Business Trends

4 Tips to Mastering Remote Communication

Are you a master of remote communication? There are many tools and tricks people should know, especially when we communicate this way every day. Read on.


The coronavirus pandemic has forced companies, schools, and institutions all around the world to adopt remote communication at a greater pace and scale than ever anticipated. While this has contributed to a slowdown in the economy, the long-term benefits of this step forward in digitalization may yet begin to unfold. But before we can make the most of the benefits of high-quality remote communication, we need to learn how best to harness it.


Despite months and months of calls, meetings, and classes held entirely online, many people still struggle to make the most of virtual telecommunication tools, collaborative software, and other remote communication options.


While some are heavily anticipating the return to the office as COVID restrictions loosen and transmission rates go down, the reality remains that many others would enjoy petitioning for a continued work-from-home or work-from-anywhere arrangement, and the near future of the workplace looks a lot more hybrid or remote than purely traditional office setups.


Regardless of whether you’re a fan of remote communication or are desperately wishing for things to go back to 90 percent face-to-face interaction, mastering the tools of the digital trade will undoubtedly become more and more of a prerequisite in workspaces and office environments throughout the world. Let’s go over a handful of basic tips for mastering remote communication in the post-pandemic world.


1. Improve Your Camera Angles and Lighting


One thing everyone has had to tackle during the early days of the pandemic is finding ways to make oneself presentable over Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other video communication platforms while working from home.


If you haven’t made the most of what’s available to you to appear professional even when working from your bedroom, note that you can drastically improve your appearance and professionalism while on a video call with just a few pointers:


      • Face a window during daytime or use a desk light behind your camera to illuminate your face.
      • Take note of your posture and camera placement to center your head and provide a good shoulder cutoff of your video feed.
      • Look into the camera or situate the camera close to where your eyes would be on the monitor, rather than off to the side.
      • Never film yourself from a low angle. Keep the camera at eye or nose level.


An interesting caveat to keep in mind is that there is room for discussion on whether video is always necessary when communicating internally. High quality video feeds can greatly improve collaborative efforts by allowing for the processing of non-verbal cues within small teams. But when teams get larger, it becomes significantly harder to both manage and interpret non-verbal cues in the group, while maintaining the bandwidth needed to support high-quality audio and video.


2. Be Mindful of Tone in Non-Verbal Communication


Tone matters. And when communicating non-verbally, it matters almost more than it would in a face-to-face or audio conversation. It can become hard to convey the right subtext purely via chat or mail, so take the time to reread your messages back to yourself and be mindful of unintentionally negative cues.


Aside from the tone of your writing, there are a few other non-verbal cues that you want to pay attention to.


You can easily send the wrong message by ignoring your coworkers’ boundaries, sending messages late at night or long after hours, or by reacting non-verbally (rolling your eyes, scoffing) during a large video call while forgetting that the camera is on you (yes, this has happened to people).


3. Keep Conversations Within Their Respective Platforms


A simple yet important tip is to avoid jumping between platforms when discussing something with a colleague. If you have continued questions about a project you are working on together, ask them through the same channel you use to work on the project together.


Don’t start up another email thread to retread older topics. One of the benefits of using multiple different communications platforms is that you can sort and review conversations, and go over old messages to remember what someone said, how they worded it, or check when certain information was conveyed.


By spreading a conversation out over multiple different platforms, you make it harder both for yourself and your colleague to keep track of what has been said, and when it was said.


4. Get Comfortable with Remote Communication


There are simply too many benefits and conveniences to remote communication to imagine that it would become less relevant once things return “back to normal”.


It’s much more likely that companies that were forced to digitalize faster during the pandemic will continue to adapt to technological changes, and adopt improvements in remote communication in order to expand their talent pools, create remote and hybrid teams, and benefit from the flexibility that comes with virtual workspaces, coworking spaces, and collaborative software.


With that in mind, the most important tip for any professional looking to improve on their remote communication skills is to make more use them, both professionally and in casual settings.


Improve your written communication skills and language skills, especially in multilingual teams where you might need to respond to emails and chat messages in multiple different languages.


Learn more about how you can convey subtext and nuance through text in ways that help your coworkers feel comfortable around you, avoids miscommunication, and breaks the ice.


Make the most out of digital watercoolers and get comfortable with the camera and mic through shared lunch meetings, weekend gaming sessions, and watercooler chats.


Finally, understand that with remote communication comes the reality of non-standard work hours and flexible boundaries. That being said, when managing workers remotely, remember one of the golden rules of working remotely: focus on tasks and results, not micromanagement.


Measure a coworker’s ability to meet the challenges of their job via deliverables, and keep in mind that remote work can be both equal parts distracting and incredibly productive, due to its flexibility.


Regardless of how future social networks and software will change the way we interact over the internet, communicating and collaborating across oceans and continents is here to stay.


Business Trends

Business Succession Planning in the New Working World

Business succession planning includes a lot of different factors worth thinking about for the future. If you need help with this, here’s a guide to read as a start.


People are naturally hierarchical, and we thrive in groups led by great leaders. Leaders who know how to mediate problems, engage with their people, find amicable solutions, resolve, and avoid conflict, and perform admirably under stressful situations.


Leaders who recognize opportunities and know how to make the best from the worst. It is crises such as those that shaped the world this year, from political upheaval to record-breaking hurricanes and a devastating pandemic, that help us identify and shape leaders.


But there is more to finding and turning top talent into the executive branch of tomorrow. We need not only to recognize, but also to develop and grow tomorrow’s leaders.


This is where business succession planning becomes crucially important – and it’s why this new post-pandemic working world is a crucially important hotbed for identifying the people we need to invest the most into as the economy begins to recover.


What is Business Succession Planning?


People live an average of anywhere from 70 to 80 years, depending on individual factors. But companies, organizations, and ideas can live, thrive, and grow for centuries.


If you want your business to survive, you need to choose the right person to bring it into the next century, as countless other industry leaders have before you.


The Small Business Administration notes that approximately 70 percent of all privately owned businesses will change leadership in the next 10 to 15 years. This is a process that requires long-term planning, rather than a simple exchange of hands, or just another sale made at the end of the day – especially if you care about the long-term growth of your business, and its viability in the long run.


