At the conference organized by the Avila Business Centers in December in Lisbon, was come to the conclusion that choosing Coworking and virtual offices is a rational measure and an intelligent choice.
Lisbon, 28th December 2011 – The Avila Business Centers, company of turnkey physical work spaces for renting and leader in the virtual offices business in Portugal, organized the first national conference on virtual offices, Coworking and other models representing the office of the future. The Your Office Anywhere was a perfect stage to discuss the future of businesses and encourage the entrepreneurship.
With the participation of more than 150 professionals, the Your Office Anywhere served to discuss tendencies, identify investment opportunities in times of economical difficulties and find a path towards the office and professionals of the future. The conference was composed by two panels who discussed the current situation of physical offices renting market and the new technologies which allow a professional to have ones office available anytime anywhere, using technological mobile platforms.
Among the speakers were specialists in the real estate consultancy, architecture, business centers, Coworking, IT and mobile applications, with a special highlight to Carolina Rendeiro, a recognized leader and expert with over thirty years of experience on the Business Centers industry in the USA, CEO of the consultant Right Space Management and director of the Global Workspace Association (ex- Office Business Center Association International), the major worldwide association of the business centers, Coworking solutions and virtual offices sector.
There were also present Marco Santos, responsible for the Microsoft Business Office Division in Portugal, Paulo Silva, CEO of Aguirre Newman and Mariana Seabra from Jones Lang LaSalle.
The main conclusions were as follow:
FIRST PANEL: THE OFFICES´MARKET IN PORTUGAL
- Jones Lang LaSalle identified a present scenario characterized by a “hostile economical climate” and by a “market affected by austerity measures, low levels of confidence and lack of Prime offer”. These facts take to, according to Mariana Seabra, a rental retraction and the showing up of clients demanding more Prime quality products at accessible prices.
To fight these tendencies, the responsible reminds that owners will have to create incentives to the renting in order to increase occupation. However, to Mariana Seabra, the crisis also generates opportunities: “Occupation of Prime spaces at lower prices and a strong presence of pharmaceutical and loan defaults companies, which are financially fine! Like so, for the Jones Lang LaSalle responsible, 2012 is the year of the 3 ‘Rs: rethink, reposition and re-launch. Mariana Seabra also reminds that clients will be focused on “the use of new technologies in the next ten years”, situation which will end up to affect “the entire market”.
Aguirre Newman pointed essentially to new Human Resources tendencies for the second decade of this century. “The world is demanding for us to reinvent ourselves at a Human Resources level. It is time for mobility, this is the keyword. New work concepts have arisen: interaction, flexibility, communication, sharing”. Together with new concepts connected to the Human Resources, also showed new space tendencies: the co-working (to which Patrícia Liz calls the “ golden brainchild”), the hot-desking (will stop being residual to become normal; flexibility to rent a room by the hour or by the day), virtual office (capability to be in the office without having a work space, a reality which leads to a restructure in the real estate agents activity; way of not taking chances on the investment in order to rent a physical space; way of having security in an uncertain period), and the open-space.
SECOND PAINEL: CONSUMPTION TRENDS IN THE VIRTUAL OFFICES AN NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Carolina Rendeiro was the main presence of this conference and spoke of her experience in the USA market, where she is since 1978. “Since then, this industry already had many names, but it started with an answering named call centers”, reminds the expert.
“In the USA we fight against time lost in transportation to get to work and what matter is the technology for users to interact with the office. The society is at the break of an historical change”, counts Carolina Rendeiro. The Global Workspace Association (GWA) director has always been quite positive during her intervention and was not tired of repeating that in each of the crisis she went through, opportunities were created: “Statistics are the same all over the world. In the USA each crisis is an opportunity, it’s the existing mentality. Some sectors will never exist again and people are prepared to do the change”, underlined Carolina Rendeiro.
Regarding the major trend of the moment in the USA, Carolina speaks for the preference companies have on having bigger spaces to offer for Coworking areas. “Starbucks, the Hyatt and Marriott hotels have already demanded information to be part of the GWA and enter in this industry”, reveals the offices and business centers market expert. However there is a counter with which the American market is facing on: “Banks are not financing business centers in the USA, unfortunately. Investment comes only from the private sector and the major commercial investors in the real estate area are trying to diversify their portfolios”.
