The Benefits and Drawbacks of Virtual Office Solutions

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Telecommuting: years ago it would have been very difficult for employees to telecommute for work. It would have been difficult to set-up, difficult for companies to sustain, and difficult to communicate as a phone line would have been the only option.

Today, it’s not only an option, but a serious consideration for all sorts of companies operating around the country. Virtual office setups allow businesses to save on overhead costs, while simultaneously giving employees the flexibility they want or need in order to be successful and motivated.

You may have considered virtual office solutions in the past. What exactly are the benefits and drawbacks of this type of setup? Here is what you should know.

The Advantages

  • According to the Small Business Administration, about 33% of small businesses don’t survive past two years. Many struggle to deal with overhead costs. When your office is virtual, you can dramatically cut down on many of these costs.
  • Studies have shown that when employees have the option of working from home, they are on average more committed, have better morale, are more productive, and take less sick leave. Telecommuting as a benefit also improves employee retention.
  • It’s even better for the environment. According to CNET News, telecommuting thanks to virtual office solutions can help reduce the associated costs of traffic congestion. Not only does it equate to 4.2 billion lost hours, but it also adds up to 2.9 billion gallons of fuel.

The Disadvantages

  • In an article about telecommuting on Chron, Deb Keary, a human resources director, often finds two reasons the system doesn’t work out. One is that the telecommuter isn’t suitable for un-managed work outside the office; the other is that the manager isn’t comfortable with it. In these cases, productivity suffers.
  • Companies can sometimes become over-dependant on technology when employing virtual solutions.
  • It requires more skill and planning to manage employees who are working offsite. If your company’s managers are still fairly green, they might struggle to adapt to this new environment.

What are your thoughts about the benefits of virtual office suites? Let us know in the comments.
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