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Re-Inventing Our Worklife

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

After six months living with Covid-19, it is clear our lives have changed in lasting and significant ways; we are unlikely to revert back to what we once took for granted.  Perhaps nowhere is this more significant than in the nature and character of our work life.  Covid-19 has tripped a circuit breaker and for very many people the jobs they recently knew have evaporated and will not return - at least not any time soon, and likely not in the same format.  None of this is news.

Such change and dislocation, whilst traumatic and involuntary, nevertheless spawns new opportunity.  Actively seeking out new ways to generate value and income requires courage, confidence and resilience.  Plus a helping hand never goes astray.  When all the cards are on the table, anything is possible.  For Living Workspace, we too, are challenging ourselves to support our business clients in new ways as they pursue those opportunities.  As a Business Centre, nothing is off the table.  Ask what we can do for you.

Michael Trask is the founder and Director of Living Workspace Business Centre, Norwest

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Lasting Worklife Benefit from Covid-19?

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Recent Covid-19 flare ups in Melbourne and Sydney demonstrate both the fragility of controls and the reality that changed ways of living and working are going to be with us for some time yet.  Best estimates for a vaccine seem to be in the order of 1–2 years or more at best.

“Working from home” has been with us for long enough that enabling, supporting and enhancing systems of work are now being more widely employed.  Thoughts seem to be turning to discussion and serious consideration of this becoming the new “norm”.  Of course there are very many jobs that can’t be done remotely (eg services) but there are very many that can.   The message gaining voice is that people in majority like working from home, especially the return to them and their family of all those commuting hours.  There is also the possibility of increased productivity and creativity flowing from a comfortable and low stress environment (which home hopefully is most of the time).

Major organisations are being challenged to think about how this change can be managed and, more importantly, how potential benefits and great value can be extracted from being a thought and action leader in this major re-structure of how “work” is done.  An interesting article by McKinsey can be viewed here.   Clearly employees are in the box seat to reap great benefit from such change.   To the extent that Covid-19 has forced the pace of this change and the rapid refinement and widespread distribution of new low cost business communication technologies, maybe history will judge some good has come from Covid-19, to set off against its major destructive health and economic impacts.

Whether you are an employer, employee, contractor or entrepreneur, understanding the change that is upon us, you may want to be a leader in seizing new opportunities.  You will need to be creative, fleet footed, innovative and not bound to past norms.   Living Workspace Business Centre has always pursued innovative and flexible solutions for its clients, with a business model based more upon “what our client wants” rather than any fixed notion of what we should be doing or offering.   Living Workspace is investing in communication technologies that can connect people from any location whilst presenting an image of a business of substance, located in a suitably professional location at Norwest Business Park.  Whether our facilities are used in a physical or a virtual sense, we are confident we can provide what your business needs to prosper in these challenging times.

You don't need to be immediately planning to use our facilities or to become a Virtual Office or Serviced Office client to contact us.  We are happy to engage in a conversation with you about how you can most successfully navigate your business through these challenging times. May be there is the potential for future business.  May be not.  In any case, there is no obligation - just drop us a line or give us a call.

Michael Trask is the founder and Director of Living Workspace Business Centre, Norwest

Living with Covid

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Working from home through Covid - how will time judge the experience?   Anecdotally "great", "OK", "stressful", or "not practical" all feature in responses so far.  Notably, working from home has not been a conscious choice for those affected - generally it has been thrust upon them.   No one seems to doubt that major change has happened and that "work" will not revert to the way it used to be.  

Many appear to have enjoyed the flexibility, and relaxed environment offered by "working from home". Few have probably missed the long commute by car, train or bus.   The flip side has been a sense of isolation and loss of social contact for some.  And maybe complication of family logistics for others.  Again anecdotally, some have felt anxiety without the structure and discipline of a formal workplace, with various support functions close at hand.  From all advice, Covid 19 still has a long way to go.

A domestic environment, pressed to professional purpose, has been well tolerated and at times generated humour with some lighter moments.    "Working from home" may offer cost benefits to employers, alhtough the productivity return may be yet for assessment. So what is the future and where does a Serviced Office sit in this "living with Covid" world?

