Whether working from a traditional coworking space or a digital workspace, the principles and benefits of coworking are very much the same. Just as you have people working around you in an office, coworking or conference space, you get the same in a digital workspace.
The difference between coworking and virtual coworking
What is coworking?
Coworking is simply the act of sharing a designated workspace with others. A variety of people can occupy a coworking space; both self-employed or working for different employers, all can share the same office or workspace.
Workers do not necessarily need to know each other or even collaborate on projects. However, coworking spaces are designed to increase productivity through providing
- the opportunity to collaborate with others
- an area officially designated and designed for working
- the use of amenities such as conference rooms and food services, and
- tools such as printers and scanners.
What is virtual coworking?
Virtual coworking works in a similar way to traditional coworking spaces, but instead of sharing a physical workspace, people work together online.
What are the benefits of virtual coworking?
Working remotely, it can be difficult to maintain focus and regular communication, but with virtual coworking, workers can interact, collaborate on projects, share knowledge and resources, and feel more motivated to get work done. All this can occur, potentially, from any given location.
Virtual coworking can occur over practically any app or program designed for collaborative working. If you prefer a more robust office structure for collaborating with others, or need to provide a more structured setting for your business operations while still working remotely, you can choose to work in a virtual office environment.
What is a virtual office and how does it work?
While virtual coworking simply means working alongside or collaborating with others in a virtual environment, many individuals and businesses require additional tools and resources to keep their operations running virtually.
These are usually the organisational elements that you’d find in a traditional office environment, such as a reception desk or welcome area for clients, for example, or a phone answering service to manage incoming calls. It can even mean access to a specific desk or private office in a virtual seating plan.
From the spaces, workers can virtually “get up” and move to meeting rooms, conference rooms, call booths or breakout areas, just as they would in a traditional office.
What are the advantages of a virtual office?
Virtual office spaces offer a number of benefits and they’re increasingly popular with workers and business owners all over the world due to the fact they allow:
- Low running costs
- Flexible working locations
- Access to a bigger talent pool
- Better organisation with virtual technology
- Improved productivity and responsibility
- Collaboration opportunities
Low running costs
If you run a business or team working on a project, working from a virtual office space, there isn’t the cost or upkeep or owning, renting, or maintaining a physical office environment making it a cost-effective way to do business.
Flexible working locations
It goes without saying that working in a virtual office means workers have the enviable element of flexibility when it comes to where they physically choose to work.
A virtual office ensures all workers have this flexibility while still presenting a designated and professional “shop front” for business operations. It may even be a more practical solution than traditional office space for those who work for or run a team that works in multiple locations on a regular basis.
Access to a bigger talent pool
For employers, one big advantage of offering a virtual office space environment is that, due to the nature of virtual working, they’re able to attract and source talent from anywhere in the world too.
Better organisation with virtual technology
With a visible overview of each other’s movements and access to meeting rooms and collaborative spaces in a virtual office, workers can arrange impromptu gatherings, meetings and calls in a quicker and more controlled way.
As an environment which relies on purely digital interaction, workers can also incorporate a variety of virtual technology to suit their project and their working style.
Improved productivity and responsibility
Something that people feel is often missing from remote working is the sense of motivation or responsibility to achieve a task. It can lead to more procrastination outside of an official working environment.
By being part of a virtual office, it provides an extra layer of structure and professionalism that makes workers feel more motivated and accountable for meeting deadlines and project goals.
What do I need to start coworking virtually?
All you really need to start working virtually with others is a reliable internet connection. From there, you simply need a way to communicate and share work with others, which you can do through coworking apps and online file sharing,
If you decide you want more of the structure and resources of a physical office environment and you’re wondering whether a virtual office might be right for you, there are a number of virtual office packages out there to help fulfil your needs.