Once upon a time, back before today’s technology, the vast majority of white-collar (office) workers worked at their place of business. Each morning they woke up, fulfilled their morning’s ablutions and commuted to work, some by car, some by train, some even by foot. They arrived at their place of business some time later and the workday officially started. Yes, it was the accepted way of doing things…people worked at their place of business.
These days it’s just a wee bit different. Many folks wake up and clad in their jammies maketheir way to the computer that’s placed somewhere in their home and well, they start working. Others wake up, get dressed and leave their home with laptop, smartphone or tablet tucked into a carrying case and head to the nearest Starbucks or hotel lobby to begin their workday.
Yes, the new normal. Good? Or bad? The place WHERE you work can now be anywhere thanks to technology. As long as the ‘place’ has you, your computer/laptop /smartphone/tablet, and access to the internet you can work there, and be productive, if you can deal with the distractions.
However, while where you work might be suitable for you and your productivity; many places you might work WON’T (and don’t) work as your “place of business” for the outside world including your clients, your prospective clients, and your vendors, to name a few.
Sure it’s awfully convenient to have a 2-minute commute to the computer table in the corner of your dining room or to the extra bedroom (AKA home office) and yes, working in a Starbucks or a hotel lobby can beat paying rent. But can any of these places really be your ‘place of business’?
I don’t think so. Starbucks isn’t going to appreciate it if your website shows their storefront as your business address, and the hotel desk clerk will never know that the overnight package containing the signed contract you have been waiting for is for you, the guy who is always sitting in the banquette over by the gift shop.
You see, technology has made it so that we can work from anywhere, and it has made it possible for us to separate ‘where we work’ from our ‘place of business’. However, many business people haven’t gotten used to the fact that the two frequently should not be the same. These people are still stuck in the mindset of “going to work AT our place of business”.
To thrive and grow in business you need credibility, gravitas, image, and capability. Make sure that your Place of Business is consistent with these. Don’t fall into the technology-created trap of confusing where you work with your place of business.
It is critical that today’s mobile, work anywhere, business person has an image-worthy place of business. After all, that hot prospect isn’t going to be impressed with a business card that says 123 Mockingbird Lane, or one with a PO box, or one with no address at all…especially when the person or company competing with you for that business has a place of business with a bonafide business address. Take a good hard look at your ‘place of business’. Is it helping you to thrive and grow, or is it hindering your progress?