Archive for the ‘business plan’ tag
The Office Of The Future is Where Cost Reduction And Employee Efficiency Meet Increased Flexibility in the Workplace
The office of the Future is where companies balance cost reduction and employee efficiency with increased flexibility in both Workforce and Workplace. Until now it was difficult for corporations to increase worker productivity, efficiency and well-being while decreasing personnel and real estate costs. Today there are agile workplace solutions which aim to find a solution to this age old problem by focusing on the following:
- Minimize real estate portfolios.
- Implement a mobile workforce strategy.
- Eliminate excess real estate or mothballed space.
It is seldom that we sound our own horn but the team here at Your Office Agent has resources to allow corporations to align fiscal objectives and workforce productivity with real estate, workplace and agile working needs. With new technologies empowering employees to work virtually and remotely, and collaborate securely from anywhere, the cost of maintaining and operating the workplace can decrease, while productivity increases. Indeed, both HR and Admin costs have been shown to decrease, along with facilities costs, as employees become more mobile, while 60% of reduced commute time is typically used by employees for work.
Technology, sensors and analytics are applied to quantitatively determine a company’s specific officing requirement. Smart working techniques, such as hot desking, teleworking, hoteling, reverse hoteling, etc. are used to reduce the workspace that each employee needs by up to 50%. Your Office Agent also partners with the leading space efficiency implementers in this industry to make this agile working process seamless. The most important of these partners is Satellite Telework Centers, the only automated telework center network in the world. These telework centers are ideally positioned to be implemented with little capital expenditure, no balance sheet liability and an ongoing cost that is typically less than companies can operate at themselves. Together, Your Office Agent and Satellite can set up fully automated, fully systemized, secure offsite workspace centers of any size to fit a mobile and dispersed workforce — or provide flexible seats at existing ones. Satellite is able to offer 24/7 access for each site’s members through its automated systems and technology, reducing commutes and CO2 emissions, while making space available near workers’ homes on the schedules they need. For many workers who have no appropriate space at home, these centers make teleworking, and its cost-saving, productivity and environmental benefits, possible.
As corporations globalize, the challenges of implementing a mobile workforce strategy can also be addressed with a new offering from the specialist team. Your Office Agent’s solutions solve the worker productivity and IT security needs by offering centers throughout the world with plug in, collaborative and stand alone spaces, allowing employees to use their own laptops, hardware and security software. A tailored solution is incorporated using Your Office Agent’s online network of 40,000 drop in spaces to map workforce needs to all available workplace inventories. Business analytics is now merged with a powerful, flexible real estate platform to align corporate initiatives with the perfect officing solutions.
The result of aligning a company’s business plan with their facility plan will inevitably be a significant reduction in space needs and increase in excess corporate space. Again, YOA can help turn this into revenue rather than cost by offering corporations a resource to eliminate excess real estate or mothballed space by helping incorporate a managed space model for other companies to rent or collaborate on a flexible basis.
This is one of the few office of the future blogs that we can’t score because we may have a slight bias but one thing is for sure. The old brick and mortar outdated concept of low value commercial real estate advice and corporate large office solutions are gone, and companies of tomorrow need to have solutions available today. With today’s technologies and productivity tools workers can collaborate in real time, address business initiatives and move those initiatives to completion in workspaces that promote a better quality of life and allow for increased productivity. Your Office Agent is uniquely positioned to collaboratively harness the needs of corporations, real estate firms, coworking companies and individuals into a shared platform to reduce costs and find the best workspace solutions.
Well, wait a second… I thought Yahoo of all companies would be, in part, leading the trend towards alternative working? Alternative workplace environments fueled by the need to be productive while being sensitive to the employees work/life balance. The same alternative Silicon Valley work environments made popular by Google and Yahoo as well as other young, tech start ups to promote a more effective collaborative work environment. So what gives, why now is home working and mobile working not acceptable to Yahoo?
We know the officing trend is clearly moving toward coworking, homeworking, mobile working, alternative workspace or whatever else you want to call it. Let’s just say the concept of officing is changing dramatically before our eyes for a number of reasons. Many large companies are changing their stale corporate notion of what an office was, to accept a new notion of the future office which can increase productivity, save money, reduce resources, increase employees work/life balance and reduce their carbon footprint. So why then is Yahoo moving all employees in house?
The answer as I see it is simple, they can’t manage their employees. They are unable to account for remote workers productivity and manage initiatives effectively. They have neglected to sufficiently develop their remote working management process. Their move clearly supports the importance of a collaborative coworking environment coupled with the need for effective management.
