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Office Rentals Lead To Success

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Working from home, or telecommuting, is growing in popularity. But having an actual office, or at a minimum a virtual office, is a path that can lead to greater success.

After all, is there a better place to meet clients? It is simply not professional, at least for most businesses, to have clients meet in the living room. And while coffee shops or similar places may be nice, they just don't match the professionalism of an office.

That means you just might need to consider an office rental.

  • An office offers a professional atmosphere, enabling workers to be extremely productive. At home, it is really hard to be productive or to make those sales calls when a child in the background is throwing a temper tantrum. And the office presents another benefit -- it allows your home to be your refuge.
  • Most people work better when they dress for success. It is much easier to dress professionally when going to the office, and too easy to dress "comfortably" when working out of the house.
  • It is a lot easier to walk down the hall and speak to a co-worker, than to call them up or send an email and wait for their reply. So an office can speed up the flow of information you need to be effective. 
  • Co-workers or office-sharers can keep you from the social isolation felt by so many at-home workers.

Fortunately, there are office options availble for almost every kind of need. If you need office space, please contact us.

By: James Osgood

 

Home Office , Office Rental , Office Space , Virtual Office Space

Tools for Managing Your Mobile Workforce

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The trend toward mobile office spaces where workers conduct business in whatever location is convenient is changing the entire world of business. Technology helps mobile work possible with great tools to allow managers, workers, clients and all the key players to stay in touch constantly, just as if working from the traditional office space. Staying on top of the latest software tools can make all the difference in developing a successful virtual or mobile workforce. Some of the best tools currently available include:

Google Drive (Docs): From Microsoft Office comes a truly great tool for sharing data in the mobile workforce. Anyone with a Gmail account can access this great tool without signing up and it costs nothing. Non-Gmail users can sign up easily, too. This tool allows storage of document that can be edited by the owner and access flags can allow others to read or edit the data. A colored cursor provides the ability to follow changes made by another person and the editor’s name is included above so everyone working on a document, spreadsheet or presentation can know exactly what is being changed. Anyone who uses Microsoft’s Office Suite will be immediately comfortable with this great tool. There were more robust tools out there, but this is the easiest, fastest way to transition into the cloud as an office space.

Free Screen Sharing: A great meeting tool from Free Conferencing allows you to host or attend sessions where desktops are completely shared only selected items are shared. The meeting host picks which items or applications to share and which they prefer to hide during their live meeting. A “take back control” lets the host allow another presenter share their screen during the meeting and the chat function lets the host and participants send private online messages during a live meeting. This is a very practical and easy to use meeting and screen sharing tool that is free to get started with.

GoToMeeting: This platform, from Citrix Online, is great for small companies to use as a tool to get everyone together in a virtual office space. Up to 15 people can meet, record, share the screen and communicate easily. A corporate version accommodates up to 25 people. It is not the prettiest tool but it is very easy to use, even for novices. There is a per-user monthly charge but it does offer very affordable virtual office space for mobile workers to collaborate.

WebEx Meeting Center: Cisco has given this nomenclature to the umbrella given to their large array of online collaboration and meeting applications. The Meeting Center allows both hosts and meeting participants to keep multiple meeting-related data elements such as documents or spreadsheets on screen at the same time and they can be moved around and resized as desired. This adds a lot of power to this collaboration tool. This tool does require some learning to use it effectively but it is affordable and allows up to 25 members in a virtual office space at one time. 

Office365: With Office 365, you can get your work done securely and communicate real-time from almost anywhere to anyone. Combining Office with Office 365** unlocks the full potential of Office 365 as the best solution for productivity, collaboration, communication, and worry-free IT. Office365 is a cost effective way to move your business to the cloud!

Skype: Probably the best know and least used businesss tool available for mobile working. Includes telpehone, video, messaging and file sharing.

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By: James Osgood

Flexible Workspace , Home Office , Video , Virtual Office Space

Keys to Maximizing Your Mobile Workforce

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More and more professional workers in all phases of business are working from home office spaces. Your business may already have mobile and virtual workers, but if you have not yet implemented this option, now would be a great time to consider doing so.

Mobile workers in home office spaces and third places are a rapidly growing trend. In the event of inability to physically commute to a brick and mortar office space for any reason, mobile employees can continue performing their functions. The recent damages from Hurricane Sandy are a prime example, but other events such as blizzards, earthquakes, tornadoes, power grid failures and other similar events can impact a business much harder if virtual office spaces are not already functioning.

The United States government recognized this fact and passed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010. This legislation mandates that Federal agencies have in place strategies that permit their employees to perform their work remotely. By using alternative work processes during emergencies, work stoppages are minimized since mobile devices can have workers back at work as soon as power is available to operate computers and technological devices.

With a 41% increase in Americans working from home office spaces during the past decade, it is clear that business is finally embracing the alternative work methods of the mobile workforce. In fact, sometimes it is best to get away from work in the traditional office in order to get work done in a quieter, less hectic third place.

No longer should employers think of workers performing business outside the traditional office space as “telecommuters”. Today these workers represent a mobile workforce, going where business can most effectively be accomplished. For some time business professionals have stopped into third places such as coffee shops to conduct business but today companies are making these arrangements formal and acceptable.

