Employer optimism in the global labor market is improving. Employers in most major countries plan to hire more than they did a year ago, and a majority are reporting stronger quarter-over-quarter hiring plans. So says the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

Will hiring companies turn to virtual office space before they expand their physical office space? It’s a strong possibility, and a wise move—for two reasons. We’ll get to those reasons in a minute. First, let’s hear more from Manpower.

Despite uncertainty in the European market, fewer employers are reporting negative forecasts for the quarter ahead. Meanwhile, employers in China and Taiwan indicate their most robust hiring plans since the Manpower survey began in these markets in 2005, and the forecast from U.S. employers is similar to three months ago but notably improved from last year at this time.

"Across the world, there is improved optimism towards hiring, which is typical for this phase of the recovery," says Jeffrey Joerres, Chairman and CEO of Manpower Inc. "The majority of countries are emerging from the downturn, but still have a way to go as companies are feeling demand for their products and services, but it has not accelerated enough to excite hiring prospects. The U.S. is in the beginnings of a hiring recovery; however there is still economic uncertainty, which is going to bridle stronger hiring."

This, along with a new report that consumer spending is on the rise, is good news for companies around the world. But cautious companies should consider virtual office space even as they return to hiring mode. A virtual office space can give employees the ability to tap into the company’s phone system without being in the physical office space. This can save the company money in traditional office rentals while they wait for a full recovery and the budget to add more space.

A virtual office space is also strategic from a recruiting perspective. As the economic recovery continues, companies can recruit talent from well beyond their local region, plug them into virtual office technologies, and even see increased productivity. By employing virtual office space, companies can attract talent that is not willing to relocate, but finds the idea of working from home attractive from a work-life balance perspective.

Just as virtual office space gained momentum as companies looked to trim overhead in a down economy, virtual office space is poised to continue that momentum as the economy recovers. The benefits of virtual offices are no longer a secret. Companies large and small are acquainted with the cost-savings, productivity increases and other advantages virtual offices offer.

Need confirmation of Manpower's survey? Check out this video from competitor Randstad: