Technology has without a doubt revolutionised our personal and working lives. It has also made new forms of work possible, which are much more collaborative and flexible, and geared towards the digital world. It has generated new opportunities and posed new challenges, such as working remotely or creating virtual workspaces: online, collaborative working environments in which employees are not present and interact through a private network or the internet. A new kind of office is here.
Initially, this way of working was not well received in the labour sector, because it was thought to be a way for employees to work less due to a lack of supervision. This was later found to be nothing further from the truth, as the perceived lack of supervision was proved to be untrue, with virtual working environments actually offers numerous advantages. Virtual offices are possible, and here are five advantages of setting them up:
- Lower office costs. Virtual workplaces have enabled companies to reduce their infrastructure costs by requiring less physical space for their employees.
- Shorter and less costly travel.
- Less absenteeism. This way of working can eliminate absenteeism, as it means that workers don’t have to physically be there to work. Employers can ensure that their employees don’t miss working days, and workers, when ill or faced with an urgent matter, don’t need to go anywhere.
- Access to more talented professionals. By being able to work with no geographical boundaries, you can find the right people for the company anywhere in the world, also leading to greater diversity.
- Greater reconciliation with family life (flexible working hours). Work through objectives increases employee productivity and, furthermore, flexible schedules mean that employees can work when they feel more motivated, whether it’s because they have no family obligations or for any other reason. This could lead to great results for the company.
Communication, a great ally
However, telework and virtual working environments also pose a number of challenges that force companies to “reinvent” themselves to a certain degree. Due to the fact that people work all over the globe, internal communication has increasingly become one of the fundamental pillars of any company, together with the analysis of objectives and results. To replace the benefits of physical presence, internal communication must be promoted to ensure that employees continue to feel identified with the company, that they self-manage their own objectives, and know-how to coordinate with the rest of the teams to avoid lower productivity and labour inefficiency.