The world has drastically changed over a few months since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – the way we live, the way we look at the future, the way we work, and the way we connect with other people. COVID-19 has practically shut the world down and everybody was caught unprepared to face the gravity of its impact in our everyday lives.
The economic repercussions of the pandemic have left a lot of businesses to shut down. The few businesses who manage to stay afloat pushed for a remote work arrangement for their employees. Suddenly the world needed to adapt to doing everything remotely and online.
Now you can attend meetings in your pyjamas and jandals, which have become the new trend in office fashion. And while you try hard to maintain a business demeanour, you and your team had to put up with your neighbour’s growling lawnmower, your screaming kids running around, or a dog barking in the background.
Without a doubt, COVID-19 is responsible for the latest trend in the way we work. This new-found trend has its perks but working from home may have its drawbacks that may leave you feeling burnt out at the end of the day.
There is a solution to finding the balance between working from home and keeping your sanity intact in these crazy times.
This is where a virtual office solution becomes handy. Let me tell you why.
Prime address to impress your clients
Yes, you are not physically there, but a virtual office provides you with a high-profile address that would impress your clients. Small or start-up businesses can particularly benefit from this. Whether it is a city centre address or in a suburb location, a professional business address delivers the image you need to project. Your website, business card, or email signature gives your clientele a peek into your business and you want to impress them with a prominent address.
CBD Office Ltd, a virtual office provider, is centrally located in downtown Auckland and is right smack in the middle of the central business district.
Phone answered in your business name
Whether you’re a new business without any employees yet, or you were forced to cut down on staff, it is paramount that you don’t miss a single call from your clients while you focus on growing your business. A virtual office comes with a reception that can answer your calls and take messages for you. Whatever your case may be, you can focus fully on achieving targets while letting your virtual office do the little things for you.
CBD Office’s highly trained and professional staff can manage your phone calls and ensure that your callers receive utmost professionalism and efficiency. Call forwarding service is also an option if you wish to speak to your clients directly.
A professional location to meet with clients
There may come a time when you inevitably must meet with clients face to face. While you can meet with them at home or in a café, having a professional place to discuss business matters leave a lasting impression on your clients.
Booking a meeting room or a casual office can be done super-fast with CBD Office’s online booking system. We will take care of everything including unlimited coffee/tea, Wi-Fi, or even set up a presentation screen for you. All our meeting rooms and casual offices follow physical distancing restrictions, so you can go about with your meeting without stress.
We do the dirty job, so you do not have to
Growing your business can take up most of your energy and may leave you with admin tasks that remain undone. Your virtual office can take the load off your shoulders. From photocopying to scanning documents to mail forwarding, we can do the odd jobs to free up your valuable time focusing on running your business.
Easy on the pocket
During this time of uncertainty and financial crisis, it is important that you save as much cash for the unforeseen future. With a virtual office, you get your money’s worth for a little amount. CBD Office’s virtual office packages start from $25 (+GST) per week, and that may well be the smartest $25 investment you can ever make at this point in time.
Keeping your business afloat during this unprecedented time takes enormous courage but know that you can get support without breaking the bank. CBD Office will be happy to show you how a virtual office can help your business and get you through this COVID-19 crisis.
By: Diana Subido Mendoza
The COVID-19 pandemic has been wreaking havoc to people’s lives and we are not just talking about the economic side of its impact here. The added burden to our already stressful life has left us with a higher level of anxiety than we ever had before.
Burnout and Work-from-Home Stressors
A recent survey from FlexJobs and Mental Health America has reported 75% of workers have experienced burnout at work and 40% of them say they have experienced burnout particularly during the pandemic.
The pandemic has left more and more businesses to allow their employees to work from home where they can get their jobs done in the safe confines and comforts of their homes. The daily commute to work, getting up early, preparing lunch, getting ready – all of this have been eliminated from the worker’s daily routine. Most people welcome this change with a sigh of relief. But relief seems to be temporary. After a month or so of working from home, workers feel burnt out. They are struggling to find the work-life balance that they used to have pre-COVID. Because work is very accessible, workers tend to work longer hours, while quality time with their family suffers. In many cases, people working from home are caught in a dilemma between looking after their children full-time while schools are closed and trying to get their work done.
