In a world increasingly dominated by smartphones, it seems natural that the workforce is developing into a mobile one. No longer do workers need to go to the office to accomplish their daily tasks. They can answer emails, conduct meetings, take notes and keep organized on a calendar — all on a device that is not much larger than a business card.
Technological forces are shaping the labor landscape and it’s one that workers seem on board with. According to the International Data Corporation, 37.2 percent of the total workforce will be completely mobile by 2015. With more work going virtual, standard offices may soon be a thing of the past.
Part of the driving force behind mobile work is entrepreneurs. A recent survey by Intelligent Office revealed that 65 percent of workers want to work as entrepreneurs or independently. Additionally, 61 percent desire more flexible hours than the traditional 9-to-5, and 55 percent desire a quiet workspace versus one that is crowded and noisy. These majorities follow the workforce trend of ditching the corporate world for one that is a little homier.
(So if we’re working from home or a virtual office, how far off are we from going to the doctor through the Internet? Just the other day we got caught up in a “Rock Center with Brian Williams” where he was talking with Dr. Eric Topol about the advance in technology and how the iphone is the next medical device. It was fascinating to see how this doctor could use the iPhone to perform EKGs and monitor glucose levels in his body.)
While three out-of-five workers say they don’t need to go to the office to be productive, certain aspects of a standard office are beneficial to new entrepreneurs. A virtual office acts like an office-on-call: all the administrative functions of an office without the cost of renting office space. And, as an employer, you know that the two largest expenses are typically your employees, followed by office space.
The rise of mobile working means that all anyone really needs to start a business is an Internet connection, but it will take more than that for entrepreneurs to grow and sustain their businesses. For those inevitable times when the entrepreneur will need the administrative assistance that comes with a fully staffed office, a virtual office is often the answer.
A professional mailing address still is necessary, not only to be taken seriously by potential clients and vendors, but also for SEO — search engines like Google rank suite numbers higher up. Virtual offices offer a professional address, as well as a secure spot to receive important mail and packages. Instead of having to be at home when a package arrives, the virtual office will hold it for a more convenient time.
Entrepreneurs usually begin businesses at home to cut costs. The multitude of services a virtual office offers means that the entrepreneur has more time to devote to growing his or her business and less of a to-do list. From the little things, like faxing and copying, to professional services, like event planning and bookkeeping, it is the virtual office’s job to provide you with exactly what you need, when you need it.
Technology is changing how and when we work, and along the way, it’s cutting costs and making tasks simpler. With workers veering off the traditional 9-to-5 jobs, it makes sense that the traditional office will follow suit.