Virtual Office Featured Article

When Home Becomes the Office

November 22, 2013
By Michelle Amodio - Virtual Office Resource Contributor

There number of digital workers is steadily increasing as technology continues to grow more efficient and easier to adapt for home offices. Statistics from down under reveal that 5.6 million adult Australians aged 18 years and over were “digital workers” in May 2013, using the internet to work away from the office.  However, it’s not just in Australia that we’re seeing more and more people convert their living space into home offices.

Digital workers use the Internet to do work away from the office. According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), Australian digital workers spent a significant amount of time using the Internet to work away from the office. 49 percent of those worked at least two days a week from home.

Some employers are still on the fence when it comes to offering a work from home program, whereas many have embraced the virtual office, which has shown to increase productivity, work/life balance and reduce overhead costs. The concept is a relatively new one, which makes it difficult to construct definitive policies that set clear parameters for working outside the traditional office environment. Regardless, there are plenty of advantages to the virtual office and telecommuting that employers should be ready and willing to consider.

First, virtual offices and telecommuting offer flexibility, and the comfort of being able to work independently without conforming to standard work protocol, such as a dress code and traditional work hours.

Virtual offices also provide the many benefits of a physical office – a city address, a receptionist, call handling, etc. – but without the need for physical space, allowing people to portray a professional image without costly accommodation. A virtual office also gives you the option to add or eliminate services as your business needs change.

ACMA’s study also revealed that 39 percent of SMEs allowed staff to work from home at least one day a week (55 percent for medium-sized businesses, 38 percent for small businesses). Digital workers saw an inherent benefit to working from home, as it presented flexibility, opportunities to get more work done, and the comfort of working in their own surroundings.

Virtual office programs have helped thousands of small business owners by providing the communications technology, business logistics and support services they need to open and grow their businesses. The technology is better and more readily available than it ever has been. Thus, it is an attractive option for those businesses looking to save on costs, offer employee flexibility and increase productivity. 

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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