Contribution by Sally, freelance writer.
The digital age is well and truly here, and more people than ever can perform their jobs from anywhere and everywhere. With the growing popularity of remote working, is the traditional office something that should be consigned to the pages of history?
For a growing number of small business entrepreneurs and self-employed freelancers, the answer is a resounding yes, both from the perspective of personal flexibility and as a way of reducing overhead costs in increasingly competitive business environments.
Saving time and money
An office is not just a financial cost. It also makes demands on your time and attention that you just do not need. Choosing the furniture, arranging cleaning and maintenance, sorting out security, insurance, parking – the list is endless, and most small business owners will not have the luxury of someone to whom they can delegate these tasks.
And that is before you even think about the time and money wasted by commuting between home and the office every day.
It’s good to talk
Today’s technology has revolutionized many aspects of business, but none more so than communication. At home and work, we use chat, messenger, Skype and other online apps all day to talk to people around the world at negligible cost.
The facts that these can also be accessed from tablets and smartphones, and that many offer video conferencing facilities combine to mean that you have all the benefits of a virtual office within reach whenever and wherever you need them.
Most people who choose to run their own business or work for themselves cite the freedom to control their own destiny as a key driver, so why on earth would you then tie yourself to an office if you do not need to?
Perhaps you have regular client meetings, and guiding them past the barking dog and the crying baby to sit in your living room would not present the right image? Where there is a demand, supply soon follows, and there are plenty of options for free or low cost meeting facilities, from something informal in your local coffee shop to professionally managed services.
Which ever way you look at it, it really does seem that the days of the traditional office are numbered.