What are the Benefits of a Virtual Workplace?
A Virtual Workplace Makes Sense
Starting a business on the Virtual Workplace Model or transforming your existing enterprise into an online workspace provides many obvious benefits and some more subtle advantages.
Business continuity and job retention were absolutely crucial benefits of a virtual workplace when many businesses needed to pivot to survive during the Covid19 pandemic.
There are also plenty of other obvious advantages to a digital workspace, for employees, employers, customers and the environment:
The Benefits of a Virtual Workplace for Employees
Going virtual and working in a remote team environment with a virtual office address is the new normal. Millions of people around the world work in virtual workplaces every day. These are just some of the advantages for an employee:
Virual Workplaces Offer Flexibility
Virtual workplaces allow teleworkers a better work / life balance, because they aren’t restricted to commuting back and forth to one physical location each day. Working in a digital workplace provides the freedom to adjust work times to suit family needs, so instead of working a straight 9am – 5 pm shift, a remote worker can start at 7 am some days if they need to - and be available to pick up their children from the nearby school at 3pm.
Employees in a remote virtual teams environment can work from almost anywhere – so they can work from a family member’s home one week, video conferencing from an interstate co-working hub the next week and remote working from home the following week and still be present for all the virtual meetings and remote collaborations, regardless of location. This flexible virtual work environment provides a positive inducement for employees to stay with a business that supports their work / life balance.
A Virtual Workplace Provides Large Cost Savings for Employees
By not having to commute to and from a physical workplace each day, teleworkers using cloud-based systems really save on travel expenses. This can be a considerable financial benefit, amounting to hundreds of dollars per year. Working remotely also greatly reduces expenditure on clothes and accessories, because there is no requirement to dress in business attire for an office environment each day. Working remotely online also means employees will save on lunch costs, because they don’t need to purchase meals near their workplace, they can simply eat a cheaper meal at home and log into their virtual workplace.
When all these cost-savings are added up , it’s clear that working at a virtual company reduces expenses and is extremely cost-effective for employees.
Virtual Businesses Provide a Larger Job Market
Working for virtual workspaces means you can access a much greater pool of job opportunities, because with a virtual work environment you don’t have to physically attend an office. This means you can apply for interstate or even international remote work roles. Even in your home state, there will be many roles for applicants in a virtual work environment - because you can be ‘at your desk’ in a virtual company instantly.
Virtual Teams Enjoy Improved Health, Morale and Work Satisfaction
For many employees who find the constraints of a traditional office space environment confining, a virtual workplace is liberating and it allows them to maximise their productivity. Office politics and the petty gossip of work colleagues can have serious impacts on creativity and inspiration, inducing depression and disturbing the concentration that is so essential to some important tasks.
Working at a virtual workplace allows staff members to remote work without distractions and interruptions simply because they can control their work environment. When employees work in a conventional office their performance and productivity is always open to be impacted by office noise and the activities of other colleagues.
A virtual workplace also fosters productivity because employees are not fatigued by a daily office commute. When staff members have to travel by bus or train or they have to drive to a workplace each day, this all expends energy, causing irritability, fatigue and tiredness even before they have commenced their working day. Telecommuting on the other hand, conserves an employee’s energy, allowing for improved performance across their various work tasks and responsibilities.
The Benefits of a Virtual Workplace for Employers
A Virtual Work Environment Means Reduced Expenses
As a business owner and employer, one of the main expenses of running your business is office rent. Meeting the regular office lease payments can really induce serious stress when revenue is down for the month and you have to access savings. With the conventional business model of a leased office space there are also numerous other costs such as paying for outfitting and furnishings and office branding, the cost of utilities, charges for consumables, the cost of a reception, and all the various other outgoings that tally up to what used to be the accepted price of running a business.
A virtual workplace using cloud computing eliminates all these costs, allowing business owners to spend their funds on securing talented staff and developing better products and services. This is a huge strategic advantage compared to the conventional cost burdens of the traditional office.
Telecommuting Reduces Staff Turnover Costs
Remote employees working from home and utilising the options for flexibility to balance their work /life responsibilities are much happier and more content to stay with virtual workplace employers. This job satisfaction results in a more stable workforce, reducing the costs of recruitment.
The impacts of key staff turnover can be crippling to small businesses, increasing costs and affecting work flows and project deadlines. Strategies for growth and future plans will be set back if crucial roles are not performed. Turnover caused by the inability to perform the consistent daily commute can be disastrous for a growing business relying on the skillsets of their teams. These issues of travel and inflexibility are non-existent when the virtual workplace is staffed by virtual teams.
Virtual Workspaces Increase Speed to Market.
There are three key ways that a Virtual Workspace can increase speed to market. Firstly, because virtual teams can perform their remote work 24/7 across multiple time-zones, product development is not delayed by the inherent restrictions of a physical office location in one time-zone.
Secondly, with remote collaboration using cloud-based computing, virtual teams can increase the speed of decision making, allowing for faster implementation of the go-to-market strategy.
