We’re curious. Now that you’ve found this blog – where are you reading it from? Chances are you’re either looking at it on your iPad at a coffee shop, reading it from your Smartphone on the bus/train or – more likely – from your laptop/desktop while sitting comfortably in your coworking space or during a visit to your virtual office.
The latter will probably be in a swish location, either a trendy city centre serviced office space or a pretty rural out-of town converted mill-type business centre. Then again, you might be devouring the blog on your laptop at your kitchen table.
That’s because more and more of us are now working from virtual offices and coworking spaces. In fact, according to a survey by Virtual PBX and reported in Tech Week Europe, more than 60 per cent of us work from a coworking space or visit a virtual office Monday to Friday while another 27 per cent work outside their main office for up to ten days a month.
A total of 600 employees in SMBs took part in the survey from CE level to directors and sales managers. More jaw-dropping still (although not to us here at Work Space Search) than the fact more of us used a virtual office or coworking space, was the number of respondents – 59 per cent – who said they felt they worked better in their coworking space or virtual office than alongside colleagues in a traditional office.
The benefits of switching to a virtual office
- Employees are less stressed because where they work allows them more time with other commitments such as family
- The virtual office is nearby and means no long, tiring commute to and from the office
- Work data and reports are available via Cloud computing which leads to easy and quick access
- Consultants can be hired without the need to pay travel and lodging costs for them
- Firms can hire the best people – regardless of physical location
- There is usually a receptionist to field calls and give a professional tone to the company
- Shared meeting rooms are available
- The virtual office provides another space for home workers who already see enough of those four walls on a daily basis
- It provides a professional address and therefore image to prospective clients
- Utility bills are lower
- Unlike at home, in a business centre there will be others around to chat to when you’re feeling sociable or want others to bounce ideas off
Other benefits of the virtual and coworking office solution – and perhaps the most obvious – are cost savings. Returning to the PBX survey, 43 per cent of those questioned reckoned they were able to cut back around £617 a month when considering outgoings such as rent, phone calls and general office supplies. That’s quite a saving.
Of course, more than any other issue, it’s the proliferation and enhancement of IT – particularly mobile applications and hardware – that’s led to the growth of coworking / desk space venues and virtual offices. And it will continue to do so as technology becomes ever more smarter and efficient.
What about you? Will you join the bandwagon? Incidentally, no prizes for guessing where we’re writing this from………