What Is a Digital Office & How Does It Work?
As more businesses turn to remote work, advanced technology plays a key role. One example is the digital office, an option that allows organizations to continue to thrive without the overhead costs associated with a physical location.
What is a digital office? It’s an efficient set of technology and tools that make remote office work and collaboration easy and efficient. Let’s explore how the digital office came to be and its differences from a virtual office.
How Does a Digital Office Work?
Digital office functionality depends on the company and industry, as each organization can assemble the tools that make sense for them. Most digital business offices are built on cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS) products, incorporating additional industry-specific tools that make work more efficient.
For example, a marketing-focused business would want creative, video conferencing, and collaboration tools. A company focused on cybersecurity would need data storage, encryption tools, and antivirus software.
In 2021, digital workplace technology used by workers included:
80% real-time mobile messaging tools
79% collaboration tools
74% storage or sharing tools
47% training or personal development tools
The fundamental purpose of a digital office is to provide opportunities for collaboration and maintain a consistent presence for customers and others with whom the business regularly interacts. Team members can perform similar functions without being physically present, while the company owner can keep overhead costs down.
Common Digital Office Tools
Here are some commonly used tools that digital business offices may use to function.
Asana (project management)
Dropbox (file storage and sharing)
Google’s G Suite (various applications)
HubSpot (inbound marketing, sales, and service)
Jira (project management and bug tracking)
Monday (app development)
Office 365 (various applications)
Salesforce (customer relationship management)
Workday (human resources)
The Creation & Evolution of the Digital Office
Now that we’ve defined what a digital office is, it’s time to talk about its evolution and what could come in the future for companies that adopt this technology.
Widespread use of computers in offices didn’t occur until the 1980s with inventions like the IBM Personal Computer and Macintosh. Computers no longer took over entire rooms and could instead sit on desks, allowing employees to work faster and more efficiently.
During the 1990s, the Internet grew into the foundation of what we know today. It went from a small application to a connection to the entire world. Additionally, Google was founded toward the end of this decade. Staple work tools used daily, such as email, data storage, and web browsers, were just in their infancy, with only a handful of industries using them.
With a better understanding of the power of the Internet, the 2000s saw the beginning of what a digital office could be. Companies began to rely on web servers to make internal operations smoother and improve client communication.
While the typical office was still paper-based, the beginnings of a paperless office were starting to appear with email and document sharing replacing paper memos and file cabinets. People also became more interconnected through the use of smartphones and tablets.
While many tech companies had started to dabble in cloud-based platforms, it wasn’t until the 2010s that the idea of the cloud and its capabilities were trusted and utilized. Soon, more data was stored digitally than physically—allowing for easier sharing and communication.
Paper documents became the exception instead of the rule. Tools like Slack, Dropbox, and Google G Suite became a mainstay rather than a passing fad.
2020 and Beyond
2020 required many companies to go completely digital to adhere to new rules and protect employees from the global COVID-19 pandemic. Since the relaxation of many rules, many workforces have remained at least partially remote, pushing employees to rely heavily on digital office tools to stay connected and do their jobs. The future points toward the expansion of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the workplace.
Digital Offices vs. Virtual Offices
Digital and virtual offices often get confused, but these terms refer to distinct setups. A digital office focuses on the tools needed to work remotely, whereas a virtual office is a physical location where a business can receive mail and handle other needs.
What Is a Virtual Office and How Does It Work?
A virtual office is a business' official address for business cards, documents, websites, and other needs. The address can be anywhere in the world and doesn’t require a physical office space, as long as there’s a real address that can receive mail.
A virtual office allows small businesses to compete with big-name companies while working remotely. When seeking this option, a business leader chooses the address they want and pays to use it. Some virtual office providers, like Davinci, offer additional amenities such as meeting room rentals or mail forwarding services.
The Similarities Between a Digital and Virtual Office
Although digital and virtual offices differ, they do share some similarities.
Both are considered business tools.
Each eliminates the need for a physical office space.
They offer businesses a wider pool of talent.
Both can serve a variety of businesses and industries.
A business of any size can utilize either option.
Do You Need a Virtual Office?
Are you looking for a way to make your business stand out? Sometimes, an address change is all you need. Davinci has thousands of office addresses to choose from, including some located in the most sought-after industry hotspots in the world.
Select the address you want and any additional amenities, and you can use your new virtual address in as little as two business days.
Find the perfect virtual office space for your business.