With the new “Gig Economy”, it’s not quite a man’s world anymore. It’s in an undeniable truth that women have just as much career potential as men, yet the unfortunate reality is that many will take a back seat due to family obligations that they are required to fulfill. This can range from having to scale back from work at certain points in life (due to having a baby or caring for aging relatives) to having to abandon the workforce altogether. The exciting news is that entrepreneurship and freelancing pose exceptional opportunities for women. The freedom and flexibility that the popularity of “gig” type work brings is opening doors like never before and creating opportunities of a lifetime for those who are able to take advantage of modern resources such as shared office space, virtual office solutions, videoconferencing, and telecommuting. Read on to hear why Gig Girls don’t cry.
Gig roles are changing the way the modern company works, and it’s not just for freelancers. Companies are opting to go into shared workspace arrangements now more than ever before. The reason is the reduction of square footage required. There’s a tremendous money saving opportunity due to there being less of a need for physical office space. It’s not that companies are downsizing. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – the economy is in quite a favorable time relative to the recession faced in years past. Workers are now invisible, dialing in remotely from Starbucks, home, or even a private or coworking office space they’ve leased on their own in concert with virtual office solutions that provide them with a business address and phone number. Unlike years past, you may never meet the people you work with face to face.
Staffing changes are happening much more quickly as well. With sites such as Fiverr and Upwork providing instant access to highly talented people to fulfill almost any task under the sun – everything from voiceovers to press releases to financial modeling or website analytics. Anything under the sun can be “gigged out” nowadays. As a result, there’s less red tape to get through for workers to be hired. This may lead business line leaders to act quickly when downsizing staff in favor of temporary outsourcing assignments.
The rapid pace of staffing changes bodes well for freelancing women. The days of the typical office job requiring works to be in at 8 AM and out at 6 PM are long gone. It’s common for people to be in the office two days a week and teleconferencing in the rest. Women who have to balance family obligations, such as dropping off or picking up children from school, can manage their commitments through effective use of technology.
How Virtual Office Solutions Help Female “Gig” Brands
Yet despite the less regimented form that employment is taking nowadays, there are still some elements of professionalism that the Gig Economy augments rather than replaces.
Impress Somebody From a Distance
For example, even freelancers do have to maintain some place where they hang their business hats. For legal reasons, companies most of the time have to represent themselves as associated with a physical address that is a not a P.O. box. And it goes even further than just that. Hiring firms do look at your physical operation when evaluating you against other freelancers. All else equal, having an office located in a prestigious building such as 1395 Brickell Avenue in Miami can’t hurt, can it? Just because it’s a gig doesn’t mean you won’t have to put on the ritz, so to speak. Get access to an address that says something about your success through virtual office solutions.
Sign Big Ticket Deals
Times have changed but the reality is that women are still paid less than men. Negotiate pay in person to get the big ticket. Email is too impersonal and makes it too easy for the person on the other side of the negotiation to undercut you. Over the phone is great, but busy people are hard to get on the phone nowadays.
If you’re about to ink a deal, invest the money in a meeting room (as opposed to Starbucks), many of which are offered through virtual office solutions.
In any business situation, companies are more likely to do business with those that are seen as similar. If you’re a solopreneur or small company targeting larger firms, the scale of your operation is going to be a factor. Bigger is better in such cases.
Even though they aren’t a part of your company, the staff at the operation where you hold your virtual office solutions can help you portray an image of scale. Having a friendly voice answer the phone or a smiling receptionist to greet guests that come visit you will make you seem like you’re involved with a larger entity. Thought not real employees, they’re still supporting you as “pseudo-staff” and the image of that can go just as far.
According to one Quester, “People would come there and say, “Geez, Steve, you have this whole space?” Sometimes they didn’t ask and went away thinking we had the whole place.”
You don’t have to do it alone. It does take a village if you want to really compete for the top gigs. Use the biggest amenity that comes along with virtual office solutions – its people – to your advantage.
And on another note, it’s great to be a part of a vibrant business community if you’re in the market for new gigs. Nothing beats face to face interaction or being referred by someone you know. Networking events are thrown for all shared office space participants, from virtual office solutions to full executive suites.
From Gig to Game Changer
Here’s the great thing about gigging: it doesn’t have to be that way forever. Freelance work is a great way to get introduced to a new market, network, or company that you just may foster permanent ties with in the future. This is fabulous for women who may have different needs as their work-life balance requirements evolve.
You’ve got to start somewhere. For many Questers who started out with virtual office solutions, Quest was there to accommodate their changing needs – whether it was just for an occasional conference room or day office, or even a permanent private office as their businesses grew.
Female entrepreneurs, weigh in. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.