Since the introduction of the internet and all of the technological advances it brought with it, the world of business has changed almost beyond recognition. Tablet computers and smart phones have helped the boundaries to be pushed even further, allowing workers to break free from their desks and work from wherever the Wi Fi will allow. So has this new mobile revolution changed the way that businesses operate? And if so how has it done so, and what does the future hold?
The move from physical to virtual offices is one of the key changes that may not instantly spring to mind, but in recent years, more and more companies and sole traders have been taking advantage of the opportunities offered by a virtual workplace. The services you want to outsource to a virtual office is down to personal circumstances and choice. They provide an efficient, cost effective solution for home workers who are struggling to manage every aspect of their business by themselves.
Securing a prestigious business address
One of the main benefits of using a virtual office is that you get to use the office’s address, instead of your own home address. Giving out a home address to customers can sometimes feel like you are letting them into your personal life, rather than your business life. It can also look highly unprofessional and may even put customers off from purchasing your services or goods. Normally set up by a third party company, these offices offer everything that a normal office would apart from a physical space. They provide you with an address from where your post will be forwarded, an answering system, complete with a real receptionist and a personalised service that offers you all the benefits of a real work place at a fraction of the cost. This allows you to work from wherever you want, whether that’s on site, at home on lying on a beach in the Bahamas. A virtual office combined with mobile technology means that you can be here instead of stuck behind a desk
With almost every new gadget and gizmo that hits the market now internet ready, most of us will check our emails a few times a day, if not a few times an hour, and we’re all plugged in and switched on to the web 24/7. Your virtual receptionist will handle each of your customers’ calls professionally and efficiently, ensuring they are providing the best customer service at all times. The fact that you do not have to spend all day answering telephone calls will mean that you can dedicate time to other more productive tasks. The virtual receptionists will take messages for you, which can be sent to your mobile phone or email inbox for you to deal with at your convenience. This means that if you’re working on a project with colleagues around the world, the work never needs to stop. Conference calls can be set up at any time of the day and your company can become truly international.
A downside of this super-connectivity is that it has taught people to become increasingly impatient. Where once you would have sent information in a letter or by messenger and then waited a few days for a reply, now people expect all emails, texts and calls to be answered immediately. Where once being on holiday or even being on your lunch break was excuse enough to ignore correspondence until you were back in the office, there is now no longer anywhere to hide from the all-encompassing internet. Tablet computers and smart phones mean we’re connected wherever we go.
Collaboration and New ideas
One huge advantage of mobile working is the ability to share ideas and innovations quickly and easily with people around the world. Whether you’re emailing, skypeing or working on The Cloud, your ideas can travel to the other side of the globe in seconds, and their ideas can be bounced to you just as easily, making global collaboration as easy as if you were in the next room. Being mobile, whether you’re a sole trader or an employee, also brings you into contact with a lot of new people and new ideas. If you’re out and about rather than tied to a desk, you’re seeing new things and learning how other people conduct their business. This can really help you to develop and advance your own practices to make you even more successful.
In developed countries, many people are taking advantage of mobile technology to outsource their work to other countries. You can easily be sitting at home in London, New York or Bognor Regis, sending instructions via your smart phone to workers in India, China or Brazil. This can significantly reduce your running costs and help to build and expand your business empire. Mobile working has already changed the way that we conduct business, no matter what industry you happen to work in. With technology advancing so rapidly, the future of mobile business is hard to predict, but with exciting innovations already on the horizon, it’s guaranteed to be something that will affect us all. Picture credits: Wikipedia
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