Offering flexibility of accommodation and lease term, prefessionalism and structure, social engagement and Risk Assesed Covid management procedures, a Serviced Office appears to offer value, relevance and effectiveness - especially so if it's close to home and a nice place to be.  Hopefully you will consider Living Workspace has much to offer.

Michael Trask is the founder and Director of Living Workspace Serviced Offices, Norwest



Taking a Break

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The perennial question - when to take a break? Or more fundamentally, can the Sole Trader or Key Person in a micro business afford to take a break at all?  The benefit and importance of taking regular breaks is generally accepted, offering regenerative time to self and family.  And even the business too, through time to reflect, review and strategise.  However, effecting a quality break, quarantined from the daily demands of clients, staff, compliance and routine is easier said than done.  In this 24/7/52 world do you snatch a week, field a few calls and hope no one notices the difference?   Or do you brief your clients that you'll be away for a week and assure them that you'll attend to their further needs immediately on your return? Either way, what's the risk that both holiday and client relationship are compromised?

A business organisation that is independent, competent and professionally committed to managing your business while you are away can give confidence, both to your clients and to you.   A professional organisation knowing when to call you and when not, or being able to provide a daily summary by email, or in whatever format desired, can provide you the peace of mind to achieve from your holiday objectives, with the bonus of returning to clients who understand that you've made an extra commitment to ensuring their needs are met during your time away.    Even that three week family trip overseas might suddenly look more achievable

Michael Trask is the owner of Living Workspace Business Centre, Norwest.

What's Important at Work?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What is really important to us at work?  Maybe it's how other people see us that provides the best insight.  Of course when we get home we all ask "how was your day".  But have you really listened and thought about the response?   How does your partner describe their day, and where does the conversation flow?  Sure, there's probably a bit about the work itself, clients and feelings, successes and frustrations.  And then maybe the talk turns to work colleagues.   How much of the total conversation is about people at work?  50%?  More?   So what does this tell us?  Of course many would share the view that we are sociable beings and being part of a team or work group is incredibly important to us.  There are probably truly few who thrive on working alone.  A shared work place has a lot to offer and, it seems to me, this is more important than ever, in a world where we seem to be increasingly working as small autonomous units.

Michael Trask is the owner of Living Workspace Business Centre, Norwest.

Business Success - Client Spotlight

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Many businesses have a business plan however knowing how to plan for future office space requirements can require the use of a crystal ball.

How quickly will my business grow?

Will I need more staff?

Can they work remotely?

Do I need 24/7 access?

Is there adequate parking for employees and clients?

Where do I need a business presence –  Norwest Business Park?  Sydney CBD? Macquarie Park?

Corporate businesses need to be flexible and many find the benefits of a serviced office a cost effective solution when accommodating one or two key executives.

The businesses types that have leased office space and benefited from using a Business Centre are varied – from startups, solopreneurs, project-based and corporates. Below is cross section of clients in our business community

Focal Point Home Loans

Focal Point Home Loans Pty Ltd was formed in 2005 and is one of Australia's fastest growing mortgage broking firms, managing over 500 mortgages for home buyers and investors Australia-wide.

While Focal Point Home Loans is based in Sydney, they have made a continuing investment in technology to ensure that they provide efficient and satisfactory service to their customers Australia-wide. Focal Point pride themselves in providing the highest level of service to our clients.

Anil and the team have used the Business Centre for several years and have found the benefits of a serviced office convenient without the hassle of leasing office space and lost time in managing a leased premises.

Anil Varandani | Director | Focal Point

www.fphomeloans.com.au

Prestige Property|Buyers Agent

The Director of Prestige Property, Jenny Brown, was looking for office space in the Norwest Business Park. Having found the ideal office overlooking Norwest lake Jenny and her team were drawn to the benefits of a serviced office. After several years and a change in business direction, Jenny decided to move location and continue as a virtual client.

“Using the services of Living Workspace has enabled our business to grow and expand in ways it otherwise would not have, and has helped us to capture more markets than if we were locked into office space.

The prestige of the location and the offices at Living Workspace help put confidence in our clients that we are a trusted brand. The location is ideal for us being in the heart of the Norwest Business Park and so well-known it’s easy for clients to find and meet with us”

Jenny Brown |Director |Prestige Property Consulting

www.prestigeproperty.com.au

Cameron Recruitment

Cameron Recruitment have been long term tenants of Living Workspace for over 10 years. The company is made up of seasoned professionals that have extensive working backgrounds in Accounting, General Management, Engineering, IT and Human Resources. They bring vast experience from a variety of industries and organisations, from large multi-nationals to successful private companies.

