NOT SO LONG AGO, BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL COMPANY ENTAILED SAVING UP FOR A PRESTIGIOUS BUSINESS ADDRESS. THEN WORKING INCREDIBLY HARD TO COVER THE COST OF YOUR OFFICES EVERY MONTH. HOWEVER, IN RECENT YEARS, THINGS HAVE CHANGED RAPIDLY AND NOW EVEN LARGER, ESTABLISHED BUSINESSES ARE BEGINNING TO LOOK FOR MORE CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO FINDING THE PERFECT WORK SPACE.
Rather than just throwing money at the issue and snapping up an office address in a fancy postcode, business owners are likely to spend a lot longer thinking about what would suit them and their team members best.
For example, when I started my career as a local news reporter, I worked alongside all of my colleagues in a city centre office and didn’t know anyone who worked remotely. However, these days, the publishers I know are far more likely to give employees the option of working from home some or all of the time and to opt for smaller offices, or serviced office spaces like the ones at Signature Works, where you benefit from perks like free tea and coffee, an on-site gym, IT support a cleaner and even an on-site manager.
Several of my friends have ditched their costly offices in favour of a co-working space and the reason they tend to give for this is the flexibility: For example, if you want to give your team members the option to work from home, or you find that your clients prefer to meet at or near their offices, rather than at yours these days, you might suddenly realise that you’re paying for acres of office space and a big meeting room that is very rarely used. Switching to a co-working space gives you the option to use and pay for only what you need, substantially cutting down on overheads.
Another benefit that my fellow business owners based in the North West have mentioned is that just through working in close proximity to other local businesses, you’ll tend to pick up a new client or two almost by accident – perhaps over a conversation in the lift or while waiting for your coffee to brew.
Last week, I was speaking to the director of a national web company who’d ditched a traditional office space in favour of serviced offices in Liverpool at the Bling Bling Building. He highlighted the free gym membership, reduced costs, informal opportunities to meet potential new clients and free beer on Fridays amongst the benefits!
Beer aside, there’s a sense that entrepreneurs are more keen than ever to build some flexibility into their businesses, leaving them with more budget to innovate and less tied up in office costs. We suspect that the popularity of serviced offices will only increase in the coming years as business owners choose savings and convenience over tradition.
If you’ve just moved into serviced offices, we’d love to hear from you. Please tell us how you’re getting on in the comments below.
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