Do remote workers need a virtual office? This question has become increasingly relevant as more companies embrace remote work arrangements.
The conditions for remote working have shifted. Previously, employees worked from home out of necessity, but now they consciously decide to work remotely. It provides them with comfort, flexibility, and balance.
Pew Research mentioned that 61% of people work from home out of choice, not obligation. In contrast, 64% of people worked from home during the pandemic because their offices were closed. But, BBC mentioned that 72% of US managers prefer their employees to work in the office. Plus, Rajat Bhageria, CEO Of Chef Robotics, said remote work's quality differs from office work.
How can businesses balance remote work's flexibility with a physical office's communication benefits? One solution is the hybrid system, while another is the virtual office. In this case, we will focus on the second option.
Virtual Office vs. Virtual Office Address
In short, a virtual office is an online workspace that imitates a physical office. It gives remote teams the sense of being in the same place. However, there are many different definitions of a virtual office, such as:
- A specific business mailing address that is different from the main office.
- A Virtual Receptionist.
- Drop-in meeting room for digital nomads or remote workers.
A specific business mailing address is called a virtual office address. However, in a literal sense, a virtual office is an online space where remote workers can work together. Virtual rooms are such as Sococo, Remo, or Tandem.
How does a Virtual Office work?
Virtual offices have two key features, presence and fast conferencing. In some cases, project management tools can also function as a virtual office.
Virtual rooms are designed to simulate an office environment for remote workers. They can feel like they are in the office, with its vibes, complete with desks and meeting rooms.
One notable feature is the ability to create rooms with the same level of interaction as a physical office. For example, employees must knock on the virtual door when the manager's office is closed. This feature helps employees to see what's happening in the office, such as:
- See who's in the office: It allows you to see who is currently in the office, who is busy, or who is in a meeting.
- Using the meeting room: It usually provides features for making video and audio calls and sending messages quickly. Some also offer a group chat to help teams communicate and collaborate more effectively.
- Communicating with colleagues: Virtual offices also offer useful features like whiteboarding and screen presentations, which make virtual meetings easier.
Benefits of using Virtual Offices
Some remote workers might believe that a virtual office is only useful for adding a bit of fun to communication through avatars or icons. However, it offers much more than that. Here are seven benefits of using a virtual office:
1. Increased visibility
SHRM stated that 77% of remote workers show increased productivity. 30% of them complete more work in less time. But, some companies still feel the need to monitor their employees.
Monitoring employees while working has both positive and negative effects. It can boost productivity but sometimes can also be micro-managing.
And what you need is a virtual office. The online space allows managers to track employees. It visualises the team's location in the virtual offices and gives managers insight into what employees are doing.
2. Boost productivity
Compaq and American Express stated that telecommuting employees are more productive than their counterparts in the office. This may be because of no commuting, flexible work rules, and better concentration.
In virtual offices, you and your team can easily access important documents, collaborate, and make presentations all in one place.
3. Better work-life balance
Sometimes it isn't easy to set boundaries between work and personal life. They may struggle to step away from their computer as they need to keep working. According to Buffer, 25% of remote workers found it difficult to disconnect from work.
Meanwhile, virtual offices provide space for employees to show their schedules. It also shows when they are available or not.
Working remotely and having flexibility go hand in hand. Buffer also shows that 67% of remote workers love how flexible they spend time, and 62% like flexibility in choosing work locations.
Not all employers the activities of remote workers, which often leads to a lack of flexibility in scheduling. But a virtual office can be the answer to this issue. It allows employees to work during the hours that best suit them. Avatar features, status updates, and availability alerts on the platform also help employers keep track of their remote teams.
5. Fast communication and collaboration
However, virtual offices have a solution for this. They provide a virtual workspace that mimics a physical office with common areas. Employees can easily communicate with each other by visiting their virtual desks and checking their availability status.
It also offers various communication tools, such as audio and video calls for coworker conversations. It enhances collaboration more effectively.
Remote meetings often involve video screens that don't show faces; we've all experienced that. However, you can personalise your avatar in a virtual office to reflect your identity and personality. This way, you can have a small picture of yourself that represents you in meetings.
7. Reduced insulation
Remote Work Culture Insight showed that 70% of workers feel socially isolated. Employees might miss the small talk vibe in the office, pantry, or cafeteria chat.
A virtual office can help bridge this gap. Remote employees can chat with avatars as representatives. They can express themselves while resting in the cafeteria or communal space.
Do remote workers need a virtual office? Of course. But its existence depends on companies' needs. However, a virtual office can benefit remote workers by helping them balance their work and personal lives. With a virtual office, employees can manage their time better, increasing productivity and making them more efficient in their work.
Integrating a virtual workspace with project management capabilities, VirtualSpace offers the ultimate flexibility for individuals engaged in remote work using VirtualSpace.
This platform efficiently caters to the requirements of remote workers, enabling them to effectively oversee tasks and projects while socialising in an uninterrupted chat channel.