The traditional versus alternative work environment has been debated a lot recently in the business world. The trend of alternative spaces and a more mobile workforce has been rising, but many believe that the traditional office space is not going away anytime soon. Here are some of the different perspectives on virtual versus real office spaces, as described in the article “Virtual Office? The Office is Back, Was it Ever Really Gone?”:
In this era of mobile technology, the idea of having a virtual office is been gaining a lot of traction. A 2011 study revealed that 86% of businesses are implementing some sort of alternative workplace strategy, and another 16% of these businesses had immediate plans to implement some sort of alternative workspace. The benefits of strategies such as home offices, mobile work, or having shared workspaces that employees alternate using is that businesses can save on real estate and employees feel like they have a better balance between life and work.
The Traditional Office Space
While virtual offices offer a lot of benefits, they are only a part-time solution for most employees, and only a small percentage of employees actually use these strategies. Many still believe that the best way to interact with coworkers, access technology and tools, and productively solve problems is through face-to-face communication in an actual office space.
While technology and a growing interest in collaboration are changing attitudes about office space today, the importance of face-to-face interpersonal communication still preserves the value of having a real office space.