This is what the essence of business succession planning entails. More than just placing a friend or family member into the leadership position when it’s time for you to retire, business succession entails identifying, cultivating, and training your top talent to replace you when the time comes for your company to move in a new direction.


How Has Business Succession Changed in 2021?


Why is business succession planning relevant now, of all times? Because in the eyes of most businesses, it has never been less relevant.


With rising costs, extreme unemployment levels in 2020 and earlier this year, and ongoing concerns due to the dire state that the global economy was in at the peak of the COVID pandemic, grooming top talents to take over the business in ten or twenty years was far less important than making sure there’s a business to lead when that time does come.


Yet at the same time, it is precisely at this point where an individual’s potential and ability to lead must shine the brightest, and it is precisely at this point that you should take care to observe and identify whom among your current lineup steps up to do their best for the survival and growth of the business.


Rethinking the Importance of Business Succession in Your Organization This Year


As we continue to move forward and out of a global crisis, let us look towards the potential that tomorrow brings – and let us focus on those willing to draw out that potential.


Identifying key talents in your organization to mentor and build up over time requires that you identify what people played the greatest role in keeping the business alive over the last few months – and how each of your coworkers demonstrated different qualities of leadership as the weeks and months dragged on.


It’s not just about choosing the most efficient worker, or the person who put in the most hours.


Identify what leadership means to you, or more accurately, what qualities you have come to rely on the most in your position as a leader. How do your best people reflect these qualities in their own day-to-day, and how did they perform under pressure with regards to their duties, and the organization’s health as a whole?


COVID has been nothing short of a disaster for millions of people. It has also strained departments, leaders, companies, teams, and organizations all around the world. It has also acted as a filter, to show who in the company took on the work of others, got involved in special projects, and effectively managed their stress while remaining productive under the strangest and most complicated of circumstances.


The ability to take these tasks on – because it’s what must be done – demonstrates key leadership capabilities and helps us identify who to promote and build up in the coming years.


Investing in the Future, Planning for Tomorrow


Once you have begun to identify the people who have outpaced the rest of the company during a time of crisis, you can begin to capitalize on their natural talent with directed growth and training. Approach them about taking on greater responsibilities within the organization. Offer benefits to ensure that they decide to commit to the company. Ask them where they feel their future will take them, and whether they’re likely to continue to be active in their field and industry.


A top priority talent who is looking to switch fields or pursue a different dream would be a failed investment, years down the line.


But one who is considering a long-term approach in their industry and is interested in continuing their career path as a professional in the line of work they’re currently enjoying, may be enticed to stay so long as their growth is continuously enabled, and so long as it’s clear to them that this company is the best place for them to stay.


This means that your role as a leader isn’t just finding and grooming new leadership but managing the business and its culture in such a way that the people you work with feel they’re in the best place they can be.


The Role the Workplace Plays in Creating Leaders


Company culture is an important reflection of a business’ mission, vision, and real-life track record – and it is reflected in no place better than the workplace itself.


Yet the question of what constitutes a workplace, and how that definition might continue to change in response to the COVID pandemic, is still an open one.


If you are utilizing a hybrid work model, or a primarily remote model, think about how you can leverage tools such as better telecommunications and coworking spaces to enhance company cohesion and help your workers feel appreciated and welcomed in their workplace.

Business Trends

How Can a Design Thinking Workshop Benefit Your Business?

When it comes to growing your business and standing out, a design thinking workshop may just do it! Read further on all the details to know.


Design is integral to business. Sitting down to consider how your products and services should function is what helps you set yourself apart from the competition. By iterating and reiterating existing information, you can design your way into offering something unique.


But design thinking is something very different, albeit related. And a design thinking workshop can help your business in nearly every conceivable way.


What is Design Thinking?


Most design processes begin via problem solving. Individual questions are approached and answered, moving on from point to point. But this process rarely creates room for new problems to present themselves via consumer-based testing. Design thinking involves bringing the target audience into the picture, and integrating them into the design process in order to analyze their behavior with the product or service, and identify new problems, or pain points, to address in the design.


The idea isn’t just to work off of consumer feedback. Most consumers do not fully realize what their complaints might be or don’t know how to adequately verbalize them. Design thinking involves directly analyzing their response and behavior to each iteration and making adjustments along the way. It’s a more organic approach to design, one that prioritizes heavy iteration and constant testing.


Integrating Design Thinking Into Your Business


A design thinking workshop can help you begin creating systems at work to better integrate consumer experiences into your design process, rather than working off of surveys, polls, focus groups, or internal suggestions and tests.


There’s something to be said for how bringing the target audience in changes the way you approach design, versus simply testing the design in-house over and over again. You need to find ways to approach your product not just from the perspective of a designer or engineer, but primarily – above all else – from the perspective of a user.


There are five distinct stages to design thinking. These are:


      1. Empathize – Begin by observing how your target audience interacts with the product or service. Get testers who will likely be using your product on a daily or near-daily basis get hands-on with what you have created, and carefully analyze what they do – without your intervention – and how they naturally navigate and intuit around your creation.
      2. Define – Gather your observations to try and understand where you might find ways to improve upon the design. This might be as simple as realizing that consumers tend to interact with your product in unintended ways that could become a feature of its own or realizing that it isn’t obvious enough how certain features work. Consider what difficulties people are brushing up against the most.
      3. Ideate – Brainstorm how you can unobtrusively fix these problems, without creating new ones.
      4. Prototype – Begin developing your solutions, making the changes you need to in order to create a new stable release that feels one, two, or three steps closer to what you want.
      5. Test – By far the most important stage, this is where you effectively loop back into the beginning of the first stage and see whether the changes you’ve made adequately address the pain points you’ve identified or reveal new ones.


This isn’t just about addressing a single problem – it’s about understanding the complex and interconnected series of questions and issues you need to work through during the design process, and addressing them all together with each iteration, like chipping away at a block of wood to slowly reveal the masterpiece within.


Design thinking can help with more than just product design. It’s an effective way to create and improve a user shopping experience, it’s a productive way to innovate in the design of an app, and it can even be used to change the way you work on a fundamental level by changing your workspace.


