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Charities utilising virtual office concept

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More charities are looking to cut down on the cost of rent and make use of the concept of virtual offices, according to member of a leading charity.

Helen Simmons of the Diocese of London has spoken of a trend she has noticed in other charities recently, with more employees working from home, in a feature she wrote for Third Sector.

As rent is one of the biggest expenses for any organisation, more and more are looking at ways to reduce this major outgoing.

One way is to engage in hot desking, which allows a business or charity to downsize its office space, as employees take it in turns to come into work and share the desks available.

Virtual offices are one step further than this with only the most vital aspects of a business stemming from a small rented space or outsourced entirely.

As well as helping to balance the budget it can be beneficial in a number of ways, as the traditional nine to five doesn’t suit every modern lifestyle and travel costs are also minimised.

Since charitable organisations use their funds to help those most in need it makes sense that any money that can be saved in this way is a good thing, as it can be channelled for a different use.

Ms Simmons wrote: “Working from home’ is no longer code for ‘looking after the kids and eating toast in your PJs while watching Grimefighters.”

She suggested that with Skype and video conferencing technologies being well established, offices may be a luxury many charities can ill afford.

Meanwhile the Anywhere Working Consortium has recently launched an online portal in order to help organisations to make the transition to flexible working for employees simpler.

Since businesses are using it to their advantage there is no reason why charities cannot do the same.