Ok, you are an entrepreneur and somehow you rock it. Thousands of people love your products or services. You have more and more employees, suddenly internet down and your employees are nowhere to find, because what you have is a virtual office.
Many companies prefer to have virtual office for many reasons, budget constraints, more environmentally friendly because your employee does not have to travel to office, its flexibility and many other reasons. But at certain times, virtual office might not be suitable for everyone.
On June 2012, Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer receives unintentional attention from the world for her famous internal note that end working from home policy in Yahoo. Her new policy gained many disagreements claiming that Yahoo as a mega internet company should be able to adapt many new technology to keep the productivity of home workers. But for many, it is probably the time for Yahoo to do it. Looking at the fact of constant decrease in Yahoo revenue for years, maybe this is a right way to manage undisciplined employees who work from home. Internally, some yahoo employees embrace the decision quoting that now at least they know where to find their colleague when needed.
But how does an entrepreneur decide whether it is the time to have a real office?
There are 2 factors to be considered. The first factor is, how ready your company financially to have a real concrete around your office. Make time to check the commercial properties in the area that is suitable for your business. With internet access, doing a property research has become easier. You could check the available online posting for commercial properties, for example in lamudi.com.bd. Use the feature available in Lamudi for your own advantages, check the prices based on property types and area where you want your business to be. Think about your long term, is it make sense to buy or just renting. Do the math; make sure that you will have enough budgets to pay your space and sustain your business operation. Look for regulations and taxes about registering properties in Bangladesh. If you need details information about having a business in Bangladesh, you could see our previous post about starting a business in Bangladesh.
Do a comparison between virtual office and real office providers. There are many virtual offices available in Bangladesh, one of it Regus. Find where is your virtual mailbox address will be, check the neighborhood. Some customer might try to give a surprise visit, and having a bad neighborhood could affect your credibility. Check the package that they are offering, some virtual offices offer communication services that might be useful.
Second factor to be considered is the nature of your business. Some business like architecture company might need more creative people compare with export and import company that emphasized on productivity. A research from John Sullivan, a professor of management at San Francisco State University as reported by New York Times shows that bringing people to work together could increase creativity. “If you want innovation, then you need interaction,” he said. “If you want productivity, then you want people working from home.” In that case, an architect company might need real office more than company dealing with export and import.
Lastly, do not base your decision on your mathematical result only. Consider your cultural background. Some Asian countries like Bangladesh might prefer to have face to face communication than written communication.