For about two-thirds of US employees, the dining room table, couch, or spare bedroom replaced the office as tens of millions of us were sent home to work. The impact that coronavirus has had, and continues to have, on our everyday lives cannot be understated - but something positive is coming from it. Many employees find that they like working remotely and that they’d prefer to do so even after the threat of the novel virus has receded. While coworking space has been growing in popularity for some years, virtual coworking has now come into its own.
At its core, coworking is a simple concept; it’s sharing a workspace with other professionals. From freelancers to solo entrepreneurs to startups, millions are finding coworking space to be a cost-effective and efficient way to work. Beyond the monetary value and the convenience, though, folks also find that they alleviate the sense of isolation that comes from working from home, allows for collaboration with others, and increases productivity.
There are many upsides to having a place to go when it comes to work. You aren’t going to get distracted by the laundry that needs to be done, your dog won’t start barking the minute you take an important call, and your friends and family won’t walk in expecting you to be available just because you’re home.
But what about virtual coworking?
The main difference is that people share an online space rather than a physical one. Again, because of COVID-19, this has been an important evolution in the world of work. Virtual coworking space allows us to practice social distancing for safety while still enjoying the advantages of a professional community.
As the workplace continues to change, virtual coworking allows professionals and businesses to keep pace. These spaces often offer many of the same amenities of a physical office - just in a digital format. For example, there may be a reception desk or welcome area for those coming in, phone answering services, conference rooms, breakout rooms, and chat options. With some virtual coworking platforms, you even have a digital desk or office in your online seating plan.
What are the benefits of virtual coworking?
It’s cost effective. It is much less expensive to run an efficient business without having to handle the overhead of a physical office. You may still need a physical location, but you can supplement that with virtual options. In markets like Tampa, rents and leases can be exorbitant; this allows you to save untold amounts of money that you can funnel into your business.
You (and your people) can work from anywhere. The flexibility cannot be matched.
Many virtual coworking proponents report being more productive and responsible when it comes to their assignments/projects/deliverables.
There are opportunities for collaboration - and this can extend outside the “walls” of your own organization. Why not lean on the expertise of others in your professional community?
You can attract talent from anywhere. You are not bound by geographical restrictions any longer, and this can help you grow your business and source the people who will drive that growth.
While flexible, virtual coworking does offer some structure for employees. This can help maintain a healthy work/life balance, relieve isolation, and connect people. Just because you are working remotely doesn’t mean you should feel remote.
Interested in learning more about virtual coworking? Contact Office Evolution. We are leading the evolution in the world of work in Westshore and beyond.
Written by: Office Evolution Tampa Harbour Island
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Office Evolution has more than 70 locations open, 140 units sold in markets across the country and is poised for further growth as the demand for affordable and safe, workspace close-to-home continues to rise.