ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- We probably all thought it was a good idea at the time, but the ultimate conclusion for most is that "home office" is an oxymoron.
If we're really looking to get things done we've got to have the proper set up. This means having adequate resources at our disposal along with space for meetings, focused work, collaboration, and learning.
Until recently the home office was a choice by default. If you didn't have a commercial lease you had to set up in that spare room, or poach Wi-Fi from coffee shops. More people have found themselves in this situation as corporate downsizing has left many folks without traditional office space.
Enter the non-traditional work place. Numerous "coworking" facilities have opened around the world in the past several years. These places offer a flexible and affordable community environment for your office. The value proposition is simple - provide basic resources such as Wi-Fi, desks, mail service, meeting rooms, and most of all, fellow coworkers with whom you can share laughs, best practices, and contacts.
Distinguishing the activity at home from work is critical. In addition to the challenge of pet sounds it seems there is always a chore to do at home. Separating professional and domestic lives makes you more effective at both. Plus, coworking by nature encourages networking which is difficult to achieve at home.
Connect113 in Alexandria, VA (Washington, DC metro area) is a good example of a shared office community. The 3,000 + sf coworking facility is equipped with high-tech meeting rooms, broadband, color printing, desks, office supplies, and all the espresso you can handle.
Activity is measured by membership, not leases. Members pay $350 per month to use the space 24/7 and it's professionally staffed M-F from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Assistance includes mail forwarding, notary services, guest reception, and conference room set up. Private office space is also available. Terms are thirty days.
Co-founder Billy Winburn notes, "If you honestly add the costs of Wi-Fi, printers, coffee, newspapers, mail service, paper clips, trips to the post office, etc., you can begin to justify the benefits of the shared workspace quickly. Basically you don't pay for space you don't need and there is no long term commitment."