Cutting-Edge Virtual Office Trends Include Mobile WorkersAre you up on the latest virtual office trends? Our very own Martin Senn, CEO of Davinci Virtual Office Solutions, offered his insights in Executive Suite Success magazine last month. I thought I’d share a few of this brilliant idea with you.
Seen starts off by pointing out that many entrepreneurs and employees today go through their 9 to 5 in a much different way than they did even a couple of years ago—and he points to cutting-edge mobile technologies and global Internet coverage as two key drivers. Senn calls it the mobile “always on” workstyle and says it empowers workers to be far more productive while enjoying a better lifestyle with more flexibility. (Virtual offices are all a part of this trend).
“This new way to work gives people the freedom to work from wherever they need to be—a big change from the traditional nine to five corporate office environment that most of us got to know so well over the past decades. I mean—Hello—who ho would not want to work from wherever they are at?” Senn asks. “Actually, more and more people are able to do so! Research indicates that the number of mobile workers will exceed 1 billion in 2011.”
While small business operators and a whole new generation of young entrepreneurs have embraced mobility in their work day quite some time ago, Senn says even the large Fortune 1000 companies are starting to rapidly implement alternative work strategies. Virtual offices are part of that mix. Senn predicts this combined development will create a great amount of opportunity for providers that are positioned and able to offer solutions that address certain needs or challenges of a typical mobile work day.
“Because mobile workers now have the ability to work almost anywhere, most of them choose not to own or to lease permanent office space and/or business infrastructure on a long term basis anymore,” Seen says. “While they gain a lot of flexibility and significant economies of scale this way, they also lose some of the more traditional benefits of a corporate support environment. And this is exactly where the opportunities for business center operators and virtual office solutions providers are being created.”
It’s not just Senn’s opinion, either. He points to new research that shows that over 50 percent of mobile workers are working with teams at organizations in other locations and almost one third of their day is being spent collaborating with each other. As a result, he says, the communications market is exploding with many new Internet based collaboration technologies. Frequently though, he notes, mobile workers will choose to conduct in-person meetings or high-end video conference sessions to be more productive over longer periods of time. So there is still a growing need for physical meeting space even in conjunction with virtual office space.
“In 2006, the global meeting space rental market size was assessed at over 25 billion dollars per year. Last year, a collaborative project conducted for an OBCAI meeting room webinar estimated that OBC’s capture less than one percent of that market,” Senn says. “At many business centers, the meeting space financial model turns break even at best and it is frequently is looked at as cost center. In order to better capitalize on this growing revenue opportunity, OBCs should try to address the specific needs and requirements of today’s retail meeting space customers.”