Thirdly, the reduced overheads from utilising a virtual workplace means that more resources are freed up to be applied into the product development cycle.
Digital Workspaces Enable Faster and Cheaper Scalability
When your business is based upon virtual teams distributed across cyberspace it is so much easier to scale up and grow because you don’t need to fit new staff into a finite office environment. You can easily onboard new employees virtually, without trying to find them a work space to sit, arranging car-parking and security access and hoping that their daily commute won’t mean they’ll often be late for work. And if your business hasn’t got the space to spare, you’ll need to lease more office space to cope with the expansion - that all means costly delays and increased expenses.
A Virtual Workspace Ensures Access to a Larger Talent Pool.
The larger your pool of prospective employees is, the more opportunity your business will have to recruit great talent. Restricting your business to a staffing model of a leased physical office space environment means that new staff must live locally and be able to commute to your physical offices.
With a digital virtual workplace your business can utilise talent from across Australia or the world. Whether it is product design, SEO and content marketing, help desk trouble-shooting, financial modelling or payroll services, software development, operational processes or even client services – a virtual work environment allows a business to hire the best people anywhere - not just the best people based nearby.
Digital Workplaces Ensure Business Continuity
The Covid19 pandemic showed the world the limitations of the traditional physical business office lease. Many companies couldn’t adjust to the reality that their staff couldn’t commute to the workplace. Many businesses that generated sales from physical stores were too slow to introduce an alternative online solution as revenue collapsed almost overnight. The evolving government restrictions on movement and access severely impacted businesses. It was only those companies with a flexible operational model that thrived during the lockdowns and restrictions of the pandemic.
Virtual workplaces with virtual office addresses were the least impacted by Covid19 and their cloud-based businesses were resilient in the face of these unexpected events. Companies designed around a virtual work environment received minimum impact to their business continuity, and they were able to adjust to the needs of their customers and retain revenue streams.
Virtual Networking Boosts Knowledge
The larger your digital workplace community, the greater the opportunity to access more skills and knowledge. Virtual workplaces are an online globally connected environment - this is a different mindset to the conventional static physical office environment.
Traditionally, businesses looking to upskill employees sent them on courses to physical locations. With a virtual workplace, training and workshops are all completed online, allowing access to a much deeper and broader repository of knowledge. The diversity of talent, knowledge and creativity that crosses culture and geography is a major strength of virtual work environments.
A Teleworking Environment Reduces the Carbon Footprint.
Every business needs to consider their carbon footprint, the impact their operations have on the environment. A virtual office address has a negligible carbon footprint compared to a physical office space. A virtual workplace with remote teams operating cloud-based systems has a much smaller effect on it’s environs than a physical office space with employees all working together in one location.
Virtual offices and Virtual workplaces have a much reduced carbon footprint because unlike conventional workplaces, there is incredible energy efficiency from not having to heat, cool, and illuminate large office floor space. The conventional office space is also renowned for energy wastage – air conditioning and lighting are frequently operating on office floors with few if any staff actually at work. With a digitized teleworking environment there is reduced paper waste and dramatically less usage of consumables. Working virtually also eliminates the daily commute which can have a huge impact on sustainability when multiplied across all the businesses who have chosen to pivot to a virtual work environment. And don’t neglect to leverage the marketing opportunities of a reduced carbon footprint
The Benefits of a Virtual Workplace for Customers
Online Businesses Are Accessible from Almost Anywhere.
Managing a virtual workplace with virtual teams spread across your network means that you can sell your products and services online to customers 24/7. With your business operations run virtually, you can adjust your servicing to meet the needs of customers, rather than staying fixed and static with no agility to meet the needs of your markets. With a virtual workplace it’s easy to direct resources to seize opportunities and provide increased accessibility from almost anywhere at any time.
Virtual Businesses Can Offer a Broader Product Range than Physical Stores
Virtual workplaces providing web-based sales provide a greater range of goods because they are not restricted by the limitations of product displays like physical stores. Remotely managed companies that are internet-based can adapt much faster to consumer demands and can bring specialised goods to market much faster than physical main-street stores which are constrained by the dependencies of their location.
Virtual Workplace Customers Receive Greater Efficiency.
With a virtual workplace, key staff can respond to customers from multiple locations, ensuring great business continuity in the event of disruptions at one locale. Remote workers can still perform their tasks from home regardless of bad weather, transport delays, strikes, and localised outages.
Virtual Workplaces Give Great Savings Because They Have Less Costs To Pass On.
The expense of a conventional physical office is considerable. From the monthly office lease payments to the cost of an in-house receptionist, to furniture, consumables for the office kitchen , and office cleaning, the list goes on – and all the expenses need to be recovered for the company to stay in the black.
Remotely managed offices with virtual teams telecommuting don’t have the costs of a physical office. This simply means they can sell goods and services to consumers for lower prices. This an advantage for the consumer with reduced prices and a benefit for the virtual workplace owner because they have a key point of difference in the marketplace – lower prices because of less outlays.