Physical vs. Virtual: What’s the best office style for your business?
May 7, 2022 by Lee Mulkowsky
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the global workforce. With businesses adjusting to this new reality, more employees found themselves working remotely. However, with the emergence of the vaccine and case numbers on the decline, many organizations have to think about the office style they’ll adapt moving forward – physical or virtual.
All businesses have different needs, with some running entirely online and others requiring a brick-and-mortar location to meet with customers, sell products, and more. The question is: What office style works best for your company? The answer depends!
Take a look at our breakdown of the pros and cons of each office style, so you can determine how your team will collaborate moving forward.
A virtual office allows businesses to access a remote working space, taking advantage of typical office-related activities without being together in a physical space. For example, when you set up a virtual office, your team members can access meeting rooms, conferencing services, and phone lines. These types of offices have steadily gained popularity throughout the past few years.
Companies that opt for a virtual office can benefit in the following ways:
- Reduced costs. With a virtual space, you no longer need to factor in rent, furniture, equipment, supplies, or cleaning fees into your budget. Instead, you can put these funds towards other aspects of your business. This is why virtual offices are an excellent choice for those looking to cut costs.
- Flexible working hours. 72% of people consider work-life balance when job searching. With a virtual space, employees can work when their schedule allows it. This helps them perform at their most productive, with the bonus of not having to spend time commuting each day.
- Room for growth. Your virtual office will make the expansion process easy if your team is expanding rapidly. You no longer need to find a physical space that can fit your newest team members. There are fewer restraints to a virtual workspace, allowing you to focus on improving your bottom line without a different space infringing on your budget.
- Increased productivity. According to a ConnectSolutions survey, 77% of those who work virtually a handful of days per month show increased productivity, with 30% doing more work in less time.
- Access to different features. Most virtual offices still allow for face-to-face meetings, with breakout areas and business lounges being two of the most popular additions. This allows your team to collaborate without having to leave their homes.
Though the benefits are clear, a virtual office also comes with its own set of drawbacks, such as:
- No physical space. If your business needs a space to store inventory or meet with customers, a virtual office may not be a fit.
- Lack of structure. Some teams thrive on frequent in-person collaboration and working inside a set of concrete hours. Should your employees prefer more structure, a physical office allows for this.
- Reduced contact. Tight-knit teams often love getting together for meetings or brainstorming sessions and would rather do so in person instead of online. A virtual space could contribute to a lack of community among your team should they never get a chance to meet face-to-face.
- Increased distractions. Again, some teams flourish when provided with structure, whereas some prefer to work when convenient for them. People know they’re at work in a physical space, whereas a virtual office presents them with various distractions stealing their attention away from their responsibilities.
A physical office is an actual space that teams can use to conduct business. Though remote work has been the talk of the town, many organizations still prefer meeting in person to get the job done. These spaces allow employees to separate their personal and professional lives, working in an atmosphere that keeps their attention on work-related tasks.
Benefits of a physical office include:
- More physical space. If your business needs space for products or events, a physical office is a great option. In addition, these offices enable customers and clients to visit you in person.
- Social interaction. Colleagues who work in the same building can get to know one another more personally, having in-person conversations and sharing daily stories face-to-face.
- Fewer distractions. When employees work in a shared physical space, they won’t find dirty dishes or unfolded laundry calling their name. Instead, they’re more likely to focus on their actual responsibilities to get things done before 5:00 p.m.
- Connectivity. When team members share a space, it’s easier to collaborate. Should someone need something, they can simply walk down the hall to find their answer. In addition, physical offices allow teams to quickly share ideas.
The benefits are certainly worth considering but know that physical offices come with their share of disadvantages as well:
- Increased costs. You’ll need to factor rent, furniture, equipment, supplies, and cleaning fees into your budget with a physical space.
- Growth restrictions. Physical spaces are limited, so you’ll want to consider how quickly your team is growing and whether or not you’ll need to worry about finding an additional location in the near future.
- Less flexibility. For teams that prefer working on their own time, a physical space limits flexibility, with traditional open and close hours. Plus, employees will need to incorporate commuting times into their schedules.
Deciding on Your Office Style
Once you weigh the pros and cons (and talk to your team about their preferences!), know that Metro Offices can help implement an office style that best fits your needs. With us, it’s never one-size-fits-all. Every business is different, so we work to create a customized space that will allow you to meet your goals.
From workspaces and meeting rooms to virtual office services, you no longer need to spend hours scouring Google for high-quality options. Instead, bring your questions to the table and let our experts provide clarity when it comes to the future of your office! Send us a message today to get started.