Many new companies begin as virtual businesses so they can start on a shoestring budget.The overhead costs of renting office space, buying furniture, and paying utility bills might seem frightening for a new business, but the benefits outweigh the cost.
Some of the benefits of the virtual company may seem attractive at first, such as greater flexibility, no daily commute, and increased productivity for certain types of work. However, an office can give your company a number of advantages that may just give you a strong edge over your competitors. This is because virtual businesses face some serious challenges. Five of these are discussed below:
When your company’s team members work independently they decide their working hours, coordination between coworkers becomes difficult. If one team member needs help from several other members and their hours don’t overlap, he/she doesn’t get help right away. Crises that require input from the entire team will also take longer to resolve to schedule meetings. This disjointedness makes the company less agile.
Cohesiveness requires daily interactions, impromptu conversations, banter, and physical proximity. The momentum of collaboration is often driven by one person feeding off others’ emotional responses. When a partner expresses an idea in person his excitement becomes contagious, which in turn spurs further development of the idea. This kind of spontaneous brainstorming happens best in person.
Not everyone has the self-discipline to sit down and work for eight or more hours in the comfort of their home. Having a home environment for working can cause distractions and temptations that many have difficulty resisting. Many people need structured working environments, which includes having to show up at the office for set hours. The office is an environment set up for productivity and lacks the R&R options of a home office. As well as having the presence of others working at their desks serves to socially reinforce that it is a place for working.
People are social creatures and derive their energy from doing things including other people. When deprived of this energy source, motivation weakens and productivity declines. Social isolation can cause despondency in otherwise mentally healthy people.
Until virtual companies become the norm, and brick and mortar businesses become the exception, clients and customers will question your credibility. This may adversely affect your business because there is the danger of not being regarded as a real company.
For more information on taking your business to the next level and opening an office, contact us.