5 Best Practices to Effectively Hold Virtual Meetings

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the way people work across the world, most businesses have adopted work-from-home policies as quickly and effectively as possible to allow for continuity of operations. During this difficult time, the challenge for employers is to help their teams adjust to this new reality while ensuring morale and productivity are affected as little as possible.

In reality, most organizations cannot just simply shift their in-office meeting structure to video conferencing and expect the same exact results. Thankfully, modern technology allows us to hold face-to-face meetings without having to be in the same location, let alone in the same room. Though there may be big differences between office-based and online meetings, becoming accustomed to this new paradigm is paramount to your business. Here are tips to help you put your best foot forward and ensure your virtual meetings run productively.

Choose the Right Meeting Tools

Picking the right tools for your virtual meetings can be daunting, what with the abundance of technology that makes the process faster, easier, and more collaborative. It is important to know the key functionality you will be needing for the meeting to be successful. Do you need to see your teammates’ reactions as you talk about your weekly tasks or achievements? Try a video conferencing software like Skype. Are you going to work on a file that should be accessible to and editable by others? Google Docs would be there perfect choice. Do you need everyone to watch a video or PowerPoint presentation in real time? Then a screen-sharing software like Zoom is a must.

Set an Agenda

If you want your virtual meetings to be successful, you need to plan your agenda prior to the meeting itself. The best remote meetings have an agenda set beforehand so attendees can come in knowing what they will be discussing. Expectations must also be set ahead of time. When leading a meeting, establish basic ground rules—ask attendees to join the call on time, close out email and other browsers during the meeting, as well as to always keep their video on and mute the audio when they are not speaking.

It is worth noting to include the following on your agenda:
  • Key talking points
  • Structure
  • Team members in attendance
  • Any relevant files or documents

Creating a clear agenda and a series of guidelines will help ensure that your team is on the same page before the virtual meeting takes place.

Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

Before starting the meeting, make sure that you have a quiet place so you can focus without any distractions. Check if your workstation is in tip-top shape and everything is organized—from documents you will be needing to how your home office looks in front of the camera. If your boss or teammate asks for a specific file or information that has a physical copy, you should be able to present it right away. You should also let your family members know that you are on a call and would appreciate extremely limited to no interruptions.

Practice Proper Virtual Meeting Etiquette

It can be easy to fall victim to some major meeting faux pas, but this can be avoided to keep your meetings efficient and professional. Online meetings are like a whole new ball game compared to office meetings because of our current situation, and let us assume this could be the new normal for the months or years to come. Keep in mind the following codes of conduct and behavior during the actual virtual meeting with your team:

  • Turn off all notifications and make sure your cell phone is on silent.
  • Make sure all team members are in a quiet area free from unnecessary distractions.
  • Give everyone a chance to speak and contribute.
  • Do not stare at your phone while other people are presenting.
  • Do not interrupt other people when they are speaking.
  • Do not work on other tasks, like checking email or other websites, during the virtual meeting.

Plain and simple, just practice common courtesy. People want to be heard, seen, and respected during an online meeting—just like they do everywhere else.

Keep Your Team Engaged

From setting an agenda to practicing proper etiquette, these important guidelines in getting a virtual meeting up and running would be useless if your team is not engaged. It is important to start the meeting with a casual conversation or an “ice breaker” to lighten up the mood. Catch up with your teammates especially in these trying times. Ask them about their families and how they get by every day. Showing them empathy and compassion makes them feel that they are cared for, which enables them to open up and be comfortable. Moreover, come up with several interactive online activities that are fun and engaging to avoid dull meetings. In virtual settings, you do not have that face-to-face interaction, so you have to work hard to gain their trust and build rapport.

 

Successfully holding a virtual meeting can feel overwhelming especially during this time, but it really does not have to be. When you follow these tips, it will not matter whether you are working with a team of five, or even more than ten, and even if they are miles away from where you are—you will have everything you need to be productive and to run online meetings smoothly as you would do in a regular office one.

7 Ways to Work From Home Efficiently During the COVID-19 Crisis

ARCH Ways to Work From Home Infographic - ARCH Offices - Blog

As the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a global health crisis, businesses across the world have been temporarily closing offices, prohibiting non-essential travel, and adopting work-from-home policies. Many situations such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters can disrupt people’s lives, mobility, and ability to get things done. With a remote access solution on hand for businesses, those working from home will be able to accomplish their tasks and collaborate with their teammates.

But how can you effectively deliver results if it is your first time to work away from the office? Here are optimal practices you can adopt to stay focused on the job and mentally healthy while working from home:

Establish Your Space

Setting up your personal workspace at home is crucial, especially if you share the house with a spouse, your children, or your siblings. Ideally, it should be in a quiet area with some privacy. A spare room can help reduce noise and avoid distractions from other people if you will be on the phone frequently. You might also need a dedicated space for your design or tech equipment, one that is separate from the rest of your other stuff. Place a filing cabinet beside your desk where you can store confidential files. If you have children or younger siblings, keeping important things within their reach could be a problem. Make sure to also keep your workstation clean and sanitized every now and then, if at all possible, twice a day.

