Work, holidays and our green office space

Photograph from IoD(Institute of Directors)

Photograph from IoD(Institute of Directors)

When people ask us what we love about working in the hotel industry we tell them that work is always our holiday, and holidays are always our work. So when we started our own company last year, we realized we should do what we could to avoid the traditional work environment. After all, there's nothing "holiday" about a cubicle or office desk with fluorescent lighting. We have what you might call the greenest office space there is. It's virtual. We pay Regus serviced offices to handle our mail. Through them, we have access to business center needs in 12 locations across Hong Kong and 1,200 locations worldwide. Other than that, we're 100% mobile. Because we're B2B consultants in the hotel industry with clients across the Asia Pacific region, there really isn't a need for us to park ourselves in an office space we'd use 10% of the time.

So what do we do? We equip ourselves with laptops, Blackberries, wireless internet dongles, the Cloud and a practically paper-free office. We work from hotels, airplanes, airport lounges, restaurants, cafes, client's offices, our homes, in cabs and on our Blackberries. We work the hours we want during the workweek, on weekends, on holidays, when we have insomnia - whenever and wherever we want. And if we really need to, we rent an office space by the day through Regus anywhere across the world.

But for companies that can't afford the luxury of a complete virtual office, there are definitely benefits of building alternative workspaces to mimic this environment.

What's an Alternative Workspace (AWS)/ Co-Workspace?

Alternative workspaces are fantastic solutions promoting cost efficiency and a better work environment for employees. Instead of traditional cubicles or desks, an AWS gives employees the option to move around as they please with shared desks, standup counters, library settings, lounges, pantries, or even the option to work from home. While an AWS doesn't work for everyone (some people are happy to hunker down in a claustrophobic cubicle space), here are some benefits:

Benefits of Alternative Workspaces

  • Reduce your real estate overhead.
  • Improve employee satisfaction by giving them the autonomy to self-regulate their work environments and schedules.
  • Promote better work-life balance by giving employees the option to work from home.
  • Address the needs of families or those who might have multiple jobs.
  • Reduce absenteeism and "sick days".
  • Improve productivity.
  • Promote a social work environment where employees collaborate together.
  • Promote creativity.
  • Get access to skilled employees who live in another city or even country.
  • Etc.

Again, it isn't for everyone. But if you're a company that can function without landlines, chunky computers and filing cabinets, why continue to build cubicles?