When we think about a company, most of us picture an office environment – or at least somewhere with a head office. But the way businesses run is changing, and today many organisations are choosing to form without a physical space. And it’s not just unknown start-ups, established brands such as Basecamp, Buffer and Citrix have fully embraced remote working.
What are the benefits of not having a physical location?
- Cost. The price of hiring office space doesn’t come cheap, and there are many other ways you can allocate your budget. In fact, the cost of office space is one of the biggest barriers to starting a new business, so it’s no wonder that many start-ups are now being run entirely from home
- Staff recruitment. If you are tied to a specific location, you are restricted to hiring people who work nearby (or who are willing to relocate). But, with a remote office, you can recruit from a much broader talent-pool
- Productivity. Despite fears about not being able to monitor your employees, one reason why organisations of all shapes and sizes are embracing this trend is that it can also lead to increases in productivity. Indeed, rather than doing less, by, allowing people to work in an environment that suits them, you should see higher rates of productivity. It’s not hard to understand why people would get more done in a quiet office at home than in a noisy, distracting office
- Staff retention. In addition to attracting the best employees, by offering remote working you are also more likely to keep them, with some reports showing that people are much happier working from home than in an office
- Growth. If you work remotely, you are not hindered by the size of your office space and any lease restrictions.
You might worry that by not having a physical office space you will struggle to meet clients and hold face-to-face meetings with your team. But today there are many spaces that can be hired for such purposes, as and when you need them.
Should you ditch the physical office?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. What will work for you is entirely down to your business model and day-to-day operations. But you shouldn’t get an office just because that’s the way things have always been done. Think about what you and your people would prefer, how you want to work, what you do, and the market you operate in.
What do you need to go remote?
If you decide to ditch the bricks and mortar, there are a few things you will need. Crucially, to create a productive remote workforce, you’ll need an IT infrastructure that works. The last thing you want is having to struggle to get hold of your remote workers. At the same time, if your remote workers find it challenging to access documents and files this will hamper productivity and frustrate everyone involved.
However, if you invest in the right mobile and cloud-based technology, this shouldn’t be a problem. Today, it’s easier than ever for people to work from home, with increasing broadband speeds, mobile devices, cloud-based hosted desktops, apps and video conferencing making the transition painless.
If you’re thinking about investing in the cloud, speak to a member of our team on 01942 261 671 to find out more.