“Office” used to be a dirty word, one that made people cringe as they thought of the bleak cubicle zoo that left you feeling ill in it’s stale atmosphere, however companies have been going in a very different direction lately. Sure there are some businesses that can’t let go of the past, but many young ones are beginning to question why we can’t change things up. Clearly these young kids have been doing well, given that their employees are happier, healthier, and doing more than before.
The Latin word of “office” actually means something along the lines of Bureau or Service, not a building downtown somewhere. Smaller companies are taking this to heart and several groups have since sprung up to meet the demands of the new way of doing business, giving more flexibility and options while allowing the business to focus on business and not building maintenance.
How Office life used to be
It was during the industrial revolution that the modern office was first brought into existence as businesses became large national corporations and needed more and more space to conduct affairs such as accounting and sales. In 1906, the Sears company opened its three million square foot office in Chicago which was, at the time, the largest building in the world. It was also around this time that the standard nine to five work week was first implemented.
Workspaces used to be fairly open, until the mid-1960’s when the cubicle came into being, created with the intention of helping employees to work without distractions, but still allowing a manager to oversee their work if they needed. While there was the added privacy, it was a common complaint that employees felt alone and disconnected from the others, and it certainly didn’t help teamwork. Many younger companies have been leading the way in changing this space to be more lively and pleasant for all.
The Western countries have this style, however Japan actually has a different approach. The Island layout is the most common office style in Japan, and it’s where employees work at a single, long table with the leader at the head. The sense of teamwork is greatly increased by this, and problems are typically solved with a group rather than an individual having to struggle on their own.
Whatever the method, there are pros and cons to it, however they all are a business’ attempt at ensuring they can keep their staff motivated to help productivity. Small businesses and startups have a variety of options to choose from, and no matter the budget there will be a solution that they can afford, and will give their staff what it needs.
What Office life is Currently like
We used to require a large enough space where we could put not just our teams of people, but all of our cabinets and storage which would be filled with paperwork, however in modern times this has become unnecessary. Tasks that used to take a team of people have now been streamlined so that one or two people can take the task. Big business knows this, and as they grow they’re also able to scale back.
The next generation is here, in the workforce, and they’ve found that while some may be able to handle starting work at 9am, some would rather stay up and finish at 3am, and others would rather work from noon onwards. They want to be individuals, free to work and be innovative, not just part of the system like everyone else. They don’t want to stand still and avoid the risks, rather they’re moving forward, falling down, and getting back up to try their ideas and test their theories.
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Only Paying for the Space You Need
There have been a few groups, including FedEx, which have opened rental offices to help move this industry forward. The offices available are designed with the intent that small companies could forget about the building care, and instead they could focus on their work, all while only paying for the time they spend in the office. You’ll be in a clean and friendly environment where you can bring clients, host an event, and watch your business flourish.
These spaces offer a range of prices that fit the budget of just about every kind of business, from freelance writers who need a place to work without distractions a few times a week to larger companies who are not yet ready to sign a lease. The spaces available can range from a large, open lounge area to a private room with a lock on the door, and pricing can be as low as $19 a day, meaning that you can match your budget and your needs easily.
No more Lease
When starting a new business, one of the biggest costs has traditionally been renting space to house the company and this often meant a long-term lease ranging from one to five years. This is one of the many reasons why these new spaces are especially great for the younger businesses.
You get to choose when and how the space is used, and they’ll match you with a program that can be 20 hours a month to 40+ hours a week. This also means those who are starting a business while working a full 40 at another job can have their professional space without having to pay a heft price. When you’re starting out and on a tight budget, this is a major consideration.
Forget about Maintenance and Utilities
Another great feature with these spaces is that all of the utilities are taken care of. You don’t have to worry about paying the power, gas or water bill. You don’t have to worry about hiring a cleaning crew to come in after hours, you simply show up, pull out your computer and get to work without having to worry if you let something slip through the cracks.
A Schedule that fits Your needs
Business thrives on diversity and innovation and these spaces know that. Whether you want a classic cubicle or a new standing desk, or something in between, these spaces offer you a great place to work.
As well, when it comes to team meetings you can either use a traditional boardroom, or you can pick one of the many less conventional areas to do your thing.
Working Without Assigned Seating
The old way of thinking was that each employee needed their own space, their own territory to make their own. Now we no longer need so much space though, as our laptops and cellphones don’t require large cubicles. Some places still assign their staff workspace, however modern offices tend to have a more open layout, one which allows employees to pick the seat that suits them best.
Another great point is that your employees can come in at various times of the day and work in completely different spaces, yet all the same you’re only paying for what you’re using, nothing more. For smaller companies on a tight budget, these spaces are a great middle ground while also providing you with a polished, professional space to get work done and met with clients. You have no lease, no real overhead, just a space where you can work when, where, and how you want.
This format allows you the flexibility to either have a quiet spot on the couch where you can write and brainstorm while relaxing, a stand-up desk when you need to focus and get work done or access to meeting rooms that can hold anywhere from two to thirty or more people. With traditional office models, you’re more or less stuck with what you get and you may find yourself needing to rent extra space to hold events anyways.
They have Snacks
These spaces know that your people are going to get hungry, and often they’ll have an assortment of fruit, teas, pastries, and the staple known as coffee, all of this at a pretty decent quality. It’s important to keep yourself full of energy, and as such the healthy options will be a great way to keep your employees, and yourself, happy and productive.
A FedEx Outside Your Door
The only thing you have to worry about is printing and with places such as Atlas Workspace located in Seattle partnering with FedEx, you never have to worry about running out of ink and paper or the fax machine jamming. You just hand over what you need and you’ll get it back from the lovely staff in your space, or in your space’s partner, will be able to handle everything for you, getting you your presentation, leaflets, flyers, or anything else you need in quality, and quality time.
Professional Staff and Fellow Small Companies
Customer service is a key element in business. These spaces know that you only really get one shot at making a good impressions, so they are never slow in offering quality service. The staff will always greet you with a smile, and each day they’ll be ready to help serve you and your business however they can.
Should you need to host a presentation or a meeting then you know that any guests you have will be presented with a friendly staff, clean building, and a professional environment. Not only is this better than meeting in a coffee shop, but this means that everyone you bring in will see you in the same light as the environment around you, so professional, friendly, and neat.
The many Amenities and Features
These spaces include more features than just a work space. It’s normal for there to be a variety of meetings, events, and social gatherings in these events which include a number of different people from various industries, which can give your small business a major leg up. As well, if you have a higher membership then you’ll have access to their lockers, showers, and even kitchen.
Members can feel safe knowing that their feedback will not only be received, but will be greatly considered by the staff and leadership of these spaces. These companies pride themselves on providing you with the best possible service and perks and are always striving to develop new ways to help your business grow.
As Your Business Grows
Businesses are living creatures, and like other living creatures they want to eat and to grow, and the more that a business is able to focus on its goals, the better chances it’ll have at actually reaching them. As the world becomes smaller, more and more people are taking the leap and going into business for themselves and trying new ideas. Whether you need some time to brainstorm or a place to celebrate a major success, spaces like the Atlas Workbase are a great place to meet with whoever is involved, when you want, and where you want.
These spaces are clean, professional, and inviting, allowing any business to work in a way that works best for them. How and why we do business is going to keep changing over the years, so it’s nice to know that the where and when we do business can change alongside it.