Tag Archives: work from home

Working From Home Will Establish a Different Kind of Business Landscape.

home working
working from home

London, Frankfurt, Paris, New York,  each of these huge global cities are related in that they are major nerve centres of creativity. These cities started to buzz for a reason: vital business meetings of national importance were taking place, Business owners and idea makers were putting their heads together to invent exciting new technologies, and go-getters met over flaming sambuca’s and expresso coffees to discuss startup ideas.  Now we all seem to be working from home in social isolation.

The physical setting really did matter; the bricks and mortar of a downtown office block and the in-person interaction that comes with that. Yet, in a step toward making distant work a lasting future, Facebook and Google, for example, told their staffs that they can work from home until July 2021. We know that the nature of jobs has changed into ‘digital by default’ so this is the result we might reasonably expect.

Indeed, a study by Google on distance workers found “no difference in the effectiveness, productivity ratings or promotions for individuals and teams whose work requires teamwork with coworkers around the world versus ‘Googlers’ who spend the majority of their daily collaborating with colleagues in the same office.”.

Nevertheless, some people might justifiably claim that staff working from home could potentially hinder product development and innovation. Tyler Cowen writing in Bloomberg said that “Even as tech companies grow more essential, the geographic distribution of company activity will also make them less unique. They’ll start to resemble a typical cross-section of the workforce, with all of the routines and bureaucracy that most other companies experience. They’ll have less fire in the belly to disrupt and overturn previous institutions.”

This is not a completely new trend. IBM, the pioneer of teleworking, eliminated nearly all of its office work years ago, and then released a report entitled “Challenging the modern myths of remote working, the evidence for the upside of teleworking.” Back in 2014, they boasted about their innovative modern business model with over 45 per cent of their employees working from home. But one also has to consider that WFH on a large scale can destroy the innovation hubs that have popped up in places like silicon valley or Shoreditch in East London.

silicon valley

Offices have been discarded for Discord Servers, Zoom, Slack Channels and the like. Over the last few months, multiple news sources have confirmed that people are forsaking from cities towards urban and rural areas. Could this Covid-19 pandemic really decentralize tech opportunities out of just a few hotspots, such as London and New York?.

These developments have huge ramifications for the global innovation landscape as a whole.  Here at hold Everything we see the future being mapped out before our eyes.  Large office suites are being rationalised into more compact meeting areas with employees working out from their homes.  The sprawling office of the past has turned into an agile set of services, call answering, mail forwarding and meeting rooms by the hour.

Nevertheless, to say that working from home will mark the end of innovation is an exaggeration. As per Raconteur and Professor Bernd Irlenbusch, who co-led a study titled Innovation and communication media in virtual teams: an experimental study, by the University of Cologne and Leibniz University Hannover, “Previous research has shown that creative performance is significantly lower when there is no face-to-face communication. However, the current lockdown has fostered the adoption of new technologies to conduct collaborative tasks when team members work from home. Video conferencing can mitigate the gap in creative performance.”.

virtual work

We will work remotely but human contact is part of our human makeup and we will need to set up new routines with augmented reality (such as social online meetings) that can be put in place to foster collaboration and more human-like meetings instead of solely relying on cold, unemotional Zoom meetings.

The most important takeaway that emerges is that working from home means that a new species of entrepreneur has emerged, and those who adapt quickest will be best-suited moving forward.  Hold Everything will be there to help with our fully serviced, totally agile, virtual office.

 

The New Office Paradigm – It’s Virtual, It’s Augmented and it’s Here!

So once again we look at our lock-downed world and feel that our 3 decades of providing an efficient virtual office has finally come into general business consciousness.  As I leaf through the pages of the Sunday Times I read a paragraph that is almost our own mission statement.  Let us consider it for just a moment.

Why would we come back after all this and pay for space for a thousand people when we have already proven to the sceptics and the doubters that we can work perfectly well at home?” asked one manager. “I think this is the end of the modern office. In the future surely we’ll have a few meeting rooms and desks for the few who need to be in.” Richard Robinson, managing director of Econsultancy, agreed. “When we come out of this we are going to look at our large office spaces and huge rents and wonder what we were doing with them all. This will fundamentally change how we all work.”

