Imagine an author putting the finishing touches on her latest book while sitting at the back table in a local coffee shop and sipping on an espresso. For many, this is the traditional picture of a virtual worker. However, two major changes are occurring that can allow entire companies to go virtual: technology simplifying communication and workers becoming more independent.
Technology now allows modern information workers to perform their tasks from anywhere. Provide an internet connection and laptop and you have a fully functioning worker. The business world is struggling to keep up with this model. As when developing countries completely skipped traditional wired telecommunications and moved directly to a cellular network, new companies can be more agile in adopting a virtual work environment.
The benefits for both the company and the workforce are many. First and foremost, there is a reduction in the cost of doing business. The infrastructure overhead is greatly reduced. Instead of the traditional building with cubicles and offices, the workforce is distributed. Having employees spread throughout the country can also be an advantage. Employee locations can overlap with client or partner locations and reduce the travel costs. An infographic from Under Cover Recruiter, http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/new-workstyle-infographic/, focuses on the differences between traditional and new work styles.
Workers in the new work environment have a level of independence that up until now has only been enjoyed by the solo creatives. Individuals are given more control over their work conditions which often results in geographically dispersed workforces. Workers can work flexible hours from a variety of different locations. Creatives typing away in the back of a coffeehouse is always a popular visual. Although this is a viable option, there are many different ways to work remotely. Workers may choose to work from home. A well-setup office at home can provide a productive environment. Another option is a coworking facility. These were originally designed for teleworkers, small companies, and as innovation incubators for startups but are perfect for a virtual company. These facilities provide conference rooms, private call areas, comfortable chairs and desks, and office supplies for a fraction of the cost of a full brick and mortar office. The infographic from Deskmag (‘Deskmag | The Coworking Magazine’, 2014) highlights the advantages of cowork locations.
Is the virtual company concept just a passing fad? Only time will tell; however with the reduced cost of operations, it is hard to see them going away anytime soon.
The Under Cover Recruiter, blog. The New Workstyle. http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/new-workstyle-infographic/
Deskmag | The Coworking Magazine. (2014, July 11). deskman. Where would you like to work every day? Retrieved from www.deskmag.com