Start Early and Track Everything

Research says that if you get up early, you will be more creative and efficient throughout the day. However, it is important to understand how your body clock works as it will help you find your most productive times, lowest energy dips during the day, and best hours for sleeping. If you are a morning person, you should set aside your morning hours for focused, uninterrupted work time. Furthermore, tracking time will also encourage you to break down your workday effectively, from the most important tasks to those you can accomplish later on. People working remotely are more likely to overwork than those in the office. By tracking time, you will be able to maintain regular work hours. Although you are working from home, there still comes a time when you have to call it a day and spend some time with your loved ones.

Pretend You Are Actually Going into the Office

Structure is important in adjusting to a new work environment. Beyond the essential tools required to accomplish your tasks, experts say that the most effective way to stay productive is to replicate your office environment at home. While it is necessary to create a sense of structure and social stimulation like that of your office environment, it is worth noting that you cannot entirely replicate your work model in the office. What could make you more efficient is preparing for work as if you are coming into the office. Set your alarm, drink your morning coffee, and wear nice clothes, even when you are just at home. That mindset can boost your productivity and help you create a positive outlook when working.

Prepare and Update Your To-Do List

It can be challenging to keep track of what you have to finish throughout your workday especially when you are working from the comfort of your home. It is easy to overlook tasks, priorities, and deadlines. When you create a to-do list, make sure you stick to it. After you complete a certain task, cross it off the list. Not only is this simple technique effective, it is also fulfilling as it helps you build momentum to power through the rest of the day. Get into the habit of using a planner to keep track of deadlines and meetings. In fact, there are different task management tools such as Zoho Projects and Trello that make working from home a cakewalk. By organizing your tasks, you can accomplish them one at a time and with a dedicated focus.

Apply the Pomodoro Technique

How the Pomodoro Technique works is surprisingly simple. Just list down a set of tasks and set a timer for 25 minutes per item. At the end of every 25 minutes, you take a quick break. Five to ten minutes should do. Once you have completed four of these blocks, or “pomodoros,” that is when you take a longer break. Somewhere around 20 minutes to a half hour works well. Repeat these series of 25-minute blocks throughout your workday, with short periods of time to eat or grab a snack. As the timer instills a sense of urgency, you will not feel like you have endless time to get things done, thus avoiding wasting precious hours on distractions. Because you know you only have 25 minutes, you strive to make as much progress on a task as possible.

Set Timeframes for Social Media Use

Unless your line of work highly involves social media, checking your accounts from time to time can be detrimental to the quality of your output. If you are not careful, you can easily get lost in your screen—tapping from app to app and scrolling through social feeds for a good two hours. The most sensible thing to do is to close your social media apps and limit checking to just twice during your entire working schedule. Many mobile apps now reveal to users how much time they spend in each app. The result is eye-opening, especially for casual social media users. Avoid mindless use of social media and you would be surprised how much you can accomplish. It would also be best to have a dedicated spot where you can store your smartphone, tablet, and other gadgets, at least for a while until you reach your targets for the day.

Eat Healthy Food

You do not want to overdo it with snacking, but you also do not want to starve yourself. Once you hit the ground running, it can be difficult to take a break just to grab something to eat. Nevertheless, it is necessary that you know your hunger signs and understand that not eating can affect your productivity and alertness. What you eat will impact your mood and energy level. It is also worth mentioning that balanced, nutritious food keeps us fuller longer and helps us concentrate better. Focus on protein, fiber, healthy fats, fruits, and veggies. Preparing your meals ahead of time, just like you would on days you go to the office, will make it easier to avoid noshing on whatever looks tastiest in the moment.

 

Working from home is full of temptation in the form of countless distractions. You have to fight off the effects of sitting too long in front of your laptop and wake up your brain if you are feeling a bit sluggish. Remote working is a double-edge sword—you get to work on your tasks comfortably, but it can be harder to maintain focus. While no boss or colleague is physically watching your every move while you are working, you have to do your part, perform at your best, and deliver awesome results at the end of the day. After all, not everyone has the luxury of staying home and making a living at the same time.

Workplace Trends for Boosting Employee Engagement

Workplace trends are continuously evolving to cater to the needs of a younger technological workforce, as well as to improve employee engagement and retention. Cubicle walls that hinder communication and the sharing of ideas among teammates are finally going down. This radical change in work environments is seen as an opportunity to promote teamwork and tear down social barriers, so to speak. People now refuse to be constrained by congested stalls; they want to work in open workspaces where ideas can flow freely.

