Today, we are living in a time where everything is changing at a pace that no one ever expected. Look around yourself, you will see everything is changing rapidly.
The same is happening with the workplace/office culture. Flexible workplace systems are trending among all sizes of businesses. Whether a startup or a completely established enterprise, everyone is moving towards flexible office solutions.
We have seen that most companies have adopted work from home or remote working culture in recent times. And so far, it’s going great. In not so very distant future, we will witness that most companies will completely shift to virtual offices where no one has to come to the office daily to do their jobs.
As we know, a virtual office is a fully customized and flexible office solution that fulfills all the requirements of a traditional office. It is also very cost-effective. And companies across all industries are going more digital and using all the modern technologies which allow them to connect with their employees from around the globe through a common system. They are ditching the brick-and-mortar office requirements and making their presence online by opting for virtual offices. It is very convenient for companies as well as employees.
In the earlier time, companies hesitated to allow their employees to work remotely due to lack of communication among them and lack of discipline during the working hours. But now, companies embrace a flexible and remote working culture because it reduces their cost per employee to an extreme level without affecting their work. In many cases, even increased productivity has been reported while working from home.
Check out the following stats of remote working -
- The no. of people who work from home has increased by 140% since 2005. ~ (Global Workplace Analytics)
- 16% of companies exclusively hire remote workers. ~ (Owl Labs)
- Remote employees say that they are happy at work 29% more than their on-site peers. ~ (Owl Labs)
- 18% of people work remotely full time. ~ (Owl Labs)
- In the U.S remote work has risen by 173% between 2005 and 2018. ~ (Global Workplace Analytics)
- 75% of people who work from home do so because there are fewer distractions. ~ (Flexjobs)
- 50% of remote workers state that remote working has reduced their sick days. ~ (Indeed)
- 74% of companies plan to shift some of their employees to remote working permanently. ~ (Gartner)
All the above stats about remote working clearly show that workplaces’ future lies in the flexible and virtual office systems. Companies across all industries are already shifting towards it.
Let’s look into the few point that justifies why virtual offices are the workplace of the future-
1. Cost-effective Solution
A virtual office is a flexible office solution that can reduce your cost to an extreme level. It saves your costs of huge monthly rentals of offices, electricity expenses, maintenance expenses, furniture, and other infrastructure expenses. Research made by Harvard Business Review on a Chinese Travel Company shows that the company saved $1900 per employee on furniture and space over the period of 9 months.
2. Saves Time & Energy
Working remotely saves a lot of time and energy. The average one-way commuting time is around 40 mins which means nearly 1.5 hours of commuting each day. Some extreme commuters even commute more than 2 hours which means almost 12–14 hours a week. And this is not about time only, commuting for around 1 hour a day is associated with an increased level of stress and anxiety. Research shows that commuting for around 10 miles a day increases the chances of some health issues like higher cholesterol lever, increased chances of depression, etc.
3. Increased Awareness of Environmental Benefits
Transportation or Vehicles used to commute to or from office is one of the main reasons for greenhouse gas emissions. The best way for companies and employees to reduce their carbon footprints is to eliminate or reducing commute travel. Working just 1–2 days at home can reduce the no. of vehicles on the road, leads to less traffic congestion, and reduces the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Ditching the brick and mortar office system also leads to a tremendous amount of reduced power consumption which is also a benefit to the environment.
No. of employees: 500
No. of days a week, on average, they telecommute: 2.5
The U.S. Office of Management and Budget called this calculator “comprehensive and based on solid research”.
4. Increased Awareness Of Health Risks
Employees who work from home lead a more balanced and healthy life. They have more time to spend with their family and friends which ultimately reduces stress and anxiety. You also get to eat fresh home-cooked food instead of packet foods from vending machines. According to CDC (Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention), approximately 80 percent of infections are spread by hand contact and touching contaminated surfaces. Office workers have more chances to get infected as they are surrounded by so many people all the time.
5. Completely Flexible & Customized Office Solution
Why we called the virtual office a modern office solution is because it is completely flexible and you can use it as per your requirements and that too by spending just a fraction of costs. Yes, remote working is much more beneficial for employees as well as employers but you just can’t completely eliminate the physical offices. More or less every business needs a physical office for having client meetings, team meetups, other important discussions, etc. But that is what the virtual office is for. You can use meeting rooms, workstations, conference rooms, etc. at your virtual office. You just need to pay what you use for and you are good to go. This means it frees you from commitments of long leases but still gives you access to the office space and that too at your own terms.
6. Opens Up More Opportunities
Shifting to a virtual office opens up opportunities for business owners. You are not dependent on your physical office which means you are free to try different things at different places. Nowadays, demand for certain skills like designers, coders, developers, etc. is increasing. Since you are not dependent on your physical office, you can hire your employees around the globe and simply ask them to work remotely.
Suppose, you’re Bangalore based businessman and you need a coder, you don’t need to look for some good coders in Bangalore only but you can search around the globe. You can hire anyone from anywhere without worrying about their location and how they will manage to work. And, when you hire a Mumbai-based coder and ask him to work from his home only, you will have to pay him much lesser than a coder who is based from any other location but lives in Bangalore for his work.
Hope, all the above points and data made it clear why virtual offices are the big thing in workplace industry and how it can replace the traditional workplace system. The one big thing about the virtual office is its flexibility and the value it delivers. And the fact that a virtual office gives you access to work from anywhere you want but still fulfills all the purposes of traditional office space is what every working professional desires. Remote working is trending across the globe and all the big enterprises are willingly exploring this new workplace system.
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