There is a huge trend in office space rental to book a meeting space or work cubicle much like booking a hotel room. Entire businesses have become successful by providing the third places where a mobilized workforce can stop to conduct business meetings or have access to printers and copy machines.

The question in the minds of many business owners is “How do I create an effective mobile workforce?” Even with the obvious benefits of reduced overhead by reducing the square footage required when leasing office space, every business owner wants to ensure that going mobile or “moving into the cloud” does not impact productivity or profits. Here are a few simple keys to implementing an effective mobile workforce.

Touchdown Office Space: Sometimes a worker needs to come into an office physically but mobile workers don’t require assigned cubicles. Provide office space that is set up with current technology so that those workers that need to have an on-demand office. Hold meetings that require all company employees to attend at alternative sites such as hotel meetings spaces.  Provide touchdown office space in a traditional leased office or contract with a touchdown space provider if you don’t need a brick and mortar headquarters for your business.

Answering Service: It’s important that going mobile doesn’t impact the company image as a professional entity. Either assign the main office clerical staff to handle phone calls for all employees or contact with a professional answering service. Unless you must maintain a significant on-site staff because of the nature of your business, the answering service solution is a big money saving option.

Technology: Be sure to remain on the cutting edge of technology so the benefits of new devices and communication methods can benefit your business. Provide business-dedicated equipment to employees and upgrade it often. New software applications and improved mobile devices are important to creating a mobile workforce that can stay in touch in the most effective ways and hold virtual meetings as needed.

Outsource: Freelance workers are more available than ever as more and more people open small service industry businesses such as virtual assistant services, writing and editing services and data entry or translation services. Freelancers are professionals who have chosen to become part of the mobile workforce by providing a skilled service to multiple clients. This can provide your company with services on an as-needed basis, allowing the employee with other skills to do the work at which they are most effective.

Communicate: Stay in touch with your mobile workforce. Make it a policy to have daily updates emailed so you know what projects or deals are in work and the status of on-going projects. Hold staff meetings, but do it virtually by using one of the many effective online meeting applications. Update your staff members just as your work in traditional meetings by using email or conference phone calls.

Accept Alternative Work Styles: Let your employees work in whatever way suits them best and allows them to be most effective. Some people work best from their home office space while others prefer third place workspaces while between meetings with clients. Still others need to use the quiet of landing spaces for tedious tasks. Don’t expect every mobile worker to operate in the same manner. Look at productivity, sales or profit, whichever metric best suits your type of business and the mobile workers’ tasks. 

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By: James Osgood

Flexible Workspace , Home Office , Office Space , Office Space Design

Moving Out of the Home Office: The Pros and Cons

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Working in a home office space can be challenging. As your business grows, you quickly run out of room in the home and will want to move into one of the options for professional office space.

First, let’s consider the pros and cons of choosing to move out of your home office:

Pros:

  • You will have a space in which to work that is quiet and professional in appearance.
  • You can still work any hours your schedule permits.
  • The cost of non-traditional office space is very affordable
  • You can more easily keep your documentation separate from personal work you do at home
  • The cost of an office space may provide certain tax incentives that you can check out with your accountant.
  • You can meet clients in a professional business setting rather than in your home or a coffee shop.
  • There are no worries about children sneaking in to use your computer or other hardware and potentially damaging important business 
  • You may attract clients from those people walking by your office who see your logo or signage.
  • You have increased professionalism and can more easily advertise and brand your business.
  • You will almost certainly have a more organized office space and can choose a larger space if you desire or need it.
  • As your business grows, it will be much easier to add employees to a commercial office space rather than having employees in your own home.
  • You will have more and better parking for clients.
  • There will be no distractions from your work, allowing you to be more productive.
  • You will have better networking ability as you meet new potential clients in the area of your office space.
  • Working at home can be lonely since there are no non-family social contacts. Moving into a commercial office space allows you contact with others, making your outlook more positive overall.

Cons:

  • You do have to commute to your new office space rather than walk into another room in your home, even when the weather is very hot, really cold, rainy or snowy.
  •  It is difficult to share transportation with the other family members when working away from home, so you need your own designated vehicle.
  • You may need to invest in additional computer equipment and other hardware so that you have technology in your office space as well as at home for non-business use.
  • No matter what type of office space you choose, there is some overhead involved, no matter how small
  • Cleaning and upkeep of your space will be your responsibility, whether you do this yourself or hire someone else to do it.
  • You will need to sign a lease or other type of binding agreement to obtain the office space, committing you to have your business reside in the selected office space for a specific time.

It is easy to see that there are many more pros to leasing a traditional or non-traditional commercial office space.  Once you have decided to take the big step and move out of your home office, you will want to seek the assistance of a professional qualified Office Finder Tenant Representative, sometimes called a Tenant Broker. You’ll have an expert on your side to help you locate the perfect office setting at an affordable cost. You will also have a knowledgeable liaison when negotiating the lease or rental agreement for your new office space so that you can get the most benefits with the least hassles. The assistance of an experienced Tenant Rep can save you a great deal of money over the period of your rental agreement by ensuring there are no hidden or unnecessary costs.

In the next segment on moving out of the home office, we will look at the options for office space so that you will know what type of office will best suit your needs at this point in your business growth. 

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By: James Osgood

Home Office , Office Relocation , Office Rental , Office Space

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