Just about everyone today is looking for ways to ‘go green.’ The green evolution started years ago when the public was educated on the benefits of carpooling into work to conserve energy, or telecommuting to save on expensive gas prices. The virtual office is the future of our evolution of environmental consciousness in the workplace. Laptop computers, cell phones, PDA’s, and the array of different handheld devices available in today’s market are changing the way we work – and are changing the way we look at our options to work more efficiently and sustainably.
Traditional workspaces face two major drawbacks: they are fixed spaces with an accompanying environmental footprint and they require the workforce to come to them which creates emissions associated with commuting. But, are these drawbacks really necessary in the modern workplace?
Efficient Use Of Space
The virtual office concept leverages technology and allows professionals to conduct business effectively outside the office. Studies show that most office space is only utilized 40% of the time. Virtual office solutions combine services such as live telephone answering, conference room usage, and a prestigious business address for an office that is both flexible and which by definition has 100% utilization.
Virtual office solutions are a good fit for many segments of the workforce, making them a player in the green workforce arena. For example, virtual office space is perfect for the entrepreneur who mainly works from home, but wants a receptionist to answer, screen, and forward calls, a conference room to meet with clients as needed, and a professional address to print on letterhead and business cards.
Reducing Commuting and Emissions
According to the Energy Information Administration, the carbon dioxide emission from people commuting every day to an average office building is greater than the CO2 emission of the ENTIRE BUILDING. By using an alternative to the traditional office space, you can greatly reduce your carbon footprint.
In addition to the cost savings when compared to traditional office space, a virtual office will also save commute time – not only making your work day green, but also more efficient. The days of commuting back and forth to the office five days a week are long gone!
Tips For Finding The Right Virtual Office
If the Virtual office sounds appealing to you, choosing the right provider is crucial to the success of your business, so it’s important to be educated before making a decision. Start by determining the city or address you want to serve as the ‘hub’ for your business. Research ‘virtual office space’ or ‘co-working spaces’ within your community. Craigslist is also a good spot to locate virtual office space in your area. Monthly packages can range anywhere from $95 to $500 dollars depending on location, amenities and access. (Tip: make sure to ask about any setup fees and get them included in an itemized quote.)
The good news here is that we officially have an office concept that is in-line with today’s going green mentality. The Virtual office offers a solution which enables both individuals and companies to do their part. We’re finally reaching an era where the idea of environmental consciousness is more of an attitude and way of doing business, not a fad.
Virtual Office Expert, San Francisco-Spear Center Manager
Kim has years of experience in the Office Business Center industries, as well as with operations, project management, and recruiting in the non-profit sector. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from San Jose State University.