The two biggest business expenses of most of the business tend to be their employees and the rent that goes into their office. While both of them are equally essential, there is no arguing that cutting one of these would result in hefty savings for the business.
For the time being, the current technological developments have restricted us from replacing manpower with artificial intelligence and machine learning and it seems there is a long time ahead of us before machines could overtake human beings in terms of labour. However, the concept of virtual offices is not too far-fetched, which means we are able to cut costs on our rent and choose to have our employees work from their homes or the place of their choosing.
Let’s first understand what a virtual office is. A virtual office is exactly what it sounds. It is a service that allows you and your employees to work from home exempting you from bearing the capital expenses of renting a traditional office. A virtual office could come with a combination of services and technology to allow seamless conduction of business.
Besides the obvious cost-effectiveness and savings, virtual office space also allows for a better quality of life for everyone involved. Working in a virtual office, you don’t have to worry about beating the traffic every day to get to your work, keeping your workstation clean, or even getting ready for work. When you are working from the comfort of your home, you tend to be happier and more satisfied with your work. Not to mention you can be in your pajamas crashing on the couch and getting your work done.
But, have we reached that point in time where we can effectively replace traditional offices (e.g. Office space in delhi) with virtual ones? Let’s take a look:
Technology is the backbone
The advent of a sustainable virtual work environment depends mostly on how far technology has developed. Does technology allow us to conduct office tasks at the comfort of our homes? For most of the job, yes. However, we have to be careful that this norm does not seclude us from the rest. A certain level of human interaction is also necessary.
While production industries won’t be able to adapt to the work-from-home phenomenon, technology can be utilised to allow service workers to work from anywhere they like as long as they have a stable internet connection. The COVID19 situation has also made us more adaptable towards a work from-home-culture. Combine that with a cloud phone system and a few collaboration tools for your team, and you have yourself an effective virtual workspace.
One of the most difficult challenges in moving to a virtual office is the uprooting of your entire team you will have to go through. The connection that employees have with each other in an office environment can’t be replaced with technical connectivity. Moving your employees to their homes might also have a psychological toll on them where they find themselves isolated and secluded.
Having a virtual office also means you will have to employ different management dynamics. As a team leader, you will have to keep an eye on your employees, coach them, and motivate them from afar, which requires a certain skill set.
Moreover, there will also be a significant loss of spontaneous ideas that flow organically in an office environment through casual conversations and meetings. Conference calls can’t match the level of fluidity and attentiveness that comes with face-to-face meetings.
If you are seriously considering moving to a virtual office, make sure everyone in the workspace is aware and on-board with your idea. You also need to ensure that your office culture remains intact while you move to a virtual office. See if a part of your office culture can be simulated with the help of technology. If yes, then work on making it a part of your new office dynamics.
You also need to check what kind of equipment and technologies you would need to keep your workflow seamless while you enact work-from-home culture.
Lastly, make the move only when you are very certain that your business will survive and thrive in a virtual office.