Category Archives: Flexible Workspace

How to Keep Work Secure While in a Coworking Space

coworking spaceBesides being trendy, flexible, and calm, coworking space is an affordable alternative compared to renting traditional office space. Such working models are currently in vogue, with more people preferring them to conventional working offices. Approximately 77 percent of those using this working model claim that it provides more benefits than previous arrangements. From improved networking options, easy accessibility, peace of mind to flexibility, co-working spaces are undoubtedly the best.

This working model has gained popularity, with several fortune companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, and Starbucks adopting it. However, while this formula provides several benefits, it presents some of the biggest risks in equal measure. Therefore, if you intend to adopt a co-working office space model, consider the following tips for utmost safety.

1. Protect Your Network

Your company and clients’ data are key valuables in your work. However, cybercriminals can take advantage of several vulnerabilities to hack into your network. Before connecting to any WIFI network in a co-working space, ensure that you determine the available security measures. Hackers can set up spoofed networks designed to seize any incoming and ongoing traffic from office connections.

You can also fall prey to WIFI sniffing, a technique used by hackers to intercept data shared over public networks. Through this, they can capture key details, such as browser history, usernames, and passwords to crucial documents. Intruders can also gain access to your essential documents by installing malicious malware and much more.

That said, installing strong network security measures is the best solution that keeps your co-workers’ information safe. Since hackers target WIFI networks, consider hosting co-workers on personal networks rather than one WIFI network. You should also allocate them different credentials and unique passwords. With this, even if one network is hacked, other workers will remain safe. You can also invest in an electric timer that automatically switches off the WIFI connection overnight.

Installing antivirus and software to protect your network is crucial. Strong antivirus helps mitigate risks, filter your mailbox, and protect the WIFI network.

2. Watch out For Security Updates

Even after installing proper security measures to your network, you should constantly be on the lookout for updates. This will prevent your network from vulnerabilities to cybercriminals and data miners. Hackers spend a lot of time searching for security loopholes on networks that they can exploit. However, you should take advantage of security updates regularly released by security companies that patch the vulnerabilities. Ignoring them exposes your business network to unimaginable security risks.

The Wannacry Ransomware Attack is a perfect example of a cybersecurity threat that most businesses could have averted if they had made network updates timely. To be sure, make a point of hiring specific IT experts who frequently check your devices and networks for security updates. You can as well opt for an easier option of automating the updates.

3. Train Your Workers

Your employees are at the forefront in preventing and fighting various data security concerns. Unfortunately, more than 90 percent of data breaches originate from human error. As such, it is prudent to ensure that your employees are trained on the common security vulnerabilities and ways to avoid them. Educate your workers on data security and the ways it can affect their work. You should also train them on how they can prioritize data security when handling your client’s data. You could also consider hiring cybersecurity professional.

4. Be Keen for Phishing Attacks

Over time, phishing attacks have terrorized several unsuspecting businesses, and they may be detrimental to your co-working space as well. Recently, one of the common phishing attacks launched by hackers used the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic to dupe naive internet users. Cybercriminals working in a façade of trusted parties can send emails or texts to your employees or users of your co-working space to access login credentials and steal crucial business data.

Fortunately, phishing scams are easy to identify. For instance, some have obvious spelling mistakes, and others are written in an unnatural tone. Therefore, encourage your employees and co-working individuals to look out for such nominal errors when reading their emails and texts. Other measures to avoid phishing attacks include;

  • Installing updated firewalls and web browsers
  • Avoiding emails that come with some sense of urgency
  • Not sharing crucial business information with unauthorized individuals
  • Installing software that filter emails commonly used for phishing attacks

Bottom Line

The use of coworking space is increasingly becoming a mainstream working option for various people. From freelancers, startups, and established businesses, remote workers to part-time hobbyists, this working model attracts people from various backgrounds. Besides providing an accommodative and appealing working environment, it is important to ensure that it is protected suitably.

Businesses should protect their crucial company and clients’ data from cybersecurity threats in all ways. Note that your co-workers’ data security is strongly tied to security measures placed in the coworking space.

If you are looking for office space, coworking space or traditional, we can help. Contact us today to find out about our no cost service.

4 Ways To Make Sure Your Business Has Plenty Of Working Space While Coworking

A new workstation setup can affect a employees’s performance and mood. That is why when choosing workspaces for your employees, you need to ensure that they feel comfortable in the area. The working environment needs to create a positive ambience, influencing the work performed by the employees in a good way. Having plenty of working space in the office to move freely and comfortably can also help boost the productivity of employees.  

Many businesses choose to build or rent small offices for their employees. Some companies also take advantage of using coworking space to optimize the cost of operating their businesses. Jeremy Ellis from Launchpad says that the prices of coworking space is around $600 per month since the start of 2020 despite the rise of many companies adapting to new normal and remote working practices.

Individual’s and team space within a coworking space tend to be small, so how can you ensure that the small space is maximized for your employees? Here are four ways you can increase the working space of your business: 

1. Choose The Right Furniture 

Some coworking spaces aren’t fully furnished, and you need to buy furniture for your workforce. This is an excellent opportunity for you to choose furniture pieces that are compact yet functional. It’s important that you know the total office area before buying any furniture to maximize the space.  

Aside from that, it would be best if you considered the needs of your employees when buying furniture. Do they need a desk with drawers? How much storage space does each employee need? Are you planning to have a common area for meetings? Choosing the right furniture will not only complete the working spaces for you and your employees, but these will also be critical in making the room look more significant, professional, and functional.  

2. Go Paperless 

Documents and other different papers fill up storage spaces in any office quickly. If you want to clear up significant space to store other items or convert it to an additional workspace, you should consider going paperless.  

By going paperless for business, you won’t have any more problems with consuming resources and money on documents. Not only will you be able to cut down on paper costs, but you will also eliminate the clutter in your office. That means no more filing folders and files everywhere! There will also be no need for mailing the papers or hardcopy files. The time you save by going paperless for business can give you more time to do more important things like running your business, improving your marketing strategies through an online system, and cultivating a desirable work culture. 

Aside from that, uploading to the cloud is also one of the effective ways to store private information. This is also essential to protect the confidentiality of these materials. Make sure that the passwords are given to people who are allowed to access the documents.

3. Choose The Right Layout 

The first factor that you need to consider when thinking about maximizing office space is the layout. You need to think about your office design and make sure that all of the furniture pieces that you will be using will fit into the allotted area.  

