RingCentral last week revealed data from a survey indicating the decline of traditional physical offices and growing interest in and use of virtual offices, executive suites, and other flexible officing solutions. The company conducted the survey from October 11 to November 16 of this year in order to understand the changing nature of how and where we work. Small to medium business (SMB) owners across the United States were included in the survey.
The company highlighted key findings from their survey:
- Nearly half (45%) of employees spend three quarters (75%) of their time conducting business away from the office.
- Only 15% of SMBs reported having all employees work from a single physical location.
- When working from outside the office, 80% of the businesses normally want to give the impression that their employees are in the office when receiving or making business phone calls outside of the office.
- The above trends, according to the survey, will continue to rise. For the year 2010, nearly two-thirds (67%) of SMBs are planning to hire more employees and over half of them (57%) are planning to have these new employees work remotely and/or with mobile capabilities.
The survey revealed that only 15% of businesses reported having all employees work from a single physical location. While virtual and mobile work situations were once the sole domain of field staff and freelancers, internet and mobile phones have made virtual offices and executive suitesmore mainstream solutions. Because companies are now able to access business systems from remote locations, employ virtual office models has become a more viable and more effective option.
RingCentral also credits the suffering economy for playing a significant role in the new age of the office. In an effort to keep expenses down and customer savings up, businesses of all sizes now actively pursue innovative solutions as alternatives to the high costs associated with traditional office space. With more flexible officing solutions, companies are now able to expand their talent pool throughout the world, whereas they were previously limited to their own geographical area.
The survey shows that 80% of the businesses normally want to give the impression that their employees are in the office when receiving or making business phone calls outside of the office. Professional communications are important to business owners and virtual office set-ups, which can include professional live answering, make this possible.
In a recent press release, RingCentral CEO Vlad Shmunis said, “This survey demonstrates that even with the trend toward a flexible, distributed office model, today’s business is not willing to compromise on the professionalism associated with a traditional office model.”
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