For as long as one can remember, the office setting has served as a visual representation of a working environment. So much so that some people – even in developed economies – still have reservations about the efficiency of basing work operations at home.
OMG, do you manage to get any meaningful work done? How do you keep all the distractions at bay? How about meeting clients? You must be lucky to avoid the rush-hour! – are all common things to hear from those still doing the traditional 9-5 workday. Needless to say they are comments that are a pet-peeve for many a work-at-home practitioner.
But times have changed. And despite the benefits that come with a physical office space, technology now allows us to run entire companies effectively from a computer. This explains why more and more businesses are abandoning the office environment in favour of a home-based one.
As the work-from-home concept has gathered steam over the years though, we are starting to acknowledge it was not all peaches and cream as earlier preached. The model, as with any other, is not devoid of shortcomings. And one of the main ones has to do with a lack of professional office space and all the benefits that come with it.
This has led to the birth of a new flexible concept that seeks to establish the best of both worlds. It goes by the name of serviced offices. At the heart of its advantages is a significant reduction in operating costs without relinquishing the benefits that come with working in an actual office space – which explains the sudden obsession with the model.
If you are one of those still split on whether a serviced office would be a good idea for growing your business, here are five solid reasons to help you chew over it.
- Financial Flexibility
The decision by many small and medium-sized business owners to opt for serviced office spaces is driven by liquidity.
These spaces provide offices with first-rate services, amenities that include nice restaurants and bars onsite, and the marketability to grow without bogging you down with the commitment and added maintenance costs associated with traditional offices, never mind mundane admin tasks.
A shared office space is a brilliant low-cost arrangement for any business, offering an enviable location at a prominent address as well as reception services, personalised phone services, mailbox, day office space and conference facilities when need be.
What such a solution manages to do for business owners is allow them to save capital which can be channelled towards growing their business. And the good thing about serviced offices is that they have a flexible lease period which can be discontinued at any time (usually within a set period – say a day, month, a quarter etc.) unlike traditional leases where penalties are enforced.
Serviced offices are usually a harbour for companies of all sizes spanning a range of industries. In such an environment, it is the norm rather than the exception to encounter businesses in the same line of work as yours, experiencing similar challenges as you, and in similar stages as your business.
These spaces provide an opportunity to network with other owners and employees which may forge lasting bonds and culminate in other beneficial outcomes – leads and sales, for example.
Moreover, when the other companies and staff get acquainted with your products or services, there is a big chance you can be their go-to entity as part of their solutions portfolio. And in the event that you don’t, chances are once you establish a rapport with some of them, you can expect them to recommend you every now and then to one of their contacts with a need for your kind of services.
It’s a dream for anyone looking to network.
- Add Space as Needed
As you look to grow your business, the importance of your first office cannot be underestimated. The administrative support is available. You have consolidated your team, and your image has been polished. You have a prestigious address that you can invite customers to, and well-equipped premises to perform your best, generating more leads and with greater chances of closing them.
As a growing business, what you also want is an opportunity to add to your team and expand office space if need be, without having to look for new premises and negotiating a new lease.
This is what a serviced office space stands to offer you. And as you organise the expansion, there are common business lounges at your disposal for your team members to work from.
This kind of flexibility allows businesses to facilitate growth seamlessly while keeping costs at a minimum.
- Expansion versus Risk
Expansion is never an easy affair, whether it’s a small enterprise or multinational we are talking about. It’s a move that can drive you out of business if you lack the financial firepower (and manpower) to go through with it.
Serviced offices have changed the landscape though. If you are unsure about expansion, they allow you to stretch your wings without incurring the high costs associated with the same.
The premises, office equipment and facilities notwithstanding, serviced offices also provide the necessary workers on a temporary basis at a significantly lower cost compared to staff on a payroll.
Generally, you are able to mitigate the risks associated with expansion.
- Lower Payroll
Multiple studies over the years have shown many employees are willing to work at a lower rate if they had the option of having a flexible work schedule.
While you can have some employees working remotely at the time of their convenience – a cost-saving move in many ways – the concept of serviced offices generally allows for reduced payrolls each month in the sense that you are absolved of the need to have some full-time employees such as front office associates, security staff, technicians, cleaners among others.
If you are serious about taking your small enterprise to new heights, it’s essential to consider how you can gain from a serviced office space.