The stress level is even heightened by a lot of different reasons, such as uncertainty brought by the pandemic, fear of losing jobs due to closures, worrying about physical distancing and contracting the virus, and adjusting to the new setup of working from home. All these could put added strain to the already troubled mind of a worker.
How Organizations Can Support Mental Health
Now, more than ever, mental health should be the number one focus of organizations during this difficult time. Productivity at work relies so much on the worker’s ability to perform well, mentally, and physically, and this will not be possible if the worker’s mind is preoccupied with a lot of different stressors. Mental health and work are directly linked together. Organizations should take this to heart and start creating an environment that promotes wellness for all its employees, whether remotely or in-office.
One way to promote wellness is by maintaining a flexible work-life balance and creating a work environment that fosters emotional support. Organizations can support mental health by
- Allowing for flexibility in the workday
- Offering mental health days
- Offering emotional support through one on one conversations with an HR personnel
- Regularly keeping in touch with employees who work remotely
Flexible Work Arrangements Can Promote Wellness and Mental Health
Flexible work arrangements could also be offered to improve the employee’s quality of life. A combination of remote work and in-office is a set-up that has been proven to be effective in some organizations. This gives the employee a change of environment to prevent them from feeling like they are stuck in one place. In cases where returning to the regular office is not possible due to physical distancing restrictions, employees can be offered a remote serviced office where they could go about with their tasks for the day and still enjoy an office environment sans co-mingling with other workers.
Working Remotely in a Serviced Office can be a Good Option
A casual serviced office will come very handy in these kinds of situations. CBD Office Limited provides such a service complete with a reception, Wi-Fi, and unlimited coffee to see you through the day. Their services also include the use of a wellness room, reception lounge, and the opportunity to have a little chat with other tenants. Meeting rooms are also available for when you wish to meet with clients.
Centrally located in downtown Auckland, CBD Office provides an option for organizations that are proactively seeking to improve the overall mental health and wellness of their employees.
How many times have you heard recently that remote working has made staff more productive? Or that working from home is the future of work? Businesses had no choice but to work from home due to COVID-19 and were pleasantly surprised that it was so successful. So successful in fact, many have given up the traditional office in favour of working remotely. So, is this end of the office? Or have companies, such as AMP, jumped the gun by abandoning their central city offices in favour of remote working? Is working remotely realistic for us all?
What are the long-term social implications of remote working? There is a clear link between social connections and wellbeing. We are living in a generation where we are more connected than ever, but loneliness is on the rise. Social media, email, and zoom can never replace the physical connection you feel. Nor does it allow you to pick up on things like body language and tone of voice. These are components of communication that are lacking in online conversations. How many times has someone misunderstood you in an email or text?
Loneliness is highest amongst individuals aged 15-24 in New Zealand. In 2018 the NZ general Social Survey concluded that 156,000 youths reported feeling lonely some or most of the time. Switching to remote work would affect this group the most as adults aged 20-24 are joining the workforce for the first time and rely on their peers to boost their skills.
The Office is a Place to Network
Talking to many of my friends who are new to the workforce, the office serves as a place to network, socialise and find mentors who can help grow their skills. Sure, there is zoom and other solutions we could implement to socialise or gain mentorship virtually. But it can be hard to form deep connections with people online. Meeting people face to face is more beneficial in the long run and much more enjoyable. Who doesn’t enjoy Friday night drinks with your co-workers or friendly office banter?
Challenges of Working from Home for Young Adults
From my experience, I found working remotely during COVID-19 difficult. Being in the confines of a flat with three other people none of us had the resources or the space to work from home effectively. None of our rooms is big enough to fit much more than a bed and sharing our tiny dining room table was out of the question as we would only be in each other’s way. With little space, working from my bed was the only option.
