Articles by Members
How to succeed in business, make more money, stay motivated, outwit and outlast your competition, and scale new heights of achievement. A blog published by Jack Blumner, Executive Director of the Executive Office Center.
The Cartoon Blog of the Virtual Office Services Industry. A humor blog published by Jack Blumner, Executive Director of the Executive Office Center.
It certainly does. First of all, open-space working does not automatically mean that a people can't stay to themselves and concentrate on the work at hand.
It's more than an illusion. Recently, this highly coveted alternative workspace option has been gaining in popularity and size, at a growth rate of 50% per year.
Just like in any other service-based business, it'll run the gamut from poor, to adequate, to outstanding, depending on the standards of the owner of the Serviced Workspace.
Yes, there are some pretty elaborate services that one can expect at some Serviced Workspaces, especially at a Business Centers, which have been around since 1966 and tend to be larger spaces with the most resources and staff committed of any of the Serviced Workspace categories.
Virtual Officing , where businesspeople and solo-preneurs get almost all the advantages of a full office, without having to pay for it, is the latest in a series of extremely popular collaborative consumption business models, such as ZipCars, AirBNB and ParkAtMyHouse.com where consumers are offered the appealing feature of not having to bite of more than they can chew, or are prepared to spend, and yet get a satisfactory chunk of the service they bargained for.
The Modern Workspacism movement is here; has been brewing for the better part of this decade; and we're all benefitting from its many offerings.
It means that where one works doesn't only and automatically have to be a traditional office where money is spent on a business's fixed costs for staffing, equipment, telecommunications, furniture, infrastructure and rent, among other key expenses.
It depends on how you go about it. Some people, in some industries, do just fine, but it's not for everybody.
Well is it is for some, and depending on the industry or nature of what the person does, it's totally reasonable.
To many companies and entrepreneurs, the answer is a resounding 'yes'.
As the experience of Hurricane Sandy taught us, where tens of thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs in the Tri-State New York area were devastated, not only from the storm itself, but the effects of its aftermath on the ability to maintain business continuity, and even access their place of work, being agile and mobile as far as IT capabilities, is critical.
Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the Tri-State area of New York, left a lot of clues and lessons behind as to how people can and should work in order to withstand future natural and man-made emergencies that can derail a workplace, and the ability for people to keep their business intact for the short and long term.
You certainly should consider these 'courtesy and housekeeping' issues before you sign on. You should expect and demand a reasonable sense of decorum, neatness/cleanliness, professionalism and a noise and interruption-free environment at any place that you sign on and put down your hard-earned money for.
This is another key question you want to fully consider prior to entering into an agreement. Internet speed, reliability and bandwidth capability are a major reason why one should, or shouldn't sign on at a Serviced Workspace. You don't want to work out of a place that provides spotty or slow internet, and find that out only after the fact.
Considerations about personal property go hand-in-hand with the process of assessing your feeling of personal safety when looking into signing on with a Serviced Workspace.
That's a good and reasonable question, one that should always be asked when a person is considering signing on with a serviced workspace provider.
If you're happy and achieve all your current business and financial goals by working out of your bedroom, den or a Starbucks then maybe you should stay at home.
For many, working from home simply isn't feasible or productive. There are too many interruptions, reasons and temptations to pull away from the work at hand.
To save time, effort, and often money, some workspace seekers like to go straight to professional services that specialize in referring a variety of options and Operators, to help them pinpoint the space best suited for them.
Most people go to their favorite Search Engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo or Ask and, depending on the category of workspace they're interested in, look up terms and local businesses listed under: Business Centers, Executive Suites, Serviced Offices, Virtual Offices, Coworking Spaces, and other related terms.
Today, that's not so unusual. Because of the flexibility to 'take our office with us' when we travel, thanks to the internet, laptops and other devices and technologies, being anchored at one Center, for some, is not a great priority. In fact, not being anchored is the greater requirement for some.
Not all, but many Touchdown Spaces and Business Centers that offer Hot-desk or Virtual Office plans come designed and equipped for your additional hourly and daily private office or meeting space needs.
Some businesses and industries simply need the privacy and security of a traditional, enclosed office for them, and possibly their staff, and may not relish the open-space feel and function of a Hot-desk, Co-working or other Touchdown space.
Not only is having an enclosed, private office no longer a must for someâ€¦not even having a permanent space of any kind (enclosed or open) works for many these days. Being agile, and lean on fixed costs, is a great strategy and recipe for success for manyâ€¦maybe for you too.
