Friday, November 18, 2011

The Evolution of Our Work Space

If you are old enough to have owned a home-based business before the 1990’s, you can relate to all the different scenarios of its operation, a converted extra bedroom, a desk in the kitchen, a workstation in the garage, just to name a few. Actually, those scenes are still probably pretty common, with many of us sitting at our desk in front of our personal computer for most of our work week. Even though we are based at home, we can take advantage of moving to the kitchen counter or the family room with our laptop or tablet. The real home office can now mean the whole house, unless you are smart enough to close the door to the “executive office,” at least sometimes, so you can have a break.
Moving out of the house
If your “shared office space” means sharing with a bedroom or even what seems to resemble a day care center, it can present a problem when professionalism is crucial.  Fortunately, about the same time we started acquiring cell phones and laptops, we also welcomed back coffee shops in a way never seen before. Who would have ever imagined we would be sitting in a living room setting with our own personal phone and hook up to cyberspace as we work with a client who joins us, or even another entrepreneur we meet. This coffee shop office environment takes on new meaning in many areas where the selling of coffee is worked around a bigger purpose for the location, which is to provide the perfect setting for those running their own business. Hence, the home office becomes the coffee shop office. A good example of this can be seen with Starbucks strategy called “third place marketing.” They want to be the third place in your life after home and office, and they certainly contribute to the coffee shop office idea with that strategy.
Moving beyond
Whether you work in your home, a coffee shop, or even your car most of the time, one thing is certain; maintaining a business presence with the outside world is important. That professional presence is easy if you move into the world of the virtual office, and you don’t need to rent a moving van. Visualize your business having all its needs met while you are still enjoying the atmosphere of home, or any other favorite place. Global Business Centers is the perfect solution if you want to appear fully staffed without having the hassle and overhead of any employees. Totally different than needing to sign a lease to use services or space, a virtual office provides all the services, and even a physical location when needed. That means you get to pick and choose, within your budget, what will make your business prosper, such as virtual office suites, a live receptionist, temporary office space and even mailroom services. You can “pretend” you are wherever you want to be. Your business will look professional even as you sit by the pool or stand at the kitchen counter making cookies with your kids.
What’s next?
Each decade brings bigger and better concepts to help us all become more flexible with our lives. Although it is easy to think it could not get any more advanced, that we have the full answer or solution, be prepared! The virtual office may compliment both the home office and the coffee shop office, but it is highly likely that something in our future will trump it all!


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