updated 15th October 2016
In this age of advanced technology,
it is no longer a new idea for many businesses to solely conduct their office work online. Long gone are the days when only a physical work space was considered to be an office. The ability to manage a virtual office is made possible with the use of telephone lines and an internet connection, where issues are taken care of and resolved only through voice and virtual communications such as email or live chat software. There are many advantages and disadvantages of both virtual offices and real offices.
In a virtual office, all of the communication is handled via phone calls and emails sent back and forth between people who are located several thousands of miles apart and are often located overseas. Because the office work is conducted online, there are less overhead expenses that are incurred by the company. In a virtual office, you don’t need to rent an office space or purchase office equipment for the entire staff. The equipment that is used for the virtual office to run smoothly isn’t necessarily purchased by the employer. Usually, employers will hire virtual employees that already have their own office equipment at home, although in some cases employers will provide reimbursements for the purchase of necessary items as office supplies, printers, fax machines, telephones and computers. With a virtual office, you can go green with paperless transactions to do your part to lessen your impact on the planet and give Mother Nature’s forests a well-deserved break. Going green is something that even real offices are working towards in order to help conserve resources and prevent more trees from being cut down.
One other distinct advantage of a virtual office
is the capability for the companies to conduct business with clients who are situated all over the world. Unlike real offices where their services and product deliveries are limited by geography, a virtual office can give your company the advantage to spread its wings across the globe as long as you have a reliable internet connection – for instnce, your company may be using serviced offices Sydney, London, and New York counting as one office. Aside from that, there is a huge amount of freedom given to the virtual employees because they can work from the comforts of their own home, spend their breaks however they want, take care of their children, vent loudly if they wish to do so, and eliminate the necessity of having to spend hard earned money for transportation in order to get to work.
One thing that needs to be done, so that a virtual office runs as efficiently as a real office does, is for the virtual assistants and their clients to prevent communication breakdowns. This can be accomplished if virtual employees always confirm that an email has been received, keep their phone lines in top condition, and have a reliable high speed internet connection. If these three factors are not taken care of, then the efficiency of a virtual office will fail and that is where a real office becomes more advantageous in a business. If a virtual office lacks virtual communication and Internet availability, a real office would be able to proceed with their daily duties despite the absence of the Internet.
Some employees prefer to work in a real office, as opposed to a virtual one, simply because they crave the shared experiences that a real office can give them. The camaraderie and the companionship that comes with sharing an actual work space, no matter how small the office, is priceless for those who would rather work next to someone than talk to them over the phone or a computer. That is why despite the many cost cutting benefits of a virtual office, there are still those who opt to be employed in companies that have actual physical offices. Another benefit of a real office is that it can be seen by passer-bys and it can be easily located just by following specific directions given by a map or a GPS locator. With the rising popularity of the Internet, more and more business CEO’s are embracing the modern virtual ways of conducting business. However, there are still many multinational companies who have stuck to the traditional methods of conducting business in a physical office. This could be seen as a disadvantage for virtual offices as this means that they will not be able to gain the trust and loyalty of some companies who wish to visit the office in person before purchasing any products or services.