For a little while, it looked as though work from home might become the default for most companies. But more and more businesses – especially new ones - are discovering that time in the office can be time well spent. Here are 5 reasons why.
“Work from home if you can,” said the Prime Minister. So we all did. For a while, a whole nation was sat at the kitchen table or stuck in the bedroom learning how to use Zoom filters so no one could tell that we hadn’t made the bed.
This, we thought, could be the future.
For some, it still might be. But many more have discovered that having an office as a base can be important not just for business, but for mental health and wellbeing too. So if you’ve had enough of working from home, here’s why renting an office in Blackpool may be just what you need.
1. Make new contacts, win more business
If you’ve spent 20 years building your online business, you may well have all the clients you need. They’ll follow you wherever you go, and if that happens to be the shed at the end of the garden, good for you.
But what if you’re new or growing? And what if your business isn’t one you can do purely online? 1,071 companies were registered in Blackpool last year, not including all those sole traders who set up shop too. For most, their most pressing need to is to find new clients and customers, and that’s much harder to do from your home. Growing businesses need visibility.
An office gives you that. You get to meet the people next door, above and below you. You’ll get chatting in the lift, at the reception desk or at the office events and socials.
Julie Hutson runs Kasion Accounting Solutions in Blackpool. She worked from the Enterprise Centre on Lytham Road for a while, now she has an office at FYCreatives on Church Street. The biggest difference having an office has made to her? It’s the people she’s met.
Read more about her story.
2. Hold a more professional meeting
Have you ever held an in-person meeting at home? It’s weird. That wasn’t a major issue when we weren’t allowed to meet indoors, but as things creep back to normal, the number of in-person meetings are creeping up too.
So if you want a professional space that doesn’t come complete with dirty breakfast dishes, a pile of washing and a barking dog, choose an office. You won’t have to worry about public liability insurance either.
And even from a practical point of view, you know how much easier it is to talk to the person next to you than it is to set up a Zoom call.
So if you want to create a team that really delivers and really grows, put them in the same place, at least for a significant part of their working week.
4. Boost productivity
It’s fair to say that there are two distinct schools of thought here. Some suggest working from home can boost productivity and protect against burnout. Some suggest the exact opposite, and as this report shows, some businesses have reported a decrease in productivity since work from home became commonplace.
So what about you? The truth is, this seems to come down to the individual and their job. Some people have felt much more at ease working from home. But some - especially those who don’t have lots of space or who have lots of responsibilities at home that can crowd out their day – need the escape, peace and chance to focus that an office can bring.
5. Less pressure to be ‘always on’
Running your own business isn’t easy. It’s harder still when you need to keep an eye on your emails or social media feeds morning, noon and night. But that becomes harder still when you work from home, because you can’t close the door on the kitchen table.
You can, however, close the door on an office. Burnout and mental health issues have grown during the pandemic. Renting an office helps keep work at work.
How to arrange office space on a budget
Office working brings lots of advantages, and it doesn’t have to break the bank either. At the Enterprise Centre and FYCreatives Hub, you’ll find rooms for businesses of every size. Operate a hybrid system, where some of your team work from home some of the time, and your team of six could comfortably operate from an office of four. And if you’ve seen productivity dip over the pandemic, renting an office could get it back on track – so it effectively pays for itself.
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