One of the best tips to use when arranging your office layout to maximize the space is to place furniture on the edges of the walls. It would be best if you aim to have an open space concentrated in one area to make the small office space look less confining. You can add an area rug in the middle area to avoid a cluttered view. 

4. Provide Enough Storage Space 

Having enough storage space is one of the best ways to keep everything in the office organized and to avoid clutter. When choosing an office storage space, you should consider the needs of your business and your employees. You must provide your employees with lockers so they can place their personal items on these cabinets. It’s also a good idea to give locks so they can keep private things safe.  

You should also choose the appropriate storage space for every item that needs to be kept. There are file cabinets for documents, and there are also cabinets or boxes to store some office supplies. To keep everything organized and reduce the clutter, it would be helpful to use labels to keep everything in the right place.  

Summary 

There are plenty of ways to maximize office space without breaking the bank. By staying organized and providing the right furniture and storage space, you create a lot of working space for your employees even when you have a small office. Aside from that, it would be best if you consider going paperless so you won’t have to stack and store paperwork that uses a large amount of space in the office. Maintaining a small office space and maximizing the area will help you reduce business costs while increasing your employees’ productivity

And if you are looking for office space, coworking or traditional, we can help. Contact us today to find out about our no cost service.

 

 

5 Tips For When Negotiating for an Office Space Rental

5 Tips For When Negotiating an office space rentalOffice Space Rental is one of the significant expenditures of a rising company. It makes sense then that negotiating for an acceptable lease is a challenging yet necessary process one has to take. Take note that there are several approaches you can adopt to obtain the best deal without undermining your finances or slowing down your business.  

Regardless if you hired a tenant broker, do your research on the space you want to rent. Are there other companies eyeing the property? How long has the place been empty? These are aspects that can significantly impact your negotiation process. 

And since there’s no such thing as a standard lease, you will find below five tips when negotiating the office space rental you want.  

1. Settle Length of Lease Period (Term)

Property owners or landlords are usually amenable to grant long-term leases. In a way, this condition can be beneficial; however, it’s normal for the company to adjust. When this change happens, you’ll find yourself stuck in a lease with either a sizeable or small space for your business.  

As a tenant, aim to negotiate a short-term contract with extension options. For instance, seek a two-year deal with a two-year extension option instead of a four-year agreement.  

2. Manage Rent Hikes

When it comes to office spaces, it’s unusual to find fixed rent with long-term contracts. Typically, property owners expect yearly increases based on rate hikes found in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). 

If the landlord requires rent hikes, see if you can arrange for a fixed CPI rent increase. For example, your monthly rent is $7,000 a month. Your second year will increase to $7,200 per month, then $7,400 a month on your third year.  

3. Explore Hiring a Tenant Broker

Yes, it’s common to come across stubborn landlords with unreasonable requests. If you’re in this tight situation, you may want to look for alternative office space to rent.  

A credible tenant broker, aka tenant representative, can help your company search for available spaces or industrial developments like the Gloucester business park. These professionals can give you a background and help you understand the dynamics of the market. Moreover, they can help you discover office spaces that satisfy your standards, set up viewings, and go with you to see these properties.  

Tenant brokers likewise help their clients draft offer letters and deal with property owners so you can obtain a sensible lease for your company. 

4. Discuss Office Space Improvements and Repairs

Meanwhile, please note that some contracts will include clauses that state tenants must reinstate premises to their primary condition. 

See if you can modify the provision to say that you will return the office space in the same state at the start of your contract as a tenant. This condition excludes devastation by fire that isn’t the responsibility of the tenant and usual wear and tear.  

Furthermore, if the property requires upgrading or enhancements, who is responsible for these repairs? Suppose you want fresh carpets, new paint colours, or re-arrange the layout of the office area. Take note that many leases state that tenants can only modify the property with the property owner’s consent.  

Request for a provision that allows you to render alterations with the landlord’s permission and that consent will not be unduly conditioned, hampered, or delayed.   

5. Be on the Lookout with These Provisions

Lastly, be on the lookout for these one-sided clauses that strongly favours property owners:

  • The property owner restricts potential assignment or subletting 
  • The property owner expects the tenant to settle tax escalations stemming from the property sale 
  • The property owner has the right to rescind the contract at the landlord’s convenience 
  • The property owner rents the space ‘as is’ to waive compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act or any environmental laws.   
  • The property owner demands a personal guarantee of the principal shareholders of the business 
  • The property owner transfers to the tenant additional operating expenses such as repairs, insurance fees, and building taxes.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind when negotiating an office space rental, it’s best you carry a definite understanding of what you’re willing to consider and what you can propose. It is also best to have a tenant representative working on your behalf. Always document everything in writing when clarifying lease details that you don’t understand. While this will make the process longer, it will provide you legal protection in cases some of your negotiated terms get excluded in your contract. 

It’s essential to study your lease carefully. The contract can possibly contain numerous details you’ll not understand. When faced with this kind of scenario, highlight each unclear point, and discuss it with your tenant broker or the property owner.  

Certified OfficeFinder SpecialistOur tenant representatives at OfficeFinder do this day in and day out for their clients. Contact us so we can connect you with one in your area. There is no cost for their services and no obligation to request info.

 

How To Find Offices To Rent In Your Area

How To Find Offices To Rent In Your AreaDeciding on offices to rent is an important part of running a business because the legitimacy and professionalism of the brand can depend on the appearance and functionality of the office. It’ll be challenging for businesses to haul in clients and employees if their offices look unkempt or don’t have any amenities.

If you’re having a hard time finding offices to rent and can’t get the help of a tenant rep in out of the way locations like office space Oxford and need to do it yourself, this article can help. As long as you know what factors to consider, you should be able to find offices to rent that suit your budget and helps your business succeed.

Here’s how you can find offices to rent in your area:

1. Know How Much Space You Need

Contrary to popular belief, appearance shouldn’t be one of your first considerations when finding an office. For you to be fruitful in your search, you need to start by determining how much space you need.

One good rule of thumb to follow is to ensure that you have about 150 square feet for every employee. This space is sufficient for your employees to move around and utilize several pieces of equipment at work. Use our office space calculator to help determine how much space you need.

2. Determine Your Budget

Finding the perfect office for your business doesn’t mean you’ll need to spend your entire business budget on it. If you want your business to thrive for years, it’s essential that you determine and stick to a budget when finding an office to rent. 

Make sure to consider the following when determining your budget:

  • Determine the average price per square foot
  • Add common area maintenance fees
  • Don’t forget to include utilities
  • Any NNN charges such as taxes, inusrance and maintenance

3. Consider The Location Of Your Employees

Your employees play a vital role in the success of your business. Without them, it’ll be challenging for you to oversee different areas of your business and ensure that your business continues to thrive in the long run. 

