Cast Aside the Cubicle — It’s the 21st Century Way to Work

Nine-to-five workdays and confining yourself in sterile, cubicle-lined office spaces are so last century. These days, the trend is all about freeing yourself from the constraints of the traditional, old-fashioned ideas of work and exploring new ways of making a living – like e-commerce, Internet marketing, and e-tail (electronic retail).

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Your own business – it’s just a click away

Armed with just a smart phone and a laptop, almost anyone can start or run a business without needing to pay thousands of dollars a month in rent and overhead. Working from home is great, but sometimes, you need a warehouse to store some product and an on-site manager who can receive and ship items. Other times, you might need access to wi-fi, a printer, and a conference room. Or, you might need just a “real” address to put on some business cards.

We know several people who make good money buying and selling items on E-bay or Craigslist. But quickly they found that all those electronics, end tables, and dollhouses took up way too much space in their small homes. One of them was an out-of-the-box thinker, and he decided to rent a small space from LifeStorage to run his e-commerce eBay business. For a minimal investment, he created a “virtual” office and ramped up his product in-flow and out-flow.

You probably also remember our friend Eric, the Chicago Ragman, who rented a storage unit at our State Street location and set up his personal shopping business right from there! Lots of smart businesspeople are doing that these days.

We also know some sales reps who work out of their cars but just need a conference room and wi-fi every once in a while, plus a place to store their products. And then there are the consultants and freelancers, who thought that working from home would be easy but quickly found that trying to have a conference call while the baby cries in the background isn’t all that easy.

E-Commerce and The Cloud

Lately, e-commerce has become so popular that there’s even a web site dedicated to the concept – The E-Commerce Times. Plus, the current trend toward computing in the “cloud” has really ramped up e-commerce sites and the ability for entrepreneurs to work from almost anywhere.

For the uninitiated, the “cloud” refers to all the remote servers that house all applications, documents, and databases relevant to a particular business or enterprise. Workers access their materials via the web, rather than housing all their documents locally on their own computers. That means everyone has access to all the documents, all the time…and, you can access your items where ever you are, from any computer anywhere. Now that’s freedom.

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But as we all know, sitting in your dark basement all day long working in the cloud isn’t good for anyone. And you really do need access to a professional image and services. So here are some of the best reasons to create a remote or virtual office without all the hassle and expense of traditional office space overhead:

•Professional address. It always looks better to have a professional business address, rather than your home address.

•Conference rooms and meeting space. You can’t hold meetings at your dining room table forever.

•On-site managers. They’ll gladly ship and receive packages for you, and even take messages from potential clients!

•Office amenities. You get access to phone, internet, printers, copiers, fax, wi-fi, and even free coffee!

•Friendly faces. While working in your pajamas sounds like fun at first, the loneliness can creep in pretty quickly. Having a social network is good!

Go to the LifeStorage web site for more information on office suites, office amenties, and free Starbucks on the house!

Download our Business Storage Guide here.

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