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Alternative Office Options for Service Professionals, Independent Workers, and Small Businesses: Introduction

Thanks to advanced technology, working in a traditional office is no longer the only alternative for many service professionals, independent contractors, and small businesses. The strong trend towards working at home is increasing, and the International Data Corporation forecasts the U.S. home office market to grow by 5 million home-based businesses and corporate offices between 2011 and 2015. The workspace spectrum between a home office and a traditional office, however, includes various other options such as virtual office, coworking space, executive office suite, and subleased space. Virtual office solutions and executive office suites can sometimes meet the needs of those seeking an alternative to working in a traditional office.

A new survey by Intelligent Office finds that people are choosing where they want to work rather than being assigned a standard work place location. There is a culture shift taking place in which today’s worker is personalizing and customizing where they work, and they want to be flexible, mobile and independent.

The choice of workspace depends on the specific individual and business. There is no one-size-fits-all solution: everyone has his/her own unique work style, preferences, budget, schedule constraints, business needs, and other considerations. The first step is to assess your needs. Some of the important questions include: How much time do you need to spend in an office versus elsewhere? How often do you meet your clients, and where do you meet them? In what work environment are you most productive? How much you are willing to spend? Also worth considering are whether you have coworkers and what their work preferences are, and whether you need a support staff. The next step is to understand the pros, cons, and costs of the various options, which we will discuss over the next few posts. Click for next post.

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