To Diana Rothschild, freelance consultant of multinational companies in the USA, the decision seemed obvious. With an 8 months old baby daughter, work from home was the best option: she accomplished a higher balance between her personal and professional life, besides having more reduced costs compared to the traditional office solution. The point of change happened when she was on the phone in the kitchen with a Nestle top executive and, at that moment, her bay started to cry incessantly, naturally disturbing the meeting.
The latest Global Workplace Analytics statistics show that 79% of the American work force would like to work from home, at least in part time. Despite the flexible work be a tendency in the new generations of professionals, its implementation is not easy, and Yahoo’s recent example, which changed radically its strategy in the telework promotion domain, confirms that thesis.
The Portuguese company of strategic consultancy SCA Consultores is an interesting case study: it's been in the market for 9 years with an innovative management model based on telework, but with well defined rules to what concerns the discipline in the use of work spaces. To Pedro Souto, CEO of the consultant “one thing is to work at home; another thing, quite different, is to have an office at home”. Contrary to Diana Rothschild, Pedro Souto chose to install its office in a separate division of the house, allowing him to separate the professional from the personal and familiar environment. Uses the distant secretariat (Virtual Office) and, when needed, uses work spaces and meeting rooms in a Business Center, which allows him to break from a certain social isolation characteristic of the telework, punctually meeting with clients and suppliers, developing also networking with other companies.
As the proverb says “necessity is the mother of invention”, also modern economy has generated different work solutions adapted to modern times which are an alternative to the traditional office model and that are being increasingly used in all the world by professionals and companies of all dimensions. In the cases where you find an efficient resources management, these same solutions may also become an important complement to the physical office. The “secret” is in combining the several models in function of the economic conjuncture and the company’s evolution context.
Avila Business Centers/Avila Coworking CEO and co-author of the book “Out of the Office”