Employers, realizing this trend, embraced a workplace makeover accordingly, also taking into account the tight competition for top talent. The key now is to know which modern office design can stimulate collaboration and engage people. The following trends can help you decide on which designs and themes to put into effect in your next office space.

Health and Well-being

Needless to say, the environment we work in affects our health. The top priority of employers nowadays is the well-being of their employees, so they pull out all the stops to create a happy and healthy workplace. Apart from wellness programs aimed at fitness and diet, plants in the office are now an emerging trend as well. Other elements such as natural light and the use of natural colors and materials are also in the mix of things to improve health and productivity.

Well-being

Millennial-friendly

Millennials are currently dominating the workforce, and they are seeking workplaces that support their lifestyle. This includes roles with inspiring, cool, and fun facilities. Breakout rooms, recreational spaces, and even indoor gyms are just some of the hip and stylish amenities that entice job applicants. Modern furnishings and trendy interior designs, when combined with said amenities, can make all the difference in employee engagement and retention.

 

Flexible and Innovative

Flexible workspaces are one of the solutions to the dynamic challenges of the business world. Fully functioning serviced offices with minimal set-up or transformation time are a convenient and viable option for businesses with fast-paced environments. Adaptable workspaces make it easy to take on additional manpower and integrate new technology, increasing the longevity of workplace investments. What’s more, portable furniture and equipment enable a more vibrant and interactive setting.

Activity-based

Young and energetic talents thrive in social and collaborative environments. However, they still need private offices where they can work without any distractions. This is where serviced offices come in. They offer a mix of private, semi-private, and open workspaces that can accommodate teams of any size. Serviced offices define spaces for specific work styles and tasks. Think about meeting pods, communal tables, and brainstorming areas that can be used for different functions in a heartbeat. Hot desking, which is a growing trend in the co-working industry, is another way of knocking down restrictions to allow people to collaborate with other like-minded and talented individuals.

Integrating Technology

Technology and workplace design always go hand in hand. Technology has always been integral to the functionality of most offices that it affects almost every decision throughout the designing and building process. With it comes an increasingly diversified set of responsibilities for each employee, resulting in customized workspaces for each specific role. Flexibility must be planned into every workstation so that the office does not have to be revamped every time there is new equipment or hardware to be installed or there is a change in functional roles.

 

Still mulling it over? We can help you come up with a flexible workspace best suited for your team’s needs. Let them reach their fullest potential through the spaces we create. Send us an email at hello@archoffices.com for inquiries.

Choosing the Right Office Space and Location for your Business

Office space and location are two aspects in the business that should not be overlooked.  Countless studies have proven that there is a correlation among the two components, business performance metrics, employee productivity, as well as your company culture and brand. Choosing the right office space and location for your business is another way of effectively communicating your culture to clients, investors, and future employees. Furthermore, your team is going to need a space where they can focus, collaborate, and learn.

The ideal office space and location speak volumes about the type of business you are running, so it is crucial to consider everything down to the very last detail as these will have a longstanding impact on your team and organization.

·        Reputation

       Having your office space in a location that has a sophisticated reputation can reflect on your business. If it is a neighborhood that has been seeing growth for the past few years, prospective clients may see your company in a more positive light, giving them a glimpse of your culture and setting crystal-clear expectations. 

·        Accessibility and Brand Visibility 

       The perfect location can attract new customers. How you are going to pick a building is critical, so is choosing the vicinity where it is situated. You also have to look out for major roads and infrastructures that surround your office as these are important factors that people consider. Being in a prominent position lets your target market know that you exist.

·        Room for Growth

        Every office space has a certain character, and each one can affect the way people perceive the culture that your company is upholding. Your space must be flexible and scalable in a way that will allow your team to discover areas where they can improve and create a positive impact on the business.

·        Convenience

       It is important to make sure that there is a large parking space within close proximity of the location you are choosing for other people to get to you with ease. With safe parking areas and not having to worry too much about security, your team can concentrate on their productivity and performance, and your clients can focus on their own business. Neighboring commercial businesses and restaurants can also help them worry less about other necessities.

·        Network Expansion

       Having a network of connected businesses could give your company access to a bigger talent pool, economies of scale, and more investors. Being situated in a region where other businesses thrive is an indicator that there are tons of opportunities for growth, attracting potential employees and customers alike.

·        Improved Employee and Client Retention

       Increasing efficiency in the workplace centers around the motivation and mindset of the employees, and a driving force that affects both is the kind of work environment that you foster. With the right office space, expect continued collaboration and productivity among your team members, as well as an influx of clients seeking a company that cultivates growth within the workplace.

Whether you need a desk, office suite, or entire HQ, our serviced offices in Makati are all designed for productivity and collaboration, and are ideal for both small and large groups, startups, client meetings, and the in-betweens. Let your team reach their fullest potential through the workspaces we create. Send us an email at hello@archoffices.com for inquiries and reservations.