When finding offices to rent in your area, don’t forget to consider the location of your employees. Ideally, you should rent an office that is convenient for your employees to travel to or is located near their residences. Doing so allows your business to retain and maximize the best talents. 

4. Ask Recommendations From Trusted Sources About Agents

You can always work with agents, aka tenant reps, to help you find offices to rent in your area. There are many agents offering their services today. Do you know whom to choose? Fortunately, asking for recommendations from friends who have done this and relying on trusted resources, like OfficeFinder, can help. 

Hiring agents will make it easier for you to find offices to rent in your area as these individuals have years of experience in the local real estate market, which means that they can suggest properties you never knew existed. They can also recommend the best locations convenient for your employees and customers. 

5. Pay Attention To The Landlord

The landlord you choose to work with can significantly affect your life as an entrepreneur and the productivity of your employees in the long run. You’ll likely experience stress when your landlord requires you to pay hundreds of dollars just to fix one broken light bulb in your office. 

The attitude of the landlord can influence the value you can get from your rent, which is why you should exert time and effort to know more about the landlord you’re eyeing to work with. You can do this by talking to some tenants of the building. The information you can get from these individuals will help you assess whether the landlord is professional and fair to their tenants or not. 

6. Do Your Best To Negotiate

Money is important in every business, especially when you’re still starting. It’ll be challenging for the business to thrive and succeed if you eventually ran out of finances after a few years of operating. 

For you to find offices to rent in your area, make sure to consider the price and do your best to negotiate. If you’ve seen an ad about an office lease that costs $4,000 a month, don’t immediately sign the contract. Set an appointment with the landlord and negotiate the rent down at least 5% below the listed price. You’ll be surprised how many landlords are willing to negotiate and accept lesser fees for their spaces. Especially now with the pandemic slowing business down.

Start Now 

There are countless offices available worldwide. Regardless of the nature of your business and the audience you want to engage in, you’ll be able to choose from several options. Find out more about the leasing process.

But for you to find the best office for your business, it’s best if you start your search early and use the services of a tenant rep, like the ones at OfficeFinder, if you can. Contact us today if you would like some assistance. There is no cost to our service or the services of our tenant reps.

How Smart Working Helps Your Business Achieve Greater Success

Smart working

The workscape today varies vastly from 10 or 20 years ago, with around eight million people working from home part of the week — a fact that is indicative of the big changes that ubiquitous connectivity have brought to all sectors. The Internet, new software and new hardware have made it easier for companies to work in a ‘smarter’ fashion (i.e. more efficiently, more speedily, and with a lower rate of errors.) Whether you have a small or medium-sized business, you may wonder what steps you can take to improve procedures. If so, discover a few tips for taking the leap to smart working methods.

Smarter Office Space

Smart office design takes into account the different needs that different employees and procedures have. A simple ‘open office design’ won’t do, for instance, in companies in which sales or management have to meet privately with important clients, or where some employees require complete silence to do their job. However, because the aim of smart working is to achieve goals in the quickest, most efficient way possible, it may also involve investing in employee’s home offices; providing them with the equipment they need to take part in video conferences and to liaise via professional networking platforms. Smart companies can go the extra mile by ensuring home-based employees have ergonomic equipment and tools, so they can perform at their best but also protect their health.

Relying on Technology

There are a bevy of tools available to enable teams to achieve goals in a more evidence-based, reliable fashion. As stated by JournyX, companies that use timesheets or who have employees who accrue expenses, can track and manage these aspects of an employee’s working life via dedicated software. The latter should meet customized needs, validate time and expense data so that managers don’t waste time looking for and correcting mistakes, offer integration with key business symptoms, and capture real-time insights and provide visual dashboards. Other tools commonly used by smart teams working in various locations include blockchain (to protect sensitive data), collaborative tools like Office 365, Podio and Asana, and MindMeister (an online mind mapping tool that captures and shares ideas via a visual framework).

Experience-Based Working

The final link in the chain is experience-based working, which seeks to provide workers with an ideal environment — one in which employees have a say regarding where, how, and when they work. The current health crisis has prompted many companies to make a permanent change, as their results showed that allowing employees to work from home has boosted rather than hampered performance. Deutsche Bank, for instance, which once only had a few thousands employees working remotely, adapted quickly and efficiently to a situation in which up to 70,000 were doing so. In the UK, around 95% of its staff are working from home and there is no reason why this cannot continue in the long-term.

Smart working involves questioning older systems and their efficiency, analyzing whether or not they are still useful today. It also involves relying on software and online networking to enable teams to work together smoothly. Finally, it involves greater flexibility and customization, so that employee feedback can be taken into account when deciding on matters such as place of work and schedules.

If you are looking for your smart office space, contact us. We can help with our network of over 450 local office space experts. All at no cost to you.

The Essential Guide For Renting A Good Office Space For Your Team

Office SpaceLike most real estate sectors, the rental market for commercial office space has increased in cost significantly since 2018. Based on data gathered during the second quarter of the year, the asking rents rose to 3.4 percent per year to $25.71 per square foot. Yet despite the increase, small businesses still opt to rent office space instead of buying their own buildings for a lot of reasons. These include minimal financial commitment and tax deduction. They can also provide more flexibility for expansion. Renting an office space vs remote working can be beneficial for your business, especially if you know how to choose the right location. But aside from looking for a good venue for the operation of your business, here are some tips that you need to consider if you want to rent your office space.

Consider Your Budget

Before signing the lease for your office, determine whether you can afford the big move. You need to ask yourself and talk to your financial advisers to ask if the time is right for your  company to have a larger space. When choosing the office, you must think about how the new office rental expenses will affect your bottom line. Think about your other  expenses like the furniture to purchase or rent, and other necessities including your small business insurance, utilities, and Internet services. In some cases, an executive suite or coworking space may be a better answer than going out on your own. Typically, they are furnished and you know the total cost each month without having to pay other expenses such as utilities.

Think About Your Staff

If you are running a small business with a few team members, you need to look for a space that can fit everyone in. The area needs to be spacious enough for the desks of each member of the team. If you are still planning to expand, you must allocate a few extra spaces for future employees. The office rental must also be conducive to the health and safety of your staff. It should be located in a safe spot where access to hospitals, police and fire stations is readily available.