Most corporations are like Yahoo in the sense that they have a diverse workforce, personnel and responsibilities. All corporations additionally want to reduce costs and increase productivity by placing workers in the most effective environments. The issue is the corporations ability to manage and drive productivity through a diverse workforce. There are a number of technologies available to aid in the management of specific business initiatives. However the question is whether your organization is up to the task of managing those initiatives? Does your executive management team have a culture which can effective drive remote workforce management? What is your process to manage remote workers?
The question for executives today is not whether coworking is going to be a part of your corporations future, the answer is yes. However, the question is what are you doing today to position yourselves to be able to effectively execute upon your corporate responsibilities with the coworking office staff of the future. As always we give a score to what we see as the office of the future and this one will be difficult. On one side the team here at your office Agent are the biggest proponents of teleworking out there and love to see companies implementing smart teleworking with the right support but on the other side this whole issue has shone such a light on doing the right thing at the wrong time for the right reasons – its complicated right?
As always we are going to have to rank the Yahoo effect as the office of the future based on the same 6 criteria as usual with 5 points being the maximum available per criteria :
A virtual office combines address services with off-site technological communications enabling people to lessen their overhead costs while still managing to keep business professionalism intact. Not all people have the cash to fund and maintain a traditional office; therefore, a virtual office can provide you with a professional business address cutting down on your office expenses and at the same time ensuring that you effectively run your business.
Today, there are now a number of companies offering professional virtual office services, from the big executive suites such as Regus to the newer and trendier coworking locations such as WeWork. With all the options inbetween there are thousands of options from as little at $39 a month all over the world. These companies will focus on jump-starting your business as soon as possible, while you concentrate on strategies to promote and grow it. If you are a start-up, setting up the virtual office can be done almost instantly. No need to worry about office leases and rental rates since the premise of working in a central office has been eliminated. Moreover, you won’t ever have to be bothered by the morning rush since you don’t need to commute to your office. You and your employees will have access to the virtual office by simply connecting to the internet. That said, you can do your work even while on the go. Furthermore, you work at your own pace and you make your own work schedule, thus lessening work-related stress.
Getting professional virtual office services from a reputable company will definitely be to your advantage. Professional virtual office service companies employ experienced, multi-tasking staff who are equipped to handle the needs of their clients. They will be the one taking messages or handling calls for you, it is like you have your own professional secretary but the difference is that you are only expected to pay for the services you use.In case the secretary falls ill you won’t have to worry about the medical bills that would be the problem of the virtual office company.
Aside from having someone to take phones calls and messages for you, it is also important that you have a professional city address where you can receive your mail and package deliveries when necessary. By using a virtual office service, you will also be provided with a virtual business address, which will give your company a more professional and prestigious feel.
As always we are going to have to rank the Virtual Office as the office of the future based on the same 6 criteria as usual out of a maximum score of 5 points for each criteria -
Every month we look for what the office of the future will look like and approach the issue from a state of mind perspective rather than a physical space. What is it that the company is trying to create? what culture is being built around it and does the result change anything? This month we are going to do something that goes against our golden rule of being impartial and we are going to also look into the mirror to see how our company, Your Office Agent along with Satellite telework centers from California, compares to the greats and not so greats of industry, based on our one founding concept of wanting to be part of the Companies Changing Lives movement.
The history of Your Office Agent is short and ambitions are high. Our objective was and is to be the global leader in agile workspace strategy. This means helping companies implement worldwide home and mobile working strategies along with providing a best in class online search platform for low cost virtual, coworking, executive suite, meeting room or managed space solutions. Right at the beginning of our journey, however, we made a promise to ourselves to make a difference while we were building our vision rather than after success had been achieved. We immediately based our marketing plan on doing good for other business people or Paying it forward rather than throwing money into an empty bucket of social media, mass mailings, and online marketing, most of which don’t work too well anyway.
We began by creating the, not for profit, business growth network and Companies Changing Lives organization so we could house our community side in a separate place to our agile workspace business. Our first action was to use our property contacts to arrange free networking events for local businesses. The principle of the events were that we all come to network to build meaningful relationships with other businesses in the area and if we did a good job and had a good product then people would trust us. Within a short period of time we had over 1,000 companies registered and 50 to 100 people coming to each event. Every month we came and networked but for a while there was no return. At first some people did not even realize we had another business but then something amazing happened. We thought originally that that client interest in our solutions was the ultimate objective but not only did we get sales but we also got educated about all the other solutions and products that could compliment what we offered. In addition we built up online and offline partnerships and added to our product offering, all by giving. To quantify this our Google rankings dropped by 1 million places and sales for the participating companies from the networking events are over $700,000 in the last year. In addition we know of 8 people who have been hired from these events by other companies and we have found two of our own staff members. The cost of all this was just our time.