Why Environments Can Foster (or Diminish) Creativity and Innovation


Central to iterating in the workspace is identifying controllable factors that you can change. Certain factors cannot be controlled, or require great effort – things like the space you’re given, where your windows are facing, or your specific address and location.


What you can control includes how and where to separate your floor space, how to design common areas and “focus rooms,” making the most out of a meeting space, prioritizing diversity, taking better advantage of natural light, introducing more plants and greenery, your choice of color and art, workspace policies, and much more.


By manipulating these factors, you can implement design thinking in the creation of your ideal workspace, and greatly improve the productivity and satisfaction of your colleagues and coworkers.


Leveraging the Benefits of Design Thinking While Remote


Any business can put design thinking to work. By iterating and reiterating on a software, webpage, or product of any kind, a company can – even remotely – make small individual changes or sweeping overhauls to address unforeseen pain points and get closer to the ideal product before launch.


This iterative thinking process as applied to workspaces can also be beneficial to remote teams looking for ways to improve their productivity and creativity. Workspaces that are built and improved upon organically to fix issues as they arise, and improve features as they are introduced, can help drastically change the way you work, and help promote greater creativity and innovation in your team.


Remote businesses can still take advantage of the results of effective design thinking by encouraging that their key creative personnel work through local coworking spaces. Coworking spaces market themselves on location, design, and amenities, attracting talent by reiterating how they’ve arranged their floor with the space available to them to provide greater value to their tenants.


Bright spaces, filled with natural light and plenty of nature can help improve productivity. Striking a balance between isolated spaces for silent, focused work, and collaborative spaces for professionals to meet and blend ideas. Incorporating art and architecture that inspires while making practical use of space, remaining efficient, comfortable, and safe.


Finding the right workspace, whether remote or by reiterating the configuration of your own office plan, can also be improved by integrating design thinking.


Take polls and analyze worker behavior. Under what conditions do your coworkers do their best work, and how can you sustainably promote those conditions? How can you best balance their health, life, and productivity, to help them and you achieve the best outcomes? How do the little changes you’ve made – from designating meeting rooms to creating a common area, changing out furniture, using different colors, or reorganizing workspaces to take advantage of more natural light – affect work performance and overall coworker satisfaction?




Pick a coworking space that innovates and improves through the same process and understands how design thinking can help them create a space that better caters to its tenants.

Business Trends

Can a Virtual Office Address Be Used as a Legal Business Address?

Can using a virtual office address be beneficial for business growth? Find out all you need to know plus more below!


With COVID increasingly popularizing the business model of fully remote or hybrid work teams, it’s becoming harder and harder to justify the cost and upkeep of commercial real estate – but that doesn’t mean companies, whether big or small, can rely entirely on personal addresses or PO boxes as a legal business address.


Virtual offices represent a huge boon to businesses who can’t afford to lease a commercial space of their own, or function mostly remote, and see no benefit in investing a large portion of their working capital into a physical office only a handful of team members might be able to commute to, if at all.


But do virtual offices fulfill the requirements of a legal business address? In most cases, yes.


However, there are a few issues to discuss, and misconceptions to clear up.


The Merits of a Virtual Office


First, let’s tackle what a virtual office actually represents. In many cases, the name itself gives away the fact that the office does not exist in the same capacity that most conventional offices do.


However, virtual offices do share a real-life physical location, often in a commercial building within a business district or business park of some sort. Virtual offices often share the same street name with the offices of large financial institutions, banks, insurance companies, and broker firms.


Their business model relies on providing clients access to that name as a legal address, without requiring anywhere near the same financial investment usually needed to work at that address.


Virtual offices can be considered a legal business address. This is especially important when establishing a limited liability company, or an LLC. You can declare a virtual office as your business’ legal address in your Articles of Organization, a requirement for filing the paperwork as an LLC.


However, all LLCs and corporations are required to have a registered agent. These are required to be available to visit and talk to at a physical address during business hours. One solution is to hire a law firm to act as your registered agent. This way, you can still avoid keeping your personal information in the documents for your LLC. Some virtual office companies also provide registered agent services, to solve this problem entirely in-house.


What Are Virtual Offices Like?


If someone were to visit a virtual office, they would find most of the amenities that you would usually expect to see at an office. However, instead of being staffed by the employees of the companies that use said virtual office as their official location, virtual offices are staffed by receptionists and correspondence staff who receive and relay messages and packages for multiple companies.


For all intents and purposes, a virtual office serves the function of a front desk and call center for all the companies it hosts.


This does have a few drawbacks. For one, clients expecting to visit an office might be disappointed at the fact that the company they’re paying a visit to is a subtenant, so to speak. This is where a coworking space can come into handy.


Coworking Spaces as Virtual Offices


Coworking spaces are not virtual offices. But they can be. Coworking spaces rent their floor space and divided sections (such as meeting rooms and certain shared amenities) to a number of clients, including individual freelancers and contractors, as well as corporate satellite teams.


A coworking space may also offer virtual office services and may further allow client companies to make use of the space’s meeting room to receive and host clients, as well as use the space for in-person onboarding.


Why Not Use a PO Box?


PO boxes are a simpler and cheaper option for receiving and redirecting correspondence, but you also get what you pay for. A PO box is nothing more than a post office box that receives mail for you, and that’s about it. There is no physical location, no business address to speak of no office space for an LLC to claim as their legal business address, and certainly no space for a registered agent.


PO boxes can be used to receive fan mail and even certain important business correspondence when working as an entertainer from home, a career many have successfully started during the lockdown. This way, you can avoid putting out your personal address when wishing to receive messages and packages. However, for a company or remote team, a virtual office represents a much more practical solution.


Virtual Offices Vs. Home Offices


If privacy isn’t a concern for you, then there are a number of other reasons why registering your home address as your business address might get you in trouble.


These include loss of LLC and corporation rights, because LLCs and corporations are generally structured to provide limited liability. This requires at least a degree of separation between the professional and the personal. Naming your home your business address gets in the way of that.


You need also consider your Homeowners Association and your local zoning laws. Some residential areas and landlords prohibit home offices or might have a problem with you declaring a portion of your home a commercial area.


If you name your home as a business address, you should also prepare to receive a lot of correspondence and several in-person meetings.


Getting a Space of Your Own


Of course, simply getting a commercial space of your own is certainly easier said than done.


