Technology is changing everything. Barriers to communication and interaction are falling by the wayside as more and more people are connecting and doing business using advanced telecommunications and Internet technologies. Many companies are taking advantage of these trends by staffing virtual offices around the world.
WHAT IS A VIRTUAL OFFICE?
A virtual office is simply an office that is operated off-site…independent from the parent corporation’s main location. Technically, a virtual office may be an employee’s home office, car, or even a nearby coffee shop, but many 1st generation telecommuters are finding that the home office offers just as many distractions as the main, corporate office. For this reason, many new companies are making low- or no-commitment offices available for virtual employees. These offices typically offer lower-rent locations with electric, phone, and Internet; meeting rooms on a rent-as-needed basis, shared office machines and IT support, and a variety of locations. What this means is that large companies can save money on office space, and this savings can open the door to a variety of additional benefits. Below are 5 benefits that virtual offices can provide.
1. REDUCED OVERHEAD
Maintaining a centralized office building in a major metropolis for all the company’s executives is an expensive way of doing business. A virtual office can dramatically reduce the amount of money spent on rent, insurance, parking, landscaping and physical upkeep, as many of these expenses are outsourced. This benefit alone is the primary reason many companies explore the virtual office solution, but it doesn’t take much effort to see many additional benefits that can be unlocked by reducing overhead.
2. IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY
A happier employee is a more productive one, and the ability to work either from home or close to home makes many employees very, very happy. How many employees of large companies start their day by waking up before sunrise and sitting in traffic for two hours? Is it possible that those same employees would be more creative and more productive if they were able to sleep an extra hour, skip the long commute, and drive to a nearby location…and get home to their families that much sooner at the end of the day as well?
3. EXPANDED SALES TERRITORY
The reduced costs of virtual offices allow for sales personnel to operate in more diverse locations. Instead of an entire sales force operating out of a single office in a major city, smaller teams or even individuals can spread out into suburbs and more remote locations with little or no additional expenses.
4. INCREASED STAFFING OPPORTUNITIES
Sometimes the most qualified prospects turn down job offers simply because of geographic limitations. The virtual office can eliminate these lost opportunities by allowing employees to do their jobs from almost any part of the country.
5. REDUCED ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Long commutes and rush hour traffic are major sources of air pollution and fuel consumption in the United States. Virtual offices greatly reduce the need for these long commutes.