The advent of the Internet and cloud-based computing has impacted the way we conduct both our personal and business lives. On the business side of things, modern technology is causing many entrepreneurs, freelancers and traveling consultants to question whether a physical office space is necessary. Technology can keep anyone connected to clients or customers, no matter where they are located. Many start-ups, small businesses and freelance entrepreneurs are finding that virtual office spaces meet all of their office needs in a flexible and economical manner.
How Technology is Changing the Workplace Landscape
The rapid growth of technology has changed the way that the workplace operates in just about every industry imaginable. Manufacturing has been heavily impacted by automation and robotics. Other industries, such as sales, have also seen an increase in automation that frees employees up to work on other more abstract tasks. In short, technology has taken the burden of simplistic tasks off of the worker and given those tasks to machines, software, or hardware. This, in theory and in practice, increases employee productivity and makes the workplace more efficient.
Technology like cloud-based computing has made it easier for workers to collaborate with one another. Now businesses can connect to employees, clients or other businesses all around the world through the use of technology such as Skype, Outlook, and other digital communication platforms.
With all of these tools at our fingertips, it’s easy to see why the traditional leasing of large brick-and-mortar office space is being questioned by intelligent business professionals worldwide. Especially when you consider that recent studies have indicated that typical workplaces have a 40-70% vacancy rate due to employee usage of smartphones and other Internet-based technologies.
The Benefits of a Traditional Office Space
One of the primary benefits of having a traditional office space is that it lends an air of credibility to your business. Customers, investors, and other businesses often feel more comfortable with a business that has a physical offices location within a large building.
Another benefit is that is provides a place for employees and potential clients to meet and collaborate with one another. Maintaining a traditional office space helps employees feel like they are a part of a team, increasing morale. In some industries, clients prefer being able to see where your business is located and the people that will be doing business with them.
The Downsides of a Traditional Office Space
There is, however, a significant downside to maintaining a traditional office space, especially from the perspective of small start-ups, freelance operations, or small businesses. A significant reason not to have one revolves around the costs of maintaining that physical location. These costs include not only leasing the building, but paying for staff to operate the reception desk, janitorial work, repair work and more. For a small business owner or freelancer these costs can be astronomical.
Another downside to having a traditional office space lies in the space itself. With a physical office space, your company will be limited in how many employees can fit within the office. While this may not be a concern while your company is on the smaller side, it can become a huge hassle and expense to move to a larger location once the space becomes too crammed.
The Benefits of a Virtual Office Space
By embracing modern technology, a virtual office space provides all of the benefits of a traditional office space without the expense. Renting a virtual office enables you to free up space on your payroll by eliminating your need for a receptionist, janitor, maintenance person and other support staff members, as the virtual office space takes care of that for you. By freeing up space on your payroll, you’ll be able to focus on hiring the right people to make your business work.
A virtual office space also provides you with a physical address that grants your business legitimacy in the eyes of customers, clients, other businesses, investors and banks. Many virtual office space providers also offer physical offices and meeting rooms for their clients to use. This means that you’ll have a place to meet potential clients whenever you need it.
Another benefit of virtual office spaces is that you will never face hiring limitations based on space. Your only limit on hiring will be your budget. You’ll be able to expand the number of employees you have without worrying about an expensive move.
Virtual Office Spaces Are the Wave of the Future
As you can see, a virtual office space is an excellent choice for small start-ups, freelancers and other entrepreneurs. Virtual offices provide all of the benefits of a more traditional office space, without all of the headaches and costs involved. The money your business saves through investing in a virtual office can be used to then invest in growing your business – hiring qualified employees and adding the latest technology to help build a business that is constantly on the cutting edge of modern business practices.