We have already mentioned some of the challenges in your way, including lack of access to the necessary funds, as well as maintenance fees, upkeep responsibilities, the additional cost of setting up the office, getting all the equipment together, and much more.


If you do find an office space you can afford, chances are it won’t be in an area you’re comfortable presenting your brand in, or it will have a number of potentially unwanted qualities to make up for its low price, such as incredibly little floor space.


Partnering with the Right Space


If you are in a position where you cannot afford the right address, then a virtual office might be a better solution for you. By working with a coworking space, you can even get the benefit of using an actual real office location for onboarding and client hosting, and much more.

Business Trends Office Space

6 Ways to Best Utilize a Coworking Space for Business Expansion

Prioritizing business expansion is a key part of owning a business. But utilizing a coworking space can surely help with that! Read more details below.


Coworking spaces have time and time again proven themselves as the ideal solution for both established enterprises and startup businesses looking for a turnkey alternative to a normal office space.


Coworking spaces set themselves apart significantly through much shorter term leases and lower monthly costs, a complete office set up with all the amenities and features needed to get started on day one without hefty investments in office infrastructure and equipment, and access to invaluable networking opportunities and collaborative experiences that are invaluable to young companies and entrepreneurs looking to forge partnerships, develop new products, or expand in different markets.


If you have never considered using a coworking space for your business, here are six simple ways coworking can help business expansion and scale realistically, and across vast distances.


1. As An Office Alternative


The first and most obvious way coworking can help a business expand is by drastically cutting the costs of maintaining an office, allowing more working capital to flow towards product development, marketing, and sales. In other words, less money spent on an annual lease and hefty down payment means more money to spend elsewhere, from new hires to better dev tools or the acquisition of new clients.


Aside from lower costs, coworking spaces demand a much lower commitment, as most are designed to work around flexible monthly leases rather than long-term commercial real estate leases, and coworking spaces live and thrive on the quality of their amenities and the local reputation of their administrators, meaning the work of setting up a brand-new office is done for you.


There are obvious challenges to a coworking space that a young company might not have in an office of their own. For one, there is the fact that you cannot dictate how a coworking space embraces its design philosophy and overall work culture, and you typically cannot impose too much of your company’s own culture without alienating other tenants, and potentially getting into trouble with management. To that effect, it’d be hard to announce an office party without first clearing it with the coworking company’s management staff, neither could you swap out art or change furniture (aside from making certain requests).


Outside of what you cannot control, there are also risks associated with coworking spaces that some businesses might not want to take. While coworking spaces generally have to guarantee a safe environment, both in terms of professional atmosphere and data security, some companies specializing in sensitive information might not feel comfortable accessing and working on it through the coworking space’s network.


That being said, most security concerns aren’t in the offices of companies working on their data through the cloud, but in the data centers that actually host the information. Furthermore, coworking spaces today recognize that their clients might be highly interested in ensuring that any information they process while at work can’t be snatched by a third party.


If your coworking space is your only or primary office, you might be able to enjoy the same freedoms you would if you had a space of your own, instead. But any company with a space of its own eventually needs more space.


2. As A Satellite Office


Where coworking spaces truly excel for larger companies and multinational enterprises is as an ideal way to set up satellite offices with minimal costs. Satellite offices are secondary and tertiary workplaces set up by larger companies that need a physical presence in another city, region, or country.


For example, your company might have headquarters in New York, but you’d still like an office on the West Coast, as well as offices in Europe for your emerging European clients, or because of the European launch of your product. Coworking spaces enable you to get a satellite office up and running in just a few days while ensuring that your team will have access to absolutely everything they need to work at full capacity.


3. As A Team Location


Sometimes, you don’t need an additional office because you want to capitalize on the location and the chance of meeting clients face-to-face through your company’s own representatives, but you need an additional office because a large portion of your development team is working from home in the same city or region, and you feel they might work more effectively and efficiently if they had a workspace they could physically collaborate in.


This might be in another state, or all the way across the planet’s surface, in Singapore or Johannesburg. Coworking spaces allow you to help a local team get set up right away.


4. As An Onboarding Facility


Even if your business operates largely remotely, whether due to ongoing or voluntary COVID restrictions, or because you have decided to embrace a remote or hybrid model, nothing beats a face-to-face onboarding process.


When onboarding a new hire, doing so physically allows you to introduce them to members of the team in-person, while giving them a feel for the company culture they’re joining, and giving them the opportunity to be much more direct and communicative during the first few days spent working together.


Hires onboarded strictly via screensharing, and video calling might have trouble asserting themselves when they’re confused or have a problem with a certain task or step, and they may feel left out or distant from the company without any real face-to-face interaction.


5. As A Virtual Office


Virtual offices are real addresses that serve as corporate headquarters, but rarely or never serve as an actual office for work. They may include a skeleton crew tasked with receiving and relaying packages, correspondence, and communication, or to serve as a location to occasionally receive clients. Virtual offices are not PO boxes – these are real offices, usually shared by multiple companies, with a reception and meeting rooms.


Sound familiar? Coworking spaces serve as excellent virtual offices, allowing you to maintain a small space of your own while most of your team works from home, or any location of your choosing. By choosing a coworking space in a high-end business park or commercial sector of the city, you help your business exude class without paying the same exorbitant rental fees expected of a company with that address.


6. As A Meeting Hall


Coworking spaces are also an excellent way for remote teams to organize a meetup and talk about business without having to do so at a coffee shop, or out in a park in the middle of winter.


Some coworking spaces allow you to specifically lease meeting rooms and utilize these to conduct conferences, or to meet with clients, plan projects, troubleshoot major issues that aren’t easily resolved while remote, and more.




Ultimately, there is no end to the possibilities of what you can leverage a coworking space for. We’ve made little to no mention of the benefits of working alongside other companies and professionals in a coworking space, or of the fact that coworking spaces tend to foster productivity, innovation, and help employees feel happier and more upbeat than traditional office spaces.

Business Trends Office Space

How Coworking is Helping the Startup Culture Thrive

Businesses have evolved across the board since the pandemic, which includes the startup culture. Read further on how coworking has helped them.


