Driven by advancements in information technologies and digital trends, the work environment has undergone constant changes over the last few years.
Then, the Covid-19 pandemic triggered the digital turning point.
For this reason, there is no doubt that the post-Covid-19 era will be a new digitalised world that needs new skills.
Many believe that physical offices have become a remnant of past generations, and modern businesses no longer need them to operate at maximum efficiency.
But is it really so?
Here’s what I believe: In a digital world, everyone still needs an office – but a smarter one.
Therefore, the physical office isn’t dead, but it must be reborn and adapted to a world where a strict 9 to 5 schedule is no longer necessary.
It’s time to reinvent your office space for the new digital environment.
Table of contents:
1. 5 Reasons Why Businesses Still Need An Office In The Digital Era
Even in a digital world, a physical office can contribute to the bottom line by driving greater purpose and productivity among team members.
The reason why many believe that remote work is heralding the death of the physical office is related to the high overhead expenses.
Why should a business pay high overhead costs when telecommuting works just fine?
So, many businesses have experienced an “aha moment” after the Covid-19 outbreak and realised that remote work is saving them time and money.
Notwithstanding the ability of remote work policies to save a company’s money, the physical office cannot go away.
As I shared previously, businesses still need physical office space.
Below you will find the main reasons why the physical office isn’t dead (and we will also take a more in-depth look at the differences between the physical office in the pre-Covid-19 era and the physical office in the post-Covid-19 era).
1.1. Enhance The Brand’s Image And Reputation
An excellent, unblemished business reputation can open doors to fantastic, unhindered opportunities.
Your business reputation affects everything, from the number of leads you collect online to your business total profits.
A good business reputation attracts more customers and loyal supporters, involves lower marketing costs, and helps you stand out from competitors (among a myriad of other benefits).
According to business.com, “having a good reputation isn’t just a pride point for your company; it’s necessary for long-term survival. A great product or service may pique interest, but a great reputation can help you stand out from the crowd and may even be the factor that sways customers to purchase from you rather than your competitors.”
Suppose you’re running an online business using a home address as a registered business address (instead of the address of a physical office).
In this case, you would lose all the benefits that come with a good business reputation (because a home address used as a business address cannot build customer trust and a reliable brand image).
Moreover, a home address does not enable you to claim a business listing on popular review platforms, meaning that you would lose online visibility (without a solid online presence, you cannot build an online reputation).
Key takeaway from Covid-19: Remote and flexible work policies are here to stay.
Many businesses (especially start-ups and small businesses) need a professional physical business address while performing most of their operations remotely and saving money on expensive overhead.
For this reason, a cost-effective virtual office that includes a business address enables them to take control of their reputation without being committed to a specific amount of space for the lease term – Please note that a virtual office is actually a physical office that you can access whenever necessary but without the need to stick to a traditional 9 to 5 work schedule.
1.2. Attract And Retain Valuable Employees
Did you know that your company’s image and appearance are key influencers to attract better quality prospective employees and retain them?
Since we’re on the topic of retaining employees, I want to highlight the importance of keeping the best talent in today’s gig economy, where workers quickly jump from job to job – and even from career to career.
So, having a high retention rate results in less time, resources, and money required for training new staff. Imagine going through all of that when employees leave after a few months of working – It would definitely hurt your business.
In case you’re one of the many business owners running an online business, you may think: “I manage a virtual team, so my team members do not commute to work. Why do I need a physical office to attract and retain talent?”
Well, a professional physical office helps you build a sterling reputation – as I mentioned previously.
In today’s work environment, most job seekers run Internet searches on prospective employers, looking for a compelling online presence and positive reputation.
So, even if you manage a virtual team, you still need a physical office to build trust and attract talent.
Key takeaway from Covid-19: Remote work has several benefits for employees, such as higher productivity, flexible lifestyle, cost savings, less stress and more.
Furthermore, remote work policies enable you to access the global talent pool and attract the finest talents available worldwide.
