The traditional office is dying. Ways of administering a business are changing rapidly. The technology driver to the change was of course the Smart phone which gave connectivity and location independence.
There was however a cultural change as well. In the 80’s and before, the credibility of a small business was judged on simple factors like location and who answered the phone. The most appealing address affordable and a secretary were vital for image; a home based business would never have be taken seriously.
This changed in the noughties and now it is cool and almost expected, for a young entrepreneur to work from home, a hotel, a train or even a beach. Office space is expensive, particularly when considering how collaborations can take place across the world through email and dropbox for free. Young people in particular have grown up with instant connectivity and do not see the point of an office based working style.
Cloud tools are also allowing more and more tasks to be done on a mobile device. In the 80’s a business would reconcile its bank transactions by agreeing a paper bank statement with a ledger book using pencil ticks. In the 90’s it would have been done by typing the amounts from the bank statement into a PC accountancy package and ticking them electronically. With the advent of Cloud accounting systems, bank statement lines are automatically downloaded into your browser and the system cleverly suggests a match with your electronic “books”. The recent launch of the new Xero “Touch” app now makes this essential bookkeeping task possible using only a phone.
So while the business is still small it does not need an office. Key personnel, customers and suppliers can have face to face meetings anywhere that is convenient to the participants. Accounting and administration likewise, helped by the simple fact that paper documents are now obsolete.