Businesses are evolving. One of the unique ways many businesses have evolved is that people now have the ability to work remotely. Technology has made it easy to work from a laptop from any location. You can access shared information on cloud drives. You can communicate via email, chat, Skype and phone.
This has me thinking that the office is not a necessity anymore.
Now, I don’t think that not having an office is the future for every business, but the option is there. If you’re looking to cut back on costs to make your business more profitable in the future then going office-less is definitely a consideration.
GBW: A Remote Business
GBW probably formed as a result of personality. I would say that I’m an introvert. I do enjoy spending time with friends and family. I enjoy going out to be amongst people, but for work I’ve always enjoyed privacy with few distractions. For five years I worked in an office at a great company. There weren’t really any cubicles. I had my own office and many others did as well. It was a good setting for collaboration and meetings while still having privacy when you had to get some work done or for taking phone calls.
I have friends that work in offices. Some work in open office settings. I don’t know if I could handle it. I’m sure it’s good for certain personality types, but for me it would drive me nuts.
GBW doesn’t have an office. It’s me working from a home office and the others all work from their own locations wherever they are based. It works out well for the way our company is setup.
GBW did have an office for a little while. However, I found myself still preferring to work from home. That cut down on commute time. Even a commute of 30 minutes combined each day turns into 125 hours per year. What could you do with 125 more hours each year?
Eventually that office got ditched and now I work exclusively from home. I guess there are a couple days a year where I might head to the coffee shop to work.
Working From Home Complications
I can see that it would be a difficult step for a business owner to let employees work from home. There is a little push when they’re in the office to avoid distractions. And heck, for yourself you probably want to avoid the distractions that home offers.
I can say that there are distractions from working at home, but when you’re in the work zone those things really disappear. You kind of have to avoid distractions if you want to get work done.
Maybe the first few days of working from home would be a challenge. You’re in a new setting. You notice every little thing. But after a few days you’ll be in the zone. You’ll be used to everything and you’ll focus. It’s the same as the day you start at a new office. There are distractions because everything is new and then you get into the zone.
And with your workers you have to trust that they will get their work done. Chances are that you’ve hired good people. They’re driven to do well. They know their job depends on it. This thinking is more of a work-focused setup instead of a time-based setup. The work has to be good. It has to be done on time. The time is not as important.
If your team can get their tasks done then why not let them work from wherever they want? However, if they are unable to handle it then you probably need to find a replacement.
Do quick math in your head right now…
How much do you spend on your office (rent, utilities, insurance, furniture, etc.). It can add up fast.
Now subtract that from your bottom line. What could you spend that money on? Maybe that new product or service initiative. Maybe another employee for your team so you can take on more clients.
Think about it.