Study The Lease Thoroughly

Always have a clear idea about what you will need in the space. If possible, consider taking several trips to different locations to know if the area has the right vibe for your business. Your tenant rep must also know how to negotiate with the landlord to give you the best discounts. Make sure they are experienced, like the ones we have at OfficeFinder. Thoroughly read and analyze the contract before signing the papers. The document must point out all the provisions that both you and your landlord had agreed upon. Make sure to thoroughly review the rules and relgulatons, too. Otherwise, you may not notice the necessary rules that could affect your business operation.

The process of renting out an office space for your business can be tedious and time consuming. That is why having a tenant representative on your side is so important. You need to think and consider a lot of things before finalizing the deal. Your tenant rep will make sure that you don’t make any costly mistakes and consider all the necessesary factors. But as long as you and the owner can come to agreement when making decisions, this will set a solid contract that will last for years to come.

3 Tips to Help You Effectively Run Your Business from a Coworking Office

coworking office spaceBeing a business owner can get quite lonely. This is especially true if you offer remote services or freelance from your computer. Luckily, there are coworking offices that can allow you to get your work done while being around other people. These shared spaces can help you feel like you’re part of the community and keep you focused and productive.

Coworking offices are great for cutting back on the cost of rent while being able to interact day-to-day. These offices are excellent for startups and self-employed entrepreneurs–especially since they seem to attract a multitude of creative talent. They’re popular for numerous reasons like the versatility they offer.

If you decide to find the perfect coworking office, there are some things you’ll want to consider keeping yourself and those around you productive.

1.  Make Sure The Space Will Work for You Before You Commit

When shopping around and scoping out potential coworking office, make sure you find an environment that will work for you and your business. When you walk into a new space, it can overwhelm the sense, be sure to pay careful attention to:

  • Color: Is the office light, bright, and airy, or is it dim and cavelike? What works better for you? Most people prefer to work in light, bright offices. If you have your own space, you can ask if you can change the wall color to brighten things up.

Coloring and lighting can make you more or less productive. Make sure the lighting inspires you to work.

  • Size: Find out how many people will be working in the office and what the space is like when everyone is working diligently. Ask what peak hours are in the office. You can always schedule yourself before everyone gets in for the day or after everyone leaves.

Will you have enough space for everything you need? Many of us only use a laptop and a wireless mouse, but some people also need notebooks, files, and other bulkier items. Are you allocated enough room to work comfortably?

  • Storage: If you run an e-commerce site or have files to store, you’ll want to ask if the office space comes with secure storage, if you have to rent additional space in the office, or if you have to find storage elsewhere. This can be a deal breaker if you logistically need a bit more room.

 Internet Speed: If you run an online business or work as a freelancer, make sure your internet can keep up with your pace. This is another aspect you may want to try out before committing to renting space. Ask if you can come in for a trial then see is the internet is able to keep up.

  • Room to Grow Your Business: You may run a startup or simply be a self-employed writer, but you don’t know exactly what your business will look like in one year. If you need to bring another person into your business, will there be room for them, too? What if you need to increase inventory? Will the office space accommodate 100 more t-shirts?

2. Time Management is a Priority

While getting used a shared office can be excited, be sure to set aside time to tend to your business–especially when you first move into the office. When you first get into your new office, everyone will greet you with open arms and huge smiles. Make sure you’re just as friendly but establish time boundaries to keep you on track with everything you need to accomplish.

Try to keep regular hours. I don’t mean you need to work from 9 to 5, in fact, businesses often prosper when your hours a bit more untraditional. But you should establish a schedule and stay with it. It’s easy to miss out when you don’t have a definite in-time.

Keep a daily schedule or to-do list, too. If you need to update your website, that’s a priority if your income relies on it, make sure you have it written down so you don’t get distracted. If you’re just starting your business, register your domain name and spend time curating your e-commerce site and updating orders.

Always take the time at the end of your day to tidy up your area. This isn’t just courteous to your coworkers, but it will give you a clean slate for the next day. And factor breaks into your workday. Taking a quick break will reenergize you and help you be more productive in the long run.

3. Keep Sight of Your Goals and How to Accomplish Them

One of the best qualities of a coworking office is that everyone is there for a reason. Everyone is accomplishing goals and dreams. Let your coworkers’ ventures and successes inspire you and never lose sight of your goals.

Make your goals your priority. If you find yourself socializing too much, remind yourself that you’re at work to fulfill a goal, to make your business better and more profitable. You may want to hang a chalkboard, dry-erase board, or a calendar to help you keep track of your goals in the short term and long term.

Try to find a positive office with an inspiring group of people. Avoid negativity if it arises, it will drain your energy and your time.

Your business deserves a great workspace where your ideas and dreams can grow a flourish. Use these tips to help keep you on track for success if you’re searching or found great coworking offices. Keep your e-commerce site up-to-date and your freelance clients happy and you’ll be able to enjoy the productive environment of shared space.

If you need help finding the right coworking offices, contact us. It is what we do.

Is Coworking Space really just an Executive Suite?

Coworking spaceThere is quite a bit of public confusion over the terminology used in the office space industry regarding executive suites and coworking space. Many still believe that an executive suite describes the suite of offices on or near the top floor of a skyscraper where the top executives of a company used to work; including only the president or chief executive officer, various vice presidents and their staff. In other words, only the top brass. While coworking space is a relatively new phenomenon and many do not understand what it is. Here is some information that will hopefully clear up the confusion.

Essentially, what they both are is shared serviced offices operated by a management firm that house multiple companies. They have different styles to accommodate different workplace goals. Coworking space has become an extension of the executive suite concept with a different spin. Originally coworking space was intended to serve like kinds of businesses that could work together while still being independent. They have morphed into offices with networking opportunities with other occupants. Here is another article on the idea “WeWork Is Basically Regus With A Paint Job.” WeWork is the largest Cowork provider and Regus the largest Exeutive Suite Provider.

The executive suite / coworking centers are an excellent option for small companies, branches or companies that need flexible lease lengths. Many firms, large and small, choose to operate their business or satellite offices from an executive suite.

Executive suites and coworking spaces are both essentially shared offices with services provided by a management firm. They are a great way for small or growing companies to get off to a fast and low-risk start and a great way for a fast-growing company to have the flexibility for rapid growth. Whether you choose to go with the more conventional executive suite style or the newer coworking trend with depending on the way you want to work.

Generally, executive suites cater to those companies looking for privacy in their workplace; Businesses or individuals who want to be in offices. Coworking space is more suited to those looking to create synergy and network with other companies or individuals located in the space.

They both offer features such as utilities and janitorial, receptionist, secretarial,  personalized telephone answering, mail handling and coffee and food service on-site. There are still a lot more of services that you can avail. They are very much customizable depending on your style, budget and needs.

