I predict that 2016 will be the year in which home and cloud based business owners finally cease to cringe even a little when asked by prospective corporate clients where their offices are located.
Just a few years ago the answer “we don’t have one” was often met with an uncomfortable silence, followed by the prospective client (realising they’d mistaken you for a proper business…) hastily bringing the conversation to a polite close.
In 2016 it’s a very different landscape. Numerous businesses are choosing to operate without commercial headquarters and are becoming fondly known as “distributed team” businesses. And with many administrative team members at large, companies now working one or two days a week from home (and in some cases completely from home), that concept is no longer unfamiliar at the big end of town.
At Article Writers Australia we all work from home. The office is in the cloud, and has been since we began in 2009. Our editors are in Sydney and Queensland, our content strategist in Melbourne, and writers are “distributed” from Cairns to Perth. I’ve learnt to love it and I don’t believe we’ll ever need an office, no matter how large we grow.
So if you decide to embrace the idea of never having an office how do you make it work as your team grows?
Cloud based software and tools, from job management and accounting to video conferencing and document storage — you can do virtually everything without an office (pardon the pun).
Aim to go paperless. It was hard to let go but I’ve also recently broken the habit of printing documents to read at the kitchen table. I haven’t printed a single document for three months.
See your remote team as a community (even if they’re freelance contractors) and create opportunities for collaboration and conversation. You do have a work environment, even if it’s invisible and the proverbial water cooler is in the corridors of cyberspace.
I recently discovered another tool that seems ideal for our team — fitness tracking platforms.
Sedentary behaviour can be quite an issue if you work from home and tend to become engrossed in your work. It doesn’t take anywhere near 10,000 steps to walk from the computer to the coffee pot and back, even if we do it ten times a day! ☐

Leonie Seysan is the director of Article Writers Australia, a content agency specialising in B2B and content. Contact 029634 3161