In a recent CNN article, communications consultant Maureen Jenkins explained that as someone who has worked from home often during her career, she felt compelled to weigh in on the telecommuting debate sparked by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s recent memo banning teleworking for all employees. A good deal of the commentary surrounding the telecommuting debate has been centered on its relation to working parents. However, this central focus is misplaced as there are many benefits of a virtual office for all employees.
“One, you’ve got to get your work done and have the conversation with your manager. It’s got to work for both the employer and the employee,” Shirley Davis-Sheppard, the Society for Human Resources Management’s vice president of Global Diversity and Inclusion, said to Jenkins. “That’s what inclusion is all about, and why more and more chief diversity officers like me are on the bandwagon for this. You’re not going to be able to engage and retain great talent without having flexibility.”
Virtual office phone solutions provide the technology needed to foster a virtual workplace culture for businesses of all sizes. However, smaller companies in particular can utilize virtual phone systems from AccessDirect to establish a virtual environment that meets the needs for all internal and external communications.
Changing workplace environments
The Charlotte Observer reported how one company, IT recruitment firm The Brixton Group, has evolved its office environment alongside changing technology and trends. The Brixton Group was recently named one of Inc. Magazine’s “Top-500 Fastest-Growing Companies” with total revenue reaching $21 million in 2012. When founder Andrew Sobel began the company in 1998, meetings were held in his home around his dining room table. While Sobel still works from home today, his employees are also able to work from their homes around the country with the company’s implementation of communications technology.
“Just as the anytime-anywhere accessibility of smartphones, tablets and laptops loosened the bounds of the 9-to-5 workday, new advances in technology have rendered a brick-and-mortar central workspace obsolete for some companies,” the news source said. The article continued, “Sobel’s setup won’t work for every business but he and other virtual veterans agree that the keys for success without office walls – good hires, efficient communication and dynamic company culture – are critical for any company trying to compete and stay relevant in a global, 21st-century marketplace.”
Benefits of Virtual Offices
In a recent article for The Globe and Mail, Wayne Ingram, managing director of technology for Accenture Canada, shared insights on the benefits of cloud solutions like hosted PBX for business. While these solutions can significantly reduce the costs of communications, the real value of the cloud is its ability to improve collaboration and drive innovation.
In this way, businesses can see substantial improvements in regular operations and overall company success by upgrading the technology. Also, by eliminating the need for commuting to an office location, a larger portion of the day can be devoted to work-related responsibilities and business projects, increasing productivity levels.