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Entries Tagged as 'Home Office'

UK Encouraging Companies to Provide Flexible Work for Office Employees

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The UK department of Transportation is starting to encourage companies to find way to work away from the office.  Their report, Alternatives to Travel: Next Step, deals with not only business travel, but also to commuting by office space workers.

The forward begins: 

"When people look back on the early years of the 21st century they will no doubt puzzle over a curious anomaly. 

Ours is an age that has given rise to communications technologies of dazzling sophistication. An era that did more than merely reduce the distance between A and B but, thanks to innovations like tele conferencing and instant messaging, removed it altogether. 

Yet, to date, our approach to alternatives to travel - whether working from home, staggering office hours, or using web conferencing - has not kept pace with the benefits available.  Most of us still take the same crowded bus or train to work with barely a nod to the freedom of flexible working or the versatility of the video conference.

 But the purpose of this report is not to press the case for any one method of travel.  It is not to argue that you should stay at home or invest in the latest gizmo.  Instead, it seeks to challenge inflexibility.  The insistence on doing things because that's the way they've always been done."

There are also an interesting case studies, including one on Microsoft employees in the UK, of which 90% work flexibly.

Over the past few years we have been seeing a fast change in workstyles and workplaces to meet those style.  I expect that to continue.

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Coworking office space , Flexible Workspace , Home Office , UK Office Space

Home Office Pros and Cons

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More and more entrepreneurs today are operating small but profitable businesses from the comfort and convenience of their own homes. Most home-based businesses start small and provide a second income to a person that works in a traditional workplace. As the business grows and thrives, many are choosing to grow their home businesses and give up the traditional job.

There are some very clear advantages to being able to work from a home office; there are also some drawbacks to consider. Here are a few of the points to consider if a home-based business is in your future:

Pros:

Freedom: When working from home, you can often set the hours you want to work and maintain better flexibility when time is needed for children, doctors appointments, and other things you’ve longed to be able to fit into your schedule. This can be a huge advantage for self-motivated people because lots of productive work can be accomplished after the kids are in bed or very early in the morning.

No Commuting Hassles: No one really enjoys commuting to work, whether they drive, carpool, or take mass transit. Commuting eats into your free time when working in a traditional office. With a home-based business, your commute is only the distance from your bedroom to the room you have set aside for your workspace.

Time Savings: Without the commute, you will save many hours a week that you would be normally in your car..

Tax Benefits: Home businesses often qualify for a wealth of business dedications when income tax times rolls around. Of course, you’ll need to speak with your tax professional but you’ll likely be surprised at how much you can deducted for your home office and operating expenses, significantly reducing your tax burden.

Low Startup and Operating Costs: There is little overhead with an office space in your home. After all, the room was already there, you just hadn’t defined it as your office previously. You may need to update your computer or add an extra phone line for faxing, but the costs of start-up will be minimal compared with a traditional office. Also, there’s no rental or lease to worry about. You don’t have to own nearly as large a collection of professional clothing when working from home.

Cons:

Discipline: Working from home requires a great deal of self-discipline. It’s very easy to become motivated at first, but over time it is also easy to allow yourself to see all sorts of things that need done around the home and begin procrastinating about business tasks.

Business and Family Overlaps: It’s also very easy to allow your family to interrupt your business time. Just as easy, many people end up spending time working that should have been quality family time. Making a set of clear boundaries is necessary but difficult.

Boundary Issues: It is very easy to “go to work” since it is just around the corner, but it can lead to family problems of another kind.  There is no boundary between home and work and it can become a problem, or a very delicate balance, for the very highly motivated entrepreneur.

Stagnation: Lack of social contact is an issue for some outgoing people who decide to try working from home. It’s also very easy to lose contact with your professional network, making it much more difficult to remain on the cutting edge of progress.

Pressure and Stress: While working from home is flexible, it is also easy to work yourself into stressful, pressured situations. You want to please all your clients and generate constant leads, but many people become overwhelmed by trying to do too much. Some set unrealistic goals and attempt to achieve them while others simply take on too many clients or fail to outsource when necessary.

Image: Depending on your client and customer contact, your company’s image could come into question. Setting up a client meeting at home or Starbuck’s can be less than impressive. There are alternatives such as a virtual office. They are pay-as-you-go subscriptions for office space. You have an official business address with an executive suite operator and can use their facilities on a “as needed” basis.

 

Executive Suites , Flexible Workspace , Home Office , Virtual Office Space

Ready to Quit Your Job? You Are Not Alone!

