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Death of the office: The new working way for nomadic tech startups

death of the office

Ansel Liu, founder of NOMAD, a marketplace for on-demand workspace, explains why he thinks the office is dead.

Anyone who works at or has founded a startup knows it’s a far cry from established, more corporate businesses. Startups are a hungry, ambitious and adventurous breed, determined to get that big break, and make their idea work.

Startups don’t work 9-5. Far from it, in fact. It was recently reported that 25% of UK small business owners work more than 51 hours per week, while 68% exceed 35 hours per week. With many people putting long hours in at work, it seems sensible they’re doing it in the places that work for them and their often outgoing lifestyle.

A mission

Startups are on a mission to grow and develop.

Finding an environment which complements the mentality of living and working more freely is a great place to begin.

This new wave of entrepreneurial talent don’t want to be tied down. Shared work spaces encourage entrepreneurs to venture out into the wider world, opening them up to new levels of creativity and as well as opening doors to relationships that otherwise may not happen.

Flexible working

Ditch the postcode, it’s time for flexible working

Gone are the days of needing a swanky postcode to give a company gravitas. Today’s working culture is much more about flexible working with the ‘digital nomad’ fast becoming the new normal.

The proliferation of mobile devices means workers don’t need to be tied to one long term space to get the job done. Today’s ‘always on’ workers can work from almost anywhere, so it makes sense to go somewhere that suits the company culture and offers the best opportunity for the business to thrive.

Long term, fixed, and often expensive contracts don’t suit the agility and fast-paced nature of startups. The stark reality for some startups is that it doesn’t always work out as planned – and there is a very real risk of signing onto a lease that might be longer than the company’s life itself.

There’s no doubt that the recent EU Referendum result has had an immediate impact on the economic outlook for business so it becomes even more important for businesses to be able to manage their costs given the uncertainty ahead in the short term.

Entrepreneurs can’t be tied into long-term contracts and need the flexibility to explore new areas and try different spaces.

Startups are also incredibly busy and often run by time-poor people. Scouring the capital for a base to work or hold a meeting isn’t a productive use of time. Instead of a long-winded hunt for a room in an office block, startups need platforms which will help them book innovative spaces from a few clicks on their laptop or smartphone. They need to know it has the necessary facilities for them and they can turn up on the day and get working. There’s no lag time.

Expand the network

For a startup, making connections and networking with the right people are some of the most important factors in helping them succeed. That’s hard to do unless you’re surrounded by like-minded people.

Shared work spaces bring entrepreneurial spirits together in person, enabling relationships to form which otherwise may never have done. Having people in the know on hand is invaluable. Startups can have a hard time making it and a supportive and nurturing community fueled by creativity and innovation can go a long way to helping them on their journey to success.

Many young entrepreneurs are accustomed to the sharing economy and a rapidly urbanising world. They love to travel the world. They book taxi journeys through Uber and stay in an Airbnb on their travels, and look for this to be replicated in their working lives. They prefer experiences rather than possessions and are increasingly looking for workplaces to reflect that. Startups will be looking to platforms which offer them flexible spaces that match their growth and can be booked as needed.

Shared work space gives startups the perspective they often need and they can even use the people they meet there as a sounding board. It’s easy for them to take a breather, get a drink or a bite to eat and avoid being confined to a solitary space.

If you’re a startup, you’re likely raring for success. Have a look where you’re working and who’s alongside you and think, could this be better? If so, maybe a shared work space could be exactly what you’re looking for to give your venture the all-important environment it needs to thrive.