Your business office will generally be the place where your administrative work is done. Legally any company or organization has offices in any place that it has an official presence, even if that presence consists of, for example, a warehouse rather than an office.
There are many different ways of arranging your office and whilst these vary according to function and managerial fashions, the culture of your business will be far more important. Generally the choice is somewhere between each manager having their own room or a large open plan office can be made up of one main room with many people working in the same space.
Open plan offices put multiple workers together in the same space, and some studies have shown that they can improve short term productivity. However, the loss of privacy and security can sometimes cause issues between employees that will need managing. A type of compromise between open plan and individual rooms is provided by the Cubicle desk which solves visual privacy to some extent, but may fail on acoustic separation. Most cubicles also may require an occupant to sit with their back towards anyone who might be approaching but most workers in walled offices prefer to position their normal work seats and desks so that they can see someone entering.
Working from home offers an opportunity for real comfort and efficiency, but if the office is too casual, or is not effectively separated from the home environment, peak productivity may be lost.
While comfort is essential in any office, an office that is too casual may seriously impede the ability to get things done. You have to find a way to separate yourself from the rest of the goings-on in the home and to convey a sense of "off limits" to all other normal and natural home sounds and interruptions.
A distinction has to be made regarding the physical boundaries of this working space. The most effective way to do that is with the design of the space itself.
Working from home is becoming a more popular option with many in todayís workforce. Whether you telecommute or have abandoned the rat race in favor of setting up your own home business, or just simply need a place to land to take care of the bill paying and the home organization chores, a home office has become a necessary space in many homes. Whether you set up a corner office in your kitchen, designate a guest room to double as your office, or set up a location in your basement, itís crucial that your home office include all the elements that contribute to your productivity, efficiency and overall success.
Setting up a home office doesnít have to break your bank account. Very few of us can afford the luxury of having a professional organizer devise an office system for us. Donít despair; there are many creative ways to devise your space .
Maybe you are able to have a separate room for your office. If so, thatís great. Youíll have lots of elbow room. But if you donít, thereís lots of ways to utilize the space you can carve out for one. Whatever space you choose, make sure itís a space that can be dedicated to your office, and doesnít double as an arts and crafts table for your kids or a workbench for your spouseís do-it-yourself projects on the weekends.
Take a look at your space and see what you can do easily and inexpensively to spruce it up and make it conducive to working from home. Sometimes just a fresh coat of paint, some strategically hung pictures or some simple stencil work can brighten up an otherwise dreary corner.
Next, look around your house to see what furnishings you already have. If thereís a small unused table that could double as a desk, use it. Youíve probably got a comfortable chair in your dining room that could work fine as an office chair. Look around your home for some useable pieces that can be brought together successfully to create a comfortable and relaxing home office environment.
You may also already have book shelves, bins, baskets, boxes and a filing cabinet that could also be incorporated into your office. If you donít already have office supplies available, visit your favorite office supply or discount store and stock up on a few needed items and get your space organized and ready to roll.
A money saving service that is being used by many professionals today is the virtual office. With so many business professionals working from their homes or on the go, the virtual office has evolved into a popular alternative to leasing a permanent office. It provides a creative solution which benefits the small business owner tremendously.
A virtual office gives small business owners a presence in the business world for a fraction of normal rental costs. It is an alternative to leasing an office space, which can be costly for a new business owner. Virtual office services may also provide a set of online tools to help manage the small business. Although virtual office services differ, below is a list of some of the most common features.
Clients are provided with their own physical mailing address where business mail and small packages can be received. Virtual offices are not typically used to receive heavy volumes of mail as in a mail order business, but normal business mail quantities only. Those who operate a business from their home can use the virtual office address instead of their home address, which provides a safe and professional way to receive mail. Mail to a virtual office can be forwarded to the client's home address.
Virtual office services also include a local phone number where a business owner can receive calls and messages. Voice mail and forwarding are usually included so the client can check messages at any time. This works great for someone who works from home or does not wish to tie up a cell phone line if they are continuously on the go.
Some virtual office services offer part-time access to a desk or work station with Internet capabilities, office equipment and more. This is available for those times when the client needs to organize a presentation before a conference or use the Internet or computer for business purposes.
Conference rooms are available for rent with some virtual office setups. The client can hold business meetings or give sales presentations without interruption.
Web conference rooms are available for virtual meetings. Rather than hold a physical meeting, the client can hold virtual business meetings or give virtual sales presentations. Virtual meetings have gained popularity in recent years because they save time and money while providing instant presentation opportunities. Some virtual office services offer this tool as an added service.
Online tools such as calendar, address book, webmail, document respository, to do's, forums, digital fax and digital voice mail have become common among many large businesses. Some virtual office services offer these tools and others as an added service.
People of all trades find virtual offices useful. Executives, salespeople, accountants, marketing consultants and online business owners each benefit by using a virtual office for certain tasks. Those who work from home and wish to establish a business presence find that a virtual office meets this need. Corporations also use virtual offices as a means of testing a business location before opening a new branch.
When renting an office is not an option, a virtual office can be used by small business owners to meet the daily needs while saving time and money.