With the success of the networking groups we decided to add a free business directory and video area to our site and immediately people signed up, getting free access to other businesses and also keeping everyone in touch with us, our webpage and our business. We then added to this a annual charity networking event over a two year period to see if we could pass on the good faith we were building to the greater community. This disappointed us a little as money donations alone are an empty, emotionless vessel which is good for sound bytes but poor on the emotional fulfillment level. Because of this giving journey we connected with some amazing people who make giving their life story. People like Nina Steiner, Barbara Sprenger from satellite, Ted speaker Noam Kostucki and Pay it Forward head honcho Charley Johnson and we all teamed together to take this to another level. Nina has worked tirelessly to make sure that everyone knew about the event, Barbara not only arranged for the entire mall to take part but also opened up her whole office premises for the evening, Noam, Charley and the Pay it Forward foundation gave us wristbands and any other support we need and select areas of the local business community is flooding us with calls to help us.
Our result today is 250 people registering for our Pay it Forward event within 5 days of opening it up to the public. The announcement in the next paragraph is for possibly the biggest Pay it Forward party that has ever taken place and one which could not be done without Barabara and her whole Satellite team, who have embraced this as their own mission. Its date of December 11th is between Thanksgiving and Christmas and after an election where the only thing all political parties agreed on was that the only people who could help us were us. It will not cost one dime to put together and every company coming will either gift products, solutions, great advice or empathy to the other companies coming. We have everyone from industry giants Starbucks to the stay at home entrepreneur who is starting out and entry to the event is totally free and not based on wealth, status or looks, its based on the purity of what you want to help your business community with.
I just wanted to make sure nobody misses this amazing FREE Christmas Holiday party at the best venue on Main Street, Santa Monica. Its our don’t miss, once a year, Pay It Forward party in Santa Monica in December. Leaving aside just how great a feeling you will have helping other businesses and being helped it will also be an amazing networking event filled with your kind of people (enlightened entrepreneurs). The detail is in the flyer but its all free and its not only an amazing evening with free entry, free food and an beautiful venue but its also Christmas come early with 300 hundred businesses all coming to gift a service or product or just some good advice and to receive the product or service that you need. No catch, No money changes hands, just true collaboration in action. That’s it. Register on the enclosed and get it out to as many people as you can. It will be off the charts.
This is the event bright registration. If you are not registered here then you are not registered for the event so REGISTER ASAP for the FREE tickets
This is the Flyer with the details so you can see just how much fun it will be.
This is the Facebook page where we will measure the value of the business that will come from this
that’s it. We are sharing this so that others can take inspiration and base their business plans on this way of working, so that companies of all sizes who wish to come to our event can come in the knowledge that none of us are alone unless we want to be and so that you can all look at Part 1 before success and measure this concept in real time. Part 2 will be coming soon.
- Game Changing Entrepreneurs – A Panel Discussion
- Insider’s Guide: How to Raise Capital for Your Startup
- The Los Angeles Semantic Web Meetup
- TechZulu Tech Crawl
- TEDx Santa Monica – City 2.0
- Utilizing Cloud Services For Your Business Sessions 1 &2
- Santa Monica New Tech Meetup
As always we are going to have to rank Education as the office of the future based on the same 6 criteria as usual out of a maximum score of 5 points for each criteria:
2. personal employee growth – 5 (this is an easy one)
3. Community collaboration – 5 (again a no brainer)
4. Premises look and feel – 4 (these are all good quality)
5. Desire to be here – 4 (if you have a need for walls in your office then this is not for you but everyone should be questioning why we need walls right now)
6. Employee work life balance – 3 ( You may spend too much time away from home with this new thirst for knowledge.)
There are over 1 billion mobile workers in the world today according to statistics from International data Corp and this number is due to rise to 1.3 Billion by 2015. This means that many more people are working from home, more companies are having to change their culture to reflect these new work style choices and the workplace of today looks or feels nothing like it used to. The visible impact of all this workplace change is that the coffee shops are filling up and this is a sign that we all still need some form of human interaction to keep moving forward in this new business world of ours.
Here is the question though. Have we gone from bad to worse? How great is it really to work in a coffee shop with the noise, the music, the people listening to our conversations. Surely there has to be a better way. The good news is that there is a better way, but only for those in the know. Over the last 5 years an industry has been growing at over 40% annually, while the rest of the world has seen falling production and output. This industry is the flexible office and meeting room space market and comprises of a growing number of international, national and local executive suite, coworking and bespoke meeting room venues who are catering to the mobile workforce. Not only are these workspace emporiums providing the exact solutions that companies and individuals need but they are doing it for less than the coffee cost in Starbucks.
