Mobile Workforce Meets Virtual Office Space

IRVINE, CA—In case you were wondering just how popular virtual offices really are, the Global Workspace Association has some new stats that offer keen insights.

According to the Global Workspace Association, virtual office revenue in 2011 increased by 8.2 percent year over year. Virtual offices also accounted for 9.5 percent of U.S. office business centers' total revenues. Meanwhile, meeting rooms also grew in popularity in 2011. Meeting rooms revenue rose 10.5 percent year over year.

"Today's workforce is increasingly independent and mobile, and companies continue to pursue cost-containing office arrangements that improve their bottom line," says John Jordan, Global Workspace Association president. "We are entering a new era in which convenience and savings are no longer opposing forces. With a few clicks, the virtual office—complete with a receptionist, physical street address, meeting-room availability and other amenities—is available when and where needed."

It’s not just the Global Workspace Association data that bodes well for virtual offices, either. IDC and Cisco are pushing out numbers that offer clues into why virtual offices are gaining so much momentum.

First, the IDC numbers. The world's mobile worker population will total more than 1.3 billion, more than 37 percent of the total workforce, IDC reports. In the Americas alone, the number of mobile workers is expected to grow to more than 212 million, up from 182.5 million in 2010.

However, the Asia/Pacific region will see the largest increase. The mobile workforce in that region will grow from 601.7 million in 2010 to 838.7 million in 2015. As for the Cisco data, the networking giant predicts that from 2011 to 2016 global mobile data traffic will grow three times faster than fixed IP traffic.

The mobile workforce and virtual offices are colliding. Not every virtual office worker is mobile but every mobile worker spends at least part of their time working virtually. The virtual office could be on the home front or in a day office in a business center. Either way, the Global Workspace Association’s numbers don’t lie. Business centers—and the virtual offices and meeting rooms within them—are seeing more revenues with the rise of alternative workplace strategies.


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