A Virtual Office is All Your Start-up Needs

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Whenever start-ups conjure up their first ideal office scenario, it almost invariably includes the classic power essentials: polished executive desks made of Mahogany, deep-cushioned conference chairs lining a jet black conference table, and an army of go-getters in Armani. Unfortunately, most start-ups don’t have the capital to make this type of vision a reality. In fact, most can only afford a few economy desks and some standard-issue office furniture because office rent is so high.

These high office costs leave many business owners wondering whether or not they even need an office setting in the first place. Offices are there in the first place to keep workers together to increase productivity and to provide an air of professionalism. However, if you’re running a small business with functions that are achieved primarily through software and the Internet, then is there really an incentive to house your employees together? If each employee has their own laptop and can access the web with it, then everyone can operate remotely and there’s no need to spend money on an office.

Meetings are still an essential part of running a business, but you don’t need to pay for office space and furnishings just so you have a place to meet up with coworkers and employees. A venture capitalist friend of mine didn’t have an office for the first two years of his SEO company that, at the time, employed over eight individuals. He simply had everybody meet once a week at a coffee shop with Wi-Fi. He was still able to discuss serious company developments face-to-face and flesh out tasks in a way that can only be done in person, while it also enabled his employees to come armed with questions.

You can relax when it comes to whether or not the work is getting done when workers stay home or work from elsewhere. Studies consistently indicate that those who work from home are generally more productive than their in-office counterparts. If you hire the right kinds of employees, there’s no reason you shouldn’t trust them to work from home.

About the whole “got to look good for clients and customers” thing…look, there’s no fooling people that you’re a young inexperienced entrepreneur. Shiny tabletops and rows of workers diligently typing in a conformed pattern aren’t going to make a young business look any more professional, and neither is the mere office environment itself. If anything, clients are going to like the idea that you’re willing to think different and act on it. Saving money without sacrificing skill and capability always looks good to those you do business with.

If you’re at the helm of a start-up and are exhausted by how much money keeping an office space is costing your company, consider dumping the office and working remotely. You certainly won’t have a hard time finding workers who like the idea of doing their job in only their underwear.

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