Nevertheless, it would help if you still had a physical office to build trust, a positive company culture, and a good reputation that attracts prospective employees (this is another reason why a virtual office is the greatest alternative to a traditional office in the post-Covid-19 era!).
1.3. Get New Customers And Close More Deals
Imagine a customer wants to visit your business.
Rather than arriving at your home and wondering if they have gotten the wrong address, your customers should instead arrive at a professional office that makes your business appear more reliable – not to mention that you should keep your home address private for security reasons.
After all, would you want to work with a client who operates out of a cafe, library or home office? I thought not.
So, nothing affects your customer’s perception of your business more than the physical office you use – meaning that professional office space helps you attract new customers, make an excellent first impression, and retain them.
Furthermore, some investors may ask you to get office space and gain more trust and confidence before broadening their partnership and closing more deals.
As a result, you still need office space, even when you rely on modern technology to run your business.
Key takeaway from Covid-19: Even though the Covid-19 pandemic has skyrocketed the growth of e-commerce, there is still a large segment of consumers who prefer to have in-store experiences or visit a business and learn more about the products or services they deliver.
So, giving your customers the opportunity to visit you will make your business appear more tangible and reliable.
As a result, they will feel comfortable making that initial investment.
1.4. Build Positive Relationships With Face-To-Face Meetings
In a digital world, face-to-face interaction still provides opportunities for building meaningful relationships.
We can do a lot using modern communication tools – but not everything.
Face-to-face meetings foster collaboration and innovation, sustain focus, create strong bonds, help you gain a deep understanding of ideas, and much more.
As I shared in a previous blog post (you can read it here), face-to-face meetings can minimise misunderstandings and help you sway people to your point of view – meaning that in-person interaction offers you a great opportunity to use your persuasion and influencing skills.
However, you still need first-class meeting rooms and boardrooms to hold your meetings and build positive relationships that maximise business success.
Even in a tech-soaked world, people still value a professional ambience rather than a noisy cafe or a home office.
Key takeaway from Covid-19: Face to face communication won’t disappear.
The only difference is that the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us how to make the difference between meaningful face-to-face meetings and meetings that can be held virtually to save time and money.
As a result, businesses no longer need fixed office space but flexible office space available on-demand.
On-demand physical office space allows you to conduct productive and effective in-person meetings while also helping you save the expense of a full-time brick-and-mortar office.
1.5. Access Office Equipment And Essential Services
I can’t stress enough the importance of having access to office equipment and high-quality machines in the workplace (as they allow you to be efficient at all times).
Suppose you are working on an important project under a tight deadline and you’re at a home office where your Internet connection is slow, your phone line isn’t great, and your printer ran out of black ink.
In this case, your home office may not be the best place for you to get your project done on time.
Professional office space can also offer you more communication options (e.g., VoIP Phone Systems for call conferences) and help you increase the overall functioning speed of your office.
Even if you invest money to set up a home office (e.g, you may need items such as a monitor connected to your laptop, high-speed Internet access, software and communication tools, printer, shredder, backup drive, and much more) you may not be able to create a workspace as functional as a professional one.
Key takeaway from Covid-19: After the Covid-19 outbreak and the rise of remote work, many businesses have figured out that they don’t need fixed office space to access professional office equipment and essential services.
For example, many businesses that have switched to remote work are using flexible office space on-demand to access office facilities only when needed.
Flexible office spaces also enable them to benefit from essential services such as virtual receptionists and dedicated phone lines.
So, physical offices are still important as professional office equipment and services will give your business the infrastructure it needs to stay efficient and grow.
Thanks to Covid-19 and new digital trends, running a business with a traditional office and the 9 to 5 work policy is fast becoming obsolete.
Even so, you must not write off the need for professional office space that is a must-have for every business looking to operate at maximum efficiency, gain customer trust, and boost sales.
Are you looking to gain a competitive edge in the new digital environment? B2B HQ would be more than glad to provide you with a modern virtual office that includes professional office space and all the necessary tools and resources your business needs to thrive in the post-pandemic era. For further details, do not hesitate to contact us!