In the past, one of the first things a new business owner would want to do would be to buy or rent an office. This would be the place where they would grow that business, where their team would work, where everything would get done. Although it was a vast expense and something that they would probably have to borrow money to do right, without an office, how else would they work? How else would anything get done? How else would they thrive and succeed?
In the past, this was undoubtedly true. A business without an office wouldn’t be as successful if it could even exist at all.
However, things have changed now. Although some business owners do still choose to have an office, it’s not anywhere near as important or necessary as it once was. Why is this?
There are so many new technologies emerging, with many more being developed all the time, that workers can connect remotely with their colleagues, their employers, and even their customers without the need to be in an office with them. Just a few years ago, this technology wasn’t available to everyone, and it was expensive to use, but now it is free much of the time, and everyone has access to it.
These collaborative technologies like video calling and CMS (content management systems) allow people to work together no matter where they are in the world, giving the business owner the chance to hire the best people for the job and save money by not having an office space at all.
Even customers can enjoy great service through the use of these new technologies. Utilizing a virtual reception to answer queries, make appointments, and perform admin tasks means that your workers can focus on what they are doing without distractions, and your customers will not be neglected.
New Generation of Workers
Something that might have caused business owners to think twice about doing away with their office altogether, despite the advantages it would give them, would be their workers. Older workers who didn’t grow up with the technology that younger people take for granted may not have been comfortable or productive working from home. Asking them to do this may well have caused more problems than it solved.
As this generation of workers is retiring and younger workers are taking their place, it is easier to have an office no longer. The younger generation is comfortable using all kinds of technology (and can get to grips with it easily too, even if it is new to them), which means employers can take the opportunity to sell their office spaces or forego the leases.
More Productive Workers
Although some people will be happier working in an office, whether it’s because it feels more structured or because there are people around or because they are less distracted than they would be at home, many more relish the chance to work from home if they can, and are much more productive when they do.
To begin with, without a commute – no matter how long or short it might have been – your employees can start work feeling much more relaxed. They might choose to sleep for longer, or perhaps they’ll finally have time for a proper breakfast which will help them to concentrate. They might feel better because they haven’t had to contend with traffic or angry commuters.
Next, being in familiar surroundings in comfortable clothing will also often help with productivity. So too will being away from their employer. As much as you might prefer to have them close to keep an eye on what they are doing, this micromanagement is unproductive. Letting them work from home and trusting them to do their work as you want them to be a much better way to encourage your employees.
If you’re asking yourself whether you need an office for your business and you’re still not sure, think about all the money you can save. The rent alone is a huge saving, not to mention all the energy and water. Other bills that need to be considered will include:
- Office equipment
Plus, you will need to pay for the days your employees are sick or on vacation. Working from home isn’t going to stop people from taking time off work for a vacation, but statistics show that there are far fewer sick days if an employee is working from home.
There are numerous ways to save money, and even if you need to invest in some new equipment or software licences to allow the home working to happen successfully, it will still be cheaper in the long term than having an entire office to pay for.