IT seems that the meaning of “office” has been redefined — at least in Nukman Luthfi’s case. The 46-year-old businessman can work from a coffee shop. One morning while sipping Luwak coffee, he sent a quotation to a client. He read briefly the material he would send on his smartphone, rechecked the address and clicked on “send”. In a few seconds, the proposal had been sent to the client’s email box.
Nukman, CEO of Virtual Consulting, was not working in his office but from Kopi Luwak coffee shop in Pacific Place, South Jakarta. Leaving home for work, he did not need to go to his office in Duren Tiga, because at noon he had an appointment to see another client at the mall. “I spend most of my time on the road, not just today. With an Internet connection, I can manage my company from anywhere,” he said.
Advancements in information technology make everything easy. With a Wi-Fi connection, Nukman can contact his partners online. Regardless of place, whenever there is a Wi-Fi facility he can do his job, from lobbying to making presentations, using facilities like email and chatting. “For fund transfers, we can make use of internet banking,” said the former journalist.
So, if you can work anywhere, why go to the office every day? Nukman, who owns several portals, considers coffee shops the most comfortable places to relax and to work effectively. Coffee shops have become not only a meeting point, but also his second office.
When he started his business, he made Starbucks his office, and worked only with a notebook. Now, as a business strategy and online marketing consultant, he has 50 employees, but he still works virtually, just as his company’s name suggests.
That means that in various business scales, Nukman runs his company with the present culture, which is mobile and online. Nukman, as well as other professionals and contemporary business owners, are lucky people who can work fast and efficiently, who do not even need much time to start a new business.
While many people work in coffee shops, many companies also offer instant offices, from the virtual office with basic secretarial work to the small office measuring 12 square meters to accommodate one person to a 40-square-meter room for five. It can be said that with a laptop, you can have an office and run your business.
Renting an office costs a lot of money. No wonder many people prefer instant offices, which are usually located in strategic places. Professionals can focus on the job at hand without having to think about many other things. If a client calls, a message will be taken by the instant office secretary, who will immediately forward it to the tenant.
Money can also be saved and allocated for other needs in business development. Renting an instant office can save quite a lot. The monthly overhead for an instant office is only US$200 while the rent for a conventional office could reach $1,290.
Instant offices offer a solution to new companies in Indonesia that want to start small, or to companies that only need a small space, as well as to foreign companies that want to open branches in Indonesia, more precisely Jakarta.
Instant office providers offer not only space, but like building managements, they also offer office operational services. It is like a business center at a five-star hotel, but at a much lower price with the same luxuries.
Even though instant offices are relatively small, they do not necessarily have limited facilities. Like fully furnished offices, they have more than just basic facilities, such as electricity, AC, telephone lines, fax machines, photocopy machines, receptionists, errand boys and 24-hour security. There is a lobby to receive clients, and a meeting room for internal meetings or meetings with clients.
Instant office providers can only be found in big cities like Jakarta where office rental fees are high. One of them is CEO Suite, which is known as a pioneer in this business.
Other providers include The Executive Centre (located in Sampoerna Strategic Square on Jl. Jend. Sudirman), Marquee (in Mayapada Tower on Jl. Jend. Sudirman, Menara Karya on Jl. HR Rasuna Said and Talavera on Jl. TB Simatupang) and Regus (Menara Kadin on Jl. HR Rasuna Said), while outside Jakarta there is Asia Suites (Graha Internasional on Jl. Asia Afrika, Bandung). There is tight competition between the companies, with each offering ease, effectivity and efficiency as well as reasonable rental fees.
Serviced offices are similar to instant offices, because of their quick and instant services. They differ in term of the facilities, service and the need of the companies or individuals who use the service.
The greatest advantage offered by an instant office is probably the strategic location, which gives the impression that the tenants are bona fide. The common denominator in the above phenomenon is the need of an individual or a company who wants to have an office in a prominent location like the central business district. It is not only prestigious, but also provides ease because it is close to everything. (Burhanuddin Abe)
The Jakarta Post, June 08, 2010