Working like this is not realistic at all for young adults entering the workforce. Not to mention how it could affect our careers that are only just beginning to blossom. Working in an office surrounded by your peers is much more beneficial as there are always people to ask questions and to brainstorm ideas. Not having the ability to sit down with your team face to face and brainstorm ideas could have a massive impact on creativity and innovation.
Working from home may have had good short-term results in terms of productivity, but this is not the only part of a successful business. It is also forming new ideas to keep competitive and creating connections with your customers and clients. It is creating a company culture where employees can talk openly with one another and work together effectively.
Remote working will continue to be the way to go for many and is not going anywhere. Only time will tell if this is feasible in the long-term. Thanks to COVID-19, it’s clear that working from home is possible in the short-term. However, this style of work-life makes it very difficult to nurture company culture and form deep connections with your co-workers. The better solution would be to combine working remotely with the use of a traditional office. Having the option to work from home when you need to maybe just enough of a change to see massive results.
How CBD office can help you
Ditching the traditional office has also been apart of the business recovery effort. CBD Office has options that can help your business survive and keep you stress-free. Our virtual offices will give you a professional business address in the heart of Auckland while you work from home. We will also look after your mail and take phone calls when you can’t reach the phone. We also have affordable serviced offices for those who would like a private office or businesses who need an affordable work hub for their employees in central Auckland. Check out our other services now!
Support Local Business
Being COVID-free is one big feat for a nation. It takes a great deal of sacrifices and cooperation from a team of 5 million to make this happen. The early lockdown that saw businesses close their doors to prevent the virus from spreading has certainly helped us get to where we are now. But what really is life like after lockdown for businesses, especially the small and fledgling entrepreneurs? How can we help small businesses survive post-COVID-19?
Sadly, it is not “business as usual” for most if not all. Small businesses have been the most affected by COVID-19. Almost 30% of New Zealand employees are employed by these businesses. As part of our economic recovery, we must support our local businesses to ensure their survival and to keep our unemployment rates as low as possible post coronavirus. In Auckland CBD, you can already see the effects of the lockdown, as many cafes and shops have closed for good. Foot traffic has decreased by 40%, as well as spending, according to the Heart of the City. Many businesses are continuing to choose more flexible working, taking people away from the CBD. If CBD businesses lose their regulars, we may see more closures.
Everyone can do their bit by supporting local businesses that are struggling to keep afloat right now. Here are a few ways you can help small businesses.
Support local cafes
- Mornings usually start with a cup of coffee, especially now that we are slowly returning to our offices and no longer get that extra sleep in. (Oh, the joys of working from home!) The good news is that if you buy your coffee somewhere other than a chain store or a petrol station you are already doing your part!
Support local NZ owned shops
- Branch out from the usual chain stores that are owned by international companies and opt for NZ owned stores.
- Agriculture is a huge part of not only our economy but our culture and way of life. One way you can support local is by supporting local growers. Farmer’s markets are now able to open in level 1. Here are some good ones around Auckland:
- Grey Lynn Farmers Market – Open Sundays 8 am – 12 pm
- La Cigale French market – Open Saturday 8 am – 1.30 pm and Sunday 9 am- 1.30 pm
- Parnell Farmers Market – Saturday 8 am – 12 pm
- Support local food vendors. Find Auckland night markets near you here: http://aucklandnightmarkets.co.nz/.
- There are a few ways you can donate to a business an easy one is to tip. Or if you are a fan of the arts support our creatives. Find out how you can donate by exploring the links below.
CBD Office is here to help
As a small business ourselves we know now more than ever how much your business needs a boost. Help us by letting us help you.
Recovering from the effects of COVID-19 will be a long journey for us all. To help fellow small businesses, freelancers, and anyone else affected by COVID-19, we are opening TheWorkHub up for FREE! From 15th June – 15th July use our coworking space FREE of charge, including FREE COFFEE and WIFI! All we ask is you like our Facebook page, and subscribe to our newsletter.
Learn how we can help you succeed at www.cbdoffice.co.nz/.
Links to check out:
- Discover local businesses: