In 2008, an estimated 2.4 million Australians worked from home. With growing numbers of travelling executives, small and micro business start-ups; the Australian workforce has a swelling tribe of workers looking for the support and networking of traditional workplaces.
While many people dream of being their own boss, the reality of working from the kitchen table in your pyjamas with dirty coffee cups as colleagues is less inspiring.
So how can you have the best of both worlds? A new trend that has emerged in the recent years is the concept of a serviced or ‘virtual’ office. Companies can rent space in prime locations without being locked into a long commercial lease or commit heavily upfront. However, in some instances, serviced offices can be quite pricey.
A similar, yet more cost-effective option is the business lounge, which in recent times, has been likened to an airport business lounge, where members are well looked after and have a space of their own to relax in. One such company to harness this trend is Bureaux. Bureaux have set up stylish business lounges in the heart of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Noosa offering a stimulating work environment for those wanting the freedom to be their own boss with access to the benefits of a professional office. Members get top end business facilities with flexible memberships, according to the level of support required.
You can still be your own boss, and work from an office in the heart of the CBD when you need to, without breaking the budget. Business lounges can provide that extra bit of service often missing in the start-up stages of business.
Working at home, people often need more face-to-face interaction and a decent meeting space. Presenting professionally is challenging for many small businesses, as it gets to a stage where meeting clients in cafes no longer cuts it.
Knowing that flexible financial commitments can make or break a fledgling business, business lounges are a cost-effective alternative for business owners looking for a place to conduct their meetings. The lounges provide for a wide range of needs, from those just wanting a CBD postal address and virtual receptions fielding and diverting calls, through to the full scale facilities, support and IT infrastructure of a large organisation.
One business lounge convert is Harvest Management CEO, Ingrid Maynard. Based on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, Maynard uses Bureaux business lounges as ‘headquarters’ for client meetings and staff training, but cites the time and cost savings of using business lounges as invaluable.
“I’d waste hours on travel and a fortune on cabs and coffee, rushing to meetings, arriving flustered, feeling unprofessional. Now, it’s straight to Bureaux, shower and change if necessary, enjoy breakfast and lunch without leaving ‘the office’. Clients come to me. There’s no more stress, travel time or hefty cab fares and client conversions have soared as I can see more of them.”
With many businesses now eager to reduce their carbon footprint, business lounges can often solve this dilemma. Working from a business lounge is a greener way to work, like transit lanes rewarding car pooling motorists.
– Rowena Murray is the CEO for Bureaux (www.bureaux.com.au)
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