Coworking spaces are playing an important role in the post-pandemic workplace as the intermediary between home and a return to the office, and as an alternative for those who wish to embrace a work-from-anywhere model that might help them cut commute times, reduce employee density at the office, and strike a healthy balance for remote teams.


But coworking spaces are also an invaluable resource for smaller companies and startups looking to get out of their living room, and into a space where their team can physically collaborate.


While the pandemic has put a hamper on small businesses, they may be making a much-needed comeback in the post-covid era – and predictably, they need the right space to grow. While the fully remote model has proven its efficacy time and time again, especially in the era of social distancing and non-physical contact, it certainly isn’t without its drawbacks.


Not everyone can afford to work from home without sacrificing their productivity – and in many cases, their sanity. Coworking spaces present themselves as not just a middle ground, but as the superior option for companies lacking the financial security to seek their own long-term space – or startups with enough funding to secure a small main office, but not enough to grow their talent roster past its limited floor space.


We’re going to explore how startups can thrive through a coworking space – and how the collaborative nature of coworking can positively impact startup culture.


Financial Freedom


If the pandemic has left a lasting impression of any kind in workplace culture, it’s that the time for the ubiquitous nature of the common office space is all but gone.


Hundreds of thousands of office workers are lamenting a return to the old office space, and while there are certainly many people who missed it, there are just as many who wish to work from home or from anywhere else at least some of the time, and a few who prefer working entirely remotely.


While remote work is nothing new, it’s the upcoming hybrid models that might prove the most innovative, and the most agreeable. Startups have been desperate for ways to maximize the pace at which they’re growing and reinvest as much of their profits into production and expansion as possible.


By severely slashing the costs of setting up shop, coworking spaces continue to enable startups to develop and foster real in-person camaraderie without the upfront cost and monthly financing headaches of a fully-fledged long-term commercial real estate lease.


That financial freedom is invaluable in a post-pandemic economy that has left most people’s pockets ravaged, and prospects bleak. As funding becomes harder to come by, any space that allows a small company to get started and work without a hefty down payment can act as a massive boon.


The Ultimate Incubator


But the benefit to a coworking space doesn’t stop at “it’s just cheaper”. Coworking spaces are fundamentally different from traditional offices in that they yield the floor to several different teams and individuals, from small teams belonging to a larger company using the space as a temporary satellite office, to other startups, to freelancers and independent contractors.


What this ultimately translates into is an environment where the figurative professional gene pool is massively expanded, with representatives on every possible point of the gradient. Even at times of social distancing, this sparse contact can allow for unforeseen yet advantageous collaborations, impromptu brainstorming sessions, overheard conversations that turn into potential partnerships, and more.


Coworking spaces tend to be a melting pot of developers, programmers, writers, marketers, graphic artists, designers, and more. These spaces know that, and all the good ones use it to their advantage by intentionally fostering a positive and collaborative work culture where no one is encouraged to actively network or force connections, but everyone can feel free to socialize and interact as in a normal office.


Some coworking spaces host teambuilding events, and leverage the décor, ambience, and amenities to cater to specific crowds and complementary company cultures.


While the bare bones of any coworking space are the basic professional needs – lots of floor space, private meeting and conference rooms, a common area, high-speed internet, kitchen areas or drink and snack bars, functional and comfortable office furniture – it’s the additional amenities by which a coworking space sets itself apart, including artistic set pieces, a living and breathing (plant-based) office environment, nap rooms, video game rooms, outdoor areas or a spacious balcony, art and color choices, and more.


Coworking spaces save startups and small businesses from relying on coffee shops and impromptu office setups in the bedroom while trying to build a business in its early stages. Instead, these companies can collaborate in a professional setting for a fraction of the price of their own commercial real estate, forego the headaches of managing and setting up shop in a brand-new office space, and focus entirely on what matters the most: the business.


The Benefits of Utilizing Multiple Coworking Spaces


Coworking spaces are more than just a steppingstone for companies working their way up to the point where they’ve “made it” into mainstream success. Established enterprises and corporations leverage flex spaces and coworking spaces as financially sound alternatives to setting up a new office in a region they otherwise have no presence in, and startups can do the same, branching out across the country by setting up shop in multiple different coworking spaces.


The money saved on finding and managing your own space can go towards doubling or tripling your presence on the market, meaning you’re never limited by office space when trying to scale up your business. It’s still up to you to decide when the right time to scale is, though.


Coworking spaces can help startups save money, afford to host your team in a single physical location, and smoothly enable a hybrid work model to keep yourself as mobile and flexible as needed in the early stages of the business, all the while taking advantage of exclusive amenities and lucrative opportunities.

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The Ultimate Morning Routine Checklist for a Productive Workday

If you’re looking to create a morning routine checklist or simply trying to find tips on how to improve it, then look no further. A good routine to stick with is pretty essential for a productive workday. Read more.


What makes a good morning routine? Is it good coffee? A hearty breakfast? Getting the right foot out of bed on the right side? Or is it all about attitude? Or, maybe, is it something deeper than that?


The ultimate morning routine checklist is one of those things we all know we should bother sticking to, but never really do. Part of the reason they’re so hard to be consistent about is that most morning routines are too ambitious, or simply don’t fit us. Setting up a morning routine that works for you is key, especially if you’re trying to start the day in a good mood for the work that lies ahead.


The key elements of a good morning routine are the same regardless of who performs it. They include consistency, intake, and sleep. We’ll go over each element, as well as how you might improve your morning routine – and drastically improve your productivity – in just a few basic steps. But first, we must talk about the elephant in the room.


Why Bother with a Morning Routine Checklist?


While breakfast might not necessarily be the most important meal of the day, it is true that how you start your day ultimately has a significant impact on how the rest of your day is going to be. Getting a good start to the day can mean the difference between taking life in stride and feeling completely and totally overwhelmed. It can also have an impact on your overall productivity and allow you to shift your mindset towards a work-focused one.


Even night owls can learn to benefit from a morning routine. Like anything else, it’s a matter of training yourself to make the most of the early hours of the day, and avoid the anxiety that comes from feeling unproductive or sluggish pre-lunch.


Morning routines aren’t just exclusive to those with the time or money to create them. Everyone and anyone can and should have a morning routine of their own, even if it’s as simple as getting up at the same time every day, putting on the kettle, and getting a shave/face wash. In fact, it’s often these simple routines that are the most effective – because they’re simple.


