View from inside the office

Each month we will be following 2 companies, both sharing their highs and lows and everyday business challenges, as they describe any issues or problems connected to their office any and the choices and solutions they come up with or are presented with.

The companies will remain anonymous as we want an insight into their office situation and not create a branding or P.R. exercise for them. Both are SMEs, in totally different industries where one company has decided to lease their own offices and the second is in a Serviced Office.

This is the post from the Company in a Leased Office – they will be posting every month. We hope you enjoy the insight…………

Life has settled back to normal. The staff are used to our double office set-up, and although there is a little rivalry between our original base and the new office, it’s all healthy.  A little competition never hurt anyone!

The next challenge is to drive sales forward to help cover the costs of setting up the second office. We always knew it was going to be tough, but the recession really does make it that much harder. Of course you have to speculate to accumulate; if we had stayed in the one office we could only ever have grown a limited amount, whereas now we can begin to scale up the business. It’s a real challenge – our necks are on the line!

Although the extra pressure is hard, we have already started to see positive change as a result of a second office. We have been able to fulfil more orders because we have more sales staff taking calls, more space to store stock and better facilities in which to meet potential new clients.

This is where the serviced offices have really come up trumps – I’m convinced that taking clients into a clean, functional and smart boardroom setting really has helped us win contracts.  Last week we had a major client who wanted to come to our offices with several people in his team as they were looking for a new supplier to fulfil orders across several departments.

Imagine if we had taken them to the original office?!  ‘Sorry, please excuse the heat, our air conditioner is broken. Oh and sorry about the chipped mugs… and please excuse the coats hanging off the back of the meeting room chairs, our coat rack broke…. and I’m afraid the men’s toilet is not flushing properly”. It would have been a disaster! Of course I’m sure they would have understood that our handy man has had flu and the jobs have all been put on hold, but it doesn’t make a great impression.

Luckily the serviced offices have a whole team of handy men and women that keep it running smoothly, not that we needed to worry – everything went very well and the client seemed enthusiastic.  Fingers crossed that we win the contract.

It’s not all bells and whistles at the serviced office. One thing we have found problematic is the open plan setting. Everyone is so noisy! It sounds obvious, but when you are really concentrating on a proposal etc., hearing the phones ringing and the sales team chatting can really put you off your stride. It’s a shame as we really liked the idea of an open space for the team, but it just isn’t really practical.

We were worried that we would have to rethink the whole office – perhaps moving some of the team back over to the original setting (not a popular option!), but we have had a word with the serviced office owners and they are going to give us a quote for room dividers to reduce the noise. The office next door to us has them, and they were kind enough to show us around.

It seems to be a good solution. I’ll keep you posted!

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