In an Executive Suite or coworking office, your efforts can be dedicated entirely to your business, while the management company is responsible for typical office management. You will enjoy a professional reception and support personnel without the headaches of hiring, training and employee benefits; state-of-the-art business equipment without purchasing and maintenance problems, and; a staff attentive to both you and your client’s needs.

Executive Suites, along with coworking office space, allows you the added flexibility of short term or long term obligations – both from a planning and a financial statement point of view. Other benefits include:

  • Convenience – A small office near home or the people you do business with every day.
  • Cost – Attractive, professional office accommodations at roughly 30-50% of the
    cost of equipping and staffing conventional office space.
  • Flexibility –  Full or part-time accommodations are generally available (hourly, daily,
    weekly, monthly, annually).
  • No capital investment – There is no need to buy or lease office equipment or furniture. Private offices can be completely furnished as well.
  • Control of operating costs – Offer state-of-the-art business support services which are billed to clients.
  • Higher productivity  – By leaving the operation of your office to a staff of trained professionals, your company personnel can concentrate on managing and marketing your business.
  • Enhanced technology and services – Most Executive Suites / Coworking space provide enhanced Internet technology and first-class concierge handling of business needs.

If you are interested in estimating the cost of an executive suite or coworking space, give our executive suite calculator a try. It will compare your costs at an executive suite type space with that of a conventional office space.

If you are looking for an office, we’d love to help. It is what we do day in and day out. We not only find the right space for your business but also negotiate the deal with you to ensure no mistakes are made and that you get the best deal possible. Contact us for your no obligation meeting.

Creating A Great Workplace For A Multigenerational Workforce

Helpful tips for a great workplaceToday’s office workplace is rapidly changing. Work is becoming more of what we do and less of where we are. What can you do to create a great workplace for your company? Here are several ideas that can help you.

First off, one of the tools being used in this change is that of office hoteling. It is where those who do not need a full time desk space simply login and reserve a space when needed, resulting in savings of up to 40% in real office space costs.

As the office space workplace goes more and more mobile, with employees working wherever is convenient, it becomes necessary to recruit and retain the most motivated employees. If workers are not self-motivated, the system can easily be abused. Today’s younger workforce, however, is used to and prefers the idea of being mobile. When pay is tied to performance, they can and will perform for your business and be happier while do it. They are also more focused on the work-life balance where this type of Officing strategy fits in well.

Once great part of the changing workplace is that, depending on the type of business you operate, hours can be flexible to accommodate the life-work balance necessary to keep the best employees happy. Many areas of business, for example office space, often lend themselves to hours outside the traditional 9-5 pattern. The flexible worker can maintain balance by planning errands such as auto service or simply relaxing over a long breakfast by simply notifying their employer that their day will have altered hours. That two hours spent in the evening doing revenue-generating work can be taken off during the day instead of being considered overtime.

Employees today move from job to job rapidly, each time moving up in salary and position. In order to keep the very best on your staff, you must be flexible with them as well as expecting them to be flexible with your needs. The increased work-life balance priority is related to shifts in workplace priorities since many workers will spend as much as 95% of their time away from the traditional office space.

Values sought by today’s worker in terms of work-life balance include respect and trust from the employer. Family concerns being respected by the boss is critical. They want some hours they can telework from home when needed or when desired and more control over their work schedule. Unless a company is willing to institute flexible work policies and programs, the brightest and best will move on to a company that better understands their wants and needs.

Assess what flexibility makes sense for your organization. Would an office hoteling reservation system allow you to reduce real estate footprint and help workers feel more empowered? Would accommodating telework from home when a child is sick or another emergency fit into your business? What other flexible options could you institute to keep your best employees happy and offer them a balance between family and life needs and employment requirements?

A properly planned office hoteling reservation system can save money and increase productivity. Contact us so we can get you started finding out how Office Hoteling might work for your company.

How Work Space Evolution Enhances Employee Performance

No matter what market your business serves, you know that profits are earned because of good, talented, employees working hard. Without these valued employees you would not have a thriving enterprise. And the better the team members perform the more your business will thrive.

So much of business performance today is knowledge-based work. People who have that knowledge and creativity are sought after by many companies and today’s workforce feel comfortable changing jobs several times in their career. This is so unlike our parents and grandparents where a person secured a job and stuck with that employer until they earned the gold watch at retirement.

Clearly, this means that those companies that are able to keep the talented knowledge employees happy will retain the talent longer than companies where employees do not feel valued, love their work and their work environments. When an organization can evolve to provide their team with practical options regarding where and sometimes even when work is performed, employees can choose work styles that best fit their personal needs.

One employee may work best in complete silence with no hustle and bustle around. That person may prefer to work from home, if the home office is quiet, several days per week and especially when performing more tedious tasks, coming into the office only as needed. This type of employee must be a self-starter who works well with little direction.

Another employee may thrive on the networking and sense of competition that the traditional office provides and prefer to come to the main office most days. These tend to be people who require a little more direction. While this employee will likely readily accept and implement technological advancements, they may be a bit hesitant when first making changes in processes to improve them.

Yet another type of employee may work best while on the move, working in third spaces such as cafes and internet hotspots while between meetings with clients. This type of working tends to be a real self-starter who has a strong dislike for the hassles of involved with reporting to a traditional office just for the sake of being seen. It is likely that this person will fully utilize each new technological development that makes their work faster and easier and embrace positive changes. This work style may involve some days spent at the office, some days where a few necessary minutes are spent at the office, and other days where all the day is spent working with clients or spots near the next client’s office.

An employer who can accommodate each of these types of employee will find it easier to retain talent and a high degree of production. When employees find they can work in whatever style suits them best for each specific goal or task, they are happier and feel empowered. Happy, empowered employees product more and stay with your company longer.

Six Factors That Can Help Turn Your Office Space Into a Great Workplace

Everyone wants a workplace that is wonderful but why is one workplace great while another is lacking? Is it the leased office space that makes a particular firm productive and profitable? Could it be the specific office furniture or location? None of these things alone make any workplace truly great.

A great workplace is not about the brand of computers, the prestige of the building’s address. Here are six factors that can work together to allow business owners to create an organization that excites employees, resulting in the reputation of being a great workplace.