So who are these providers of the workplace of the future. The biggest one is Regus business centers who now have over 1,300 locations worldwide and with their business world card you can get access to their business lounges for under $30 a month. This is on average less than the price of one Starbucks coffee per day for a workspace, unlimited coffee and filtered water, free wifi access and the pleasure of being surrounded by other people doing business rather than buying a cappuccino. Premier business centers also offer 16 hours meeting room access a month for their mailbox clients for $50. That’s $3.00 an hour for a boardroom. Coworking Spaces like Blank Spaces or WeWork allow access to desk space for $20 to $30 a day, where you are surrounded by other companies who are all encouraged the network and refer business to each other and if you look hard enough you can use this space for free in many locations. It is impossible to mention every option because there are over 10,000 around the world and all offer office and meeting rooms by the hour, day or month in an environment that works for your business. Your office Agent exist to educate companies for free about smarter ways to work and then guide you to the best one. This is the future of work.
As always we are going to have to rank the coffee shop though based on the same 6 criteria as usual out of a maximum score of 5 points for each criteria:
2. personal employee growth – 0 (this is our first zero but well deserved)
3. Community collaboration – 3 (This is because you do get to meet your friends and that is fun although not too productive)
4. Premises look and feel – 1 (its still a coffee shop)
5. Desire to be here – 1 (8 hours in a coffee shop is a long time)
6. Employee work life balance – 1 ( only if you like coffee)
These days’ great entrepreneurs are coming straight from the classroom to the boardroom. The books make it look so easy and with the advances in technology it really is possible to go from poor student to Face book billionaire in a few short years, but only if you are careful not to let your mistakes cost you too much. The following are the seven sucker punches which will knock you out cold before you even get started. Beware:
The number one, two and three reason for such a high percentage of businesses failing (70%) in their first 3 years is insufficient cash flow. You have an amazing idea, you discuss its implementation with other people who are equally energized about it and launch headfirst into world domination. The problem is that most business don’t make any money until year 2 or 3. This means that, no matter how good the idea is, if you don’t have the cash to keep you going, then you are going down. Before taking one single step there needs to be a backup plan. It does not matter what the plan is (keep your job at the same time, get help from a friend, partner or parent, secure financial assistance from the bank or get a second job. Assume the worst and then the worst potential outcome is that you will be right.
Deadly sin number 4 is overspending on items which you think are important but they only feed those other businesses who are trying to excel thanks to your generosity. Examples of this are inflexible office space leases and overhyped marketing, which promises the world for just a few dollars more. The lure of a glitzy office building to impress your friends is overwhelming, as is the promise of your face in every face book ad there is, but you have to stop and take a breath. Remember that you have just become a target for every Business to Business salesperson on this planet and you need to be able to see the helpers from the hustlers. The only word that matters to every pitch you are given is “why”. Why do I need this space? Is there a smarter and more agile alternative such as a virtual office, or a day office, or a coworking space / home office? Why is this marketing cost true value for my business?
Death nail number 5 is focusing on the detail of your service or product rather than trying to make money from your service or product. Not everyone is a perfect salesperson but everyone suddenly becomes the perfect boss in their own mind when they become CEO of their business and suddenly you are too good to sell. This rule is a biggie. Put your ego aside and hit the money shot hard in those first few days, weeks and months and don’t let up. If you can get sales in early then you can develop twice as quick but if you don’t get them in then you will have to deal with your worst demon – self doubt. Also focus on multiple sales channels so you can gauge what works and what does not.
Number 6 is listening to consultants. Listen to those who love you first. Your family has your best interests at heart. Then listen to people who are doing it right now, not those who have long forgotten what it is like to work and have one bright fleeting moment of greatness in-between a beer and a belch in the last century. Follow the guidance of doers, not advisors. The doers have felt the pain you are about to go through and can help you with some of the more expensive silly mistakes you are about to make.
Knockout punch number 7 is not being prepared for the task ahead and ultimately your own weakness. You have no concept of the world of work pain you are about to enter. Your party life is gone, your sports life is gone, your family life is gone and you will work 20 hours a day for less money than working in a 7/11. After the first wonderful few months you will want to give up every day and those of you who need the right excuse will find it. Those few who are left will ask yourselves why you are doing this for so little back – maybe it’s that remote possibility that you can make meaning, or the chance that you can change the direction of life just one small degree, or possibly the opportunity to be your own boss in a world where everyone is part of the herd. To make it through the eye of this needle you will need to want it more than Rocky getting into the ring with Apollo Creed but just remember that after this point you will leave that ring a different fighter. God Speed.