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According to the article below from the OC Register, 20% of professional employees are considering quitting their jobs. Undoubtably most won't considering the economic climate and the difficulty in finding jobs. But, if you are one of the ones who act on it, there are many options available to lease office space to start your own business. The options range from a home office, to virtual office space or executive suite office and of course conventional office depending on your needs, budget and image requirements.

"Two out of five professionals think about quitting their jobs after taking their summer vacations, according to Regus, a provider of flexible workplace ideas. Can you relate?

Of course millions of workers heard about JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater's spectacular "I quit" recently, grabbing a beer and sliding down the plane's emergency chute. But he hadn't been on vacation. In fact, he probably needed one.

But apparently a vacation doesn't help for many workers."As workers pack up their swimsuits this summer, they are more likely to dwell on the pros and  cons of the job that is waiting for them at home," said Regus Regional Vice President Sande Golgart.The top reasons survey respondents gave for wanting to quit:   
* Lack of communication with management 40%   
* Lack of career advancement 37%   
* Feeling overworked 34%   
* Company lacks vision 31%   
* Colleagues are incompetent 28%   
* Lack of administrative support 26%   
* Rude colleagues 21%   
* Boss takes credit for respondent's work 20%"

Stress caused by overwork has escalated during the past recession with people working harder and longer to make sure they can pay their bills," Golgart said"

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Executive Suites , Home Office , Office Rental , Office Space , Virtual Office Space

Facebook generation will kill traditional offices, says Microsoft

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Study suggests home working and hot-desking will become the norm

The social-networking generation will rely on mobile technology, remote working and 'pop up' offices to get their jobs done, according to a new study backed by public sector think tanks and the Institute of Directors.

The focus of corporate IT departments will shift from supporting dozens of workers in a single office space to facilitating home-based and remote working, and ensuring that staff in temporary, shared offices can get the job done.

"Companies will be a bit more aggressive with how much office space they need," said David Coplin, national technology officer at Microsoft, which contributed to the report.

"The savings in the short term will be around office space. At best 55 per cent of office space is used at any one time, leaving 45 per cent unused," he told Computer Weekly. "That is 45 per cent of your office costs."

The study suggests the companies will benefit from allowing staff to use online collaboration tools and social networks to carry out their work. Knowledge-sharing and collaboration will be made easier by the knew generation of cloud-based computing services and communications networks.

"There is a message here for organisations that block tools like Twitter at the firewall," said Coplin. "You can't do that any more because you are restricting people's activity. Be confident in your security and let go a bit of your control.

"We have talked for a while about the death of the desk phone. Now we are talking about the death of the desk. Its not just about working from home. There are compelling reasons for working from a variety of locations."

Source: Telegraph

Executive Suites , Flexible Workspace , Home Office , Office Rental , Office Space , Virtual Office Space

Tips For Creating A Home Office When Bringing Your Job Home

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A 2008 World at Work consortium study found that more than 17 million Americans telecommute at least part time, a number that continues to grow as companies look for ways to cut costs and increase productivity

To create a functional home office, interior designer Sharon McCormick suggests considering the following:

Location: Possible spaces include a spare bedroom, bonus room, guest bedroom, walk-in closet, unused living room, dining room, basement, attic, landing, kitchen or, as a last resort, your bedroom.

Privacy: Consider how much privacy and quiet you need and whether you hate feeling isolated.

Tax write-off: If you are looking for a tax deduction, your space will need to be dedicated to work.

Utilities and equipment: Consider whether you have, or can install, electrical outlets, phone jacks and cable in the space. Determine your equipment needs: phone, fax, printer, desktop or laptop. Consider wireless applications to minimize cords and allow for more flexibility.

Lighting: Overhead lighting is optimal and compensates for lack of natural light. Task lighting is needed for individual activities, for example, a desk lamp.

Noise: Telephone conversations with clients or co-workers require a professional atmosphere. Think about adding French doors to a living room, changing out hollow-core doors to solid doors, or adding carpeting and window treatments to muffle outside sounds.

Storage needs: Do you need bookshelves for reference manuals? Filing cabinets? Do you use many office supplies? Will you be keeping sensitive information that needs to be under lock and key?

Desk configuration: An L- or U-shaped arrangement may be best if you like to spread out your projects.
Wire management: Will you end up with unsightly wires everywhere? Sometimes just drilling a grommet hole in a desk can solve that problem.

Source: Courant.com

Flexible Workspace , Home Office , Office Leasing Tips , Office Space Design