 

Things to Consider When Looking For A New Office Space

An office space is as essential to the business as your team members. Not only does it affect your day-to-day operations, it also affects your brand image. The effort you will need to put into searching for your new office space should not be taken too lightly. There is a lot at stake, as choosing the right workspace for your business can make all the difference when it comes to recruitment, retention, productivity, and even your team’s well-being.

The most important thing to take into consideration is that you must know exactly what the needs of your business are. Does your team have enough wiggle room to move about and pace around? Are there enough meeting rooms? Are they spacious enough to accommodate your team? Does it have an open space for a lounge or a receiving area? Asking yourself these questions before you make a final decision is crucial. The following aspects can help you ease your mind with regards to the ideal office space to get for your business.

Location and Accessibility

The importance of location in the success of a business cannot be understated. It also helps create your brand image as every part of a certain town or city carries a reputation, be it for simple or for luxurious living. Setting up your business in a place that reflects your brand and services can significantly affect your growth and success. Location can also impact the total operational cost and the capability of a business to market itself. An office space near transportation hubs and major thoroughfares is a great sigh of relief to your team members who are taking the commute every day to work. Also keep in mind nearby restaurants, coffee shops, and convenience stores that everyone will surely appreciate.

Cost

Strike the balance between the location, office size, and lease type to reach a fair market price. Before anything else, spend ample time to research on average business rates including rent, taxes, and utility bills to make sure you can afford the office space. Hidden charges such as deposits or parking tickets must also be considered before signing any contracts. Create a cost estimate of the location to avoid financial commitments outside your means.

Security

Crime can undesirably affect the long-term growth projections of a business. When inspecting the premises, you should immediately check for security cameras and alarm systems. They add safety to the office space and serve as deterrents to criminals. These security aspects are also critical in safeguarding business assets, valuable information, and people from any kind of loss or damage. A robust security environment reduces liabilities, insurance, compensation, and other social security expenses.

Competition

Competition is inevitable for any kind of business. While it could hinder the success of your organization, it can be an effective tool for growth and improvement. You can also identify where your competitors are falling short, and with that, be the one to fill that void and satisfy the need. However, too much competition in the vicinity can be a warning sign to look for an office space elsewhere.

Vibe

Your ideal office space should resonate with your company and the culture you want to build. Your team is going to need a positive work environment for them to reach their fullest potential and accomplish their tasks on time. It is also important for everyone to feel at home in the workplace to achieve a sense of belongingness and comfort. The space alone should emulate an innovative and spirited vibe that appeals to the people. But it is up to you and the designers to make it more engaging and create a reflection of your company’s vision for the future.

 

Our serviced offices in Makati are perfect for teams of any size. Get the workspace that your team deserves. Get in touch via email at hello@archoffices.com for more information.

Should You Get A Coworking Space Or Lease A Serviced Office?

Whether you’re starting a new business or simply expanding your horizons, it is important to choose a workspace that will help your business grow and reach its maximum potential.  While looking for an office space for rent is still viable for many businesses, shared workspaces have provided businesses with a more flexible and cost-effective option.

In the recent years, more and more companies are opting for solutions like serviced offices and coworking spaces. The phenomenon of collaborative workspaces is a fast-rising trend that has now become an attractive alternative to conventional office space leasing. With fully-furnished yet affordable workspaces situated in prime business locations, shared offices allow growing organizations to allocate their costs on core business functions.

Unlike the traditional office setup, shared workspaces allow working professionals to be productive in a casual and flexible work environment at their own pace and style. This kind of work areas not only provide businesses with affordable and efficient business operations, it also promotes a sense of community and a dynamic atmosphere.

With the emergence of various options nowadays, it has become easier to find the ideal workspace for your business. Two of the most effective options today are coworking spaces and serviced offices. But which approach is best for your organization?

 

WHAT IS A SERVICED OFFICE?

A serviced office is a workspace that is fully furnished and equipped with all the facilities necessary to operate business functions. To make the set up as seamless as possible, serviced offices typically comprise of desks, chairs, computers, and other vital amenities like a reliable internet connection, telephone access, and mailing services. This allows entrepreneurs to “plug and play” and transition into the new office space easily.

 

Here are some key advantages of leasing a serviced office:

It provides a fully furnished workspace that is ready for occupancy.

Serviced offices are ready made workstations equipped with modern technology and amenities. A typical serviced office provides reliable internet, good office infrastructure, and state of the art facilities.

It is extremely cost-effective.

Serviced offices reduce expenses due to the all-inclusive cost of lease. You won’t have to shell out a budget for office equipment and furnishing, as well as other necessary office services. Instead, you can allot the money to the expanding needs of your business.

