September 5, 2013 | 4 minutes

Even Congress Uses Virtual Offices!

virtual officesIf it’s good enough for our Senators and Representatives in Washington, then it’s good enough for us. Sen. Mazie Hirono [D-HI] recently unveiled her own virtual office to better communicate with and to serve her constituents by allowing her access and availability, no matter where she is located. If she can do it, then others in Washington can do it as well. If our government can do it, then virtual offices can be a useful and viable way to work for many others.

You Can Still Work from Anywhere

One of the benefits of being an entrepreneur or a solopreneur is that you can work from anywhere: home, coffee shop, coworking space, library etc. The downside to that benefit is that you still need an address for your business, and with the exception of the coworking space, you don’t have a professional business address when you have several workplace options. However, a virtual office still provides this benefit while eliminating the downside. As Sen. Hirono can do with the virtual office, she can be in her house and still help her constituents, or she can be at her Washington office, or even at a coffee shop in Georgetown.

You’ll Have More Resources to Do Your Job

In a traditional office space, or when you’re bouncing from workspace to workspace, you are limited by the resources that are available on you and in that location. Most coffee shops don’t have printing and copying, and your home office may not necessarily be the best place to meet clients and to pitch your product or service. However, a virtual office meets all of those needs, so you don’t have to worry about paying for it yourself or running around to a place that has printing or a good conference room. Also, virtual offices are cheaper than traditional office spaces, so you have more resources because you’ll have more money in the business to do other things.

You Can Work the Hours You Want to Work

Being in Congress isn’t easy, as you often have to work long hours debating issues, going to meetings, working with your staff, talking to the press etc. When you don’t have a set schedule all the time, a virtual office is incredibly helpful as you don’t have to come in during certain hours. You don’t have to leave at 5 p.m. because everything is closing, and you don’t have to be there at 8 a.m. because everyone else is going to be there. You also don’t have to be there for a certain amount of time to get your money’s worth (i.e. two hours because you rented the conference room for two hours). If you work longer hours than that, a virtual office is a big help by being a professional fully-supplied workspace that’s available when you need it.

Why the Rest in Congress Should Follow Suit

Just about every other industry has incorporated technology, flexible workplace options, and digitization into operations. Government is one of the few, if not the only industry, that’s taking it’s time in arriving to the 21st century. Virtual offices would be an easy, cost-effective, and smooth transition toward all of this, so it’s nice to see someone like Sen. Hirono take that first step. Virtual offices would allow our representatives to be more available to their constituents and to have a place to listen to the people without the distractions of colleagues, meetings, and lobbyists. The point is that these offices would not be on Capitol Hill, and would be away from other duties that would take away from this core responsibility of our elected officials.

Related Links:

Why Congress Should Incorporate Telecommuting

Can Virtual Offices Encourage Community Service?

Why New Non-Profits Need a Washington DC Virtual Office

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