Could your business benefit from some flexibility?
The internet has long since changed the way we do business. Gone are the days of nine to five working in a high-rise office block for many businesses; rigid work schedules have shifted in favour of flexible working hours. In fact, with communications technology as it is, do we even need an office anymore?
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of the virtual office so you can decide whether it’s right for you:
One of the biggest causes of workplace stress is a lengthy and difficult commute. For businesses based in the big city, employees can sometimes find themselves commuting for hours either side of their day, draining their productivity and leading to apathy and job dissatisfaction. Should your employees have the freedom to commute to their home office and avoid the stress of the subway, their energy levels can be preserved for the task at hand, and productivity increases.
On a global scale, a rise in telecommuting is also beneficial to our environment, with fewer cars on the roads making lengthy journeys to and from work.
The powers of Skype to facilitate the virtual office are unbounded. Communications have advanced in leaps and bounds in the digital age; we can now conduct transatlantic conference calls in real time with the click of a mouse. Setting up an online environment for your employees to manage their tasks and collaborate on work has never been easier; programs like Wrike make managing the office from home a breeze.
The virtual office gives you the potential to expand your team to all seven continents of the globe. This is particularly beneficial if you have global clients: if you need an employee based in China to handle your Chinese business then the virtual office is a perfect solution. That employee can communicate with ease on both ends.
The freedom to work from home requires a certain degree of trust on your behalf and the behalf of your employees. Can you guarantee that your staff are up and working just because they’re signed into your online platform? The potential for employees to work from their beds is very alluring and also very damaging to productivity; some employees thrive in an office environment! Don’t let employee productivity take a dive for the sake of virtuality.
When your team are spread far and wide and lacking in human interaction with each other it can be difficult for them to feel like part of a team at all. There’s something to be said for the work friends we meet through our office experiences; team building is much easier when members of the team can see each other’s face.
Increasingly we are finding that most of our business is conducted online, but is that always the best course of action? A complete dependence on technology could be disastrous should any team member suffer technical difficulties during office hours. By keeping a semblance of reality in your business you’ll have a failover plan if electricity fails: a candle-lit lunch at the office could boost team bonding after all!
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