Working at home is becoming a more common option for many professionals, particularly the self-employed. While this arrangement offers many benefits such as a non-existent commute, it poses several logistical challenges such as a lack of access to meeting rooms and reception services.

Intelligent Office Canada helps professionals overcome these challenges and project a professional image while preserving the conveniences that make working at home an attractive option for many. Intelligent Office Canada is the master franchiser for Intelligent Office, a provider of virtual office services established in Denver in 1995.

The company’s services include professional address services, 24/7 access to offices and meeting rooms, voice mail solutions, and business support services. Intelligent Office’s Intelligent Assistant service provides trained receptionists who answer phones and can screen, announce and connect business calls to anywhere in the world.

Intelligent Office Canada has nine locations in the greater Toronto market as well as single locations in Ottawa, Hamilton and London, Ontario; Montreal; Vancouver and Edmonton. A location will open later this year in Surrey, British Columbia, with future locations under development in Calgary and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“More and more people are working from home now, and the cost of having a full-time office staff can be high for many people,” President and CEO Brian Monteith says. “We offer all of the amenities of a full-time office at a fraction of the cost of a traditional office. Our customers can meet their clients in the best buildings in town and can access other Intelligent Office locations across North America.”

In addition to serving home-based businesses, Intelligent Office also serves traditional small businesses, which take advantage of its Intelligent Assistant services and telecommuting programs.

Intelligent Office Canada distinguishes itself from a growing field of competitors in the office services field both through the flexibility of its offerings as well as the quality of its professional staff and IT infrastructure. “The services we offer are top-of-the-line – we are the Cadillac of phone reception,” Monteith says. “We provide additional home-based offerings to clients which our competitors don’t touch, which is very much a value-add.”

Strategic Partnerships

One of the company’s biggest challenges is spreading the word about its services, which it intends to overcome through partnering with major retailers and business organizations. Intelligent Office is co-branding with Staples Canada to provide information kiosks to promote the company’s services. It also has relationships with RICOH office equipment and the e-Women’s Network, North America’s largest business association for professional women.

“We think strategic partnerships, such as the one with Staples, will really be the key to our growth and allow us to reach the masses on a larger scale,” Monteith adds.

An Enlightened Team

Teamwork is at the center of Intelligent Office Canada’s internal culture. “We don’t believe in a departmentalized structure – our structure is very open-ended, and everyone’s role is equal,” Monteith says.

Monteith believes in an open-door policy with regard to gathering employee feedback, and says he gives teammates the responsibility they need to complete the tasks they’re responsible for.

“My personal business philosophy is to work hard, and that the customer is always right,” he ways. “Enlightening employees and empowering them to make their own decision ultimately creates a happier and more productive business environment.”

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