Published Thursday, April 17th, 2014, by Aaron Hopkins.
As business center owners and operators know, the office environment isn’t what it used to be. With the rise of online communication systems, the need for a traditional office space is no longer a necessity. Nowadays over 60% of businesses allow their employees to work remotely and focus more on overall job performance than specific working hours.
Due to technological advances in computing, working remotely is more widely accepted than it was 5-10 years ago; and it’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to start and manage entire empires from the comfort of their homes. However, there are still many people out there who question the benefits of remote working from both a business and social point-of-view.
The rise of virtual offices
Virtual offices bridge the gap between remote and in-house working. They are significantly increasing in popularity because they provide businesses with an address and telephone number for professional correspondence, but not a physical space. This allows business owners to enhance their corporate identity without significant overheads.
However, virtual offices aren’t purely used for image purposes. Additional services and facilities are also commonly available at an extra cost, such as meeting rooms, office equipment and part-time workers. For a detailed breakdown on the benefits of virtual offices visit The Workstation.
Due to the rise of digital technology and advances in mobile computing, many offices are now paperless. Documents that are required to maintain a business – such as invoices and receipts – can now be stored and filed digitally, largely eliminating the need for paper and office equipment such as copiers and filing cabinets.
In the modern world a single computer can hold all of the required data that’s needed to run a business. And with the ever increasing reliability of digital and online security systems, storage of this data is safer than ever before. This makes digital systems far more functional than the traditional working environment and is certainly contributing to their decline.
Digital communication systems
With online services such as Skype, Facebook and Gmail, there’s little need for in-house meetings. Everything from interviews to pitches can now be held online through webcam or email, which can save both time and money.
According to The Independent, texting and social networking is now the most common form of communication, significantly surpassing face-to-face meetings. With these digital systems now widely available and often free-of-charge, many business owners find little worth in renting meeting and conference rooms, etc., and opt to use digital alternatives instead.
Moving with the Times
It’s important for business centres and anyone in a co-working environment to recognize that times are changing. New technology isn’t a burden that should be ignored, but something that should be utilized to maximize efficiency, save money and enhance job performance.
These 3 changes can be incorporated into business centre spaces to reflect the remote working environment:
- Recreational areas – areas that aren’t typically found in a traditional office space can encourage creative thinking.
- Moveable desks – popularized by video game development company Valve, having the ability to change scenery can do wonders for employee morale.
- Personal webcams – all computers should be hooked up to personal webcams and have a headset to enhance the remote communication experience.
By making just a few minor changes and embracing unconventional ideas, business centres and co-working environments can take on a whole new modern life.
Traditional leased office space will always be around, but that doesn’t mean it will always be the most productive. As humans we strive for efficiency and often prioritize convenience over anything else. As digital office systems continue to develop and make working life more efficient, increasing numbers of people will start making the transfer to remote environments. While traditional office spaces won’t completely die out, they are likely to take a backseat in the not-so-distant future.
Image Credit: Marcin Wichary