  1. Replace Policies with Company Mission: Hiring, motivating and retaining top notch employees if not about policies; those are simply rules. Create a company mission and vision that the team believes in and supports. With passion for a mission based on the CEO’s vision, rather than a bunch of policy statements, cultivates a real team capable of leaping forward with ideas and innovations as well as loyalty and hard work.
  2. Nurture Collaboration: Never stifle team members’ desires to work together, carrying ideas from one area of the business into others. Create a workplace where each group or department is allowed to freely convey ideas to other organizational groups. The pay-off in productivity, amazing leaps forward and trained staff retention is incredible.
  3. Cultivate Agile Workspaces: Today’s office space is not the traditional cubicle or corner office. An office hoteling software application allows easy utilization of much smaller workspaces and allows each member of an organization to work in the style that is best for them. Technology allows the telecommuting or third place team members to only be physically in-office as needed. Work areas that provide desks or standing work counters allow team members to avoid the strain of sitting at a computer immobile for hours at a time. Staying in close contact does not have to mean being in the same conference room any longer. The office space of today is any area where business can conveniently and productively be conducted.
  4. Replace Ownership with Membership: Everyone employee is accountable to their customers and managers but in the past processes were “owned” by an employee, generating office stress and politics as power plays were often used to try to win the ownership role. Instead, remove the territorial nature of office spaces and encourage the concept of being privileged to be a member of a team or teams that create revenue and find ways for the company to save money. It becomes everyone’s process and fosters a sense of belonging and identity in the work environment.
  5. Create a Quality Experience for Employees: It is little surprise that employee retention is low in those workspaces that are dull and uninspiring. Create an office space that team members what to enter into and do work. Strive for a vibrant, magnetic space that draws people in during their in-office work time. This engages employees and they will look forward to the connected, exhilarated feeling obtained when they need to hotel an office space for an hour or a day.
  6. Stay on the Cutting Edge: Today’s fast paced, constantly changing economy allows those companies built on flexible office spaces with strong company values and loyalty to survive when others around them fall. As work methods, technological capabilities and mobile computing power speed along, use best practices to stay on the cutting edge. Remember that it’s the people who create value in a knowledge based company; an office is just a space that houses technology where people can come perform productive tasks.

These are some of the keys that can turn your office space into a great workplace for your employees, making them happier and more productive at the same time.

Four Generation Workplaces:
Why Different Management Styles are Necessary

For the first time in history, managers are faced with the requirements to effectively manage four different generations in the workplace. The future will likely continue to contain four generations even as those generations move along the timeline of life and business.

What Generations are Working Today?

According to the Age and Sex Composition, the generational breakdown of employees and managers today fall into these categories:

  1. Veterans born prior to 1946: This group makes up 2 percent of the workforce at the time of the census data collection and reporting in 2017.
  2. Baby Boomers born in the post-World War II years: This group is defined in the reports as those being born between 1946 and 1964 and make up 25  percent of the workforce.
  3. Generation X members, aka Gen Xers: are considered to be the segment born between 1965 and 1980 and make up 33 percent of the total workforce today and
  4. Millennial or Generation Y is the workforce members born after 1981 through present and total 40 percent of the total.

As time passes and the older generation disappear an additional, a younger generation will come of age so business will find it necessary to remain in touch with the remaining worker generations and develop ways to effectively work with the newer generations. Each generation has its own work style and lifestyle.  Managers need to understand what they need to do to encourage employee productivity. In the future and right now it is critical to learn to deal with the workers currently in the business world. This is crucial to producing profit and growth in any form of business.

Managing The High Maintenance Generation Y (Millennials)

The youngest group of employees in the workplace today is comprised of those born after 1981 and generally considered to be from before 2005s. This group is known as Generation Y or Millennials and they make up 40  percent of the total workforce according to Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. The American Society of Training and Development reported that during the next 20 years, 76 million workers will retire while only 46 million workers will enter the workforce to replace them. Most of these 46 million workers will be Millennial generation workers. Just as the three older generations in today’s workforce, Gen Y workers have unique desires and needs that they expect from their manager and the business for which they work.

Generation Y employees will be crucial to business enterprises. They will certainly change the way business is conducted in many ways. But, in currently and in the immediate future these employees offer great challenges to management to ensure these workers integrate with the existing workforce with as little conflict as possible.

Among the positive traits brought to the workforce, one of the major benefits that Millennials bring t the workplace is their high degree of technological skills. These employees were practically born with a computer in front of them and are intrigues by each and every development in the work of Information Technology.

Millennials grew up with digital global communication capability at their fingertips. Information of all kinds is expected to be immediatly available on demand. They understand using virtual teams to solve problems and are extremely team oriented.

Millennials view the business work as a global workplace, viewing the entire world as potential sources of information, clients, and community. Millennials seek fast-track career positions, frequent positive feedback, the latest technology and challenging training opportunities. Their outspokenness brings them to challenge long outdated work policies and conventions, offering businesses to perform a check on the hypocrisies and shortcomings of today’s workplace. Ultimately, Gen Yers may well drive change for the better.

Much has been said and published about the negative points of Millennials. They tend to have a sense of entitlement and are outspoken. This group of workers does not take constructive criticism well and require more direction and feedback from superiors than previous generations. Fortune magazine stated in its May 28, 2007 edition that this group are “the most high-maintenance, yet potentially most high-performing generation in history because its members are entering the workplace with more information, greater technological skill and higher expectations of themselves and others than prior generations.”  Additionally, Time’s July 16, 2007 edition stated that members of Generation Y want the kind of life balance where every minute has meaning; they don’t want to be slaves to their jobs as they feel their Baby Boomer parents were and often still are. Millennials also want employers to be socially responsible causes and allow for volunteer commitments through the use of flex-time or compensation time. Flexibility in work hours is important to this group of workers.

Yes, this generation requires a great deal of management, but it is well worth the effort to recruit them into your business They are smart and have the drive and creative thinking to make a real different in the business world and in a company’s profitability.

It is clear that recruiting Generation Y members and adjusting to their wants and needs will prepare industry for the entry of the next generation, people that are expected to be even more technology oriented. While this generation does not even yet have a “name”, it won’t be long before they begin entering the workforce and seeking employment in your company.

By understanding the four major groups into today’s workforce and providing for each group’s needs, effective employees can find their jobs satisfying and are more likely to remain with your business. Each group brings many positive aspects, all of which can be used effectively to gain greater efficiency and streamline operations to ensure profitability.

Managing the Baby Boomer Generation

Baby Boomers are those born in the post World War II years, from 1946 through 1964. This group makes up 25 percent of the current workforce per the Age and Sex Composition. These workers bring unique work styles into the work environment and require different management styles on the part of superiors. Currently they hold the majority of leadership positions in the workplace.

