The work environment is fast undergoing a total turn around. Working from home seemed like an urban myth in which only a few unicorns had the opportunity to break free from the 9 to 5 grind. But as more business ponder employee productivity research, as well as the cropping up of thousands of new startups with small initial capital, virtual offices are fast becoming a smart and more flexible option. If you stop to consider how many hours are spent not in the actual work but in its run up, the shift to virtual office spaces seems much more appealing.
Is Going Virtual the Right Option?
With the booming of new Internet platforms, programs and tools, nearly all types of interactions are going virtual. Education, support groups, dating- all have a strong presence in the virtual world. This seems like the next best logical move for business as well. It would serve to cut down on employee commute time, as well as the high overhead of renting and operating from a physical location. Most importantly, employee productivity dwindles with the stress of long commutes and work days.
This does not mean that any business can go virtual right from the start. It is crucial to thoroughly assess and determine whether your business has the potential to go virtual, and whether this change will suit the business as a whole. Going the virtual route and being successful requires rigorous planning, impeccable execution and diligent implementation. There should be methods and tools in place to track employee accountability and their ability to meet goals and deadlines without supervision. The employees and hiring process can determine the feasibility and success of shifting to a remote workplace. Needless to say, all employees should be self-motivated go-getters that can be reliable enough to work alone. It is important to consider your customers, and their response to a virtual service. With the right employees, a meticulously structured workflow plan, and the right kind of customers at the receiving end, you can say goodbye to weekly commutes and sky high overhead costs.
No More Offices Away from Home
Unless your type of business demands it, there really is no longer a need to commute to central offices. Technological advances have enabled us to create sustainable and productive online communities that thrive just as well as your old brick and mortar location, if not more so. These are only a few of the benefits of virtual workplaces:
- Flexibility of time and working hours is the main attractive incentive in a work from home environment
- Zero commute time: No commute time means increase in work hours which in turn increases productivity
- Super active employees: Flexibility of working hours and no commute time leads to a healthy gain in productivity, as well as happy employees who work with more intent and responsibility
- Zero relocation fees for accessing worldwide talent, tax benefits, greater compensation
- ‘Bring your own technology’ can save loads of money in technology related investments, leading to a reduction of the overall investment of the company.
A Whole New Cost Friendly Vibe
We can all agree that the expense of maintaining a brick and mortar office is huge, and far supercedes the cost of running a digital workplace. There is general upkeep, equipment and technology fees, employee safety concerns, the list goes on and on. These costs can easily cripple a startup and interfere with your ROI. With technological advancements, traditional workplaces are now an old fashioned way of doing business. We are in the century of technology. We can easily avoid the expense and shift to a more advanced workplace which does not involve any paper documents or a central office; all we need is a Wifi connection and a laptop. No office lease, no hardware, no maintenance-Can you envision the profit margins?!
Waking up and walking to your home office instead of commuting to your old location is feasible now with technologies like cloud storage, broadband internet, and the many new tools at your disposal. Skype is great for face-to-face communication, Slack for team communication, email elimination and file sharing, Kapta for internal team building, Teamwork for project management, GoogleDrive and Dropbox for file storage, Paypal for easy online payment. These tools are all part of making a revolutionary world of virtual work which will not only encourage innovation, but will also help by increasing employee productivity and reducing overhead cost.