With a new year upon us, it seems like an appropriate time to look back and reflect on the evolution of the small business workplace over the past decade or so.
While the concept of a “small business” is not new, the general day-to-day involved with running one has changed as technology and work habits have evolved. The ease of telecommuting and accessing files online has led to the idea of a ‘universal office’, and many small business owners and their employees can conduct an entire day’s work from different sides of the country.
The Intuit Small Business Blog Canada wrote an article last month entitled The Evolution of the Small Business Workplace, which takes a look at the manner in which independently owned shops have changed the way they work. The article is laid out in a way that shows how small businesses have phased out the idea of the traditional office and 9-to-5 in a step-by-step manner, with a look at what to expect as we move forward and technology continues to advance.
Here’s a snippet:
Cloudworking – A Cloudworker is someone that collaborates with clients, colleagues, partners and suppliers over the internet. The nature of their job may involve a great deal of travel to client sites, or maybe working from home just makes more sense than the expense of real estate, mileage, telecommunications and bandwidth that can be just as easily be channeled to a VOIP phone, land line or smartphone. They might work from home, join their less technology-empowered telecommuter ancestors at the coffee shops, or work in a collaborative community at a…
(The next word is “Co-Working Space”, which, as per the structure of this article, is the introduction to the next paragraph).
We know the concept of working via the cloud well, as it’s something we’ve been providing for our clients for over three years. While what we do – focusing on storing files online rather than physically – isn’t exactly what the article is talking about here, it does translate to our staff being able to work remotely should the situation call for it. Since everything is stored online, all they need is an internet connection and they’re able to work the same as they would from the office.
The other subjects explored by this article are teleworking/telecommuting (which we more or less just described above), coworking space, and “proworking”. Each one has contributed to the evolution of the small business workplace, which will continue to change as we move forward and the expectations of both employers and employees change. We’d recommend that small business owners give it a read, especially if you’ve been looking at options that may help how your business is run.
What do you think? Do you utilize any of these ideas as a small business owner? Do you plan on starting? Your thoughts are always welcome, so let us know!