All over the world, an increasing number of people are working from home. According to The Telegraph, nearly 3 million Britons work from home right now. To be fair, that’s only 2.5 per cent of the workforce—but it’s still an enormous increase compared to the previous decade.
There are several motivating factors behind this trend, and substantial advances in telecommunications technology certainly tops the list. The resurgence of cottage industries is certainly playing a role as well. For the first time in decades, a small company that niche specialty is able to make a serious run on the market thanks largely to eCommerce capabilities.
On top of that, many of the entrepreneurs who are accomplishing this already have an industry background. They may have worked with a larger company in a typical office environment, surrounded by cubicles and plagued with meetings. At some point, it occurred to them that they could leave their employer, make more money and enjoy more freedom by putting their business acumen to work across eCommerce channels.
These changes in work culture have sent ripples through larger corporate empires, as well. CBI conducted a survey back in 2011 and found that a surprising 59 per cent of responding employers offered teleworking as a viable option for their employees. In other words, well over half of all employers in the UK are aware of the risk of their employees becoming burnt out and heading for the hills of eCommerce. This pushes executives at larger companies to allow some degree of working from home. It’s just good business sense.
How Small Companies without Offices Get By
For an entrepreneur who is about to embark on an eCommerce endeavour, it bears mentioning that there are still many advantages to having a dedicated workspace in which everyone comes together. A good example is Yahoo’s decision to revoke teleworking privileges in favour of the innovation and collaboration that happens at the water cooler.
However, for many small companies, working from home makes a lot more financial sense. The key is to make provisions for office space on some level. This begins with setting up a strong communications network through which a team can collaborate on projects, meet via video conferencing and receive calls and queries from customers and clients.
There are a few additional considerations that could help eCommerce companies establish a stronger market presence:
Message Taking Services: For some companies, the only hint of a real workspace that they have is a team of administrative assistants who answer the phone for them from a remote location. This allows clients to ring a number that is associated with a prestigious business district without ever knowing that your company doesn’t have an on-the-ground operation there.
Mail Sorting Services: Many of the packages that offer message taking services also come with an associated physical address. You can have all of your mail forwarded to that location—and that means that your company letterhead and business cards are also printed with that same prestigious business address.
Available Conference Space: There will be times when you need to host a physical meeting at one of those locations. By working with a remote workspace provider, you can also arrange to rent space when you need it, in order to meet with clients or collaborate in a hands-on environment.
Small Dedicated Workspace: As the company grows, you will probably reach a point at which it makes more sense to have a dedicated space outside of your home or warehouse. Start small and consider renting space on a monthly basis before jumping into a long-term lease. This gives you a chance to test the scenario while maintaining positive cash flow.
Author Bio : Jonny writes for Regus who are the world’s largest supplier of offices and flexible office solutions, located in 600 cities across the Globe.