Only a few short years ago, the idea of turning your back on your business premises and running your business remotely would have seemed rather absurd. For decades, businesses have operated in the same way: the business leases premises, and these premises are where employees (and the business owner) work.
Times, however, have changed, and now many business owners are embracing this change and letting office space go. Their businesses, however, do not close down: they are just transitioning to working remotely. Everyone continues to complete the same work as always, but there is no longer a need for a centralized location.
How is This Possible?
Technology has helped a huge number of businesses – and particularly services-based ones, who do not need to hold stock – no longer need to operate from a dedicated space. The work of the business can be completed online; communication is possible thanks to online messengers and video calling. Data rooms facilitate the secure sharing of documents and company software can be accessed by anyone with a laptop and an internet connection.
Why Leave Your Business Space?
Cost is by far the biggest influencing factor. Renting space can place a constant strain on business; there’s the cost of the lease, electricity bills, professional services such as cleaning, and much more. For businesses that do not need a physical space, there is little reason to have one.
How to Transition Your Business
The initial transition from working on-site to a fully remote business is a complex one that will involve a number of steps, some of which will be unique to your business. However, as a general idea, you will need to do the following:
- Consult with your existing on-site staff. Remote working is very popular, so the chances are that employees will embrace the chance to work from home, it’s still necessary to involve them in the decision.
- Check the terms of your current lease to find out when your business could leave and what is required of you to inform your landlord of your intentions.
- To successfully work from home, your employees will need to have access to a reliable computer that is capable of running all the software necessary to your business. If employees do not have their own devices, you may want to consider allowing them to purchase (or simply gifting) the hardware that they currently use while working in your existing premises.
- You will also need to ensure that you and your employees can share files safely and securely; find a dataroom provider or similar service and then work with your staff to ensure they are comfortable using it.
- While most services-based businesses can transition to operating remotely because they do not need to hold stock, you may still need to store some items. For example, promotional materials used at trade show events. To prevent these items from taking up space in your home, rent a small storage unit.
- You will also need to think about planning your own working environment, so work on setting up your home office.
Transitioning from working from dedicated premises is a big step, but given the cost savings, it could well be the right choice for your business’ future.