Diane Humphries, is a qualified CPA and an expert Executive Recruitment Specialist who has placed hundreds of qualified professionals across all industry sectors and worked closely with Managing Directors and Executive Teams of many organisations regarding recruitment and human resources practices.

 Living Workspace Business Centre have provided office space, meeting room and reception services that are highly professional and compliment their business needs.   Diane and the team have been happy with the facilities and services offered and continue to utilize the range of benefits on offer.

Dianne Humphries |Director | Cameron Recruitment

www.cameronrecruitment.com.au

Viega   

The Viega Group employs more than 3,500 staff and is one of the leading producers of installation technology. The company specialises in installation technology. In addition to pipe systems, Viega produces pre-wall and drainage technology. Their products are suitable for almost all applications: for building systems technology as well as the utilities supply sector or industrial plant and shipbuilding.

Viega needed to set up an office in Sydney - Norwest Business Park and Living Workspace become their preferred serviced office provider due to the location, office suite, facilities and services provided.

“Living Workspace provide a professional service and offer very attractive office space that enabled us to hit the ground running when we opened our business in Australia. The team at Living Workspace were always available to assist with day to day requirements and catered to our every need, often at very short notice. Living Workspace made the business of doing business easy”

 Robert Hardgrove|Technical Manager / Strategic Projects|Viega Pty Ltd

www.viega.com.au

Pool Water Products

Pool-Water Products is an independent wholesale distributor of high quality swimming pool and spa equipment. The National Sales Manager and Account Manager needed office space in the local area after Head Office (based in Melbourne) decided they want to expand their operations. After leasing space for three years, growth was imminent and they have decided to purchase their own commercial office space.

Ray Burgess|NSW State Sales Manager|Pool Water Products

www.poolwater.com.au

Geotron

Structural Engineers, Geotron decided to commence their new business in the headquarters of Living Workspace Business Centre. Peter provided feedback recently by saying “we experienced a professional and extremely friendly environment with fantastic and helpful staff and like minded colleagues. A great workspace - we highly recommend LWBC and the team to any business”

Peter Geoghegan|Managing Director|Geotron

www.geotron.com.au

Living Workspace Business Centre can accommodate your business needs by providing outstanding facilities and services.  Contact us on 8853 7800 or email yvette@livingworkspace.com to talk about your office space options.

 

Resources and support to grow your business

Friday, March 04, 2016

Owning a small business brings a range of challenges to any business owner. From financial, marketing, accounts, employment issues, sales and IT.

Fortunately there are a range of support organisations, workshops, seminars and groups designed to assist the budding entrepeneur and business owner to connect, grow, build and succeed in their business.

Below is a list of organisations able to assist on your journey no matter what stage you are at.

Sydney Hills Business Chamber

http://www.sydneyhillsbusiness.com.au/

Sydney Hills Business Chamber is the peak business support agency in the Sydney Hills. Their mission is to support local businesses by providing business networking, learning and development opportunities and to give small businesses in the region a more powerful voice.

NSW Business Chamber

http://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/

Starting, managing and growing a business is as challenging as it is rewarding. The NSW Business Chamber offer the network, advice and solutions you need to succeed. 

Western Sydney Business Centre

www.wsbusiness.com.au

This business provides advice for new and existing businesses across the entire Western Sydney Region along with practical workshops and training programs on fundamental topics for your small business.

Small Biz Connect

http://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/supporting-business/small-biz-connect-advisory-program

Small Biz Connect is a quality, personalised business advisory program for small businesses in NSW.

Through the program, you can obtain expert advice on managing your small business, access face-to-face support and develop key business skills

Hills Shire Council

Smart Start programs

The Hills Shire Council in partnership with The Western Sydney Business Centre run a small business education program called the Smart Series.