The truth is you'd be hard-pressed to find a type of business or industry that doesn't have a space at a BC or other type of alternative, serviced workspace, these days.
Business Centers (BCs), as are all Workspaces, are designed to be your workspace solution forever.
Your ideal Workspace should be resourceful enough to reach out to an industry colleague anywhere and arrange for a hourly or day office for you (or longer).
Most serviced workspace providers offer conference rooms whenever you need them.
Part of the answer lies in what it is you value about your Business Center (BC), and what expenses would you be incurring if you go off on your own and rent a space directly with a landlord.
Continuity is a great objective that good businesspeople should pursue. What we're finding is many Workspace Operators are now providing phone and answering capabilities that clients can take home with them, use when they travel, and even continue with after they've moved out.
It's just good business practice and part of your due diligence to do so. You don't want to enter into what you thought was an easy, friendly, loosey-goosey arrangement, only to find that what you were promised wasn't provided, or that you did something that you weren't aware was unacceptable or was billable.
Perhaps the most valuable of all features that one could get at a Workspace is help for its tech needs.
Depending on the Virtual Office (VO) practices and standards of the workspace, you should be able to receive mail and packages, plus be notified when special mail, such as certified mail, courier packages, and large packages arrive.
Before asking any questions, I would recommend making a good assessment of everything you've seen and heard leading up to the point when you're to meet with the individual conducting the Workspace tour.
Depending on the workspace provider, you'll achieve a level of buying power that can help keep your expenses down.
The serviced and alternative Workspace industry includes many different types of workspace, office and meeting room rental plans available by the hour, day, week, month, year or longer.
There are options galore, at price-points galore. And like in any business, there are well-run, value-laden workspace operators, and others that deliver to you get less value and service for your hard-earned money.
Another popular workspace option is the Business Incubator, which is an ideal workplace for many innovators and entrepreneurs.
CO-working Spaces are similar to Hot-Desk spaces in terms of the immediacy of access for usage, the open work environment, and the lower cost and contract commitment â€” but [..]
Distributed working is a tremendous trend gaining lots of momentum and popularity worldwide ... and you'll see these workers in Hot-Desk Spaces, with many gravitating to CO-working Spaces, as well.
CO-working spaces are typically highly-social work communities where you're more apt to find most users dressed in jeans or for the Country Club, out of choice, as part of the prevalent work culture.
Hot-Desk offerings are usually priced a little higher than Virtual Office plans, but they're still a lot less expensive than renting a full-time BC office ... Check with your local Hot-Desk and Virtual Office providers.
Are there any other hot-desk choices that are economical, but do not involve potentially so many people in one room â€“ maybe a little less crowded or more private?
There are a wide variety of alternative Mobile Workspaces (MW) out there, each with aparticular purpose and set of advantages.
Business Centers are simply a smart choice for some of those needing a private office because it's a prudent financial option.
Some people consider a Business Center (BC) an expensive proposition if they do the math and find they're paying what appears to be a high price-per-square-foot figure based on traditional â€œempty-boxâ€ office space valuations.
Not at all. You just have to choose the right type of Business Center (BC), and make sure it's a well-run one.
Closeâ€¦but not quite.
Virtual Offices (VO) are hugely popular.
Just like there are so many different requirements that go into pinpointing a suitable workspace, there is also a wide variety of workspace solutions out there.
