You don’t need an office to have a successful business. There are many advantages to not having an office, including reduced overhead costs, increased flexibility, and a larger pool of potential employees. However, there are also some challenges you’ll need to be aware of, such as managing a remote workforce and ensuring your employees have the necessary equipment and resources to do their jobs.
Here are some tips for making a business work without an office:
Hire the Right Employees
When you’re not tied to a specific location, you can hire the best employees no matter where they live. Look for people who are self-motivated, disciplined, and have good time-management skills. If you are in the IT industry, consider hiring remote workers has expensive knowledge of a wide range of technologies and can provide support and services to clients in other time zones.
Businesses’ number one expense is human labor. Salaries are always rising, and the weekly paycheck doesn’t consider employee benefits like tuition reimbursement, healthcare, commuting expenses, etc. Additionally, overhead costs such as company infrastructure, computer/software licenses, and tools can affect your business profitability.
Outsourcing can help lower costs in many areas. Contractors don’t need office space or extra employee benefits, so they are less expensive to onboard. They are also usually experts hired for a specific job, which makes them easier to manage.
Use Technology to Stay Connected
You can use several tools to stay in touch with your employees, such as video conferencing, project management software, and instant messaging apps. These tools allow you to have face-to-face meetings, share files and documents, and give/receive real-time feedback.
Make sure your employees have the right equipment to do their jobs. This includes a fast internet connection, a quiet workplace, and a comfortable chair. If they need any special software or hardware, ensure you provide it or reimburse them for the cost. You should also have systems to back up and protect your data. This includes regular backups of your website and databases and using a secure VPN or remote access solution.
Technology can help you be productive but can also lead to longer work hours. Working remotely has its perks—you don’t need to account for a commute, for example–but it often means working during the time you would’ve spent commuting. And because there’s no defined end to the work day, remote workers are likelier to skip breaks and work through lunch.
Set Up a Co-Working Space
If you don’t want to work from home all the time, consider setting up a co-working space. You can rent an office or desk in a shared workspace, which gives you access to meeting rooms, printers, and other office amenities. This is a great option if you need to meet with clients, meet with your team, or want to get out of the house.
Co-working spaces don’t have the traditional leases that come with other workspaces. In addition, because co-working spaces are more collaborative, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to network and start conversations with potential clients or business partners.
Trust Your Employees
It can be tempting to micromanage when you can’t see your employees working, but it’s important to trust that they’re doing their job and meeting your expectations. Although it might be difficult, managers should trust their employees and let them take charge to reach important deadlines. Visualizing objectives in the long term helps establish a rapport within the team that is built on trust and admiration.
If you and your team only communicate through work-related apps, it’s easy to forget there are people on the other side of those messages. To build trust as teammates, get to know each other on a more personal level like you would if your offices were next door to each other. Share stories about your hobbies, families, and pets, but remember to respect everyone’s boundaries.
Will this Setup Work for You?
It might be if your aim for doing business without an office is to cut costs. With the rise of internet usage and the decreasing need for face-to-face interaction, more businesses are going online. On average, organizations that allow their employees to work remotely save $11,000 annually. This leads to 21% higher profitability.
Research has additionally shown that working from home is more productive than in an office setting. According to the statistics, remote workers are, on average, 10 minutes less per day unproductive, work one more day a week, and are 47% more productive overall.
With the right planning and execution, any business can succeed without an office. By hiring the right employees, using technology to stay connected, setting clear expectations, trusting your employees, and investing in the right resources and equipment, you can ensure your business runs smoothly—no office required!