Like the veterans born before 1946, this group did not group up with technology as part of their childhood. Even during most of their higher education, computers were huge things that read punched cards or difficult to program units that could do less than our phones do today. Baby Boomers are, however, excited by technology and find adapting easier than the older generation. Most Boomers reach out for training to incorporate the newest techniques into their skills.

Baby Boomers value respect for their long service, skills, knowledge and managers will find recognition for Boomer’s wisdom is a key to successful integration of these workers and managers into the profitable organization. Managers of Boomers should honor the history and memories brought into the work environment because past experiences can bring understanding to current situations, providing positive outcomes. When policies are placed in a historical perspective, employees can often understand and accept more easily.

Baby Boomers find recognition extremely important. Whether recognized personally or publically, motivate Boomers through recognizing their accomplishment and clearly expecting superior outcomes from their efforts will help ensure happy Boomers. Embrace their best ideas and implement those into processes and methods.

Boomers tend to have conflict between their desire to compete on an individual basis and their desire to be part of a team. Encourage these workers to focus on the team in the short-term as an effective means to bring personal recognition and success for themselves in the long term.

Boomers also find conflict with the generation born before 1946 because the older generation tends to feel entitlement to perks on the job. Boomers often have the false feeling that those employees have not paid the dues they have to gain their positions. They also tend to find conflict with the younger generations coming into the workplace with high levels of technical expertise and feel they are unfairly competing with this generation that they view as “coddled”. By placing Boomers in mentoring positions, managers can often mitigate these negative feelings and generate feelings of teamwork and workplace “families”.

Managing the Veteran Generation

There are two groups in the workforce today who were born before 1946. Veterans of the Second World War make up about 2% of the employees, including managers, comprising the current workforce. This workforce group, sometimes called the Silent Generation, Greatest Generation, or Paper Agers, requires special management considerations.

The workers in this group were largely not exposed to technology and computers until these methods became a necessary part of the employment. Often they feel that due to their impending retirement they should not be required to move into the computer age. Because the work methods used early in their career were low-tech yet workable, they want to continue to use printed paper trails and other more familiar methods that they are comfortable with. Yet, the work environment has moved into high-tech and these workers are forced to adapt. Technology is the major hurdle for the generation of workers born prior to 1946. This can cause conflict between the Silent Generation and those born into the age where technology was part of their lives from childhood onward.

Paper Agers often feel that any information not presented in hard copy has little meaning. They find it difficult to conform to the paperless workplace. Their strong work ethics and “get it done” attitudes can add strength to teams and tasks assigned to be worked alone. This group of workers has no room for failure and drive toward success. They strive to please superiors in all their efforts and they do fine ways to adjust to technology when presented with training opportunities.

Often, veterans born prior 1946 find themselves in management positions because they are long-term employees and tend to be upwardly mobile in the organization chart. Their structured backgrounds lead them to have strong respect for hierarchy.  They build strong relationships based on loyalty, structure and time. They work well in management positions because they have been long exposed to experiences where information was provided on a “need to know” basis. This makes them able to keep information to themselves where necessary and provide information to the right parties when necessary. Their frugal natures make them capable of adhering to both budget and schedule.

It can be very difficult at times for younger managers to relate to the workers from this era. Frustration arises when the high-tech manager has to deal with their lack of native technical expertise, but they can excel in technical positions when provided necessary training. The younger manager may have grown up with high-tech and resents the cost and time required to train these workers in technology. Yet, the long-term work experience and lessons learned gained from these workers can lead to creative ideas that generate greater profit for the organization. Therefore, younger managers should be trained to value these workers and utilize their skills while providing growth opportunities through technical training.

Final Words

As you can see, there are many factors involved in creating a great workplace. Hopefully we have given you some ideas you can work with to enhance your business.

If you are looking for the right office space to create your great workplace, we’d love to help. It is what we do on a daily basis through out the US and Canada. Give us a try. No cost and no obligation. Let us know what you are looking for and we will get right on it.

Office Space Alternative Choices for Smaller Businesses

office space alternativesIdentifying your priorities is a key to finding the right office space and determining an office space alternative for your company whether it is large or small. A full needs analysis is critical in the beginning of the process to make sure you are looking for what you need. Studies have shown that what matters most when selecting office space for rent is pretty consistent.

Here is where the priorities stand in importance:

  • Location 50%
  • Value 35%
  • Image 10%

If you want to go into more depth in analyzing your needs, we provide an Office Space Planning Checklist on our site so that you can make sure to consider all the major considerations when starting the process of finding you office space. In addition to the checklist we also offer an Office Space Calculator that allows you to determine the amount of office space you will need.

Operating a small business can be both exciting and lucrative. More and more people are leaving the traditional workplace to open their own ventures and becoming quite successful. Freelancing is becoming more and more popular. Many startups begin with only the owner working in the business which makes leasing or renting office space the largest overhead expense. There are practical ways to cut this big overhead item by thinking creatively. There’s no reason that every business needs a walk-up storefront in order to succeed.

Other than trying to find a small conventional office space for lease, here are some of the office space alternative choices available for smaller businesses:

Share an Office

If you have friends or colleagues who are also starting businesses that don’t require storefronts, consider leasing a spacious one or two room office and split the expenses equally. This reduces the costs for electricity, internet, janitorial, and other equipment leases. Instead of each office partner procuring a copier, fax, and other equipment that both parties use, only one item is needed, significantly cutting the cost. Compatible services work well in shared office spaces. One example that has proven to work great in shared spaces might be a software development company and a computer technology company. There are many other compatible combinations; just be sure there won’t be a conflict of interest or direct competition. Instead, seek an office mate that will be synergistic to your business, so you can help each other grow and thrive.

Executive Suite

These are shared office with services run by a management company. They provide not only office space but furniture, phones, Internet, office equipment and administrative service. They are typically a full floor of a prestigious office building and you will have lots of other small businesses around for networking.

Selecting the right serviced office is an important step in ensuring the success of your business. The reason for this nomenclature is that the office comes with all of the most common services already in place. This type of office is often called a “turn-key” office or an executive suite.

If you need a venue to hold meetings with clients, sign contracts, negotiate, and do some paperwork, this office solution might be just what you should lease. By renting this type of business space, you’ll have a furnished private office with computer equipment but share common needs such as reception area, meeting room(s), and other resources used by the entire group housed in the overall space. You’ll be able to use certain equipment and services on a “pay per use” basis.