Much of it has to do with the recent edict by Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, which required their telecommuting staff to, with few exceptions, no longer work from home or anywhere elsewhere that is not the headquarters office. Some say her motivation was to shake up the troops and get them on track [â€¦]
Telecommuting is not for every company, and every type of job. Obviously, if youâ€™re a plumber, cab driver, police officer or waiter, you canâ€™t telecommute, although if some part of your job requires administrative or â€˜laptopâ€™ work, you may not need a central office to handle certain tasks, no matter what your profession is. The [â€¦]
Recently at Yahoo, in the assessment of CEO Marissa Mayer, telecommuting wasnâ€™t working, so she had her HR people order their telecommuting staff back to work out of headquarters. In her estimation, she wasnâ€™t getting enough collaboration and teamwork out of her telecommuters, since they were scattered, off-site, and often unreachable when meetings and getting [â€¦]
It is possible for telecommuting to not work at a particular organization, and if it doesnâ€™t work, it should be suspended, possibly for reevaluation and possible re-implementation. There are far too many successful and fruitful examples of telecommuting worldwide, where they are being implemented and managed right, for it to be dismissed as an unworkable [â€¦]
Telecommuting isnâ€™t for everybody, and probably isnâ€™t for Yahoo â€“ or at least not at this stage, in the estimation of Mayer. Fair enough. Itâ€™s her company, and prerogative to implement bold moves to turn around the fortunes of her company. But thatâ€™s not the issue. First of all, Mayer has allowed a particular, internal [â€¦]
No, youâ€™re right. The workplace is indeed shifting fast-and-furious, when compared to inter-generational trending of the pastâ€¦and thatâ€™s saying an awful lot since the one that I â€˜survivedâ€™ went through some substantial changes over a relatively short period of time. In the 60â€²s we saw major retooling of our world, fueled by what we saw [â€¦]
In a physical sense, think about how much workspace you actually use when you get down to it? You maybe use a 3 foot-wide desk space, and when you measure the distance front of your desk to the back of your chair, youâ€™re probably talking 5 feetâ€¦so, for most people, the actual working footprint is [â€¦]
An â€˜Invisible Work Boothâ€™ is really more an effect than an actual, advertised work-station or layout. Many of the new work generations love the collaborative qualities of the open-workspace environment that youâ€™ll find at Coworking Spaces, which is why theyâ€™re so popular and opening at a clip of more than 4 per day, world-wide. But [â€¦]
The world or work is on-the-go, for sure. People use their tech and smart gadgets to take their â€˜officesâ€™ with them: from the workplace, to the home, to the coffee shop, to the plane. Weâ€™re in the throes of an increasingly BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), â€˜Work Anywhereâ€™ universe â€” and thereâ€™s no turning back. [â€¦]
We live in a time where long-term business planning has become practically obsolete. Who knows where you and your business will be in 5 months, let alone 5 years (or how about 2 months, let alone 2 years)? The speed of progress and change in the business world is dizzying. Tomorrowâ€™s technologies and gadgetry are [â€¦]
The serviced workspace options are immense these days, and growing, to meet the ready-to-go, low-cost, low-commitment, flexibility requirements of the current market, economy and evolving work generations. Fortunately there are a lot of places to go on-line that can assist you, at no-cost, with your search. Here are the best of the best: One service [â€¦]
Some businesspeople, especially solo-preneur executives on the go, sometimes require the assistance of a receptionist or Personal Assistant to provide clerical or other support to handle routine tasks so that theyâ€™re not tied down and can keep their eye on the ball on the things theyâ€™re expert in or yields more money. At the same [â€¦]
If itâ€™s a small private business meeting (one-on-one, or 4-6 people); and a hotel lobby just won't do, Business Centers like the ones youâ€™ll find at WANY (www.workspace-ANY.com) provide an array of instant, cost-effective options, with some capable of accommodating meetings of 8 to 80 people, including AV options, technical assistance and catering. Another great [â€¦]
On the contrary, at a Serviced Workspace youâ€™ll get the best of both worlds: all the free, scheduled and spontaneous interfacing and networking you could ever want alongside serious entrepreneurs that have similar aspirations and values as you do, at common areas in the facilityâ€¦ â€¦Yet, the ability to work privately at your space-within-the-space, confidentially [â€¦]
The fact is that many lawyers already do work at Business Centers, Coworking Spaces and Touchdown Spaces, precisely because theyâ€™ll have access to private meeting spaces there. Some of these Serviced Workspaces have Virtual Office Plans that may include a compliment of free private conference room usage hours each month, while others charge a la [â€¦]
Thatâ€™s actually one of the main advantages at many Serviced Workspaces, especially at Business Centers. At many BCs, they offer hourly secretarial and clerical support services â€“ some free of charge (especially if itâ€™s just some quick and easy assistance), while others may charge a nominal hourly (or partial hour) fee for more elaborate, involved [â€¦]
