The Impact of Virtual Office Services
Back in 2008, the Office Business Center Association indicated that of total revenue accrued, 7% was from virtual office services. Some locations reported over 10% of revenues came from virtual office services.
Since the inception of virtual office services and its implementation into the everyday interactions of many places and people, the percentage increase in usage has more than doubled.
Virtual office services are most closely associated with office space and communications. The largest growth has been in the region of for profit industries shown by studies starting in 2005 where telecommuting increased by 16.7 percent according to ww.globalworkplaceanalytics.com. Growth has slowed since 2005 but continues to grow. Statistics in the most recent years show 4% growth on average.
Communication services include phone answering, call forwarding and the ability to bridge or conference call from anywhere, including the opportunity for employees to work from home. While many entities interested in virtual communication services originate from the business world, the freedom to integrate mobility with communication is highly desired by nearly everyone who handles voice communications.
Virtual services also include access to an address not associated with a P.O. Box outside of a physical location. This can be used to receive packages and mail without exposing an address to unwanted visitors or unnecessary traffic while increasing the ability to provide security and increased data integrity.
Many of the virtual office services rely upon cloud computing services to support their functions. Users of cloud computing services and virtual office services include the government, for profit organizations, non profit organizations and many others.
Cloud computing services and online capabilities require much less in the way of physical resources. The cost or real estate is relatively high when compared to rent/mortgages, utility bills, staffing needs, maintenance and security. Online office services often require only a person to handle the incoming correspondences and a place to scan and store items digitally. The IT team cost of supporting online office services is much smaller than that of a fully staffed physical locality.
Banking associations show statistically the largest use of virtual services holding the percentile marking of 64% of services provided using online resources according to www.blog.nskinc.com/IT-Services-Boston. The social media and online games come in a close second and third place behind the banking industry showing that non business individuals enjoy the utility of the online virtual office.
Call centers which provide convenience to consumers as well as increase the productivity of businesses play a dual role in satisfying needs. According to an article by Andy Hardin, the Executive Vice President of Operations for Anyhour Solutions, the percentage of virtual office and communication services used by call centers has been jumping by 10 percent increases in every year since 2005.
Virtual services are the way of the future for handling business and personal needs across the globe. In 2012, IDC Whitepaper which was sponsored by Microsoft, the study on cloud computing and its effect on job creation in 2012 showed 2,514,908 was the number of jobs created by virtual services. That number is expected to grow to 4,631,956 by 2015. Between China, India and Indonesia over 7 million jobs will be added to the industry in 2015.
It is clear that many developing countries will be taking advantage of cloud services in order to increase the per capita income of its population as well as increasing the ability of its country’s industry to boost revenue. Countries with high unemployment rates are showing high degrees of interest in virtual office services as the booming industry is seen to be a viable solution for reducing high unemployment rates.
By far, the fields of communication and media will show the largest project growth. As an example of the industry growth, the two fields are expected to create 1.8 billion new jobs in 2015 alone in Asia. That’s a 113% boost in job growth.
Outsourcing projects to freelancers on oDesk or Elance is becoming an ever more popular choice, particularly for smaller or new start up companies looking for ways to increase their output by tapping in to the wealth of professional services available and utilising skills they may not possess in-house. Freelance outsourcing services can include anything from web design, mobile app development, translation services, ecommerce or SEO.
Productivity is also a major concern of all sectors that use virtual office services including not only business related but also non profit and government. The ability to work remotely was available to 65% of employees surveyed according to an analysis by brandongaille.com. This was both useful for the employee to continue earning despite adverse conditions or extenuating situations and the organization employing the individual as services and operations could be continued without proximity.
The increasingly mobile culture of the individual and business entities has made the expansion of virtual technologies for office spaces and communications a necessity. Cloud computing and the data storage and server capabilities have made and will continue to make a strong impact on virtual office services as the technology continues to improve.