Flexible and professional: meeting in the middle
David Saul, managing director of leading serviced office operator Business Environment, on striking the balance between remote working and a professional presentation.
Technology has revolutionised the way we work. With our tablets, smart phones and virtual desktops, it’s hard to believe that not that long ago just getting on to the internet meant having an additional phone line and texting was a relatively new phenomenon.
Nowadays it’s not unusual to see business men and women working on the train or in cafés and coffee shops. Wi-Fi is widely available and as the line between work and home life becomes blurred being able to work wherever and whenever is an attractive proposition.
In early March Yahoo!’s CEO Marissa Mayer caused a stir when she banned home working in favour of getting everyone back in the office. Her belief is that more ideas will be generated over the course of a day during impromptu conversations or meetings.
She has a point. Offices, or at least the people working in them, can be a source of inspiration. A chat in the kitchen may just spark the big idea. However, it also has to be recognised that flexible working can be a viable option when managed properly. Indeed, according to recent research by The Institute of Leadership & Management, it can even lead to higher staff retention rates increasing employee commitment to an organisation. Equally the cost of hiring office space may be prohibitive for start-ups and entrepreneurs.
But perhaps the biggest consideration when weighing up telecommuting versus traditional office space, is the client – so long as it works for them, it can work for you. And meetings can often be a deal breaker.
While a coffee shop or hotel lobby suits informal get togethers, it is inevitable that a meeting room with professional facilities is sometimes the only option. Video conferencing is becoming increasingly popular as time-short professionals want to connect quickly and efficiently without travelling and often, the need for a quiet place free from noise and distraction means publics places won’t cut it.
Hiring meeting rooms by the hour can be a simple solution to this problem – and it’s not as expensive as you may think. At Business Environment, we recognise that while remote working can be an effective business model, having the flexibility to rent meeting rooms as and when the occasion arises is essential for many entrepreneurs.
Our &Meetings packages are available in London, Bristol and across the South East and are fully inclusive of refreshments, Wi-Fi and presentation and TV screens. What’s more, the facilities can be hired for as little as £5 an hour – cheaper than a round of coffee then!
David Saul is Managing Director of Business Environment