Startups are in the perfect position to choose: Virtual office, brick and mortar office, or somewhere in between? Fortunately, the scandal of Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer revoking those telecommuting privileges have come to a close, (and even she’s backtracked since that massive power move). There are many benefits to having a 100 percent virtual office, and for a startup there’s no, “re-adjusting,” from a traditional brick and mortar lifestyle. You can start out virtual and stay that way if you choose—even once you've grown to mid- or big-sized status.
Not only will a virtual office free up your budget so you can attend more industry events, but it’s also a great way to go green and attract the most in-demand candidates. There’s a reason so many small businesses, startups, and even established corporations are embracing the virtual work life. It’s a means of working with a global community, taking advantage of candidates from around the world, and settling, (full-speed), into the digital era. Here’s how a virtual office can benefit you, your business, and your employees:
1. Seriously low overhead
From a strictly financial standpoint, having a brick and mortar office is expensive. There’s commercial space to lease or buy, furniture, utilities to pay, additional insurance, and the threat of break-ins or natural disasters. While Entrepreneur dishes up some great tips on saving money as a small business, why not bypass one of the biggest money sucks entirely? This bottom line savings can make or break your business in the early days.
2. An impressive employee perk
More and more job candidates are looking for better, creative perks in addition to a reasonable salary. Plus, there are a lot of great job seekers who would happily take a lower salary or hourly rate in exchange for working from home. It’s a win-win situation. You’ll reel in premium candidates and might even be able to swing paying them a little less. Working from home, (or wherever), is the real American dream, and you can make it come true for your employees.
3. Do your part to help the environment
Unless all your employees are walking or biking to work each day, their carbon footprint is making an imprint on the environment and you’re the one to blame. Virtual offices are a green approach to business, and that will appeal to karma, your investors, and your customers, too. In fact, you can even use your eco-friendliness as a PR and marketing tool. Highlight how you’re benefiting the earth while saving money at the same time.
4. Get more done
Oftentimes, “virtual offices,” allow for a lot more flexibility. As long as your employees are getting the job done, available during crucial times, or working a certain number of hours per week, you might be able to let them choose their own hours. This means they’re not providing subpar quality because they, “have to,” work when they’re getting the kids ready for school. Ultimately, this means more productivity.
5. Happy employees
Since telecommuting is a dream come true for many, you’re of course making your employees happy. Numerous studies have shown that happy employees equal loyal and productive employees. Since you’re benefitting, too, why wouldn’t you offer a virtual office?
If you’re on the brink of choosing virtual vs. “real life” office, choose wisely. It could mean the difference between success and bust.