Consistency First and Foremost


The golden rule of any morning routine, before anything else, is always going to be consistency. Morning routines don’t start out as some sort of productivity super life hack – they only become this over time, as you begin to work yourself into a daily rhythm, priming yourself for a productive morning (and rest of the day). Like an elaborate mantra, the morning routine is just a way to prepare yourself for the day ahead – and it can truly be anything.


If you’re new to morning routines, keep them as simple as you can. As you get comfortable with your new routine, consider how you might expand on it in ways that don’t necessarily turn it into a three-hour affair but allow you to shift focus onto things you might want to be paying more attention to – from showing gratitude towards others, to picking up a new productive habit, to learning a new skill.


We’re not in the business of telling you what to do with your mornings, but the first item on your checklist should always be something you can do every day, even on the weekends.


Morning Intake, and Why It Matters


What’s the first thing you eat or drink when you wake up in the morning? Your first intake can make a difference in not just the first few hours of the day, but all the way into the evening. It’s generally recommended to start the day with a small glass of simple H2O.


Most of us try to get some sleep for at least about 6-8 hours, and probably haven’t had anything to drink for closer to 8-10 hours. Depending on the weather and season, you can wake up dehydrated without having had a sip of alcohol the night before. While the health claims of drinking water first thing in the morning are dubious, it is a simple and inoffensive addition to any routine.


Coffee, while great, can mask the effects of sleeplessness and cost you productivity in the long-termif you’ve been neglecting your sleep. If you can’t remember the last time you went without coffee, consider stepping off the caffeine train the next time you have a long weekend, and use the time to see for yourself if you’re generally well-rested, or if you find yourself tempted to doze off throughout the day.


While caffeine can mask sleepiness, it doesn’t really mask its detrimental effects on cognition, from problem-solving to reflexes.


No Substitute for Sleep


No morning routine can make up for the crucial benefits of a healthy sleep schedule and good sleep hygiene. Before you turn to your morning routine as a way to make major productivity gains, make sure you’re getting enough rest every night.


Cutting an hour here or there can wrack up dangerously in the long-term – and your body and brain will eventually need to cut corners accordingly, whether in performance or thinking skills.


Leverage a To-Do List


Once you’ve taken care of your sleep, figured out your favorite morning drink, and have established a simple and custom routine that suits you, we’d like to offer up an excellent addition to any morning routine: the to-do list.


Take a moment before work to consider what you aim to get done that day, and jot it down. Visualize your progress. Assign timeslots and hour counts to each task. Consider breaks and set a realistic goal – then execute.


Day after day, you’ll find that taking a few minutes to sit down and think about how you’re going to approach the next 24 hours can massively improve your focus and productivity.


Morning Routes While Working from Home


Morning routines are far from exclusive to the office-bound worker or the successful CEO. Even if you’ve had to spend the better part of the past few months working from home, adopting a morning routine while remote not only continues to help improve productivity, but allows you to formally assign a moment in time, each day, that signifies the start of the workday (and the end of the “home” part of “work from home”).


One of the biggest challenges when dealing with remote work is the feeling that the boundaries between work and life begin to blur, and it becomes harder to stop oneself from putting in unnecessary or excessive overtime, and risking burnout.


A morning routine allows you to get started with the day’s tasks faster, finish more efficiently, and cap your day off at the same time each evening – without languishing early in the morning, and then rushing to submit projects way past typical office hours.

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How to Better Guide Your Distributed Teams for Success

If you’re managing distributed teams and it’s been quite stressful, then it’s always ideal to find ways to better guide your employees. Here are helpful tips to keep in mind!


As we continue to approach a post-pandemic world, we need to ask ourselves what the workplace of the near future will look like. Office workers are demanding the ability to work from home (or wherever they please, for that matter) more than ever, especially now as we’ve had a long time to acclimate to completely remote conditions. While that setup isn’t ideal for everyone, there are those that simply can’t overlook its benefits, from slashing commute to making it easier to get more things done in a day.


On the flip side, we have people who are eager to return to a normal workplace, away from the drastic meld of work and life at home, who want to create a boundary between their family and their professional lives, and can’t afford, neither mentally nor fiscally, to enjoy the benefits of a fully-fledged home office.


Reconciling these two camps and successfully managing workers with different needs while enabling cooperation between them is a tall but necessary task for any manager or leader of the near future. This is where it becomes important to learn how to guide distributed teams.


What Are Distributed Teams?


Distributed teams are any collective of professionals working together on a project or company, with different resources, from different locations, but under the same general management. You know you are managing a distributed team when you’ve got two developers in the Philippines, a UI expert in Croatia, a visual artist in Oregon, and are working with a few local talents from a small coworking space in California, for example.


For distributed teams, the main challenge is learning to coalesce the individual strengths and weaknesses of each team member, while overcoming the communicative and cooperative obstacles of time and distance. Thankfully, now more than ever, those obstacles are entirely surmountable.


COVID has taught us that we can function mostly remote – and with a little work, we can even integrate patchwork teams working both independently and cooperatively into one big team.


Make the Most of It


When working with a distributed team, you learn that the precious few hours during which everyone can be online together are worth gold, and it’s in these hours that most of the collaborative and managerial work must get done.


It’s here where you need to wrangle team members to explain what they’ve been working on, get feedback on how specific tasks are going, reorient your team to tackle specific priorities, and organize both your short-term and long-term goals for the project in its current stage.


This means having a set protocol so everyone knows what time they need to be on the group call, and placing a premium on heavy communication, so no one is left wondering what’s going on when someone in the team can’t make it because of a personal matter.


Even when remote, we crave the ability to act and work together – and if you’ve ever had friends on the Internet, you’ll know that modern communications technologies have come a long way towards eliminating the difficulties of distance when fostering meaningful and strong relationships, even between professionals.


Aside from prioritizing collaborative and managerial work in the hours when everyone can be present, you’ll also want to give your workers the means to communicate independently with one another through other channels, such as off-topic chatrooms.


The same goes for distributed teams that operate on a rotating system of office hours, where workers spend some days in the office, and some days at home.


Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Onboarding


There’s no real hope of physically onboarding someone in a country you haven’t hired from before. But when hiring local talent, or when recruiting someone in a region you already have other team members in, it helps to organize a physical onboarding process to get the new team member comfortable with their role and position in the team, as well as get them to meet as many people face-to-face as possible, regardless of whether they plan to continue working in offices or largely from home (or elsewhere). This is where coworking spaces come in handy.


Coworking spaces allow you to lease a professional workspace for just a few weeks, so you can effectively onboard new talent and guide them through their workday, as well as give them the opportunity to get a better feel for how they like the company culture and the people they will be working with locally.


Video, Video, Video


When face-to-face collaboration (through a coworking space, or your office headquarters) isn’t possible, emphasize the use of video. It might seem like a relatively minute difference to turn a one-on-one phone call into a video call, but video conversations can help get the point across much more quickly, and much more efficiently, than just a voice chat or an email.


We still pick up a lot of context clues and conversational cues via a webcam than just a person’s voice, and it can help speed things along – not to mention help foster a more relaxed and comfortable working environment between colleagues, regardless of the distance involved. It’s hard to feel like you’re a part of a company when most of your team members remain relatively faceless to you, and when you’re constantly reminded of the distance between you due to the lack of physical collaboration. Frequent video calls can greatly alleviate that feeling.


Productivity And Collaboration in Distributed Teams


When tackling matters of productivity and comfortable collaboration, you must recognize that your role as a leader is not just to know what everyone needs to be doing, but to ensure that everyone’s needs are met.


Just showing some interest in how your team members are doing can go a very long way towards helping them feel appreciated and helping them develop a much stronger bond with your team and company. Make use of the strength of emotional intelligence to figure out whether your team members are satisfied with their role in the team – and why they aren’t.


Offer learning opportunities and affirmations. Take the time to note how a team member’s individual effort reflected on the project. Distribute praise and constructive criticism. Take team members aside for one-on-one calls to discuss how they’re doing, and what their plans are. Don’t just try to be positive for the sake of positivity – be real.


A lot of managing a distributed team means recognizing that each team member is a person, not just a faraway resource. Bringing them together involves making the most of each person’s strengths and weaknesses, and overcoming the challenges of distance – mostly through technology, but also through collaborative opportunities like coworking spaces, and occasional company events and get-togethers.

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The Advantages of Using a Virtual Business Address

What’s a virtual business address and how is it beneficial to the growth of your company? These are important questions to ask, especially during a time when remote work is happening more than ever.


In this day and age, many businesses don’t need physical locations to exist, operate, and thrive – and with the pandemic, more businesses than ever are embracing a hybrid or fully remote organizational structure. For many service-based startups, from SEO and content to software development, there are very few things speaking against this kind of setup – especially in terms of cost. However, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. People are more likely to trust a business with an existing address – and oftentimes, they want to know that their product or service is being handled by real humans, in a real location.


Sadly, it’s getting harder and harder to afford quality commercial real estate, especially when you’re in an industry that doesn’t require physical manufacturing or a dedicated office setup. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of a real business address.


You can lead a fully or mostly remote business, and still have a set professional business address to share with clients, customers, and potential business partners. This is where the virtual business address enters the picture.


What is a Virtual Business Address?


Virtual business addresses are real-life addresses in a coworking space or office space managed and leased out to companies as mostly virtual fronts, designed to interact with clients and customers, redirect mail and communications, and even host meetings when need be.


These spaces are real, and do exist, and are usually set up in business parks and commercial or corporate districts. However, all you are paying for is the nominal use of the address, rather than the entire space or office. Because the terms are much more minimal, they are also much more flexible.


Virtual business addresses are usually leased monthly, can be canceled at any time, and allow you to legitimize your business through a physical location (rather than a simple P.O. box) without anywhere near the same costs. Below are some of the advantages of working with a virtual business address rather than your own home office address.


In short, a virtual business address allows you to put a real-life address to your business, without the associated costs of leasing an office space in an expensive commercial district. Why bother? Because having a professional business address comes with a suite of benefits.


The Legitimacy of an Established Business


There is more to being successful on the Internet than a pretty façade. The advent of reputation-based marketing, customer reviews, and social media has drastically changed the way companies need to present themselves when vying for clients and keeping customers. Yet despite that, first impressions still matter.


Customers are more likely to take you seriously when knowing that your company has a location and address behind its name, one that isn’t tied to your personal home.


While it is becoming more and more normal for certain industries to feature 100 percent remote start-ups, and home-based freelancers or contractors, there is a certain reassurance behind knowing that the people you’re talking to are human beings working together in an office, rather than a group of strangers interacting online.


True, the latter is a completely misleading take on how remote companies function – but with the information age also comes the overly-cautious customer, warier than ever of scams and schemes. Legitimacy, even if it comes in the form of a virtual address rather than one you own the keys to, can go a long way towards convincing leads that you are every bit as authentic as any other ambitious business on the market.


Privacy for Your Home


With a virtual address comes an added benefit of not having to name your own address instead. There are still processes for which a business needs an address, such as registering as an LLC, entering a limited liability partnership, or seeking financing.


Most of the time, these processes do not accept simple PO boxes as addresses. And for everything else, you should still hesitate to place your home address as the base of operations for your business.


Not only will you be eliminating yet another crucial separator between work and life, but you are putting yourself at risk of going through lengths to address the problem of address discrepancies whenever you need to move.


Clients who decide to look your business up would also know exactly where you live, which can be more than just an uncomfortable fact – it can be a security risk.


Local SEO Benefits


While so much of our life has been supplanted or changed by the creation of internet services and social media, we’re still ultimately people living in towns, cities, regions, and countries – and that fact isn’t lost on search engines.


Most search engines (especially Google and Bing) place a great premium on location and are more likely to recommend services that are close by. In order to take advantage of that fact and ensure that you’re the biggest fish in your pond, you need Google to know where exactly you do business – and where your company can be found.


Even if you specialize in a good or service that never requires a customer to come anywhere near your main office, taking advantage of local SEO can greatly boost your traffic, which translates into relevant leads, and better sales.


Choosing a Virtual Business Address


Virtual business addresses are usually one part of a larger package, which can include virtual assistant services, receptionist services, email and phone redirection, package receiving and forwarding, and much more.


