Times are changing. Office buildings, cubicles, phone systems, corner offices and daily commutes are becoming a thing of the past. Many are being dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age of telecommuting. Resistance is futile.
If you plan to stay competitive in today’s changed environment you need to embrace the virtual business world. There is nothing to fear and everything to gain. The advantages to be realized by utilizing technology to conduct your business are unprecedented. Here are some of the many ways a virtual office environment can help you run your business more efficiently and, more importantly, save you money.
A virtual office can save your company significant money. Rent, office equipment, utilities, supplies, phone bill all can be reduced. According to Internetproviders.com, conducting virtual meetings with platforms like Skype, WebEx Meetings and Google Hangout can save money and time by reducing travel, accommodations and more.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently caused a flap by announcing she was ending Yahoo’s work-from-home policy, citing productivity concerns. It was probably not a good move for a company supposed to be on the cutting edge of technology. For a variety of reasons, companies are reporting a sharp increase in productivity when they allow employees to work from home. As it turns out, people are anxious to keep their jobs and they appreciate the perks of working from home and, in turn, work harder.
Tools Have Changed
Marketing guru Seth Godin lays out a rational argument for working at home: Basically, the tools to do business have evolved beyond the office. Most workers only need a computer to work these days, and communication with coworkers is easy. “If we were starting this whole office thing today, it’s inconceivable we’d bay the rent/time/commuting cost to get what we get,” he said on his blog. “The gain in speed, productivity and happiness is massive.”
Put Your Data In the Cloud
Cloud computing is a blessing for business, eliminating the hassle and expense of servers and the real estate to house them. Data backups and media storage are simple processes. Most initial security concerns have been overcome and most data can be stored at a significant cost savings.
You Can be Light on Your Feet
The virtual office allows you to conduct business from anywhere. You can better react to rapidly changing situations and more efficiently address your customer’s needs if you’re not tied to a brick-and-mortar office. Maybe it’s time for you to think about it too.
Inc. magazine has proven virtual offices can be successful. In 2010 the company allowed all of its editors to begin working from home as a sort of grand experiment. Many of the employees found they had more time to focus on work with the added bonus of shorter commute times and more personal time. Though many missed the collaborative office environment, the experiment was considered a success.