Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Glenford Smith | Redefining the office

Published:Wednesday | August 30, 2017 | 12:00 AM

QUESTION: The concept that an office should not be defined by or restricted to a physical geographical space is as close to modern progressive thinking as it will ever get. I was always drawn to the idea that an office space should not dictate one's ability to perform and produce at the highest level. In fact, I am a firm believer that a work-home environment can only augur well for all parties involved in the process. My only fear is that I may fail at pursuing my passion or simply doing what I love from home and finally experiencing that gratifying feeling. I desperately seek your advice.

Sancia

CAREERS: Thanks for writing in. I agree with you that 'office space' needs to be redefined. With the innovations taking place, it surely goes beyond physical, geographical space.

In fact, the modern entrepreneur in Jamaica has embraced of the concept of the temporary office. By this I mean a regular office space, usually rented, that he or she can use on a need-to-use basis. He or she may need it for say, four hours one day, and two hours the next, and he or she just pays for that.

Another model that is picking up speed is that of flexible time or simply flexitime. This is where an employee spends some time at the office and some time at home. All of these have been in vogue for some time.

From your letter though, you seem to be highlighting the home office. In Jamaica, an entrepreneur with a home office was not regarded positively, but I'm happy to say it's changing. First time it used to be that if an entrepreneur had a home office, people tended to think he couldn't afford a 'real office'. He or she was dismissed as not being a serious business person.

I concur with you that the home office augurs well for all involved. A well disciplined entrepreneur with an agenda, this easily can work. It guarantees best prices for customers who don't have to foot the bill for a big, unnecessary office. The entrepreneur must have developed the discipline to make this work.

Your fear is a valid one. You have to have the stomach for business of any sort. It is a very difficult and often very lonely path to take. You must know yourself, and be assured that you have entrepreneurial characteristics. For instance you must be self-confident, have self-esteem, be a planner, be courageous and determined.

You must be prepared to fail. That's just the truth of the matter. Any business you go into you have to be prepared for failure. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't tell you that. You may be ridiculed, friends may talk behind your back and you may feel down on yourself at times.

But all successful entrepreneurs had to face that at some point in their journey. If you feel the entrepreneurial urge, don't let me put you off. You will achieve your dream of realising the best in you, and experience the joy of being independent and happy in mind, body and soul.

- Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'. Email glenfordsmith@yahoo.com