Here are tips and caveats you should be aware of when selecting a serviced office for your business needs:

  • Location: Choose a location which is convenient for you, but also convenient for your clients. Is there parking available either on-site or nearby? What about handicapped parking? Is the building easy to spot or well-known? You want your clients to be able to find you easily and get to your door without walking blocks in the wind, rain, heat, or cold.
  • Appearance: Does the building entrance, lobby, and office interior make the statement about you and your business that you want and need? You need furnishings which are attractive and elegant yet not pretentious. Making the right statement about your operation is critical. Is the meeting room comfortable enough for a two- or three-hour meeting if those are occasionally part of your business lifestyle?
  • Equipment: Learn what equipment is provided in the turnkey office lease. You will likely find a desktop computer included but check to make certain it is powerful enough to meet your needs. Learn what the restrictions are regarding bringing in your own laptop or other equipment if needed. Realize that equipment you own may not be covered by the insurance covering other equipment, so keep this in mind and learn if the services provided by any specialized equipment are available nearby for a fee. Also, learn what speed internet connection is provided and ensure the speed meets your needs. If wifi is important to you, find out if it is in place.
  • Receptionist: Listen to the receptionist answer a phone call or call in yourself to see how the phone is service. Your messages will be taken by this staff person and your clients will have contact with him or her, so you want to ensure the job is done well.
  • Pay Per Use: Speaking of fees, you want to make sure exactly what the fees are for every pay-as-you-go service. These services will almost certainly include use of the copier and fax machine but may include other services such as large paper printers, binders, or other less common equipment. Ascertain that the costs are reasonable. Compare prices with nearby providers for services you use in massive quantities; it may well be less expensive to have the local Kinko’s or similar store produce large copying jobs. Ensure you don’t get “nickeled and dimed.”
  • Lease Provisions: Carefully read all the provisions in the rental agreement. Unlike renting vacant office space which you staff, there will be extensive details about what your private area will contain and what can or can’t be done with it, who must maintain what items, and other matters which deserve your attention.

Provider: Find a reputable executive office suite provider to help you locate the perfect serviced office. You can find great brokers online, Like OfficeFinder.com, who have sound knowledge of this type of office and are waiting to help you.

Coworking

Much like office sharing, co-working is a office space alternative concept originated in 1999 where entrepreneurs and small business owners who share the same values ban together to form a community of business people. Coworking usually begins when networking partners find they enjoy the social aspects of working in the same space and may often help either other’s business in various ways. The partners then lease an office space, sharing all expenses. Each of the co-working partners conducts their own business in their own workspace in the shared office and the co-workers may share support staff such as receptionists or clerical staff in order to keep overhead costs low while providing everyone effective support for their small businesses. This concept is growing into a great solution for hundreds of like-minded small business owners.

Coworking is a style of work which involves a shared working environment, sometimes an office, yet independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically, it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.

Some coworking spaces were developed by nomadic internet entrepreneurs seeking an alternative to working in coffeeshops and cafes, or to isolation in independent or home offices. Surveys show that many employees worry about feeling isolated and losing human interaction if they were to work remotely. Roughly a third of both private and public-sector workers also reported that they didn’t want to stay at home during work. Coworking offers a solution to the problem of isolation that many freelancers experience while working at home, while at the same time letting them escape the distractions of home.

Business accelerators, business incubators and executive suites do not seem to fit into the coworking model, because they often miss the social, collaborative, and informal aspects of the process, with management practices closer to that of a Cooperative, including a focus on community rather than profit.

Coworking is not only about the physical space but mostly about establishing the Coworking community where businesses can work together creating a synergy.

The benefits of Coworking can already be experienced outside of Coworking spaces and it is recommended to start with building a Coworking community first before considering opening a Coworking space. However, some Coworking Spaces don’t build a community, they just get a part of an existing one by combining their opening with an event which attracts their target group.

A lot of Coworking communities have been formed by organizing Casual Coworking events that can take place in people’s living room or in public places such as suitable cafes, galleries or multi-functional spaces. During these events Coworkers can experience the benefits of Coworking and get to know each other which lowers the barriers to join a Coworking space later.

Virtual Office

Today, you really don’t need a specific location for an office with walls. With mobile wireless internet services, hotspots available in most metro locations and even urban areas, multiple personal data devices, and smartphones that do almost everything a computer does, it is possible to work anywhere at anytime. You can operate your business from your living room sofa, poolside, in your vehicle (please stop your vehicle in a safe location before texting or computing for safety), in a coffee shop, at McDonald’s, and right at your client’s desk. By using online services such as GoogleDocs, your information can be safely stored online for presenting to your client easily. With outsourcing of many tasks, you can take your laptop and smartphone and conduct business in any location you desire. If you do have a need for an office, Executive Suites also offer a virtual office service as a office space alternative that allows you to use an office or conference room on an as needed basis.

Lease a Desk in a Business that Buys Your Services

Often, a small business begins because on business requires the services that will be offered. For example, an insurance company may regularly require the services of a licenses investigator. If your small business is complementary to a local business, check into leasing a desk in an unused area of the office. In tough economic times, many offices are willing to lease a desk space to a small business that is not in conflict with their own business.

Home Office

The vast majority of small business startups begin in a home office. This type of office space alternative allows the entrepreneur to begin conducting business without making a huge commitment to overhead expenses. Also, many owners of small startups begin their venture while working a traditional career, making certain their business will succeed before giving up the regular paycheck. Some of these small businesses never move out of the home office, even after hiring an employee or two. Of course, if the operation grows large enough or requires a great deal of inventory, the time will come to move from the home, but many virtual service businesses never leave the home office.

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. You can 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. 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 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. This makes 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. Many people become overwhelmed by trying to do too much. Some set unrealistic goals. They 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. You can use their facilities on a “as needed” basis.

Warehouse Rental

Storage warehouses of various sizes are zoned commercial and in most areas can be used as a business location. These warehouse locations are great for the small startup business that manufactures a product, purchases and adds quality to an existing product before sale, and service companies that provide auto repair, computer repair, and similar services.

If your business is the type that does not really benefit from a “flashy” storefront, this can be a great solution for keeping your startup costs very low. Traditionally, people seeking auto repair, auto body work, auto paint, motorcycle accessories or repairs, and similar services tend to believe that if the storefront is too fancy, they will be overcharged. These types of business can actually benefit from the casual office space offered by leasing a storage warehouse. Just make sure the type of business you are starting meets the zoning regulations and the landlord’s lease restrictions.

We’d be happy to help you with finding the right office space alternative. Let us know a little about what you need and we can get to work identifying some options for you. There is no cosst for this service. Give us a try!