I don’t know precisely when this trend started, but over the past several years the aspect of a traditional office has been diminishing. Most of my colleagues in fact do not have traditional offices but have a laptop computer, virtual fax, virtual telephone line, wireless broadband and other virtual amenities of a modern entrepreneur.
Why is this?
Technology to enable virtual working continues to be cheaper, more powerful and feature rich and easier to use.
A an internal customer survey of Ring Central customers found that:
Only 15% percent of SMBs currently have an office set up where all employees work from the same physical location. Interestingly, the majority, or 39%, have virtual, distributed office models today.
According to the study, 45% (almost half) of respondents spend more than 3/4 of their time conducting business out of the office.
Almost half of business owners (49%) stated that while they are out of the office and making phone calls, they want to give the impression to their clients that they are in the office.
Of the 67% of business owners who stated that they are expanding their business in the next year, 57% said they would adopt a virtual, distributed office model in 2010.
One thing that is important to keep in mind is that as you work from “out of the office” do not lessen your professionalism. If you are hiring an employee, for example, don’t conduct the interview in a noisy street, just because you can. Don’t have your dog barking and baby crying in your home office, while you’re speaking with a vendor.
Although technology helps us be mobile and virtual, that is no excuse to enable us to be less professional.
The Ring Central survey asked, When receiving or making business calls while not in the office, do you try to give the impression to your clients that you are at your office?