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How Important is it to have Office Space?

By Jane Payne

Are you starting a business and weighing your options about leasing an office? You are not alone! Lots of startups are torn between running their business virtually and a physical location.

Is Office Space Important? An office gives your company an identity and an opportunity to create your culture. This helps in winning clients and attracting and retaining talent.  An office brings employees together to collaborate, create and innovate which ultimately leads to a better product or service; and provides social interaction for employees.

With the technological advancements in the world today, running a business with the traditional 9-to-5 arrangement is fast going obsolete. However, the need for an organized workspace cannot be written off if you aim at expanding your workforce.

The importance of not just having an office, but a functional office for your business cannot be overemphasized.  Although the idea of hiring expert remotely and telecommuting is gradually becoming a norm in the work industry today. However,  the need for companies to have a work office is still fundamental.

Notwithstanding the shift in the work industry, most businesses need an office to enhance productivity and streamline workflows.  The primary reason to have an office is collaboration. Every business needs its employees to work together as a team to create and innovate.

in addition to productivity, a functional workspace or office contributes to the value of a company and also helps in attracting quality workforce and clients. An office informs your clients and employees who you are.

While it’s less expensive to run an office virtually and remotely, it may not be your best alternative.

5 Reason to have Office Space

1. Professional Development

Whatever business type you’re in, whether you’re selling a product or offering services, a workspace of your own helps you in fostering and facilitating rapid growth for more professional and developmental opportunities.

2. Social Life

Socialization begets naturally from teamwork. Most colleagues are likely to end up as close friends, inside and outside the workplace. Whenever you help your employees improve their social lives, you’re doing them a great benefit by fostering their happiness  — by extension more productivity – to your business.

3. Attracts Quality Workforce

Beyond the physical appearance, a company’s workspace serves as a hint to its value;  the office is an expression of everything ranging from its work philosophy to its financial health. Office space is one of the best ways a business or brand invites human resources and communicates its essence.

4. Saves Time

Thanks to technology, platforms like Skype, Google Hangout, and Vidyo, can eliminate the need to meet in person again.

But these inventions do not fill the gap. Irregular network connectivities in different regions and latency issues among some other technical drawbacks that might arise can lead to ten to fifteen minutes delay before everyone can see or hear each other. All these can be avoided if everyone is present in the same office.

5. Investors

To ensure proper management and healthy business is growing, some of your investors might demand you get an office before they broaden their partnership. An office helps your brand or business gain more trust and confidence from your partners or associates.

Choosing the Right Workplace to for Your Business

Finding the “proper” workspace to set up your company is like dating the availability of a thousand and one options on the internet makes the task a lot more complicated.

Although the traditional office was once the only ideal place for coworkers to communicate and collaborate effectively, today businesses can still be as productive and functional by communicating and sharing ideas on the web, costing as low as ten dollars and a Skype account. A good percentage of business owners operate from coffee shops, cafes, and coworking spaces as well as their traditional office.

What is the Ideal Office Space For a Startup?

In my quest to finding the right office for my new business, I decided to seek advice from three entrepreneurs with completely different office strategies for their opinion on choosing the proper workspace.

“When you’re setting up a new business, you should not be spending too much money on rent,” said Jason Fried, the CEO of a web-based software company 37signals. “It’s not economical.”

When Fried started 37signals, he and the other two staffs, working together for his company shared a small apartment with another business at the time. “All we had then was a corner for a desk,” he laughs. If you can get another company to share the rent, it will be a  lot more cost effective and convenient; teaming up helps you save cash and still keeps you away from the distraction of working at home.

Some entrepreneurs see value in getting their own workspace from the get-go. After a brief stay at the virtual office, Anthony Franco decided to move his company to a house in Denver, EffectiveUI. The workspace wasn’t ideal, but he got a good discount on the rent. Newly recruited staffs were welcomed with an Allen wrench, to serve as assembling for their desks.

“We began from home, but if we were to meet with demand, we needed a place where we could come together and work,” Said Franco. He added that the benefit of working together as a team (in person) paid for the cost of having an office.

Although the lease route worked well for EffectiveUI, there are lots of risks associated with getting your own space too early.

Coworking For Businesses

Coworking is one modern compromise between working virtually and committing to a lease at a office space. This kind of workspace creates a work environment and serves as an alternative to cafes and coffee shops for independent workers.

Campbell Mckellar an independent staff discovered the value and true essence of coworking space when the company she worked for left their traditional workspace and began working virtually. The shift offered her work liberty, she was able to work from anywhere, and she chose Maine. “I tried working in a cottage with family members and dogs running around, she said. “I enjoyed being mobile and independent, but I also wanted to have a platform to do my work.”

Loosecubes, the company Mckellar started in May, runs a website that pair independent workers with suitable coworking spaces and extra desks in other companies. The site is being managed from a coworking space. Mckellar says that working from the space has helped her business launch.

“Especially if you’re running a creative business, the best way to get innovative ideas is to meet new people,” Mckeller says. “You get stale by talking to the same set of people every day.”

Coworking unintentionally allows Mckellar to network with other people in her workspace, get advice from colleagues entrepreneurs, and host seminar and workshops with her crew at a place that isn’t her home.

Regardless of the numerous benefits of coworking space, coworking space also comes with its series of challenges and might not be ideal for all business types. Coworking space comes with lots of distractions and the majority of them are designed in a way that requires people making phone calls and seeking silence in the hallway.

“For my kind of business, silence and privacy are essential,” says Fried. “So, coworking spaces and cafes are not ideal for us.”

“Mckellar agrees that on difficult days she resorts to working from home.” Every company at some point will overgrow a coworking space. Loosecubes, for example, plans to move into its own office space before the year runs out.

Running  An Untraditional Office

From Fred’s perspective, he thinks his new office as a home rather than a traditional office. Staffs are free to work from home whenever they want, and almost half the company’s team still works remotely.

“We feel that a combination of the both is the best practice,” Fried Says. “Because often are times the need for occasional meetings may arise, where a team of four or five people may want to come together for a while.”

Practicing both strategies allows you to combine the benefits of virtual and traditional workspaces. It’s a lot more productive for employees to work remotely from their home in their pajamas, at any time of the day. When they get distracted at home or want to collaborate with teammates, they have a great place to work

“Our office is designed to suit our work needs,” says Freid. Its walls have soundproof, we have phone booths for staffs and clients to make calls, and also sizable rooms for small teams.

Knowing what’s best for your business is not just enough, you can also merge the benefits of both virtual and traditional office space for your business as Fried did.

See also What Roles Need Office Space? on Open Sourced Workplace.

Related Questions:

Can A Small Business Succeed Without An Office?

There are lots of successful startups without an office in the business world today. There are also startups that started off without an office but moved into one as their business grew.

However, having an office depends on the nature and strength of the business, as well as long-term goals. The arrangement that works best for your company depends on its strength and weaknesses.  A company that depends on a growing team of individuals for expansion should not dismiss the idea of having an organized space to manage their workforce.

Is the cost of Office Space Really Worth It?

Having a workspace for your business should be treated as an investment. Thus, every option weighed carefully to ensure maximum profit. If an office space will generate more sales and project your business positively, then having an office is worth every penny.


Jane P.

Jane Payne

Expert Blog and Creative writer

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