The Smart Series offers a range of business growth workshops designed to provide new and existing businesses with a comprehensive range of education hosted by business professionals.

http://www.thehills.nsw.gov.au/Business-Investment/Business-Support-in-The-Sydney-Hills/Business-Education-Series

Business

business.gov.au provides businesses (including small businesses and independent contractors) with a first point of contact to access information and referral services to improve their business sustainability and help better manage their business.

www.business.gov.au

Entrepeneur’s Programme

http://www.business.gov.au/advice-and-support/EIP/Pages/default.aspx

The Programme uses quality facilitators and advisers, drawn from industry, to ensure businesses get the advice and support they need to improve their competiveness and productivity. The primary focus is on providing access to the best advice and networks to solve  problems rather than focusing on financial assistance.

HomeBase Business Network

HBBN is the initiative of two business entrepreneurs from North West Sydney – both passionate about small business and the community. Dr Jim Taggart and Tony Eades are both past presidents of the Sydney Business Chamber and originally home based business owners. Together with a common drive to connect small business and help them grow and prosper.

http://www.hbbn.com.au

Office space and meeting room hire

Meeting clients, conducting an interview or needing to work quietly on a short term project?

Living Workspace Business Centre can accommodate your needs by providing these facilities. Book a room by the hour or for the day. Contact us on 8853 7800 today.


How will a Virtual office help my business?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Many home based businesses are seeing the benefits in using virtual office space to enhance and provide a professional, corporate image for their business. Image matters especially when operating and running a business from the home environment, with a range of benefits and limitations for any business owner.

The benefits include working for yourself, working hours that suit your lifestyle, saving time (and money) on travel and working around family commitments.

The limitations include keeping clear delineation lines between home and work environment, lack of social environment or not having suitable space to meet prospective clients or hold staff meetings.

Fortunately, virtual offices are a great solution. Facilities and services typically include use of business address, mail collection, meeting room hire, business support and phone answering. Conference rooms provide a professional meeting atmosphere and technology such as video conferencing.

Virtual offices are a cost effective alternative for start-ups, entrepreneurs and home based businesses in keeping operating costs low while developing a professional image and can reduce overhead expenses that are typically required to operate an office.

Business Centres, Serviced Offices and Co working spaces all offer a variety of options. Business Centres can provide dedicated office space, virtual office space or meeting room hire.  Co working spaces allow you to use a desk or space by the hour and network with other likeminded people.

Virtual offices allow small business owners, the self-employed and professionals to enjoy all the benefits of a prestigious business address and full complement of facilities and services without the expenses of establishing a traditional office location.

Whether you are a home based business or looking for alternatives in managing office space costs for your business, you can easily run your business with a virtual office set up. As you expand, moving into a serviced office may be the next logical step.

Whatever the next phase is in your business growth, there are plenty of options to choose from. Read through testimonials from clients and contact us if you have any further questions. 

We’re happy to help.

Leasing a serviced office versus renting your own office

Monday, September 07, 2015

Moving out of the home office or expanding your business can make the decision of leasing office space or a serviced office a challenging one. 

For the small to medium business owner, running a business and looking for appropriate office space can be a time consuming exercise. Factors to consider when you are ready to move out of your home office or set up your own office include:

  • Researching and viewing appropriate office space
  • Liasing with real estate agents
  • Negotiating lease terms
  • Setting up your new office space
  • Researching and contacting phone and internet providers 
  • Sourcing/organising your IT infrastructure
  • Sourcing/organising office furniture
  • Reviewing energy providers/connecting electricity 
  • Maintenance charges - air conditioning etc
  • Cleaning costs
  • Cost and maintenance of kitchen utilities – water cooler, coffee machine, fridge, microwave etc

Budget for expenses and outgoings for a traditional 2 - 3 year lease term office. Add the two month's rent bond payment, solicitor's fees to review the lease contract and costs associated with employing staff.

Inspect the facilities and take into account the above factors and if it is the right fit for you. Depending on the stage of your business, being locked into a long term lease contract or not having the flexibility to grow or contract when you lease the space directly can make the decision of leasing a serviced office an easy one. Serviced offices are becoming increasingly popular due to their professional corporate image, convenience factor and fixed pricing structure. 

 The good news is that a corporate style serviced office can offer an attractive and productive work environment, with a sense of community and that familiar corporate 'vibe' while providing a cost effective solution for the short term and possibly long term when your business needs change.



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