Flexible, shared office spaces such as LiquidHub are rapidly growing in popularity in South Africa. To the small business owner or freelancer, they offer the perfect solution to work space requirements. These flexible office spaces are likely to become increasingly crucial to South Africa’s overall business environment in the future.
Why are they so popular? Here are eight advantages that make flexible office spaces a must.
Shared office spaces do not require any kind of start-up cost. You simply choose the facilities you wish to make use of and then pay the required rental fee, which is always extremely reasonable.
Community and Networking
For a freelancer or entrepreneur who has spent months working in isolation at home or lonely coffee shop booths, shared work spaces can be a real game-changer. You will find yourself surrounded by like-minded people, some from your field and some from entirely different industries. All of them are potential partners or collaborators or simply great contacts to have in your network. Leads, advice, exchange of ideas and motivation are all available from your fellow office occupants.
While the shared office environment can inspire you to be more structured and disciplined than your remote home setup, it is also far more relaxed and flexible than a traditional office. You are not reporting to anyone, you can come and go as you please and you set your agenda.
Shared offices come with a variety of services and facilities that you can make use of at no extra cost. There is fast WiFi, printers, a kitchen, cleaning services, a receptionist and meeting rooms. All of these extras, which you would usually have to pay for separately, are included in your rental fee.
The more structured environment, as well as being surrounded by like-minded people, will motivate you to work more concertedly and productively. You are free of any distractions and you can dedicate yourself to creating more leads and building your business. Best of all, you can simply knuckle down and get the job done.
Freedom from Administrative Obligations
If you rent or buy an office building, you have to add the obligations of running and maintaining the building to your daily, weekly and monthly to-do lists. This detracts from your billable time and splits your focus. With a shared workspace, you are entirely free of this responsibility – you can concentrate on your work unhindered.
Many freelancers and entrepreneurs work from home, which seems an ideal solution. However, unless you are extraordinarily disciplined and focused or have the luxury of an office that is completely separate from your living area, your home may not necessarily be the best place to work. There are too many distractions and, possibly, too many temptations. It can simply be too comfortable to be productive. A shared workspace enables you to create a dedicated workspace, entirely removed from your house. You may even need to commute to get there (the travel distance/time should not be too long, however, or else you incur unnecessary travel costs). You can then keep your home life and work life completely separate, which is always advisable.
When occupying a shared office space, you have a formal business address, which you need when applying for tenders, and the like. A further benefit is that it helps to add an air of legitimacy and seriousness to your enterprise. When trying to impress a prospective client, it’s far better to have an office address on your business card than just your home address, which can make you seem amateurish, fly-by-night or even simply not serious.
Jason Scholtz is the CEO at Envision Investments and a leader in the property and strategic investment industry in South Africa. He is the founder of LiquidHub, a growing chain of shared workspaces set to revolutionise the way South Africans handle their workdays. For more tips and an insider’s look into the South African business environment, be sure to get in touch, keep an eye on this blog or visit http://www.envisioninvestments.co.za/.