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Entries Tagged as 'Virtual Office Space'

Huge Increase in Work from Home in Past Decade

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In just 10 years the trend of working from office space inside a person’s home has soared by 41% according to CNN Money. Rising by four million since 1999, there are over 13 million people working from their homes in the United States alone based on US Census Bureau statistics recently reported.

 One of the drivers behind this huge surge is the fact that broadband internet access has become readily available and affordable. The economic difficulties of recent years have led to workers finding creative ways to make their desktop or laptop computers and other mobile devices generate income. Software applications which allow virtual meetings and voice over internet protocol communications to the entire globe at little or no cost have continued to make working from home even more practical.

While some support staff positions in business require physical presence of a wage earner at a specific office during specific time periods, many other professionals find that working from their home office space is as easy or easier than working in a traditional business location.

For start-up business enterprises, working from home cuts overhead vastly and allows the entrepreneur to start their business organization where many small businesses simply can not operate within their budgets if leasing an office space is required.

 It really doesn’t matter whether a person operates the business or works for an organization owned by another person, the ability to maintain and work from a home office space can be very appealing. In busy cities and rural areas alike, skipping a hectic commute and the reduced fuel and vehicle expense is one point that many state as the driver behind their desire to work from their home one or more days each week.

 Only a few years ago, employers were not very supportive of the idea of having an employee work from home. The fear that production and profit would suffer caused the home as virtual office space to be off to a slow beginning. As employers gave workers the chance to prove themselves in the virtual office world, employers were pleasantly surprised to learn that their businesses thrived as a result and employee satisfaction soared.

Virtual commuter working from home offices saved many business enterprises recently during the October 2012 Hurricane Sandy destruction and on-going recovery efforts. Awakening to find brick and mortar businesses flooded or otherwise damaged by the storm, those workers already set up for working from their home office spaces jumped right back into production as soon as power and internet services were restored. Other workers quickly set up a home office space for doing business. Some businesses that might have been forced to go out of business were saved and continue to generate jobs and profits for their local areas.

While those businesses with mobile workforces were tested during Hurricane Sandy, the impact of school closures and day care center outages allowed those businesses with cloud-based systems were among the most rapid enterprises to return to operation. As a result of the catastrophe, more and more businesses will recognize the benefits inherent to allowing employees to operate from home office spaces.

 Find out out Virtual Office Space or Small Office Alternatives for Home Based Businesses

By: James Osgood

Flexible Workspace , Office Space Design , Virtual Office Space

Why are Flexible Office Space Alternatives Growing?

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Four generations are in the US workforce, for the first time ever, with different values, work-style and life-style demands:
  • Veterans born before 1946 (*13% of the  Workforce)
  • The Baby Boomers 1946 – 1964 (*26.4% of the  Workforce)
  • Gen X 1965 - 1980 (*19.8% of the  Workforce)
  • Millennials/Gen Y 1981 on (*27.7% of the  Workforce)
They are all working together and often colliding as their paths cross. No wonder flexible working and virtual officing is taking off.

*United States Census Bureau, "2010 Census Briefs – Age and Sex Composition: 2010, Table 2" (2011)

Flexible Workspace , Office Space , Virtual Office Space

A Virtual Workforce Can Provide a Competitive Edge

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Virtual workforces are becoming larger than ever and even office-based workers use virtual tools on a daily basis. The right talent may not live in the city where the business needing their skills exists and the high cost of relocating can be very impractical. It can be difficult to sell a home in one location to purchase another in today’s economy. Perhaps a spouse is comfortable in a professional career in which he or she has invested years and pressure to move to another city may cause the loss of a very capable and affordable employee. These situations and others like them are helping drive the increase in the virtual workforce. 

Brandman Univresity commissioned Forrester Consulting to perform a study to research whether or not companies can gain a competitive edge by embracing the virtual workforce. The study, entitled “Virtual Work Environment in a Post-Recession Era” included top leaders and hiring managers in companies employing 5,000 employees or more that are hiring new employees. The results indicated embracement of virtual teams, defined as people working as a team on a project. Survey respondents said that 40% or more of their company’s employees work in virtual teams and more than half are expected to work virtually in the next few years.

Companies that work in virtual teams develop a camaraderie using digital tools for celebrations and “virtual high fives”. While not every person finds remote work to be their forte, it works very well for many talented workers.  Many companies today allow employees to work remotely either part-time or full-time.  

WorkSimple released an infographic about remote or virtual work, revealing some interesting facts. Over 60% of companies believe more telecommuting will be allowed during the next three years and 56% think that employees are more productive if allowed to telecommute. the median age of the telecommuting employee is 40, negating the assumption that most of the virtual workforce are younger people entering careers. More men than women work remotely, a rather surprising fact since many people think that “home working moms” is the bulk of the virtual workforce. Most virtual employees have a college education. 

The benefits of embracing virtual workforces are clear. Workers can live where they wish and still report to an office on the other side of the globe using virtual tools. Even office-based workers use virtual teaming tools daily such as instant messaging, text messages and teleconferencing. To stay on the competitive edge, study how moving into the world of the virtual workforce and help your company earn more profit and keep happier employees. 

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Flexible Workspace , Virtual Office Space

The new Workstyle of Today's Workers

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GIST has a great infographic on the changing workstyle from old to new.

 

Executive Suites , Flexible Workspace , Virtual Office Space

Tips for Securing Office Space as a Start-up Entrepreneur

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A few partners and I recently launched a new business venture and one of the first major decisions we had to make was regarding office space.  Should we simply all work from home and have a more virtual office space environment where we connect every day through skype, email, and phone, or should we shell out a few bucks to secure physical office space?  This can be a tough decision for new companies that are not producing revenue yet.

Possible Solutions

One of the challenges of a new company is that you do not want to lock in to a 12 month lease for an office space that is not incredibly desirable.  For example, if you lock in a 12 month lease on a cheap office space in an undesirable location, simply because you cannot yet afford a really nice space, then you may be a bit perturbed if the company starts bringing in solid cash flow 6 months later, and you can afford the nicer space, but you are locked into a 12 month lease.

One solution is to consider negotiating with business parks where you really want to set up shop.  See if you can get into a very small office in an environment where it would be easy to upgrade during the life of your lease.  The space may be smaller than you really want, but it also helps you get into the actual location you want to be at a price you can afford.  Then, when working capital becomes available, it is easy to transition to a larger, nicer workspace.

Other possible low cost office solutions are to pay for a virtual office space or Coworking style space.  Many top-tiered virtual office spaces actually provide conference room access on an as needed basis.  These deals come in many shapes and sizes, but it is common for some conference room access to be included in the deal, and for additional hours to be available on a per-hour basis.

Remember to think long-term when you are considering your office space plans.

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Executive Suites , Flexible Workspace , Office Leasing Tips , Office Rental , Virtual Office Space