better integrated, what better way to foster that dynamic than with an environment where employees can socialize and support one other?
Socializing segues naturally from team-building. For some people, co-workers end up being close friends, even outside of the office. Any time you can help employees improve their social lives, you’re providing a holistic benefit that makes them happier — and by extension more productive — at work.
If you’re fond of meetings that start on time and run smoothly, you should seriously consider an organized work space for your startup. One of the biggest myths about startups and office space is that, thanks to video-conferencing tools like Skype, Google Hangout and Vidyo, you don’t really need to meet in person at all.
But varying degrees of network connectivity and the resulting latency issues, among other technical problems that can arise, often mean that 10 to 15 minutes elapses before everyone can simply hear and see each other. That won’t be a problem if everyone is in the same space.
Accountability issues happen all the time. Think about the yellow-orange “idle” or red “busy” icon next to a employee’s name on Google Chat. You open a chat with him or her anyway. No reply.
Is that person even there? Or sunbathing in the park? If everyone is at the office, the no-show problem lessens (somewhat). At the end of the day, though, your company is facing productivity and accountability issues. Your team is made up of people who have diverse interests and hobbies, and their ability to pursue them is a big part of what keeps them happy and productive
You just want to make sure they pursue them on their time, not yours. And, an office helps.
Another great reason to consider office space is if your investors advise you to. More comments from hands-on investors will help you account for all the factors you need to consider before deciding whether or not to move operations to an office.
Whether it’s for hosting a guest speaker series, running workshops or starting a mentorship program, a space you can call home allows you to facilitate and effectively market more professional-development opportunities.
When you show employees you’re willing to invest in their growth as people and professionals, that gesture goes a long way in keeping those employees satisfied and motivated to build their careers with you.
Research shows that a healthy team makes a productive team. As an employer, with an office, you can play a significant role in your team’s performance by making sure the pantry is stocked with healthy foods throughout the day.
In many cases, the food you provide employees may be healthier than what they stock at home. And, commuting to an office usually involves more physical exercise than pulling on a pair of sweatpants in the morning to work from home. Whether it’s climbing the stairs out of the train station, walking to and from the office or taking frequent breaks to re-up on water and walk around the work space, office life isn’t without its health benefits.
In every industry, exposure to different viewpoints, skill sets, levels of experience and personal histories (including race and gender) in the course of business is healthy. An office ensures that your team members are getting this exposure (assuming, of course, that you’re building a diverse team) in a collegial atmosphere.
Securing office space for your startup is by no means a light decision. It will represent one of your most significant expenses, and it typically requires a 3-to-5 year commitment. That can be a scary thought when you’re not entirely sure where your business is going to be in five years.
But you can always consult resources to help you determine your readiness for office space and determine what you need to know, to start looking.
What’s more, finding a home for your business can be a tremendous launching pad for your next phase of growth. Is it the right choice for you?
As an entrepreneur, freelancer or remote worker you should consider the advantages of coworking when you pick your work environment. The other solution for those who want to stay away from home or coffee shops would be renting a long-term office space which results in high costs and lack of flexibility. That’s where coworking comes in!
A “coworking space” is a place where you can go on a daily basis, sit down at a random table (or a fixed one, in certain places), and enjoy a good internet connection, coffee, a kitchen, and the company of like-minded people. Altogether, it supplies you with an office environment without the necessity of everyone working on the same project, to each his/her own, but together.
If you work from home, there’s no real accountability. It’s too easy to get distracted by your bed, your TV, and fridge and lose valuable time. In addition to that, family related chores will always present themselves since if you are at home, you must be available… The separation of work from home is important for many of us and also allows you to breath some fresh air and feel alive instead of spending most of your day at home.
In case you have decided that it is time to get an office, a coworking space makes a lot more financial sense than renting your own office. Renting an office includes taking care of installing infrastructure and taking care of utility bills that drain cash and time. The staff in the coworking space will take care of that for everyone. Also, regular office rental requires signing long term contracts, usually for a minimum period of one year. Coworking spaces allow you to rent your Table or even a room for a few days, weeks or a month and allow you to focus on what counts: Your work.
Research shows that people who use coworking spaces are more effective due to the energy and mindset adjustment that is generated by the interaction and acountability a coworking environment creates. That means that the financial costs of using a coworking space are much lower than the financial benefits it creates.
Coworking spaces will boost your network and in turn connect you with the most relevant people for your business, from potential clients, suppliers or even business partners. In coworking spaces you are guaranteed to meet high quality, talented, and like minded people to add to your network that might become critical for your business.
Working alone is isolating and can affect your mood. Having coworkers and interaction is covering a social need. The idea at a coworking space is that although you are working by yourself, you are surrounded by awesome people. The members of the coworking space have picked a unique and independent lifestyle just like you, and those are exactly the kind of people you want to be surrounded by. Coworking simply makes your day more energizing, fun and happy.
One of the biggest drawbacks of leaving a 9-to-5 job is missing out on the best source of meeting new people, your office. Jobs provide us with a major source of new friends, and once you leave your work this source is depleted. A coworking place allows you to fill in the gaps and make new friends with interesting people in new places.
Coworking spaces gather the best minds, each expert in their own field. After you dedicate some time to build your social network in the coworking space, you can approach your expert friends for high quality advice on a wide range of topics like social media and digital marketing, programming, design and much more. The synergies and mutual help of one member to another is invaluable.
