July 18, 2012 | 3 minutes

Even Big Companies Can Benefit from Virtual Offices

virtual officesWe’ve previously discussed how virtual offices are great options for entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, and independent professionals. However, virtual offices aren’t just for those who are smaller and wish to look big and professional. They can also be utilized by big companies as a way to allow employees to telecommute, to hire people who are scattered across the country (or the world), or to reduce costs by reducing office space and technology expenditures.

For example, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline just went deskless, opting for a more fluid, open workspace instead of cubicles and private offices. This allows employees to utilize technology and to work according to their preferences, while encouraging teamwork and productivity. Even though everyone in this particular space is from the same company, it works very much like a virtual office where everything that is needed to be efficient is provided, and that there aren’t any specific spots or areas that people have to use. Meeting spaces are ad-hoc and open to everyone at anytime, and a receptionist is still available to work with any visitors or general phone calls to company.

A virtual office won’t make a big company appear smaller. That would be tough to do without laying off a few people. But, a big company could allow for employees to use a virtual office as a way to telecommute and to maintain a better work/life balance. For example, if a company has employees who drive more than a hour to work, then allowing them to use a virtual office that’s closer to their home would be better for both the employee and the company. The employee no longer has to waste as much time on the commute, and could therefore be more productive by getting more sleep and spending more time with family. The company benefits by having happier and more productive employees. The company would then not have to provide for as much people at the headquarters or main office, but could still utilize technology that probably already exists within the company to stay in touch with these telecommuting employees. If done right, it can be a win-win situation for both companies.

If a big company is also open to the idea of utilizing virtual offices, then that could allow the company to also hire people that aren’t necessarily located in the same city as the offices. This would open up the talent pool a great deal, decreases the time necessary for a new employee to join the team and to get settled, and also reduce relocation costs as there wouldn’t necessarily be a need for anyone to relocate. Just set them up with a virtual office and they can work for your company right away! But, make sure to invite them to corporate outings from time to time. These virtual employees wouldn’t mind visiting the nest once in a while.

Overall, virtual offices can be something for everyone, and can be tailored for everyone’s needs. They aren’t just something for tech-savvy entrepreneurs or young professionals who are always on the latest fads. Virtual offices can be a solution for just about any business, big or small. It’s just a matter of figuring out how the virtual office would be used and how it would be beneficial.

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