Leasing Office Space
If you decide that you want to lease office space and you've found a location, the next step is to negotiate a lease agreement for that location. A lease agreement is a contract between you and the owner of the property. Since it's a legal document, you should have your attorney review it before you sign it.
Lease agreements will vary, so there's no way that you can anticipate every issue that might arise. But all commercial leases should contain certain basic provisions with which you should be familiar.
A lease agreement is generally a long-term commitment for your business. View it as a planning opportunity and keep in mind the following points:
- Getting out of a lease can be a costly endeavor. Be certain that the location and terms of the lease agreement are right for your business.
- Being able to obtain additional connected space may be critical for your business in the future. If so, provide for future expansion in your lease agreement.
- If the real estate market is soft due to an overabundance of commercial lease space or a poor economy, your bargaining power will be greater. In a soft real estate market, you may be able to secure favorable concessions.
Small Business Office Management
One of the biggest mistakes that small business owners make is assuming that they need to hire an office manager. Yes, office managers are one of the best ways to bring management and order into your company, but it is important to first examine your company. If you are small in size, you may be able to do all office monitoring yourself. This may eliminate the need for hiring an office manager. Office managers typically receive more pay than secretaries or other office workers. That is why it is advised that you first determine whether or not you really need to hire an office manager. If your company employs less than five office workers, you may not need an office manager, at least right now.
Speaking of your current employees, it is advised that you first utilize the ones that you have, before hiring a new office manager. If your business is small in size, you may want to consider promoting one of your current secretaries or other office workers. If your office is small in size, you may be able to do this promotion without hiring any replacements. For a reasonable pay increase, you may find that a number of your office workers are willing to add the title of supervisor to their name. This may be a nice, cheap way for you to bring order to your business.
If you are interested in running your business without the use of an office manager, you will want to make sure that you are clear on what is expected of all of your employees. It may actually be a good idea to terminate those who are unprofessional or known for their missed deadlines. It is more than possible for business owners, especially small business owners, to operate without employing office managers, but it can be difficult to do. Those without office managers need to rely heavily on their employees. Even if you do decide to hire an office manager, it is important that you are clear as to what is expected of him or her.
Another option that you have, when looking to bring office management into your small business, involves using office management software. Office management software is software that combines a number of programs all into one. It is common for office management software to have task lists with important dates highlighted, easy to use email programs, form and document templates, payment tracking programs, and so forth. Whether your business employs an office manager or not, office management software can be of great assistance to you.
Staying up to date in the latest in business and office management is another easy way for small business owners, such as yourself, to bring order and management into your office. You can easily use the internet, business magazines and journals, or office management seminars, to your advantage. These resources may provide you with updated information and successful tips and tricks that you can use to bring order into your office, whether you officially employ an office manager or not. Staying up-to-date on the latest in business and office management is important for all small business owners, as many do not have the resources and budgets needed to compete with larger business any other way.
The above mentioned tips are just a few of the many that you and other small business owners can benefit from using. As a reminder, small business office management is important, but it can come in a number of different formats, including the format of a hired office manager.
Office Management Software
Before going into the benefits of using office management software, it is first important to examine what it is. When it comes to office management software, you will find that it comes in a number of different formats. With that in mind, all office management software programs have the same goal. That goal is to ease the process of running an office related business.
Although there is likely to be some variations, with office management software, you will find that many integrate a number of programs all into one. For instance, many office management software programs have detailed tasks lists, easy to sort email programs, professional looking templates, including customer invoices, and much more. These are just a few of the many features that you may find on office management software programs.
As nice as it is to hear what office management software may be able to offer you, you may be curious as to why you should invest it in. For starters, it is important to focus on the saved time. Office management software not only enables you to save time, but it enables you to make the most out of the time that you do have. Office management software, if properly used, can enable you to monitor the performance of your employees or the tracking of clients and profits, all from the comfort of your own desk. Not having to constantly monitor all employees that are your responsibility makes performing your own tasks much easier.
Another one of the many reasons why you should use office management software to your advantage is because of product selection. As it was previously stated, office management software comes in a number of different formats. This enables you to get the largest software selection. Whether you are looking for a deluxe office management software program, such as one that enables you to network all office computer together or access important documents online, or even just a standard office management software version, you should be able to find it. Having a wide range of options, as well as prices, is ideal if this is your first attempt at incorporating this important software into your businessís structure.
An easy learning curve is another one of the many benefits to integrating office management software into your business. Office management software, as previously stated, comes in a number of different formats. Even the most deluxe versions are easy to use. In fact, many with standard computer skills and knowledge are able to use office management software without any complications. Many office management software programs come with detailed tutorials, as well as the ability to contact a costumer service representative for assistance or troubleshooting. An easy learning curve enables you or your office manager to not waste anytime and get right down to business.
As outlined above, there are a number of benefits to integrating office management software into your business, as well as a number of reasons as to why you should do so. Even if you are unsure as to whether or not office management software is right for your business or your office manager, you are still advised to take a close look at the software programs available for sale. You may be surprised with just how many features and services are included.
A Great Business was planned that way
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