With the recent effects of COVID-19, many businesses have proven that working remotely works and have encouraged employers to question whether they need to be spending money on renting office space.
The choice to only open the office a few days a week or not at all is one that is dependent on the business. However, as we move forward from this global pandemic, we can predict a huge place for virtual offices in the future. Unsure of what a virtual office entails? Think of all the benefits that come with a serviced office but at a fraction of the cost. Whilst this is dependent on the VO package you choose, options are available to have a registered business address, managed reception desk, access to a business lounge, mail collection and more. Your business will still have a place on the map but without the rental costs.
But how will virtual offices keep up with the fast-paced nature of a serviced office? Or keep colleagues working as a team? We’ve looked into the ever-growing technology of today and can see just how virtual offices will shape the future.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Whilst VR has circulated the globe through the gaming industry, businesses are beginning to move forward from a 3-month period in lockdown and are adapting to a more virtual world. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, demonstrated how meetings could run in future with the use of avatars. With VR technology, avatars can be created to look exactly like you and will be able to read facial expressions to display true emotions. The demonstration also took its audience to the bottom of the ocean and to the planet, Mars, showing you can be anywhere in the world and be very much in communication with a team of people who are also, all over the world. Watch the demonstration for yourself, here.
Virtual collaboration tools
When it comes to working together, especially when working remotely, communication is everything and having the right tools to do so are key. Instant messaging tools such as Slack allow teams to message each other and have conversations in real-time. Slack lets businesses create channels and group chats to improve efficiency, ensuring the right people are in the right conversations. These instant messaging tools also enable calls and video chat for even faster communication. Other video chat software includes Zoom, designed for virtual meetings, participants can host and schedule meetings, share screens for demonstrations and also have a virtual background feature to make meetings a little more fun.
Other collaboration tools include Trello for task management purposes. Create boards, lists and cards to organise you and your teams. You can prioritise work and flexibly move tasks around based on your day-to-day schedules. Other collaboration tools such as Microsoft 365 and Google Docs allow you and your colleagues to collaboratively edit documents, ensuring the latest updates are filed and used across the business.
In light of this evolving technology, you can begin to see a space for virtual office assistants and additional services such as accounting, marketing and IT solutions. You’re able to see how virtual offices will fast become the way of working throughout different departments and industries.
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