As technology continues to advance, more and more businesses are expanding into a virtual world where business is conducted online. Gone are the days where employees need to be in a physical office every day. In the last decade or so, there has been a huge increase in virtual offices, and it has worked well both for employers as well as employees. Remote work has become a great option for many, especially those working in a digital environment. Companies such as Buffer, Mozilla and Zapier are exclusively or mostly virtual.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a virtual workspace:
- Time saver: Employees no longer have to waste time on their daily commute, meaning they have more time to work. It also lowers stress levels associated with traffic. Beyond this, it can help lower air pollution as there are less cars on the road every day.
- Greater work-life balance: Less time at the office means lower stress levels and more time for your family.
- Lower overhead costs for employers: Employers don’t have to pay for office space, and all the associated costs such as electricity, water, kitchen essentials etc. They thus save a lot more money, which can be put into the business in other ways.
- Higher scalability: When a firm plan to increase its employee number, the next question arises as to where to accommodate them. It often means hiring a bigger place which may not be always feasible.
- In such a case having virtual office workers work great as they do not occupy office space. That money can be utilized for scaling up the business.
- Variety of candidates to choose from: The company can now hire more efficient and capable candidates from even faraway locations. Thus, they get a wider resource pool to choose from.
- Rely’s on constant internet access: working remotely means that employees always need to be connected to the internet. If that access is lacking, work becomes hindered.
- Feelings of isolation: employees working remotely reduces the amount of personal interaction, thus increasing feelings of isolation.
- Risk to reputation: If potential customers find out that you run a virtual office with remote employees, they may not think of your firm as a “real” company.
- Security related concern: In a traditional office, data and confidential information are secured but with virtual office workers, the office not being in a secured or permanent space, there is a risk of data being in a vulnerable state.
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