But when you take advantage of something like a coworking space as your virtual business address, you’re paying for more than just an expanded P.O. box and receptionist’s desk – you get an actual space for your company, one you can use from time to time to host important clients, schedule monthly or annual team meetings, and make use of as an onboarding space for new local talent.


By taking advantage of the full benefits of a coworking space, you’re not just getting a business address for your company in a prime location, but you’re getting an office space too – for a fraction of the cost and hassle.

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5 Remote Work Models to Consider

Since the pandemic, it’s safe to say that remote work models are here to stay. But which one is for you and your business? Read below for all the details of the different types.


Even as we approach an end to the pandemic, many businesses in and outside of tech have realized the efficiency and potential for remote work – if managed and implemented properly.


The pandemic has taught us to diversify and innovate on how we work, whether from home or through coworking spaces, in work cafes, in the outdoors, or in offices with mandated social distancing. We have learned to better communicate and collaborate over great distances, improve our efficiency in the absence of daily physical meetings, better integrate virtual toolsets, and benefit from the flexibility of remote work and its many different forms.


Over these last few months (and over the course of the last few years), there are distinct remote work models that have come to the forefront as effective ways to integrate remote work into any given team. While remote work can be approached with complete flexibility, most remote work models can either be categorized as completely remote, split or distributed, hybrid, or virtual/remote-centric.


Each of these work models have their pros and cons, and managers as well as business leadership need to take into consideration how their team best functions, under what conditions their core talents thrive the most, and to what degree they might be willing to adopt or invest into any given remote work model. Let’s go over the basics.


1. Fully Remote and Asynchronous Work Model


A fully remote and asynchronous work model is usually tilted towards teams that operate across the world, with talents stationed in different corners of the globe, collaborating asynchronously through email, group chats, cloud storage, team task management systems, and more.


Video conferences or live calls might be few and far between, planned ahead and reserved for moments where the whole team needs to come together to answer questions quickly, solve problems immediately, or come up with a solution on the fly.


      • Pros and Cons


A fully remote team can completely embrace the freedoms provided by a business that operates remotely, through total workplace flexibility. This means that when you’re working in a fully remote team, you can work from anywhere: be that your home office, a coworking space, a local café, or a park. Furthermore, you can live anywhere, and as a manager or entrepreneur, you can source your talents from all over the world without a single care for issues like commuting.


But there are distinct cons to an asynchronous work model, as well as one that is fully remote. For one, it can be difficult to get things done right away. With proper management, you can ensure that your team meets all their deadlines. But if something comes up and needs to get fixed immediately, you will have to wait until your CSS specialist, or your developer wakes up and gets caught up with the situation.


In many cases, the boundaries between work and life can blur awfully hard when working in an asynchronous team.


While there is an understanding that everyone should take time for themselves and be offline from time to time, it becomes almost normal to check into work at odd hours, stay up much later than usual to resolve an issue because you had to wait for someone in another time zone to show up to work, and there are far more issues with communication and the team’s ability to react to problems.


With careful management, and certain considerations (such as ensuring that everyone on the team is online and working together at some point in the day, for at least an hour or so), some of these issues can be alleviated.


2. Fully Remote and Synchronous Work Model


Another fully remote work model is one that specializes in staying remote but working synchronously. In this case, the team collaborates on a similar or even exact schedule, despite minor (or massive) time zone differences. This might mean that some team members are stuck in a night shift.


Ideally, however, remote teams that work synchronously try to source their talent from areas in and around the same time zone, give or take a few hours, to minimize needing to put team members through the stress of long-term nocturnal living.


      • Pros and Cons


Otherwise, the pros and cons are much of the same. Fully remote teams may lack a centralized location, and because it doesn’t make much sense to be both fully remote and have a professional location, many businesses that embrace a fully remote work model lack the means to physically host clients, enjoy the benefits of face-to-face onboarding, or grow a company culture through personal interaction.


Some of these cons can be alleviated through a virtual office, which may exist solely to provide a place to meet and talk with clients, as well as intercept calls and relay packages.


3. Hybrid Work Model


Hybrid work models blend the benefits of a remote work model with the benefits of having an office, usually by having at least a portion of the teamwork from a central location (usually team managers) while individual team members work from home, or from different coworking spaces, nearby or abroad.


The exact definition depends on personal preference. Some people maintain that a hybrid work model requires at least 50 percent of a company’s workforce to work from a centralized, commercial office location (regardless of whether that space is a flex space or coworking space or owned/leased commercial property).


In many cases, hybrid teams form when a company realizes that it cannot serve its clients solely with local talent. In that case, a company may source remote workers to supplement the main office staff.


      • Pros and Cons


Hybrid teams only take limited advantage of the benefits of remote work, as the majority of the staff is still working from a central location.


This may be a popular model for most businesses interested in getting their toe in the water, but it limits the flexibility afforded by a true work-from-anywhere model.


4. Remote-First Work Model


This is a hybrid work model that prioritizes remote work, with a small subset of employees working from a centralized location. There are many benefits to a remote-first hybrid work model.


      • Pros and Cons


Remote-first work models allow team members to report in from time to time and collaborate mostly virtually. However, it may not be an ideal fit for team members who work best with other people and need a place where they can socially interact with other team members beyond the limits of a computer screen.


5. Distributed/Split Work Model


In a distributed work model, teams are split up into multiple physical locations, with a few remote team members. Most teams, however, collaborate physically and on-location in offices or coworking spaces around the region, country, or world, and work with the other teams through virtual meetings and the occasional physical event.


      • Pros and Cons


It’s expensive to fund and manage multiple commercial spaces. Coworking spaces relieve a lot of the managerial and financial pressure but stationing multiple teams across multiple coworking spaces is still more expensive than having a coworking hub, with multiple remote teams. But for many businesses, this blend of coworking and remote workspaces helps improve productivity and create a more defined and cohesive company identity.


Which Work Model Best Suits You?


Finding a model that best suits you can be difficult, and it depends on the size of your business, your resources, where your team members live and work from, and what your goals are for the growth of your company.


If you’re interested in ways to expand your team and benefit from both a physical location and a largely remote work model, you should consider leveraging coworking spaces.