With the rise of Internet and development of technology, it has been possible for the human beings to overcome the challenges of distance in their relations. In other words, Internet has enabled people to transcend themselves and elevate themselves into interconnected communities that do need to meet physically to transact business. As a result, it has become possible for people to work in the same communities, while they are actually thousands of miles away from each other. This essay seeks to define what a virtual workplace is, its advantages and their future. Virtual workplaces have helped individuals and organizations to overcome the challenges of geography, develop great effectiveness as well as reduce costs of operation.
A virtual workplace is a work environment the members of which are not physically present, but are technologically connected and collaborate with each other. As the name suggests, it is not a physical place. Virtual workplaces owe their existence to the technological developments in the area of communication. However, there may exist an inherent contradiction in the sense that, if virtual workplaces are not physical locations, then they should not be referred to as â€˜places’. Moreover, this is a question of semantics: language is arbitrary. Since it is a â€˜workplace’, employees are able to collaborate with each other in spite of their geographical locations. Further, they form teams, which facilitate the process of work. Just like any other workplace, it becomes important for the online communities to be effectively managed.
All companies, individuals and private ventures need to adopt the concept of virtual workplaces in order to tap the benefits that come with it. Primarily, the world is rapidly changing. There are new ways of doing things. Thus if an entity does not adopt new technologies, there is a possibility for such an entity to become obsolete and irrelevant. Therefore, virtual workplaces are a modern way of working. It is modern, because people must not go to physical offices in order to execute their duties. Today, people talk about offsite workplaces; that are places of work away from the actual location of the company. In fact, some companies do not have a physical location, but exist on a virtual basis through either websites or other types of online presence. As a result of working from an offline workplace, workers are said to telecommute. As it will be seen, telecommuting has a myriad of benefits.
There are many benefits associated with working from an offsite workplace. The firs one is the fact that there are reduced costs in travel as well as leasing a place of work or constructing one. This leads to increased savings on the part of the entity in business. Under normal circumstances, employees, who report to a physical office, are bound to fuel their cars or use public means to get to workplace. In either case, they incur great expenses, which could be a significant amount of money by the end of each year. In addition, this commuting is associated with fatigue and other forms of wastage. This does not only affect the energies of employees but also their health, which would further lead to decreased productivity and increased costs on the part of the company or entity in paying the medical bills of the employee-patient.
Virtual workplaces are also a preferred way of working, because they are efficient. With a fast machine and Internet connection, one is able to work so fast that he or she beats the deadlines. The other source of efficiency for virtual teams is the fact that the company is able to create an information system that would henceforth be the tool for guiding and organizing work. The information system is usually comprised of a huge database from where members of the team are able to access the same information without having to â€˜queue’ to wait for each other to go through a physical file. In a physical set up, if a document is taken from a file, all others must wait, because there is only one copy. On the contrary, virtual workplaces make use of databases simultaneously; without having to wait for the other to search first. This in a great deal reduces time and leads to efficiency and effectiveness.
Virtual workplaces save a lot of time for the entity as well as workers. First of all, one does not travel on a daily basis to a physical place. Therefore, the time that would otherwise have been used in commuting is used for work thus increasing the productivity.Â By considering the physical locations of the people in a virtual team, it would take a lot of time if they decided to send the documents physically. However, at a virtual workplace, it is possible to store the files in a cloud and share them with all members of the team in an instance. Further, to show how time saving they are, virtual workplaces enable sending of instant messages as well as chats that makes it easy to seek clarifications on any areas that are complicated for a team member to understand.
By considering the rate at which virtual workplaces are growing, it is very important for all entities to make use of them. The development of Internet technology is expected to continue advancing. Other technologies that include the ease of work include computer technologies such as tablet computers. There is also a lot of software that makes it possible for individuals to work. Such software may enhance the work, such as accounting software, scan computers for viruses, and upgrade the system among other things. These tools are meant to make the work of the virtual team easy. There are also communities on the relevant topics that help the virtual team with technical expertise and advice in times of difficulties. In other words, many resources assist the team as it works. Further, there is also an all day online support system attended by operators, who are aware of the entire customer service as well as technical information.
Although virtual workplace is such a wonderful concept, some scholars have proposed opposing views on its legitimacy. It could be said that such people are just pessimistic and unnecessarily fearful that technology would change status quo of some of the old ways of doing things. Specifically, some opponents cite the lack of enough security for virtual workplaces. With the rise of cybercrime, it has become difficult for some virtual workplaces, especially those that are faced with security challenges. As a result, hackers are known to use pseudo names to get things they are not supposed to get.Â In addition, such malicious individuals may hack the system of the company thus rendering the entire virtual team unable to work, since the basic operation has been tempered. However, by considering the benefits that come with technology and virtual workplaces, the issue of security can be dealt with using the same technology. Per se, intelligent software could be designed in such a way that it is able to track hackers of internet sites.
By looking at the rate at which online work has been transformed in the last five years, there is no doubt that virtual workplaces will become the order of the day. Other than work, there are already many communities as well as forums, where people of like-minded ideas. It is estimated that in the next two decades or so, almost all entities will be transacting their business through online communities or virtual workplaces. In any case, businesses have reached a point, where costs of operation are too much and may be forced to adopt offsite arrangements that would save them billions of money. This view considers online communities as an inevitable way of working in the future. Perhaps there will be computers with faster processors, faster Internet connections established and better information systems and databases that would aid workers thus making virtual workplaces as a necessary prerequisite for success.
This essay was geared towards discussing the importance of virtual work places. To achieve this, it began by defining what a virtual workplace is, followed by its advantages and then its future. There is no doubt that virtual workplaces lead to less time spent in commuting and reduced costs of operation. Furthermore, they are modern ways of doing things; a way that all entities are adopting thus any entity that does not adopt this technology is likely to offer redundant products. The future of virtual workplaces is very bright and thus they should be adopted.