4 Reasons to Ditch Your Office for Your Laptop

laptop officeThe rise of the internet economy has changed a lot of things. Something that has changed for a lot of people is the necessity of an office. Many businesses are looking to be leaner, and it’s hard to justify the expense of holding on to a large amount of office space. You may have already begun questioning whether your office space is necessary. We’re going to go over some of the reasons you should consider giving up your office right now.

Reason 1: It May be an Expense You Don’t Need

Offices are expensive. The nicer the city, the more you’ll pay just for the right to park a few computers. Many people are convinced that an office is a necessary part of running a business, but a lot of that “necessity” has been preempted by the internet in the last few years. Buying, selling, communicating, and organizing are all possible now without the traditional office.

In addition to being expensive, holding an office also crowds people with many different work styles and tolerances into a single building. Ditching the office for an online workspace allows everyone more flexibility.

Reason 2: It Offers Everyone More Flexibility

More and more companies are finding reasons for their employees to do part of their jobs from home. There are many good reasons for that. Making employees telecommute allows the business to downsize to smaller operations, and it saves on the massive power bills that large offices generally experience.

Many employees prefer to work from home anyway. It allows them to do their job even when they occasionally need to run errands or deal with illnesses. In the past, this was balanced by the fact that communication was lost, but that is no longer the case.

Reason 3: You Can Communicate Just Fine over the Web

Even when the only option was email, it was still an effective way to communicate. Now there are so many more options that it makes face-to-face communication look quaint. Email is still a good option, but you can also have video conferences and instant messenger communication.

The options are also not limited to straight communication. It is now possible to deftly manage massive teams using management software and websites that inform every person of their obligations and archives all submitted work. New programs are also beginning to make live collaboration easier by computer than it ever was when people were crowded into rooms.

Really, the only reason to keep dedicated office space is so that you can have a place to host clients. Fortunately, that can be easily achieved just by renting office space only when you need it.

Reason 4: You Can Always Rent Space When You Need It

You may be worried about clients having nowhere to go when they can’t come visit you at your brick and mortar business for meetings. However, there are many ways around that. Rented (hourly) meeting space offers you many advantages over having your own.

For one, you’ll have access to much nicer accommodations at an hourly rate. If you could afford a budget office, you can afford a high-class meeting room that will impress anyone who walks into it. Even if you need to entertain clients weekly, you’ll be paying much less than you would for a permanent office.

Now might be the Right Time

Giving up the office is a hard decision to make, but now may be the time for you to consider. You’ll enjoy the advantages of saving money, guaranteeing flexibility for your employees, maintaining communication, and having office space only when you need it.

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  1. I have gotten by just fine as a freelance developer by working from a laptop from home, using Google voice and my cellphone, and of course, a broadband internet connection. I even rent a mail drop address which gives me an address in a well known business district. And if you choose a good mail service, they may even offer hourly office rentals only when you need a person to person conference.

  2. I would have agreed with you about 4 months ago but we moved out of our offices and into our homes on our laptops for just these reasons and have found that it is actually harder to get actual work done because there are to many distractions at home. Not to mention the web is a great way to communicate but it isn’t the same as in person, there’s a lot lost in translation.

  3. Katrina says:

    To one of the anonymous commenters, I certainly respect your views, though I consider them a bit narrow. What I mean is not that you are narrow minded because I don’t know you, but that the thinking that it is because you are working from home that you were not productive is not accurate. You must take accountability for your actions. Productivity from home comes with experience and discipline.

  4. I am a total proponent of video conferencing. I have been hoping for video on the net since the mid 90′s when it was unfathomable. But I will say this about email marketing: It still works because it keeps you in touch with persons who showed interest in you or your business at one time. Sometimes, you may change advertising venues and lose that audience, but not if they are on your mailing list.

  5. Juliana says:

    I agree with some of this but you do lose that personalization and connection to your fellow co-workers when you ditch the office for a lap top. We were forced to do that for awhile and I can say it has been difficult because the employees involved spent a lot of time together every day talking about business etc. and we can’t do that now.

  6. I always say that it is important to interact at least a bit with the members in your social media network, but especially with the persons who have bought from you before or who have signed up for your news letter. I use a news feed service which I configured to my Twitter account so my Twitter profile is always tweeting once or twice per hour. Still, I take time to go on live chat.

  7. I agree that this may be cost effective and it allows more flexibility for everyone but it really makes you feel disconnected from your close colleagues as well. You have a great blog post here and you have some very good points especially for that small business that doesn’t have a lot of overhead yet, I would hope that people would listen to the advice here.

  8. This is a great idea for a small company just starting out that only has a couple of employees and no manufacturing that can’t be done in the garage. You can save a lot of money this way and like you said when the time is right you can rent whatever size space you may need to serve your purposes. The thing is you don’t want to go to big to soon.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Administrative assistants, secretaries and executive assistants are seeing new opportunities on the Web with the rise of the virtual assistants. Virtual assistants provide the same services administrative assistants may do – except that everything is done over the Web. I think this is a grand opportunity for start up businesses. This concept would have seems crazy back in the Mad Men days of the 1960′s business environment.

  10. I prefer virtual assistants/office because a greater part of the day can be devoted to job duties, projects and other work-related responsibilities because commuting time is eliminated. In some densely populated areas, commuters spend upwards of 10 hours each week just going to and from work. Telecommuters could put to use the saved time by dedicating more of their time to office work, or to achieving a work life balance by spending time with family.


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