Today’s office doesn’t look or function much like it did a decade ago, and that’s a good thing! Bulky apparatuses like desktop computers, landline phones, and even massive filing cabinets are going the way of the buffalo, freeing up so much space that many entrepreneurs and small businesses are downsizing their offices.
Changes in technology continue to shape the way we do business and where we do our work. Here’s a look at nine of the most essential elements in today’s suburban office to give you a jumping off point for finding your new workspace.
1. Flexible Private Workspace
One of the biggest restrictions of traditional offices is space limitations. You buy or lease a space based on current or future needs, with little power to change your office when those needs shift.
Modern offices need to be flexible as companies scale, giving you the chance to add or remove workspace as needed. Coworking spaces have grown in popularity because they give companies the chance to pay only for what they need.
2. Ergonomic Desks and Chairs
Today’s office workers are less mobile than ever. There’s almost no need for them to move around the office, as almost all work takes place at their desk. There’s a hefty price to sitting, usually in the currency of carpal tunnel syndrome, back and neck pain, poor posture, and other physical-related ailments.
This can easily be offset by ergonomic furniture. Desks with adjustable heights, chairs with neck rests, and yoga ball chairs are just a few of the most common pieces in modern offices that are fighting the ill effects of sitting all day. There are also high-tech solutions, like treadmill desks that let you exercise while you work.
The biggest disadvantage for employers or entrepreneurs is the cost. Ergonomic furniture can get expensive, with some executive chairs costing well over $1,000 each, which might not be in a typical small business budget.
3. High-Speed Internet You Can Count On
So much of today’s business takes place online. From video conference calls to emails and social media, businesses need high-speed internet they can rely on to keep business going.
This is one reason why many entrepreneurs trade their home office for a coworking space or private office. Residential internet can be spotty, but internet for business is usually more stable.
4. Meeting Spaces
Having a formal meeting space is becoming more of a non-negotiable for small businesses and entrepreneurs. When you work at home, you’re either stuck with meeting clients at your local coffee shop or library or inviting them to your home. Small businesses using traditional offices may not have a dedicated meeting room, especially if you only need it on occasion.
Modern offices like Office Evolution are filling this need by offering dedicated meeting spaces without the overhead. You can book meeting rooms ahead of time and only pay for them when you need them. This way, you can count on a professional space to entertain your clients without paying for it all the time, all while better managing your costs.
5. VoIP Phone Service
Voice-over IP phone service has nearly eliminated the need for business landlines and the costly phone bills associated with them. Many VoIP services cost just $10 per month, compared to a traditional business phone service of $40 or more per month.
VoIP services use the internet to make voice calls. You can still use a desktop phone to make and receive calls, but there is no phone line. Instead, you can manage your PBX through an online portal, which usually comes with sophisticated features like on-hold marketing, IVR, and call queuing. These features are also easier to set up on a VoIP system versus a landline PBX.
6. BYOD Device Capabilities
The BYOD movement is in full swing, with many employees electing to use their own smartphones or laptops for work. This is a game-changer for small businesses, giving you a way to reduce your technology budget.
Offices need to be able to accommodate these newfound abilities. Easily connecting to the local network is key, along with maintaining security while connected.
7. Printer, Copier, and Scanning Stations
Offices of the past used separate devices for copying, printing, and scanning. Now, these tasks are wrapped into an all-in-one station that saves space and makes it easier to use. Offices may never be completely paperless, which is why these machines are still important in the modern office.
For small businesses, though, buying and maintaining these machines can rack up a large bill. Toner, paper, and the electricity to make them work can be costly. If you don’t use them often, it could be financially savvy to “rent” them when you need them and only pay for what you use.
8. Electronic Whiteboards
Traditional whiteboards are old-school. Now, electronic whiteboards give you more flexibility and interaction from everyone on your team. You can write directly on the screen, make changes on the fly, and amp up every meeting by getting the whole team involved.
Whiteboards can get expensive if you purchase one outright, so consider partnering with an office that already has one for you to use.
9. Midday Pick-Me-Ups
It’s becoming more common to ditch the local coffee shop in favor of grabbing a refreshment in the office. Most offices now have Keurig machines, snacks, hot tea, and other pick-me-ups for when you need a break but don’t want to shell out $5 for a cup of coffee.
Plus, since you can get something in the office, you’re not wasting a chunk of your day driving or walking to a cafe for refreshment.
Where to Find All of the Above in a Single Office Solution
Today’s office doesn’t need nearly the amount of devices, furniture, and components that offices of decades past needed. A comfortable workspace, digital technology, and an inspiring environment are all you need to do your best work without sacrifice.
As you begin to vet options for your next private office, make sure it has the above essentials so that business can keep going seamlessly.
Office Evolution is the embodiment of the modern suburban office, offering everything small businesses and entrepreneurs need for work in a comprehensive solution. You only pay for what you need, be it a single desk and chair or an entire suite of private workspaces.
Find the Office Evolution location nearest you and schedule a tour to see how we’re flipping the script on how a modern office should look and function.
Written by: Office Evolution
Office Evolution has more than 70 locations open, 140 units sold in markets across the country and is poised for further growth as the demand for affordable and safe, workspace close-to-home continues to rise.