This one is a little deep, so let’s start with an example: It is a common recommendation to work at home with clothes you would wear at the office. Working with flip-flops in your pajamas usually decreases your productivity as you are signaling to yourself that you are not in work mode. Using a coworking space will make you aware of your appearance and clothing, and taking the time to walk/drive to your place in addition to the money you spend on it will remind you that your work is important enough to take it seriously and value your time and skills.
Trying to find the best place can create some uncertainty and frustration, since you will find yourself running from one coffee shop to another hoping that today it won’t be too crowded or loud and that the internet is going to work. In case you have to make calls, the noise in coffee shops can be frustrating to you and the people around you. Coworking spaces usually have isolated Skype booths and conference rooms for you to use. Some other reliable advantages of coworking spaces over coffee shops include access 24 hours a day (in case you are on a deadline or have a crazy schedule), and free printing (always valuable). In general, uncertainty takes time and energy that could have been put toward working for your clients, and it makes you feel less happy in general. Coworking provides your life with stability.
Scaling and truly become successful usually involves working with others. There will be a time when it will make sense to slowly building a team and hiring a person to help your business grow. In some situations you can hire someone to hire remotely, but let’s be 100% honest, nothing beats working together in the same physical space. A coworking space allows you to invite another person to work with you without the need to rent a dedicated office. As your team grows, many coworking spaces also offer the option to rent a team room which helps your team to focus working on your projects while also enjoying the interaction and perks outside of your dedicated room.
Most coworking spaces organize events as a critical way to both increase revenue, and market themselves. That means that as a coworking member, you will have fast and easy access (mostly free) to interesting events and education opportunities ranging from lectures about entrepreneurship and startups to yoga sessions!
Free coffee, fridges, microwaves, even full lunches. You often save money in this kind of working environment because unlike a cafe where your small costs add up without you noticing, a coworking space lets you know what you will pay upfront (coworking will probably be cheaper than three Starbucks coffees per day). Coworking spaces usually offer lockers as well, which gives you another place to store your stuff safely in case you need to go somewhere during the day.
The consumer-driven economy is forcing every kind of organization to move towards more flexible staffing models. As we expand to new social arrangements, we expect more private companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to scale down office facilities and rely more on temporary workspaces for flexible work models.
Some types of work may be easy for telecommuting employees to perform from home as well as headquarters-based employees, but others call for a reliable office from which to operate. Large headquarters, as well as bricks-and-mortar store locations, might become less important soon. Meanwhile, multi-use spaces that support dynamic market conditions and employee configurations should prove more cost-effective than existing facilities.
We recommend that your company does not operate permanent offices in different cities unless they are needed at multiple points during the year. By using our facilities, your organization can easily accommodate temporary meetings and workspace needs while not incurring the overhead associated with long-term facilities. We are here to help organizations maintain economies of scale.
For more details on booking space in a coworking environment without losing productivity, please contact us today.
Adapted from: www.becomenomad.com
Your company has perhaps had to face some challenging facts recently: You need some fresh ideas, but don’t know where to turn to bring new perspectives. It’s certainly easy to become complacent when you’re so used to doing things the same for years. This is a big problem for a lot of companies who end up going into automatic pilot.
Forbes reported on the alarming nature of this a few years ago with two startling phrases:
“Leadership is in danger; Complacency is becoming the new normal.”
You simply can’t let this come about, even if it sneaks in under the radar for your employees. A solution might mean looking into a popular new concept: co-working spaces!
If you’re new to such a network, we can help at WorkSocial.
One thing perhaps feeding the lack of fresh ideas above is you’re allowing yourself or employees to work from home. While this can work for many to think more originally, it’s still going to mean one train of thought rather than from outsiders.
Also, it’s often noted that work from home still has too many temptations and distractions. It’s hard for someone to get disciplined on critical thinking if they have too many distractions from social media, TV, or countless other media options.
So what are the real benefits of joining a co-working space? It’s going to help you or an employee change your own perspectives on work value.
Think of a co-working network like the best intellectual drinking establishment. While you likely won’t sip cocktails together, you’ll at least be congregating in one collective place where you can gain insights from members making up numerous companies.
These members are going to have hundreds of years of collective experience! They’ll have just as many ventures or projects on their resumes! While you’ll have a mix of newer business experts and older, all of their opinions are going to matter when discussed as a group.
Much like a business conference, where you discuss the latest trends, a co-working network is your specialized group to turn to when you’re truly stuck on an original idea.
Once you meet, it’s not just a one-shot meeting and then breaking up. Co-working means an ongoing business relationship, as in working on one project together. Bringing these outsiders into your own project is going to mean superior networking like you can’t find anywhere else.
Now you can finally breathe new life into your company thanks to contributions from those who’ve seen it all. It could take just one idea from these co-workers to change your project into something beyond your initial expectations.
To make this collaboration work well, you’re going to need a lot of good digital tools to keep you continually communicated.
As The Balance notes, co-working spaces are best for entrepreneurs who need expertise from people already in the trenches on how to get a good idea going.
Since this may involve a freelance schedule, it opens a more flexible schedule to work in these co-working networks.
Millennials are a big part of this universe as more of them become entrepreneurs and take on self-employed careers.
According to Dropbox, the co-working market grew at a high rate up through 2017. Last year, there were 13,800 networks worldwide and 1,180,000 members globally.
At WorkSocial, we can help you join in and finally find a way for you to get away from complacency. With our co-working spaces, you can gain valuable insights from others your own employees couldn’t achieve to maintain your company mission.
Contact us to learn more about our business that also includes virtual offices, conference rooms, and training venues.