The budding idea of office spaces that took shape in the last decade was reimagined with the advent of the pandemic in March 2020. The hitherto notion of offline offices was expanded to virtual spaces where only a good internet connection was a prerequisite.
Interestingly, after office spaces entered into a hybrid model, many startups mushroomed taking advantage of virtual spaces over physical spaces. This article will look into these aspects that have strengthened the popularity of online office spaces.
1. Accessibility to Talent Pool
Human resources are the prime factor that drives any business forward. When ideas and plans are worked out together, it leads to the efficient usage of technology and raw materials.
When a business is limited to physical offices, the proximity of employees to the office is an important factor. In many cases, companies, especially startups are forced to compromise on recruitment just because of the incompatibility of locations of the parties involved.
The prevalence of virtual offices has made a positive intervention in that regard. Companies with a virtual office now have the liberty to employ the best talents from anywhere in the world without location, transportation and accommodation becoming a problem.
Many startups have made use of this benefit extensively during the time of the pandemic. This benefit has worked both ways as employees who otherwise had concerns with travel and accommodation were now able to get better opportunities as virtual offices thrived.
2. Heightened Productivity
Studies have shown that employees work better remotely in virtual spaces than in physical offices. According to a study by Stanford University, working from home has increased the productivity of employees by 13% as the number of calls per minute increases owing to quiet work environments.
A similar study cites that 70% of people prefer hybrid meetings and work from home. Studies have also shown that since virtual offices cut the time spent on commutes and breaks, employee efficiency has also increased tremendously.
3. Democratic Space
It is a fact that certain places give specific facilities to the entities there. The reason why companies spent a fortune in setting up their offices in cities like Bangalore and Mumbai is due to the competitive edge that these places will give to the business. However, virtual spaces have been successful to a great extent in reducing the unequal opportunities that physical offices provide for various enterprises.
Virtual offices mean that the organisation functions online. At a time when a business has become chiefly an online affair, there is nothing that an infrastructural facility at a specific location can add to the well-being of the company.
Irrespective of where you are based, virtual offices provide an equal pedestal for all the competents in the market where the only criteria of growth become performance.
4. Easier Expansion
As virtual spaces waves off the burden of location and infrastructure, it becomes easier for companies to expand their business into newer places. All they would need is the technological backup and entrepreneurial vision to sustain in a new location.
When compared to the traditional methods of expansion, virtual spaces allow a cost-effective, hassle-free and stress-free expansion. Even if the companies have the financial reserves and other necessary resources to set up a new office, it will only be wise, to begin with, a virtual office before expanding physically so as to understand the feasibility that the business in the new location would bring.
5. Environment Friendly
One of the biggest advantage that virtual spaces bring to the table is that it is environmentally innocuous. In fact, all of its benefits boil down to this major advantage.
At a time when air pollution and land management are becoming grave concerns, the popularity of virtual office spaces will help significantly reduce the contribution of the business world to environmental degradation.
Virtual spaces not only reduce the contribution of physical spaces in polluting the environment but also cuts down the carbon footprint of each and every employee of the organisation.
The amount of difference that online office spaces can make is very significant in the face of humanity. At a time when the business world is trying to develop sustainable ways of doing business, prioritising virtual offices will be a great initiative.
6. Short-Term Commitments
Unlike physical office spaces, the companies are no longer required to enter into long-term contracts with real estate owners for office spaces. Most of the software services that support the functionalities of virtual office space are based on a monthly subscription or an ad-hoc basis. It gives the owners the flexibility to opt for better options more often. Such short-term commitments also mean that the companies need to pay for what they use and only for the time they need.
7. Better Business Support
There is no doubt in the fact that virtual spaces have made work easier. It also has the additional advantage of the tremendous amount of technical and business support that companies receive through these spaces.
There are a plethora of other companies that specifically work for helping others set up their virtual office spaces to such an extent that such assistance cannot be found in a physical office. Co-working spaces and meeting rooms are two recent examples of such support. It helps companies focus solely on their business.
8. Cost Cutting
Virtual offices cut down the cost that companies have to spend on office spaces to a great extent. At a time when only physical office spaces were prominent, a large part of their revenue goes to the maintenance of infrastructure which includes rent. It further takes a financial toll on the company if these offices are in prime locations like Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune or Delhi.
Virtual spaces, in that regard, are a big relief to the company as it only demands a technologically sound office space which in many cases is relegated to an efficient communication platform and Google services.
Apart from that, virtual spaces also give the liberty to the companies to longer provide allowances for transportation for their employees. Thus, virtual spaces play a significant role in reducing the overall expenses of the company. In fact, such spaces have given an impetus to a lot of startups which would have never rolled out in the first place if they had to set up an offline office.
As the world inches into a global village with advanced technologies reimagining businesses by the minute, the possibilities of virtual offices have become abundant. If utilised properly it can even be a feasible alternative to physical office spaces. However, depending on the nature of businesses the opportunities that virtual spaces offer will differ.
What is a virtual office?
A virtual office is a space with a physical address but it is less expensive than maintaining a traditional office.
Is a virtual office a good idea?
Yes, a virtual office is great for small businesses. It also boosts productivity among employees as they don't have to travel to the physical office.
How do I start a virtual office?
Focus on communication, invest in the right tools, hire the right people, and make sure you establish a proper organisational structure.