What is the purpose of an office in today’s mobile world?
By: Justin Myers, Owner of OfficeKey
In our fast-paced corporate culture, today’s office is less about people and things, and more about accomplishing specific business objectives.
It used to be that the office had everything you needed to get your job done – the fastest internet, the best phone systems, and resources for tackling virtually every challenge. In addition to physical files and tangible resources, you could count on seeing coworkers and teammates on a daily basis.
Thanks to advancements in technology we are no longer tethered to the office in the same way. The number of resources available for flex time and remote work are seemingly endless. In theory, we can be just as productive working from the beach as we are at the office!
However, theory is not reality.
So, what’s the purpose of the office in modern society? Instead of just a means to an end, offices can and should accomplish a specific objective for each business. A physical workplace contributes five core benefits to any business: professional presence, client meeting spaces, team collaboration hubs, support areas, and productivity boosters.
Before reading a single word of branded content, you can look up a company’s address and learn a lot about their organization. Are they in a nice part of town? Are they urban and trendy, suburban and casual, and traditional and formal? Does their building speak to their success, or to better times past? Is it a home-based business, or a larger institution? If I need to meet with them, how far will I need to travel?
For some companies a prestigious or trendy address doesn’t move the needle. However, for many companies, the most essential value that an office provides is as a tool that builds trust with clients, staff and any other stakeholders.
Client Meeting Space
For companies that have to meet with clients face to face, a well designed and easy to access office will always prove valuable. Sometimes it can be appropriate to meet at a restaurant, coffee shop or even in someone’s home, but other times, the formality of an office helps achieve the end goal.
An office provides the opportunity to stack the deck for critical client interactions. First and foremost it is important to be in an area that feels safe and is easily accessible. It can be ensured that they are greeted properly, and the meeting space can be setup to eliminate distractions and provide the right amount of privacy. And if there is a presentation or other interactive elements, the tools can be readily available.
Team Collaboration Hub
Each year there are more people working remotely, both in large corporations and smaller companies. However, technology has yet to replace the very tangible benefits of in-person collaboration. Sometimes a team needs a traditional office setup that they can go to on a daily basis providing the opportunity for ongoing collaboration. Even for companies that typically get by with more individual work, having a central place for regular meetings promotes a sense of purpose and importance.
For many, today’s office is about people and serves as a support structure. When you hear “Office of the President” you think of a system, not floor space. Can a client speak to your office when you are not available? Can they drop off something at your office and be told “I will be sure he or she gets this”? With a physical space, you instill more confidence in your clients and your team.
Last but not least, an office fosters productivity. Some of us are blessed to be able to work productively anywhere – a coffee shop, on an airplane, or at home with the TV blaring and the dog barking. But for the rest of us, the office can still be that choice place where we feel most in command of our work.
For those companies that check these boxes and understand the value of having an office, there are now much more efficient ways of doing so. They can benefit from considering non-traditional options that leverage the use of shared resources. And despite what some may believe, the concept of shared office space is not new to Cincinnati.
OfficeKey was established in 1984 and has been proudly satisfying the office needs of our city’s most sophisticated professionals ever since.
Justin Myers is the owner of OfficeKey; he is the second generation in the business (his father Dave Myers founded the company in 1984). OfficeKey has five locations that support over 260 companies. Subscriptions start at $350/month. Check out OfficeKey.com for more information.
Photo courtesy of Startup Stock Photos from Pexels