The past decade has seen a massive increase in the number of small businesses working from home – driven by web technology, and a growing recognition of the overall benefits of ‘flexible working’.
The economic downturn, and rapid increase in unemployment, will only increase the numbers of people setting up new ventures from home.
Large companies are also downsizing office space and taking swing space where necessary for training rooms, board rooms, etc. Empty office space costs them money. They are also increasingly encouraging home working for their staff where possible.
Professional meeting space
Despite the benefits which homeworking can bring, most small company owners will not hold meeting in their own homes – either because the location doesn’t suit, or as it might appear unprofessional.
As a result, homeworkers are are using business centres, coffee shops, and even members clubs to hold meetings.
The London-based Hubworking Centre is seeing a lot of people re-training and setting up micro businesses as consultancies and coaches. These companies neet meeting space for their clients.
The company says that flexibility is the key for most clients – people working from home quite often have a nomadic work life, often working from hotels, bars, trains etc. Therefore they do not want to commit to permanent offices/meeting rooms. Ad hoc usage is the key.
You will find a wide range of clubs and associations outside the capital offering similar services, to suit all types of budget.
To work out which solution is best for your business, you do need to work out how often you will use the facilities at a meeting centre before signing up to a long-term deal. Don’t get carried away by swanky interiors or ‘free’ Molton Brown soap in the bathrooms if the reality is that you only need to hire office space once a month.