Pedro Coutinho from WATERDOG mobile began to speak of the history of the mobile terminals, which started in 1973 with the mobile phone from Motorola created by Martin Cooper, showing after the first Smartphone of the world that reached the market in 1992, Simon. According to him, at that time there were no conditions for the Smartphone to be worthwhile for users. “Only in the latest years communications started being very useful to us. From2009 onwards the mobile data tripled. Until 2015, the multiplication is going to be even bigger”, warned Pedro Coutinho.
With mobile devices and applications, users may, according to him, control all the business services of the company: ERP, CRM, Project management, documental management and billing. “Currently, we are more advanced than getting home and connect to the company’ server. We may have on our Smartphone and tablet all that is kept in the office PC”.
Rui Lopes Swipe Twice’ Partner, presented the myOffice app as a case study “The myOffice is a contact and management platform in real time, which sends to the client all information online. This is, sends all the messages, phone calls, correspondence arrival which are send to the client” reminded Rui Lopes. The app is free for all Avila Business Centers clients and is also available for those willing to see how it works: all you need to do is search for “myOffice” on the App Store and choose the option “Demo User” that appears on the pop-up window.
In 2012, Rui Lopes revealed the app is going to have an optimized version for iPad and the internationalization is going to happen: “Any business center will be able to buy this technology”. In order to put myOffice even more wide-ranging and effective, Rui Lopes advanced a series of new functionalities also previewed for the first months of 2012: online schedule of meeting and Coworking rooms and subscription online of the office service from the app. “With this we may have a virtual Office in a space of 1 or 2 days”, guaranteed the responsible of Swipe Twice that also reminded other gains of the myOffice app: “The user has the possibility to see ABC partners abroad, that belong to the eOffice Network and, in the future to the myOffice International Network.
Marco Santos, Microsoft Director, showed how easy it is to have collaborative action at a distance with interconnection with different office software, counting with the help of the SharePoint and Lync recent services. “The presence in this conference is a new alliance and that is why we have accepted the challenge”, began to state Marcos Santos. From his presentation, the Microsoft responsible highlighted three data regarding the countries’ reality: “Portugal is 30% inferior in terms of productivity in relation to Europe, according to a study from the PEA (Portuguese Entrepreneurship Association), Portugal works in average 9 hours per day, says the OECD, which is too long for the existing production; 83% of the companies with more than ten people already use broadband; and a very concerning data: the IDC says the amount invested by the SMEs in technology is diminishing.
For Marcos Santos, the future of productivity has everything to do with the offices. “We have to be productive apart from the devices we use, to use the information the more comfortable way: on-premises or in the cloud, or a mix of both. There must be a redefinition of the concept of productivity, a major easiness to access content, to share with clients and colleagues”. Afterwards, the presentation of Marcos Santos was quite practical and captivated the audience with an interaction in real time with a colleague from Microsoft where together edited documents remotely and communicated recurring to a conference call with the help of SharePoint and Microsoft Lync resources.
He also demonstrated that is possible to improve productivity, using technology, showing some indicators beyond any doubts: 301 per cent of ROI in 7,4 months, savings of 25/50% in dislocations costs, savings of 20% in IT budget, reduction of requirements in training in 25% and more 10% of savings in indirect costs.
About Avila Business Centers
Founded in 2004 with the name Espaço Avila Business Centers, the company changed its designation to Avila Business Centers in 2011. Besides renting turnkey physical work spaces, is leader in the virtual offices business where presents solutions with prices between 55 and 85 Euros per month, with several services associated, among them legal and financial support, personalized telephone answering and access to the potentialities of remote management of the myOffice app for mobile devices: Android, iPhone and iPad. In May 2011 was created the brand Franchise Set-Up, to support start-up franchised companies.
Currently it counts with more than 300 national and international clients and is member and representative in Portugal of the major Business Center network in the World, the eOffice International Network, with more than 300 locations and managed from the United Kingdom. Avila Business Centers has its premises in Lisbon, in Avenida da República and in Avenida João Crisóstomo. For more information visit www.avilabusinesscenter.com.