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The Virtual Office – What Wikipedia has to say about the economic advantages and future of Virtual Offices

Virtual offices are experiencing growth even in a recessionary economy, and not just in the United States. As businesses look to trim expenses, virtual office services help reduce overhead while keeping professionalism high. For example, by paying for space and communication infrastructure on an as-needed basis, businesses can keep office expenses to a minimum. The portability of today’s technology also allows for a more flexible work environment. As businesses trend to a more “online” workplace, the notion of paying for space full-time becomes anachronistic. Traditional receptionists making $12-14/hour can be replaced with remote receptionist services at a fraction of the traditional cost.
Surveys reveal that a greater percentage of the workforce desires a more “mobile” definition of an office. The new generation of entrepreneurs is embracing the virtual office instead of the traditional on a global scale. Many companies are incorporating the flexibility of a virtual office into their culture. Corporations like Accenture, IBM and Crayon are at the forefront of publicly-traded companies actively utilizing the virtual office concept. Even the world of academia has discovered the advantages of a virtual office. The virtual office industry has spawned a sub-industry; companies are now developing products & services specifically for virtual office applications. Companies have barely scratched the surface of the concept of virtual offices. Working virtually is the future for all businesses that seek to (points 1-8):
1. Make the world an extremely connected place, reaching smaller towns and cities across the globe.
2. Set up branches in important cities or abroad, regardless of current size.
3. Reduce carbon footprints by lowering consumption of fuel and electricity by eliminating distance variables and expanding boundaries for working creatively.
4. Cash in on the interaction technology wave and ensure that anything other than talent, skills, intelligence and aptitude are irrelevant (like a worker’s previously limiting physical location).
5. Expand hiring choices and provide a more comfortable working environment, less stress and a more balanced lifestyle while increasing personal productivity with time & money saved from zero commuting.
6. Cut commercial real estate costs with a viable alternative rents or leases and reduce large set-ups, hierarchies and innumerable administrative functions.
7. Encourage entrepreneurs who want to test a business location and expand their presence by removing the start-up company obstacles of infrastructure and fixed staff.
8. Have staff flexibilities instead of hiring secretaries

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