“I’ve never had a proper desk, never worked out of an office, and certainly never clocked in.” , those are the words of the Virgin Group Founder,Sir Richard Branson, indicating that he never had an office.
If a leader of a business as big as the Virgin Group can run the business without a physical office, how much more for a startup. When starting a business do you really need an office?
There was a time when running a business meant operating from a physical office where all the action happens. That time is behind us now as technology allows people to run their businesses wherever they are located.
As long as you are connected online you can operate a business anywhere.
There are tools and environments that enables the business to be conducted without the need of an office. The following are just some spaces that makes operating without a traditional office possible:
Alternatives To Traditional Office:
- Coffee Shop
- Co-Working Space
The coffee shop has become an hour or two office for thousands of professionals around the world. Many view a coffee shop as an ideal environment to complete a document, draft an email, or even submit some invoices.
Some make coffee shops spaces for weekly team meetings and then work separately thereafter by connecting online.
Although coffee shops are ideal environments to work it can also be a source of distraction as sometimes one often meets friends and colleagues which can be a problem if one is chasing a deadline. Noise level can also be another challenge in coffee shops depending on type of work conducted at coffee shop. The bottom line is that coffee shops are hot spaces for work that used to be done before in traditional offices. They are perfect spaces for someone starting a business with limited resources to rent or buy an office space.
Our homes have always been spaces that serve as offices in the absence of the office in town. They remain ideal spaces for operating a business. Many transform unused rooms or even their garages into business offices. A number of successful businesses today started their business from an office at home, think Apple.
A home office has its own disadvantages, especially if there are kids and other family members during work hours. It requires discipline as home chores can be confused as work instead of focusing solely on the business. The great thing about an office at home is that it allows for flexibility in terms of work hours. One can work any time an opportunity presents itself. There’s no need to stick to the 9 to 5 arrangement.
If there’s a Poster child for the UnOffice movement it will have to be the Co-Working space. An environment where entrepreneurs and professionals from different companies share working space and resources. These spaces are characterized by a spaces with desks, chairs and pods everywhere with people working on their laptops and some brainstorming in shared boardrooms.
Traditionally in the Co-workingspace there’s a shared reception and calls that are then diverted to the relevant businesses in the space.
Co-working space are common in the creative and technology industry with some famous co-working spaces in various cities.
Just about every city that is young and trendy has a co-working space for its knowledge workers. All of these spaces are transforming the traditional office from a specific building in town to wherever the entrepreneur is located and connected.
The next time you’re considering to start a business do not allow lack of an office space to stop you. If you are filling the throttle of the landlord consider cancelling the traditional office altogether and join the #UnOfficeMovement.