Virtual offices definitely have their pros and cons. Before any type of business decides to utilize these types of offices, it is best to weigh their advantages and disadvantages. After doing so, many businesses will discover they can benefit from them; however, for those that can’t, this will help to eliminate wasting money on trying them out.
What is a Virtual Office?
A virtual office can be any place in which a person uses a computer to perform a job. In addition, the computer is used to communicate with the person’s place of employment. Basically, when a person works from a virtual office, this means he or she is telecommuting to and from work. Virtual employees may use a company email address, and in some instances, they may even use a company phone extension, however, they still work from an outside location.
Many people who work from virtual offices do so from the comfort of their own home. Others work from their vehicles. Some even work from off-site virtual offices that their employers have set up. Many virtual employees work from equipment that has been provided to them by their employers. On the other hand, independent contractors and freelancers tend to work from their own equipment.
Pros of Virtual Offices
Cost-Efficient: When workers are able to work from a virtual office, such as from their own home, this helps in saving on costs that are often associated with operating a brick-and-mortar facility. In fact, the expenses of a virtual office are a fraction of what has to be paid for leasing office space. For businesses that are just starting up, the cost-efficient pros of using virtual offices may be a key factor in the business’ initial success. The money being saved by using the virtual offices can be spent on other core business functions including marketing methods.
Easy Growth: Once a business gets up and started, many times, after a short period of time there is a need for growth and expansion. While growth and expansion is a good thing, accommodating these two factors can be somewhat difficult for those businesses located solely in brick-and-mortar facilities. When allowing workers to perform their duties from virtual offices, the ability to grow and expand becomes much simpler.
Enhanced Features: Many virtual offices come with an abundance of features. Such features can include free text messaging services, advanced telephone services, Cisco video conferencing features and much more.
Cons of Virtual Offices
No Home-Base: Businesses that allow workers to perform their duties from virtual offices tend to have an assortment of workers from an assortment of locations. Essentially, there is no home-base office. For a business that needs an actual physical space to work from, it is best to steer clear from virtual offices.
Shared Resources: When virtual office employers work from virtual offices, they tend to share their resources with technical support workers as well as other office staff members. This sharing is great in the sense that it can actually be shared, however, for workers that have a high need for certain resources, sharing them becomes a hindrance to productivity levels.