He is right, how else can it go?  Where is the sense anymore in paying for a prestigious suite of rooms in the city centre so that people can cluster around a water cooler and make Pret a Manger even richer.  It all seems so pointless so ‘Pre Covid’ if you like.  I really want to go and shout from the rooftop that the “paradigm has changed, business reality has shifted.”  This is not even hyperbole, it is now a statement of truth that the old office -pre-covid – is extinct, it is no more and has ceased to be.   Certainly all the big london commercial estate agencies will try to deny it.  In the same way as Kodak tried to deny the supremacy of digital film, or Blockbuster shut its eyes to streaming.  When the major commercial estate agents try to extoll the virtues of an office suite for thousands of pounds rent a month the business world knows it doesn’t have to be.  Technology lets us work from home, we don’t need a receptionist wearing a facemask leading us into a meeting room that is only used 3 times a month but we pay for 24 hours a day.  We don’t need to travel for an hour to a work space when we can have an equally effective workspace in our spare room.   If we can work virtually from home with the essential functions of phone answering and mail handling outsourced to experts the raison d’être of the tradiotional office is gone.  And, if you want a swish meeting room for the odd hour of whiteboard presentation then a virtual office such as Hold Everything will rent you one.  We even supply the biscuits.

Once you get over the need to congregate in one place to ‘brainstorm’ you can use Zoom or similar apps.  Be certain that once this change evolves new virtual conference will be created to meet the demand.  In fact, I am willing to bet serious money, that in 12 months Zoom will look so outdated we will smile that we ever used it.   We will be working in a world of augmented reality supported by all the research that Facebook, Google and Microsoft have been developing over the past 5 years. Yes, their time has come too.

 

 

Google has been offering augmented reality tools for a couple of years now. It unveiled its Android ARCore platform in 2017  which allows augmented online shopping.to become a totally immersive experience.  This is all part of a larger arms race toward sophisticated phone-based augmented reality: Facebook, for instance, announced an expansion of its Spark AR platform which can be adapted to many office purposes.  Wearing VR goggles is no longer a weird sight – it is familiar in an architects practice and in a cosmetic surgeon’s examination room.   The enforced work from home discipline cause by COVID-19 will add urgency to these developments and before long we will have shifted irreversibly into a virtual office world.  there will of course be naysayers, there always are.  There are still printers who believe in the art of typesetting or authors belting out books on Remington portable typewriters but for the majority of businesses especially in the services sector of media and finance the office world has changed.

We believe fiercely in these changes and we want to discuss them with you.  We want to show you how you can save thousands of pounds in wasted resources and useless outdated vanity premises.  So call us on +44207 5804242 and let us make a convert of you before the guys at the big commercial estate agents  put their sticky hands in your wallet.

 

The Work-Life Balance

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street, we assist many clients in their work-life balance planning, by providing a business support network, whether its phone answering  when they’re in meetings or away to us being able to accept packages that otherwise would have been missed.

So how hard is it to get that perfect work-life balance?

Being a professional you may find it hard to strike that balance between your career and personal life. Without having a healthy balance between both worlds problems could occur where your work can become uninspiring. Therefore working from home can be a great solution to this issue; you have the ability to get your work done, while being available for family commitments and your own personal chores. But you do need to consider the practicalities of working from home before deciding if it is right for you.

With your office at home, but a Regent Street Virtual office address that will impress your clients, there are still things to consider.

Flexibility advantages

While working in an office environment, it’s not always easy to take time off for personal/family duties, but if you do opt to work from home you can be a lot more flexible with your diary as ultimately you control it. In many jobs as long as the work is completed by the deadline it’s up to you how and when you do it so by working from home you can fit the work in around a schedule that’s best for you.

No more emails

Earlier this year, a report circulated that a French law banned employees from checking work emails after 6pm (this wasn’t true). But it’s a good idea to start to set yourself some rules to help achieve a work-life balance, as mentioned above about the flexibility of working from home, some are just not able to do this so why not say to yourself when you come home at night, this is your personal time, try and limit your email checking and take a step back from working after work.

Time Blocking

Being in charge of your own time can be a big bonus, but this doesn’t work for everyone. Some get easily distracted in their home environment and find it more difficult to stick to self- imposed deadlines. If you are a remote worker you do need to be efficient with your time – for example if you know you only have an hour blocked out, then focus on the task in hand and stick to the timing. Don’t try and finish just one more email if your time is up, stick to your plan which should allow you to produce your best work instead of rushing to fit it all in.

One of Hold Everything’s long standing Virtual office client, who works from home told us “I get dressed everyday as if I was going to my office, I leave the house, walk about for 15 minutes and then arrive back at my home, I have taken the time to get into the attitude & belief that I am work for the day in my office and am ready to work hard as being at home it’s too easy to sit in a tracksuit and be distracted, however, if I am needed by anyone at least I don’t have that commute back”.

In conclusion – stepping away every day with enough time to do other things than work helps you clear your head, gain perspective and bring your best to all areas of your life.  So before you ditch the idea of an office desk for the home dining room table, ask the question, will I be more effective working from home?