Instant Offices: Today’s Business Solution

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To an established company there is nothing extraordinary about having a representative office that is strategically located and equipped with sophisticated facilities. But it is certainly a problem for a newly operating company wishing to have both a solid organization and an office that is not only equipped with modern facilities but also strategically located.

Today this is no longer a problem, though. Several companies offer instant offices of various types. You may opt for a virtual office, which provides basic secretarial services, or a small office measuring about 12 square meters (for one person only) or even one with an area of some 40 square meters (for five people).

“Well, you can take your laptop computer to this office and do your business,” said Viera Djawahir, business development manager of The Executive Center, a Jakarta-domiciled company providing serviced offices, virtual offices, business bases and business services

The Executive Center is only one of at least five similar companies in Jakarta with affiliates in other major cities in the world. Their presence in Indonesia means a solution to the country’s newly established companies starting with a small business or to companies that require only a little office space. These companies can also help foreign corporations wishing to open their branch offices in Jakarta. These office lease providers offer not only office space, like what a building management of an office building does, but they also offer office operational services.

In this regard, their services are like those provided by business centers in five-star hotels. The advantage for the clients is that they can get office space at a much lower rate but enjoy equal luxury. The office space they offer is always located in Jakarta’s CDB (central business district).

The Executive Center, for example, is located in Sudirman Square Tower, a modern tall building in Jl. Sudirman, which is part of Jakarta’s Golden Triangle area. This company also has its network in most strategic sites in Hong Kong, Bulgaria, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Seoul.

The rate? For a virtual office service, the rate ranges from Rp 500,000 to Rp 1 million a month. If you need an office space, the rate ranges between Rp 7.5 million and Rp 15.5 million a month. As the rate is calculated in rupiah, it won’t be quite so burdensome to the lessees.

Aside from enjoying basic facilities like a fully furnished office, electricity, air conditioners, telephone lines, a fax machine and a photocopier, a lessee will also be provided with a receptionist, an office boy that will be ready to serve refreshments and an around-the-clock security system. Then there is a lobby where guests are received and a meeting room for internal meetings or meetings with clients.

As modern offices shrink in size and their organization is trimmed, the concept of an office offered by serviced office providers is in demand today, especially considering the fact that the payment system is very flexible. You can pay the rent monthly and you can also extend the office lease as long as you wish.

The Executive Center, Viera said, always has a lot of prospective lessees. The company has 40 rooms on lease. They are fully booked almost the entire year. Sometimes, some clients are willing to be put on the waiting list.

The Executive Center has about 23 companies as its clients today. These companies deal in, among other areas, management consultancy, waste-treatment consultancy, public relations, cosmetics or heavy-duty equipment. About 90 percent of them are multi-national corporations and the remaining 10 percent are made up of local companies.

Long before this particular service business became as popular as it is now, Mee Kim, president of CEO Suite, said that her company was the pioneer of this business in Jakarta. The company began to offer the lease of instant offices with modern facilities as far back as 1997.

Today CEO Suite has two buildings to lease, namely in Wisma GKBI (Gabungan Koperasi Batik Indonesia) and BEJ (Bursa Efek Jakarta) building in the Semanggi area, Jl. Sudirman, which is known to be Jakarta’s most prestigious area. The rent is flexible, ranging from US$8 per hour to $700 to $5,000 per month.

“Our rent is highly customized: hourly, daily, monthly or yearly. You name it, you get it,” said Mee Kim, a Korean woman married to an Indonesian. Aside from providing a lessee with standard equipment and facilities, CEO Suite also provides its clients with, among other services, ISDN, LAN, unified messaging system, high-speed Internet and teleconference facilities if the clients wish to rent a conference room.

Besides, CEO Suite, whose motto is “You only pay for what you use”, also makes available supporting personnel such as secretaries and accountants. “You can calculate yourself the difference between taking our office lease and renting or purchasing your own office building,” said Mee Kim. CEO Suite, she added, now boasts some 700 clients in Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai.

Today the concept of an instant office is the prevailing trend. In a highly globalized era, information technology plays a vital role and takes over the concept of conventional offices. The concept of an instant office is also the prevailing trend in the United States. In the present digitalized era, a company no longer needs a large space and a bulky organization. Bill Gates even started his business in a small office, a trend that was later taken up by other companies, particularly those in the information technology business.

In Indonesia, the trend of an instant office has developed as much as it has in more advanced countries. Mee Kim said, however, that when companies trimmed down their businesses in search of a higher efficiency level or when, from the very start, companies were not designed to be large-scale businesses, the concept of a small office or an instant office, or even a virtual office, was an attractive choice.

She added that the demand for office space showed an increase from one year to another, following the greater dynamism in business and in the economy in general. Signs of this increase in the demand for office space have become increasingly more visible in Jakarta. As a result, slowly but surely, the instant office business has also shown a rise in demand and is growing at a rate of 10 to 15 percent annually. (Burhan Abe)

The Jakarta Post, September 06, 2005

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