It offers flexible working setup for your business.

Serviced offices operate 24/7 which allows your business to run operations on your own terms and preferences. It also improves focus and workflow as you will have your own space where your team can discuss important matters without being disrupted or overheard.

 

WHAT IS A COWORKING SPACE?

Coworking spaces provide working professionals with a sharing office space along with other vital office equipment such as desks, printers and copy machines, as well as internet connection and phone access. This type of setup encourages a collaborative environment and promotes an innovative work culture. Coworking spaces provide greater opportunities to build connections and exchange ideas within a community of passion-driven individuals.

 

Here are some key advantages of getting a coworking space:

It promotes collaboration and community building.

Coworking spaces are highly social and collaborative. It promotes a friendly and dynamic work environment that also enables individuals from similar or different fields of work to enhance networking connections.

It inspires and increases productivity through more direct communication.

Because coworkers work alongside each other, team members can discuss and share ideas faster and more effectively. This kind of setup promotes better workflow and business processes.

It is affordable, and it offers lease flexibility.

For startup entrepreneurs and freelancers, it is always important to consider the cost of resources. Coworking spaces are more affordable than renting an office space traditionally and they also offer lease flexibility since businesses are not bound by long-term contracts.

 

The Difference Between Serviced Offices and Coworking Spaces

Both serviced offices and coworking spaces offer organizations with the chance to operate business functions without the extra load that traditional leasehold brings. Both options provide startup companies with a lot of advantages when it comes to reducing costs and scalability. While there are a lot of common denominators in terms of benefits, there are also some significant differences between the two.

Coworking spaces typically offer flexible arrangements of desks predominantly utilized by startup businesses, sometimes even individual freelancers. Whereas, a serviced office is more ideal for businesses who have growing needs since this option provides them with the infrastructure needed in order to run day to day operations in a more private and management-centric setting. While serviced offices enable occupants to focus on their work without any disruptions, the best thing about coworking spaces is the environment that promotes collaboration and innovation.

 

Which Office Space is Right For You?

There are many factors to consider when finding a home for your businesses. It is important to keep in mind that your decision should depend on your company’s growth and development plan. Choose the workspace that will cater to your business requirements and help you operate efficiently. At the end of the day, it all boils down to your business’ own unique needs and circumstances.

By now, you have a clear idea of the differences between serviced offices and coworking. If you’re still not sure which is the right choice for you and your business, consider the following questions:

  • How much space will you be needing?
  • How often do you need office space?
  • How long do you need the space for?
  • What kind of amenities do you need?
  • What’s in your budget right now?

 

Before making any decisions of what would work best for your business, spend the time considering what you and your team need and researching the options available to you. We know that the process can be tedious and frustrating at times and we can always help provide expert advice on the office spaces the fit your business requirements. If you would like to find out which services are available you can reach out to us at hello@archoffices.com

 

 

5 Tips On How To Decorate Your Office Space This Christmas

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. While most companies organize huge corporate events for the holidays, business owners and freelancers are not obliged to participate in these kinds of gathering. However, there are still other ways to celebrate the Yuletide season in private office spaces. The simplest way to commemorate Christmas is by decorating your workspace. Put up Christmas decorations to set the holiday vibe. You may start by decorating your own desk. Turn the corners into something more festive. It does not have to be over the top. In fact, you can even make your own decors.

If you are looking for hassle-free ideas on how to decorate your private office without breaking your budget, here are some tips for you:

1.  Hang Wreaths

A wreath is one of the daintiest ways to set the Christmas mood. You may buy one for a very affordable price or if you love crafting, a DIY wreath is also a great idea. You can design your own and add some floral elements. Add a ribbon for the finishing touch. You may hang the wreath on your door or at an empty wall in your office.

2.  Put Up Garlands

Add festive cheer to your office walls by dangling garlands. You may go with the classic greens or you may also try putting up colorful paper garlands. Paper garlands are very easy to make. A DIY garland can actually look better than store-bought one if you unleash your creative side. Experiment with whatever you already have like colored papers or paper clips. Hang the garlands on your walls to add Christmas spirit to your office.

3. Display Christmas Ornaments

Deck the halls with Christmas decorations! Holiday decors come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. There are a lot of decorations to choose from—Christmas stockings, candy canes, Santa hats. You can also light candles to add holiday warmth to your workspace. However, the best way to decorate your office is to think of a theme and stick to it. For example, if you prefer “Winter Wonderland”, you may hang snowflake ornaments and put up a cute little snowman.

4. Have An Advent Calendar

If you’re the kind of person who really looks forward to Christmas, you may also put up an advent calendar in your office. An advent calendar is basically a countdown until Christmas day. You may simply print your own design and display it on your desk. If you want, you can also write your everyday tasks on the calendar. It is surely a fun and exciting way to pass the days until Christmas.

