Can virtual offices save the world? That may be an overstatement, but virtual office space may indeed help make the world a better place.

The authors of 21 hours, a study recently published by the News Economics Foundation (nef) argue that a much shorter working week could help to tackle a range of urgent and closely related problems: overwork, unemployment, over-consumption, high carbon emissions, low well-being, entrenched inequalities, and the lack of time to live sustainably, to care for each other, and simply to enjoy life. It would enable many more people to join the workforce and allow for measures to reduce damaging levels of inequality.

“The last two years revealed many to be consuming well beyond our economic means and beyond the limits of the natural environment, yet in ways that also fail to improve our well-being," says Andrew Simms, co-author of the report and Policy Director at nef.

"Meanwhile many others suffer poverty and hunger. Our research shows that moving to a shorter working week could be the only way left untried to square this seemingly impossible circle. A cultural shift will throw up real challenges, but there could also be massive benefits for our economy, our quality of life and our planet. After all, hands up who wouldn’t like a four day weekend?”

So where do virtual offices fit into this picture? By tackling a range of problems nef outlines. Virtual offices could combat many of the problems nef outlined in its study in one fell swoop. In essence, virtual offices help breed work-life balance by offering employees more freedom and flexibility to work from remote locations.

A virtual office system can do some of the heavy lifting for you and your employees. Virtual receptionists, for example, can field the phones so your employees can work more productively and avoid staying after hours to finish a project. Call forwarding services can give you the freedom to roam about without missing important calls. And virtual office space can let you employees work from home, yet meet in person periodically for company meetings.

In tomorrow's post, we'll continue examining how virtual office space can breed work life balance.