A Disastrous Meeting for an Office-less Business Woman that could have been Prevented

Recently at Central Park Business Centre we had a splendid visit from a business colleague who, in the interest of helping us identify our market and competitive strengths, told us a sad tale about an office-less business woman she met with recently.  All home-office workers — take note, this could happen to you.

Ms. Business Woman was used to working out of her home-based office, which was merely an extension of her overturned living area, with a kitchen sink full of sauce-stained dishes and a magazine-covered coffee table.

That day, Ms. Business Woman would be entertaining business colleagues to work on a project together and give a presentation.  She knew well enough to never meet clients in her condo, and had given up on trying to meet in noisy coffee shops. Instead, the destination: the public amenities room in her condo.  No sweat, she thought.  Her home office was only a single elevator ride and a few hallways away.  Safety was near – or so she thought.

In this newly-built condo of hers, which the developers designed for an emerging generation of work-at-home professionals, there was an in-house amenities room complete with boardroom space that looked not half bad for hosting visitors. This was one of the attractive features that appealed to her.

To make a short story short after we have made it long, the business meeting turned into a disaster.  Shortly into the meeting, Ms. Business Woman needed to make extra copies of her presentation which involved a quick trip back to her condo. Then there was a quick change that had to be made on a document, so back she went again. It was no longer a single elevator ride and a few hallways to navigate! Plus she had to stop the meeting to take a call and give directions, parking and building access instructions to one of her late-arriving guests. It wouldn’t have been too terrible, if it hadn’t been for the endless stream of interruptions from other building residents who wandered into the shared community room to check to see if the room was available. Then there also the wireless internet that left her guests unplugged from time to time, which was also a nuisance.

Well, you can guess how things went for Ms. Business Woman and her colleagues.  Needless to say, the presentation lost some of its glitz and went on longer than everyone intended. We hate to ask if coffee was provided or catering was taken care of…

Working at home can be productive and convenient, but not when it involves meeting with clients or associates.  It didn’t have to be a disaster.  The good news is that a professional solution is available for Ms. Business Woman the next time she needs to hold a meeting with colleagues or to pitch a sales presentation.  It’s called executive suites, or business centres, where people like Ms. Business Woman can book a boardroom or office by the hour for the equivalent cost of the coffee at a coffee shop (plus the coffee is free!). It is also without the risk of creating a poor image described above.  Along with her boardroom by the hour or day, Ms. Business Woman could have access to an administrative assistant to make last-minute document changes, a receptionist to greet guests and give parking directions, a photocopier, projection and teleconferencing equipment.  She would have everything she needed to run her business smoothly for that important meeting.

Sure, the condo developers had Ms. Business Woman in mind when they built the amenities room, but they sure didn’t have her BUSINESS in mind.  Luckily, business centres such as ours were designed to meet the needs of Ms. Business Woman AND her business.