5. Create Your Own Christmas Tree

Nothing says Christmas more than a well-decorated Christmas tree. For office spaces that couldn’t fit an actual tree, a DIY Christmas tree is the best and most affordable solution. The good thing is you can pick the size and style of your own tree. You may opt for the traditional colors and design, but you can also go with literally anything you like because you can create a Christmas tree out of anything. Hang accessories that complement your office’s theme. You can make a mini tree that is perfect for your desk or you can also create something that you can put in your favorite corner of the office.

Business owners and freelancers tend to ignore festivities and take advantage of this season to catch up on work. But keep in mind that the holiday season is also the perfect time to wind down and recharge for another year of work that’s ahead of you and your business. Use this time to plan for the upcoming year. ‘Tis the season to reflect on what a fruitful year it has been for your business. It is always a good idea to look back on individual and business accomplishments as a reminder of how far you have come. While it’s true that working in a private office does not require you to make a big deal out of the holidays, it does not mean you cannot commemorate it in your office space. All it takes is a bit of creativity and imagination. This year, celebrate and enjoy the holiday season!

From all of us at Arch Offices, we wish you a happy Christmas and a prosperous year ahead!

The Key Advantages of Having A Virtual Office For Your Business

Technology has paved the way for the transformation of the traditional office setting. In fact, it has created more efficient and convenient ways of operating businesses by means of virtual offices. Virtual office solutions help startups and small to medium enterprises build a professional and credible image without investing in a physical office. You get to have all the benefits of an actual office including a business address, meeting rooms, and communication services at an affordable price. Here are some of the key advantages of having a virtual office:

It Lowers Cost

Starting a business is never easy, especially when you’re working on a budget. It is not financially feasible to invest in a physical office space considering the increasing cost of real estate. You also have the cost of transportation and the pay for maintenance to think about. With growing businesses that may require expansion, it can also be a challenge to relocate to a new office, accommodate a bigger staff, and purchase more equipment. A virtual office presents an ideal solution for startups and growing businesses who are trying to reduce expenses and save a lot of money for the future.

It Builds Credibility

In running a business, it is important to establish and maintain a physical presence. No matter how small your business is, clients will most likely trust names with official business addresses and phone numbers. Depending on the packages and plans, a virtual office can provide you with a registered business address and professional communication services like call answering, mail handling, and mail forwarding. Having these services available increases your business legitimacy.

It Improves Customer Relations

Even though you are operating your business online, you should still keep in mind the convenience of your customers. Sometimes, you have to deal with transactions in person. As much as possible, you would want to make your customers feel important and well-accommodated. The good thing about renting virtual offices is that you get to utilize conference rooms where you can hold meetings and discussions. This way, you can keep a smooth sailing relationship with your customers virtually and physically.

Since a virtual office lets you maintain a business address in the city, the location of your physical address is also one of the factors that you should consider when choosing a virtual office. Keep in mind that this will also be the venue for client meetings and assemblies. Being situated in a prime area like the Makati Central Business District can improve the clientele’s impression of your business.

It Provides Greater Flexibility and Productivity

One of the best advantages of a virtual office in Makati is that it allows you to manage your business from anywhere that is most convenient for you. No need to deal with the hassle of traveling to a physical workspace. It saves a lot of time and energy which leads to increased levels of productivity. A virtual office also offers a flexible working schedule. This helps create a better life and work balance for you and your team. Cultivating positive habits results in higher productivity—which is vital in generating greater revenue for your business.

In this day and age of digital advancement, now is the time to redefine the way you operate your growing business. As technology continues to evolve, consumers demand more efficiency. Managing a business online is the best way of engaging with clients and prospects.

At Arch Offices, we provide reliable services and facilities located at the heart of the Makati at a minimal cost. Our virtual office solutions will help you manage and grow your business. With our affordable and flexible virtual office plans, you may choose the best one that fits your business’ needs.

If you are convinced that a virtual office is more suitable for your business, you may get in touch with us to know more about our services.

 

A Step-by-Step Guide for a Smooth Office Move-in

Moving into a new office can be an exciting part of your company’s journey toward expansion and growth. A new serviced office space means a different environment to perk up employees who may be looking for more modern or upgraded working conditions.

On the other hand, moving office can be stressful. There are just too many things you have to think about and plan for. Office relocation could also cause separation anxiety among employees who are already too comfortable with or accustomed to the old office.

That’s why it’s critical to make the office move as smoothly as possible. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to plan meticulously and ensure that you and your team can transition to the new office seamlessly. This step-by-step guide gives you helpful pointers to ensure a hassle-free move-in whether you have a small team or a big team.

 

STEP ONE: First Things First

Once you’ve decided that your company needs new premises, there are three primary considerations that you should focus on so you can efficiently find the right serviced office providers.

