What is a Virtual Office?

A virtual office is described an operational realm or work environment whose amenities are based in the cyberspace. There is no need for a business enterprise to allocate resources for the provision of office space. All of its employees can work from different geographical position thanks to the current level of technology.

Virtual offices should be designed to meet both communication and space requirements. The space necessity applies only to the preferred location of the workers and not the office space allocated by the company. This concept has been widely accepted due to reported increase in productivity from the companies which have effectively integrated into the system.

However, before managers enjoy the gains, they need to understand the fundamental requirements for the set-up of a virtual office. They can be classified into hardware and software.

Physical/Hardware Requirements

Hardware requirement refers to any tangible component that will support communication services. Virtual offices need to be well equipped with modern facilities that will facilitate communication irrespective of limitations caused by geography. The docking station should include but not limited to:

  • Printer (laser, inkjet or color laser)
  • Fax machine
  • Computer(Standard Monitor, Keyboard and mouse)
  • Scanner

Software Requirements

Software’s are also essential in the set-up of virtual offices. Employees will obtain and install them after a purchase from their manufacturers either online or through computer or electronics shops. This will guarantee the security of the software. Their acquisition and installation will enable receiving, processing, packaging, storage and sending of information between the client and the assistant. They include but not limited to:

  • Microsoft Suite (Microsoft outlook for email services) or Eudora.
  • Security utility software(McAfee , Kaspersky, Norton, Tech PoolPro)
  • Internet Browsers.(Microsoft internet explorer, Netscape Navigator, Opera Mini)
  • Document reader (PDF): Adobe reader, Foxit reader.
  • Graphics or Image editor software’s.

There are also online services which you can access from the internet. However, there is a pay of a subscription fee either monthly or annually.

Benefits

Driving or Commuting to our offices situated in an urban setting is dependent on many factors. Normally, these factors aren’t Pleasing to experience. They can be Hot and humid environment, air polluted environment, jam, noise pollution, limited parking space and fuel cost. With set up of virtual offices, there are social, economic and environmental advantages.

Social:

  • Daytime spent at home with family.
  • Healthy living. Low intake of fast food.

Economic:

  • Reduced fuel cost, wear and tear ,
  • Increased savings due to cut of lunches and tea breaks from restaurants.

Environmental:

  • Reduced emission of carbon gases.

Drawbacks

  • Less teamwork support and approach.
  • Feeling of dissociation by employees.
  • Miscommunication may arise since there is no face to face communication.
  • Failure in communication due to technical hitches.
  • Employees finding it hard to distinct work and free time.

See virtual office in Sydney here.

 

 

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