When asked to visualize an office, most of us come up with a pretty standard image. Maybe we picture cubicles, a receptionist desk and a break room with coffee. That familiar image may be changing in today’s world thanks to technology and something called the virtual office. What are virtual offices? They are simply flexible setups that allow employees to work remotely instead of attending a traditional brick-and-mortar office each day for work. Often this is accomplished through a technology package including internet, laptops and cellphones. There are several advantages to using virtual office solutions, five of which will be described in this list. If you are thinking of transitioning your business to a virtual company, or if you are interested in working for one, this list might be a helpful tool.
#1. Reduce Costs
One of the top cited advantages of having a virtual company is the cost savings. Virtual office services allow the business professionalism to remain while the costs–such as maintaining a full commercial lease–are lowered. Nearly 60% of employers consider the reduction in costs resulting from telecommuting to be a significant advantage or this model.
#2. Use Conference Rooms When Needed
Some virtual offices allow the occasional use of office amenities such as meeting or conference rooms. They can be rented by the week, day or even hour. Thus, you do not have to sacrifice the human component of face to face meetings with clients or partners. The difference is, you are not paying for those conference rooms to go unused for the majority of the time.
#3. Customize Your Virtual Office To Suit Your Needs
Flexibility is one of the main values of a virtual company, so a significant feature of virtual office spaces is the ability to customize it to meet your needs. Customization can be as simple as having a professional address instead of a PO box, to as involved as having administrative tasks taken care of by employees or having access to meeting rooms and catering.
#4. Reduce Or Eliminate Commutes
A study conducted by Sun Microsystems found that when employees work from home, they spend over half of the time that they would normally be spending on their commute working productively. Thus, a virtual company format may increase productivity in workers by eliminating commute time. This is likely to make employees happy, too as about 80% of people view the ability to work remotely as a job perk.
#5. Increase Efficiency
The bottom line of why companies choose the virtual office format is to eliminate wastes and make the business run more efficiently. Cutting back on superfluous expenses associated with maintaining an office year round and reducing commute costs are only some examples of how using the virtual office setup works toward achieving greater efficiency. Another facet of this efficiency is related to worker absences. The American Management Association reported that a telework program resulted in a 63% reduction in the amount of unscheduled employee absences. This means more workers are getting their work done in less time–the definition of efficiency.