The Pros and Cons of Transitioning to a Remote Office
Imagine it. Laptop open, messy bun firmly in place, your most comfy joggers secured around your waist, and mere feet from your coffee maker and personal restroom. Sounds ideal, but there are just as many challenges as there are perks to going virtual; aka “working from home”.
According to a study by Davinci Virtual Office Solutions, more than two-thirds of U.S workers are engaged in some type of virtual work, and with this percentage on a steady incline, the virtual office solution is here to stay. In the same study, 91% of those polled stated that the virtual office concept saves them time and money.
Deciding what’s best for your company should take much consideration. It isn’t difficult to find an online article or two that will help sway your decision one way or the other. While some business owners share an experience of increased productivity and efficiency after going virtual, you will find an equal number stating that the virtual office atmosphere has caused a decrease in the same areas. There is, however, one advantage that both agree on: virtual offices can save you money.
Calculating your current operational overhead costs is one of the first steps in researching a move to a work-from-home environment. Every business owner is watching their bottom line closely, and the savings of a virtual office will become vividly apparent. Simply add your monthly physical office and employee expenses such as lease payment, office furniture rental, cafeteria supplies, internet, utilities, etc. The savings you secure in offering your employees a work from home position may also enable you to offer internet cost reimbursements as well.
Even clouds with silver linings release a little rain. There are pros and cons to working in a virtual environment, and ironically, some of the same topics can be found on both sides of the virtual office logic. Here are a couple pros and cons to get your gears grinding!
Overhead Cost savings
When employees utilize a virtual office, such as their own home, this greatly helps saving on costs that are associated with a brick-and-mortar location. In fact, virtual office expenses can be only a fraction of leasing office space. The money saved by going virtual could be spent on much-needed sales and marketing efforts.
As businesses grow, typically after a short period of time there is a need for growth and expansion. Virtual offices make this simple to do. Acquiring a laptop and headset is simple in comparison to researching larger office spaces.
Erosion of Interoffice Communications
Most virtual office communications are electronic, where you miss sarcasm, nuances, and body language. If a coworker is upset, they tend to project that emotion in their written communication a bit easier than when face to face. Leaving all your communication left open to interpretation and perception can be a challenge. It’s a great idea to have cameras on regularly and make phone calls instead of emails as much as possible. We should take care when we have difficult conversations in person or via the phone (which still isn’t ideal, but sometimes the only way) vs. electronically.
No Common Ground
Companies that utilize virtual offices tend to have a variety of employees working from a variety of locations. Typically, there is no home-base office. For a business that requires a physical location to work from, it is best to steer clear from virtual offices. Some also set up a weekly or monthly meeting location.
All in all, taking your company virtual offers saving money and allows for growth, but it takes extra effort to keep communication lines open and effective. While working from home sounds like the best thing since sliced bread, it’s important to take all factors into consideration, and have confidence in all of your employee’s motivation and focus.