Most business owners feel as if they must operate the same way as they’ve always operated. They rent office space and fill it with desks, tables and all the other trappings of a standard office. As your business grows, you add more desks and more people until you eventually move into a larger space.
But a funny thing has happened with the growth of the internet. As we have all moved things to the cloud, there is less need for physical stuff. As technology gets better, the need for in-person meetings goes away. Cloud-based platforms allow companies to engage employees and contractors wherever they are.
Traditionally, to consider yourself a business owner, you’d have to have an office. Anyone who chose to work from home didn’t really have a business at all. Today everyone wants to start a business, and the ultimate business model is one that incorporates your talent, products and services in a way that blends with your personal life.
Businesses can now focus on hiring great remote workers and draw in elite talent, rather than worry about finding talent in their area or convincing people to move for them.
Some of the largest companies in the world now use this approach to virtual workforces, and often these companies have happier employees and stronger internal structures than those that maintain an internal staff and office. In a traditional bricks-and-mortar business, an all-hands meeting isn’t relished. Businesses with remote workforces can instead have weekly retreats that employees are excited to attend.
That’s also why so many business owners have also turned to co-working spaces. These are spaces that are shared between many businesses, and they allow business owners to have a physical location while still taking advantage of the benefits of remote workforces.
I recently moved my business to a co-working space and found that the biggest benefit is surrounding myself with like-minded business owners with whom I can connect and collaborate. I’ve seen my employees become re-energized as part of this community.
Obviously, I’m not the first person to promote the virtues of remote workforces and co-working spaces, but they are often associated with startups only. I believe there’s now a tremendous opportunity for co-working communities to attract and serve more mature businesses that have begun to see the value of this mindset.
As business continues to evolve, I think community space is the future of work and the new office as we’ll come to know it. If you’re a business owner looking for a new location or you want to change the way your business operates while you scale up, perhaps you should consider taking advantage of new technology to grow your business. Remote workforces and co-working spaces could be just the ticket to growing your business.