1. Budget

Moving to a new office is a huge project and can, therefore, be very costly. That’s why it’s essential to work on your budget once you’re sure about your company’s plan to move to a new site.

  • It helps you identify, assess, and calculate all the major and minor expenses that the relocation project will incur.
  • It ensures that your moving expenditures do not go beyond what you can afford.
  • It prevents your expenses from ballooning since you have correctly accounted for possible delays, issues, or oversights concerning your office move project.

To prepare your budget, ask for quotes or cost estimates on the following:

  • Occupancy costs on new office property, including deposit, rent, taxes, maintenance, etc.
  • Professional fees for your property agent, insurance company, and law firm
  • Interior design or fit-out of new property
  • Furniture and office equipment
  • Setting up of IT and telecommunications systems
  • Air conditioning and ventilation
  • Environmental and fire plan assessments
  • Removal of workstations
  • Disposal costs of old computers, furniture, and other rubbish
  • Professional movers’ fees
  • Costs for reinstating your current office into its original condition
  • Printing and updating of marketing materials, including stationery, business cards, and website, to reflect your new office address

It’s also advisable to allot 20% of your funds to contingency and other unexpected expenses. Your budget should also account for potential costs on your business while the office is out of operation during the move. You can also arrange remote working or work-from-home options for your employees to avoid business closure during the transition period.

2. Location

You might think that you already found the perfect office. But if the location is not ideal for everyone, you should probably look for more options.

Here are some criteria that make for the right office location:

  • It’s accessible to your customers, business partners, and employees via public or private transportation.
  • It should have links to major roadways, so it’s relatively easy for anyone to get in and out of the area.
  • The area shouldn’t be prone to flooding.
  • There are local amenities nearby, such as restaurants, banks, shops, parks, and pharmacies.

As an entrepreneur or business professional, you know that location is a critical factor in the success of any organization. At Arch Serviced Offices, we recognize how having an office space in Makati can do wonders for your business.

3. Safety and Security

You should hold off signing a contract with any serviced office provider until you’ve inspected the ins and outs of the building, including but not limited to:

  • Office building condition. The newer the building, the better. If it’s an old building, it should pass the structural integrity test and be free of any issues in design and structure.
    Tip: Ask the building administrator if there are any planned upgrades to the building that may later be added to your occupancy fees.
  • Security. There should be a 24/7 security team and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras surrounding the premises and stationed on every floor inside the building.
  • Fire plan. Make sure the building has designated fire exits and other fire safety measures in place.
  • Lifts. Check if there’s an adequate number of elevators and if they’re all working efficiently.
  • Adjacent areas. As much as possible, you have to know who the other tenants in the building are. They should be operating as legal business entities. It’s also your responsibility to survey the areas surrounding your future office to make sure there are no threats to anyone’s safety and security.

 

STEP TWO: Before the Move

Congratulations! You’ve finally chosen the office space that suits your business needs. To carry out the move efficiently, you’ll have to decide on the following aspects:

1. Schedule and Timeline

Your timeline has to be as detailed as possible and should cover every aspect of your office relocation project. Here’s how your office move timeline might look like:

Six Weeks Before Moving Day

  1. Give notice to your current landlord.
  2. Measure your new office space and get its detailed floor plan.
  3. If your serviced office provider does offer fit-out services, find an office fit-out contractor that will help you conceptualize and design your new space.

Five Weeks Before Moving Day

  1. Make an inventory of all your equipment, furniture, and office supplies.
  2. Look for a moving company.

Four Weeks Before Moving Day

  1. Order any new furniture needed for your new office. Ask for a guarantee that they will deliver on time – at least one week before the move.
  2. Place orders for new stationery and business cards.
  3. Create a detailed moving plan and have it distributed to employees and staff.
  4. Determine the arrangement of the computer and phone systems with the help of your IT department.

Three Weeks Before Moving Day

  1. Organize a staff meeting to discuss your moving plan.
  2. Create a moving committee who will oversee what each department needs – from packing tapes to moving boxes and color-coded stickers.
  3. Determine the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the transfer, including which equipment is moved first, which department will stay at the old office while the move is taking place, or which staff members will proceed to the new site to monitor the move-in.
  4. Update arrangements with your suppliers regarding future deliveries from the old office to the new one.

Two Weeks Before Moving Day

  1. Use this time to have the computer and phone lines set up while the office is still unoccupied.
  2. Arrange for temporary storage of furniture and IT equipment in an external facility in case of any delay.
  3. Contact companies that rent out crates to hold large boxes of files and equipment.

One Week Before Moving Day

  1. The moving committee and the employees coordinate in sorting, labeling, and packing the office computers, laptops, hard drives, keyboards, extension cords, and the like. Remind your employees to dispose of broken and unnecessary items properly.
  2. Double check if all furniture has been delivered and is ready for setup in the new office.
  3. Get your IT service provider set up the servers, cables, and wirings.
  4. Contact your cleaners and have them do a final clean of your old office before you finally leave it.

