Virtual Workplace: The need of the hour and future of work
With the sudden outbreak of the Pandemic caused by the deadly virus, the world has come to a standstill. The compelled lockdown in the cities and towns has let everyone to change their strategies of running the businesses and making the organizations and industries functional. Work from home has become a necessity and technology has taken over the buildings and spaces. But what about the rising startups and the aspiring entrepreneurs who are waiting to begin their ventures? With the situation being too crucial without the discovery of any vaccine to cure the disease, not all would prefer going out. With the suffering economy, and dearth of jobs, the aspiring entrepreneurs and successful youth who are waiting to begin their venture would be in dilemmas where and how to begin their businesses. Lack of funds caused by the long lockdown periods would tie their hands to invest on buildings and spaces to set their workplaces. Should they still wait hoping for their luck to bloom or should they begin immediately with innovative ideas operating from their virtual workplaces?
Virtual workplaces are not uncommon to us but surely not have been trending in the professional world where office hours tie their work time to 9 am to 6pm routine. Although with more and more expansion of private businesses or enterprises, working from virtual workplaces seem to be have been welcomed by many. Virtual workplace is a network of several workplaces operated by several team members connected technologically through their internet links. In other words, it is an online work place where work functions or business is operated by the team sitting at their own personal respective locations. It is in fact the best definition of a modern enterprise where a company or a unit can work with the team members sitting at any corner of the world nationally and internationally. With the outbreak of the global pandemic and the unending threat by covid19, the upcoming planned ventures certainly can’t be held back for long if that is to be the only source of earning for livelihood. In such a scenario, what can be best than the virtual workplace. Today, we all should take the best advantages of this wide space of workplace that can be operated from anywhere.
Here is a glimpse of the picture of a virtual workplace:
1.Telecommuting: Operating your work or functioning your tasks and duties from the offsite locations through communication technologies such as working from home is called telecommuting.
2.Telecentres: Making avail the work equipment to the team members whether at home or wherever they can exercise their duties is called telecentres like fax machines, copiers, photostat machine or similar such support constitutes a telecentre.
3. Virtual Teams: Several employees performing their duties from different locations being connected to each other through technology is called a virtual team like networked teams, project development teams or service teams. Many outsourced teams can also be a part of virtual team who may not be a full-time employee to the company but specifically appointed for specific tasks.
Now, how do they connect to run their offices and fulfil their targets?
It is all through digital communication tools where the teams connect, discuss and decide through video and audio conferences through various applications. The business enterprises develop their personalized android apps, iOS and other web portals to keep a track of the progress of work.
Thanks to technology that has narrowed the wide gaps to work profitably and comfortably.
We have hundreds of tools to operate and manage a team, entrust responsibilities and tasks, keep records and checks, analyze and communicate with just one click or call no matter where in the world are you operating from. Any business activity can be tracked today through digital tools be it maintaining documents, files, planning a project and initiating plans and projects, keeping everything informed to the immediate seniors and the boss and following the flow of the tasks. Business enterprises use cloud application like Outlook, Google Drive, Dropbox, Sharepoint or messaging/video calling apps, task scheduling, and project management apps to operate a virtual workforce.
Virtual offices can be more advantageous than any work system thus making all the units or departments of an organization work more proficiently.
Shedding the traditional working hours of 9 to 5 jobs, virtual workplace makes office hours flexible thus enabling you to function more efficiently without sticking to the office chairs and yawning when left without a task. It in fact benefits both the employer and the employee equally. For the employer, he gets his team who can work 24/7 whenever need demands. The employees similarly can take the benefit of flexible timings giving suitable breaks to themselves and concentrate on the projects better. Moreover, it enables multi-tasking and many can also involve in part time freelance jobs which require an hour or two of engagement thus again taking the advantage of virtual workplace of another company. Indeed, working in a technologically smart environment saves time thus producing better outputs. The hours stuck in the traffic, the money spent on commutation be it by private cars, or office vehicles or public transports can be saved. World would be free from pollution too. The owner or the employers would need no huge funds to set up offices or infrastructure to give space to their employees. He just needs to be connected digitally. Virtual workplaces are much safer and stress free as the employer does not need to stand responsible for the safety and security of his/her employees. They work safe from their safest locations. It gives greater benefits to the women who can manage their homes as well as work thus staying safe and secured working from wherever they feel the right away from chances of harassments.
However, one needs to plan well before stepping on to these smart offices. One should pre plan and get strategies ready for risk management. While welcoming the trend of new technology, it is essential to take necessary steps to safeguard the company’s confidential information and trade secrets. Recruitments should be carefully undertaken with proper documents submitted through emails and interviews can be conducted online through video calling apart from the first stage of telephonic interviews. Communication barriers must be avoided and the employer should keep close and constant communication with the entire team. Outsourcing many services is always beneficial as you may not need certain services on full time basis. Today, most of the publishing houses operate through outsource services in virtual work places thus reducing the headache of controlling an office environment. Choose the correct technology, evaluate and explore before practicing on the ground and collaborate effectively with the team.