The most common ones are receiving clients, guests, packages, mail, and answering phones, which are all usually included in the basic bundle of services that come with being a member or client of a Serviced Workspace Provider such as at a Business Center, Coworking Space or Touchdown Space. Beyond that, there are a multitude of [â€¦]
This is a frequently asked question since many people these days prefer to pay by credit card for a variety of reasons, including for the purposes of managing accurately, and in real-time of their accounting/booking function and Accounts Payables; as well as for the attractive extra Bonus Reward Points that they may accumulate for every [â€¦]
There are many ways, but the first key factor to acknowledge is that Serviced Workspaces, especially Business Centers, Coworking Spaces, Business Incubators/Accelerators and Virtual Offices, are all primarily in business precisely to help businesses, freelancers, start-ups, and small-to-large companies grow and succeed. In fact, the livelihood and success of these Serviced Workspaces is very much [â€¦]
Hereâ€™s one of the many advantages of a Serviced Workspace. Not only do they provide you with a space to work out of, but in many instances, they offer staffing and clerical services to save you time and effort so that you can concentrate on whatever business activity is that you need to do, or [â€¦]
Itâ€™ll depend on the type of space that youâ€™re looking for. If itâ€™s for an enclosed office at a Business Center, some places require a 6 or 12 month commitment, although many also offer longer, or shorter or month-to-month terms. Like anything else, the longer the commitment the greater chance you may be able to [â€¦]
In addition to better rates for a longer commitment, you should also ask for any specials or incentives they might have going for signing now (they should be forthcoming with that if they are good businesspeople who are on your side as opposed to squeezing every last dollar they can out of you). If they [â€¦]
Ask. Itâ€™s a fair question. In some instances, especially at a space that is new to the market, or has a lot of vacancies or memberships itâ€™s trying to catch up on, you may find that pre-paying is music to their ears. And if they say â€œnoâ€ donâ€™t stop there. It simply could mean that [â€¦]
There shouldnâ€™t be any, and itâ€™s incumbent upon you to reduce the chances that there will be by exercising your due diligence before signing; researching anything you can find about the space on-line; and having others help you by reviewing any contractual document you may, or should be asked to sign, and perhaps demand to [â€¦]
In this day and age, there are plenty of places to research to get the scoop on the place youâ€™re considering. The first place is the spaceâ€™s own website. Their website should be clear and feel â€œfriendlyâ€ and inviting. A website to a business is what a resume is to a hiring candidate. Because a [â€¦]
A Serviced Workspace contract that you sign should â€˜feel friendly and thoroughâ€™, not onerous. Your instincts do count. But there are also some things that you should be on the lookout for when you sign a Serviced Workspace agreement. Itâ€™s amazing but, often there are agreements that refer to addendums and add-ons that are not [â€¦]
Not at all. Obviously, if a Workspace Provider is insisting on a longer term and commitment than you can handle, then you should walk away from it. Never bite off more than you can chew in hoping that you can bootstrap a business with potential income, if you donâ€™t have solidly committed revenue streams and [â€¦]
Thereâ€™s a lot of momentum in all parts of the world with regard to the demand and delivery of the many forms of Serviced Workspacesâ€¦from Executive Suite Business Centers and Serviced Office BCs; to Virtual Office, Office Hoteling and spontaneous hourly and daily workspace usage options. Then there are the special and unique workspaces that [â€¦]
At the recent Essensys Conference in London, it became very clear that the UK, long a world leader in providing popular 3rd Place Serviced Workspace alternatives with their huge numbers of Executive Suites and Business Centers in and around London and beyond, are also taking a deep dive into the expanding newer genres that include [â€¦]
Letâ€™s face it: with the advent of IT advances and gadgetry, anyone can work possibly anywhere, including out of the home â€“ and statistically, thatâ€™s just exactly what theyâ€™re doing. Thus, thereâ€™s a whole new push and pressure on the part of 3rd Place Serviced Workspace providers to capture the fancy of employees who have [â€¦]
Never a problem. The Modern Workspacism Movement is about choices â€“ and offering variety to satisfy all tastes, needs, preferences and demandsâ€¦ and not about forcing a new work-way that is popular with a different work generation, but isnâ€™t your cup of tea. True that Open Plan is enjoying great popularity, but there are still [â€¦]
Proworking is a relatively new term in the industry that is beginning to get a bit of play, and which has a different twist on the ever-popular Coworking category. Both are Open Plan work-ways and work-settings where a freelancer or solo-preneur or Remote Working employee can pop into to get their work objectives achieved. Where [â€¦]