Moving Day

  1. Make a thorough inspection of your new office space together with your contractor.
  2. Test all the telephone lines, computers, lights, and other office facilities to ensure that everything is working well.

2. Office Layout

Here are some tips when planning your office layout:

  • Maximize your office space, especially if you are anticipating growth for your company in the near future. Just don’t make it too restrictive for staff movement either.
  • Consider hiring a professional service planner to help you strike the balance you need in space planning.
  • Your servers, computers, printers, projectors, telephones, and other equipment for work collaboration and connectivity should be in your layout guide.
  • Decide with your contractor where power outlets and light switches should be located.
  • Know what office furniture you already have. Identify which pieces you are discarding, refurbishing, or replacing entirely.
  • Check the type of fit-out service that your new office needs, such as walls, partitions, or shelves.
  • Discuss with your fit-out company the size and location of these facilities — reception area, staff workstations, conference rooms, break rooms, pantry, and comfort rooms.

3. Internal and External Communications Plan

Give appropriate notice about the company’s relocation to all stakeholders. Here’s how you can make your internal and external communications plan a success:

  • Launch a move awareness campaign within your organization. Use it as an opportunity to share with staff the reason for the move as well as future plans of the company.
  • Provide employees with an info kit about the new office facilities and amenities. Then, organize a staff tour before the move-in.
  • Create a master list of customers, vendors, and suppliers who should receive communication about your change of address. Recipients should include your bank, accounting firm, insurance company, internet provider, and so on.
  • Assure customers that it will be “business as usual” and outline the positive sides of the move.
  • Request the postal service to forward all mail to your new office.

4. Paperwork

Moving to a new office will require you to apply for a business permit, service agreement with the property owner, insurance, equipment lease, and other licenses. You could also take advantage of this time to find new partners for expiring service contracts so that you can get better rates and pricing packages.

 

STEP THREE: Moving Day

Moving out of the old office and moving to the new site doesn’t have to cause undue stress or anxiety if you keep these things in mind:

  • Hold a briefing with your employees and the moving team to give additional instructions about the transfer, such as distributing entry permits to the new building.
  • You should have a skeletal workforce who will make sure that there is continuity of operations on that day, especially when it comes to processing or shipping orders for customers. Make sure they have access to relevant data and files that have been set up over an extranet.
  • Provide snacks and refreshments to all moving representatives. Give each one of them a copy of significant contact numbers.
  • Ask everyone to keep their communication lines open.
  • Send an advance party who will be in charge of bringing items from the moving truck into the new office. Arrange to have the air-conditioner turned on upon their arrival at the site.

 

STEP FOUR: Transitioning After the Move

It might take a few days or weeks for everyone to get settled in the new office. However, there are ways to make the post-move transition as smooth as possible.

  • Distribute a list of new telephone numbers, extension numbers, and department locations to all employees. Hand out new key fobs and access cards, too.
  • Check the building premises and facilities to see if there are issues that need to be addressed. Request your employees to report their own observations, too.
  • Ask the teams if their equipment is working and if they need additional supplies for their new workstation.
  • Stock your office pantry with free snacks and drinks while staff members are still unfamiliar with where to shop for their meals.
  • Plan an office warming party to welcome employees to their new environment and thank them for contributing to a smooth office move-in.

 

The Pains and Joys of Moving to a New Office

Moving your office to a new location is never easy. You’ll need excellent project management skills to make sure that all details go as smoothly as planned.

Good news is, you could have fewer worries when you rent an Arch serviced office for your new space. All Arch offices have a plug-and-play feature so you can move in quickly. Arch’s office solutions include fully furnished office space, pre-installed internet system that’s fast and secure, and 24/7 security access for your office and employees, among other innovative office ideas.

You can save a lot of time and money on renting an office space in Makati with Arch. More importantly, your employees will feel more motivated to work in a newer and better office setup.

WATCH OUR VIDEO: Local Artists Create Unique Mural for Arch Offices Ayala

The Arch Offices team tracked down two Manila-based street artists, JP Pining and Maud Villanueva and invited them to work on a collaborative piece to spice up our new office space at Ayala Avenue.

The two cities, Seattle and Manila, became an instant design vision for the mural pieces as the founders are both former Seattle residents and wanted to bridge the gap between the Seattle and Manila office environments.

JP and Maud brought the perfect combination of fine art and graffiti art to the project, teaming up and successfully melding the two cities, just like their art styles, into one vibrant piece. Enjoy watching our video!

Video Credits:

Mural Artists:
JP Pining
Maud Villanueva

Videography:
Marti Pascual Salva

A Video Project by ARCH Offices