Many experts say that excessive traffic congestion on roads and surging infrastructure costs in almost all the major business cities of the world are forcing companies to adopt “virtual office” models in order to telecommute to work.
So what is a virtual office and what is telecommuting?
What is a Virtual Office?
According to Wikipedia “A virtual office is a combination of off-site live communication and address services that allows users to reduce traditional office costs while maintaining business professionalism. Frequently the term is confused with ‘office business centers’ or ‘executive suites’ which demand a conventional lease, whereas a true virtual office does not require that expense.”
One problem with the Wikipedia explanation is that the author is mistakenly trying to compare a virtual office Toronto to a Toronto office business centre – the author does not take into account that the top Toronto virtual office locations operate out of an office business centre. Without having your virtual office run from a business centre, there is no physical address for clients or customers to send courier packages or meet with you in person.
Let’s first look at how large companies are using Toronto virtual office solutions. Companies who do not have a local Toronto office space, but require a prestigious Toronto address for employees who work remotely, will use a virtual office address and telephone service to maintain a corporate presence. All mail is sent to the Toronto virtual office location where it can be picked up or forwarded to private homes of the workers. When a client or customer phones the local exchange telephone number, their calls are routed through the central receptionist who handles the calls in a manner that the client has requested. Calls to their Toronto virtual office can be redirected to individual employees’ homes or cell numbers, or sent to voicemail for them to pick up at their convenience.
When smaller businesses are looking to get started, the budget for office space is low, so most entrepreneurs choose to run their business out of their home. While this may save them money, it could also be costing them credibility and potential customers.
Without a professional appearance that comes with having a business address, customers may overlook dealing with them in favour of going with a provider who has a proper business address. Having a virtual office Toronto with a Toronto mail service address at a business centre demonstrates to customers that you have a proper Toronto business address.
What is Telecommuting?
Telecommuting is when an employer, employee, or entrepreneur works outside the traditional workplace setting by using telecommunication tools such as email, phone, internet, chat and video apps, etc. Rather than traveling to the office, a person will use telecommunication to keep in touch with coworkers and employers.
Some people telecommute full-time, while others may work remotely for part of the week and go into the office for the remainder of the week.
Telecommuting is a work arrangement in which full or part-time employees enjoy flexibility in working location and hours. They are able to avoid the daily commute to the office and work remotely using telecommunications technology and access to a centralized work space. Many Toronto virtual office users find themselves working from home or other locations where they are able to get work done as well as have internet access. A person who telecommutes is known as a “telecommuter”.
Toronto virtual offices are often used as mini hubs for larger companies without a local office who has telecommuters and wants to maintain the privacy of its workers who work out of their homes – by having a business address that is not the home address of the workers.
This is especially good for companies with multiple Telecommuting workers. When a group of workers needs to get together for an in-person meeting, they can reserve a boardroom and only pay a daily or half day price. This saves the company money by not having to pay monthly rent on a meeting space that is only used on an occasional basis.
Who Uses Telecommuting?
Popular industries that have adopted the telecommuting method include:
- Customer service
- Technology (computers and software programmers)
- Medical professionals (health claims analysts and radiologists)
However, it is important to note that jobs which entail the physical operation of special equipment are not well-suited for telecommuting because they require the employee to be on site.
Benefits of Telecommuting
For many employers, the question “how will I know if my team will really stay connected and on task” arises. By using video conferencing software and project management tools, you can run your large or small business from afar, without worrying about productivity.
Here are some additional benefits of using telecommuting.
Employee satisfaction is a top pillar in retaining your most talented employees. Ways that telecommuting aids in employee satisfaction include:
- Your team will save time, money and stress by removing the need to commute
- Improved work-life balance because they will have extra time to themselves
- Working at home can offer a short-term solution for injured employees or those returning to work after a disability
Flexible work hours are the biggest advantage of telecommuting jobs – for employers and employees. Workers get to create a schedule that’s most conducive to their style of productivity.
So if you, or some of your team members, prefer to sleep in and work later in the day, they can. On the other hand, if they like getting up before the sun rises, they may be done with their day before most night owls even wake up.
A flexible schedule also makes it easier to weave in appointments, school drop-offs/ pick-ups, and other personal tasks that usually get in the way of a typical 9 to 5 job. Therefore, rather than missing time from work, employees can prioritize tasks as needed.
Telecommuting means less employees need to come into the office. So you may be able to downsize to a smaller office space or transition into a virtual office.
Additionally, with Telsec you will be able to use the prestigious downtown Toronto location when you require a physical office, without needing to pay those hefty rent fees.
As your team grows, you won’t have to worry about needing to upgrade your office square footage. And you won’t need to spend so much stocking office supplies.
No matter what size your company is, a virtual office can be a great solution for those who are working from non-traditional office spaces. There are plenty of other benefits available to Toronto virtual office clients at Telsec, including access to boardrooms, Toronto meeting rooms, large conference rooms and day offices. See how virtual offices and telecommuting solutions can progress your forward today.