Remote working has been constantly becoming more and more common over the past few decades, and statistics show that half of the U.S. workforce will soon be comprised of remote workers. Remote workers are typically those who carry out their job description outside of a dedicated office.
While many people consider remote workers to be in a “work at home” position, remote workers can easily be those who work in the field, work from coffee shops, work on the go, or work pretty much anywhere. Remote workers do typically have something in common: they aren’t working at a physical workplace with a dedicated address.
With the rise of the remote worker comes a new light on the virtual office. Virtual offices are where the remote worker is productive, but does that office have to be a set place? Does it have to have certain amenities? What does the typical virtual office look like?
The truth is that virtual offices have an array of appearances, ranging from the home office to the coworking space. In this article, we’ll take a close look at the main kinds of virtual offices.
Before we delve into virtual offices, let’s consider a few facts about remote working. First, remote work is desirable to employers because it reduces their overhead. Even in a situation where a coworking space is utilized, that space is still considerably less costly than leasing an office space. CEOs love working remotely as much as their team. All parties find greater productivity and engagement, and they tend to enjoy a better work-life balance.
Most of today’s workers, part of the millennial generation, are highly interested in working remotely. 60% of all remote workers say they’d leave their current job to work remotely on a full-time basis.
Remote work tends to lead to healthier, happier employees while having a positive footprint on the environment due to lesser emissions. Remote employees tend to be more productive. They are happier, which makes them show better performance, but even in bad weather or if they’re feeling a little under the weather, work can still get done.
The truth is, very few workers really enjoy going into the office.
Now…let’s shift gears and think about the office worker and the physical office. What do those usually look like? They can come in an array of forms, can’t they? An office worker typically has a tight schedule and likely admits difficulty balancing life and work. The typical office is a physical location with the necessary tools to do the job. Most office workers would agree that the office isn’t the most exciting place, although they might enjoy socializing. Still, most office workers say they go into the office because they’re expected to – not to socialize. Now we have a mental image of what the typical office worker and office space might look like.
The remote worker enjoys virtual work because it gives them flexibility and the freedom to work on their own terms. In the next few sections, we’ll talk about what that might look like.
The Remote Worker and the Home-Based Virtual Office
Many remote workers enjoy working from home because, in many cases, they can do so in the company of their family. For instance, a mom might choose to homeschool her kids and work around that schedule. A husband might choose to work remotely to spend more time with his family. Someone with a chronic illness might choose remote work simply because they can be comfortable at home while they work.
Working from home can have a host of benefits, but there can be downsides. Working from a home-based virtual office can get stressful when the worker can’t get out and talk to people. Introverts might not struggle in this area, but an extrovert definitely will. The demands of keeping the house clean and working can blend together and feel like a constant weight.
Simply working from home can feel burdensome. So, how does the remote worker get around these negatives? Well, not every remote worker will feel this way. It’s possible that families work together to take care of chores and errands, but it’s also possible that the remote worker looks elsewhere for office space.
The Remote Worker and the Coworking Community
Remote workers who are looking for a new place to work might find coworking spaces to be the perfect solution. In a coworking space, remote workers can enjoy their own office space or desk, depending on the facility’s amenities, as well as a host of other benefits.
For example, a coworking space might include a receptionist, virtual address, copying/printing/faxing services, an on-site cafe, and more. Conference rooms can be helpful if remote workers need to meet with teams, and fast wi-fi makes it easy to upload, download, and stream.
Coworking spaces are more than just glorified offices. No, they actually offer an amazing opportunity for remote workers to network with others. Entrepreneurs, CEOs, professionals, sales and marketing gurus, and everything in between can be found within coworking communities.
Coworking spaces do cost money, but they cost much less than renting a dedicated office space. If you find yourself working remotely but craving a quiet space to work, a new networking opportunity, or just to work among likeminded people, then you might find that a coworking community is the perfect solution. Most big cities offer coworking spaces of some sort, and you’ll be pleased to find that most of these are reasonably priced in consideration for what is included.
With the rise of remote working, new industries, such as coworking spaces, have also risen, and we anticipate seeing this trend continue!