The term â€œProworkingâ€ was coined by the Real Estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle to identify the legions of a slightly different form of Coworking that was really more for Remote Workers and company employees that are more independent in their approaches and needs than the typical Coworking Space member/user, which relishes the interactive, collaborative and [â€¦]
Basically, much of it is miscommunication and misinterpretation. While it is true that both companies have opted to pull their employees out in the field back into their Corporate Headquarters, a closer look at the circumstances shows that their reversal of their Remote Working practices were more about internal issues that they were trying to [â€¦]
It depends on who you ask, but for the most part, over time, the results of this policy decision will speak for themselves. That Mayer had a right and responsibility to do what she felt was the best way to right the ship at a struggling Yahoo as she saw fit, is unquestionable. Thatâ€™s what [â€¦]
Depending on oneâ€™s experience and originating point of view, the Yahoo reversal signals or underscores a different message. To anyone who is skeptical or opposed to Remote Working as a suitable way to manage its employees and business, what Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer did was an â€˜a-haâ€¦I told you soâ€™ moment, even though the edict [â€¦]
First of all, itâ€™s not as many that do, as some would think or lead you to believe. Recent research done by WorldAtWork cites that only about 2% of the companies surveyed reversed their telecommuting policies. And of those 2 percent, not surveyed but certainly open for analysis, is the question of how many experienced [â€¦]
It depends on how elaborate a set-up one wants, but essentially, one can literally walk into most Serviced Workspaces, such as a Business Center, or a Touchdown or Coworking Space and start working in as little as 5 minutes, if they have a credit card â€“ itâ€™s that simple. In many places, contracts and commitments [â€¦]
According to a recent Cushman & Wakefield global survey, here are the five top considerations that are the main factors driving todayâ€™s corporate workspace planners and decision-makers: 1) to reduce real estate costs 2) to attract and retain employees 3) to increase communication and collaboration 4) to increase employee productivity 5) to increase creativity and [â€¦]
The days of the â€˜automatic, everyone gets a private office, and aspires to the corner officeâ€™ ambitions are numbered. In its place is the reality that where someone works, or even how they work, is less important than what they deliverâ€¦and if thatâ€™s so, then why lock into leases that includes a tract of larger, [â€¦]
Perhaps none? Some jobs are being handled efficiently and entirely remotely, sometimes from home, and sometimes from far-away lands. Operators and Customer Service Call Services delivered from continents far away come to mind. Some customer service inquiries are taken care of from people equipped in their homes, instead of at a Call Center, thus reducing [â€¦]
It really depends on how often you think youâ€™ll need to use a Touchdown or Coworking Space thatâ€™s convenient for you. Some 3rd Place Serviced Workspaces incentivize and offer an attractive and cost-effective package for ongoing, anytime usage of their locations. Others bundle a certain amount of hours together at a discounted rate, and that [â€¦]
This is a question that is often raised by people who are used to a (their?) traditional, private office environment and who are suddenly thrust into a world where they may be more on their own working outside the CCO (Centrally Commuted Office) part-time, or in some instances, entirely if a Distributed Work practice is [â€¦]
Itâ€™s basically two major categories of employees that work out of Open Plan workspaces these days, while thereâ€™s some overlapping of the two going on. First is the solo-preneurs, which are predominantly, but not limited to the Millennials â€“ entrepreneurs and freelancers who came of age business-wise after the turn of the centuryâ€¦the Generation X [â€¦]
Both Distributed and Readapted Workers work in Open Plan environments as a result of an organization deciding that it will be better served by encouraging, and in some instances, requiring all or part of its staff to work in non-enclosed, non-dedicated offices, be it as telecommuters perhaps working at a 3rd Place Serviced Workspace that [â€¦]
There are a few reasons, but the first underlying cause is that people generally donâ€™t like or adapt well to change. People get into a rhythm and comfort level with their routines, especially the â€˜whereâ€™ and â€˜howâ€™ they work, and any change in that routine, especially of its sudden or not planned out well, can [â€¦]
The biggest driver is economics, in the face of a world where advancing technologies and gadgetry allow people to work practically anywhere and anytime. Organizations have a constant, burning objective to maintain a slim expense sheet, operate lean, and reduce expensesâ€¦and with the capabilities and sophistication of todayâ€™s organizations â€” tracking and concentrating on cost-saving [â€¦]
Their prospects arenâ€™t great, given the fact that more and more organizations are adopting Distributed and Readapted Work practices and policies. It will not be a total transition to these two Open Plan work-ways since some organizations, industries and jobs simply require the provision of private, enclosed offices to remain as their standard. Also, eventually [â€¦]