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Technology has afforded the business world with an efficient, economical means of conducting business without the high cost of providing workers with office space, supplies, and equipment. The newest trend on the rise is the utilization of virtual office solutions. Companies who need to reduce staff for budgetary reasons can now compensate for the loss of production by outsourcing a number of tasks to virtual office workers who perform duties from the comfort of their own homes. Without the need to pay for equipment, sick days, or benefits, jobs can be assigned to virtual workers at a higher rate of pay that benefits both the company as well as the virtual worker.
Virtual office solutions also negate the need for transportation to and from work, which lessens the environmental toll of fuel consumption and pollution, in addition to saving both worker and employer money. A collaborative work environment is still attainable, but it's done via the internet and phone without the need for face to face meetings. Not only does this reduce costs, it also results in a work environment with less distraction and more ability to focus on the task at hand, as opposed to managing the barrage of communication initiated throughout the day when a group of employees share an office space. More can be done in a shorter span of time.
To get the most benefit from virtual office solutions, it's important to know what can and cannot be successfully managed at a distance. Many use virtual services to manage phone calls and customer service, document manipulation and creation, database management and technical functions, as well as marketing, data entry, and order taking. Many software programs are available for large file software sharing, communication platforms designed to keep workers at a distance abreast of changes and goals, and online training.
Virtual office solutions can be purchased as a one-time only task, which is ideal for a business with occasional needs, such as website updating, or word processing tasks that require skills and software the business owner is not familiar with. However, the trend is for businesses to purchase services on a retainer basis, committing to the payment of several hours of work per month. This often results in a discount and ensures a virtual worker's availability.
The requirements to set up a business to be compatible with virtual office solutions are minimal. A computer with a good internet service is essential, preferably something high speed if there will be frequent file sharing. Also, an assessment of software is vital to ensure worker and business are able to share files in the same format. Add a telephone and a virtual office is ready to go.