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Virtual offices ‘can change the business landscape’

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Thanks to options such as cloud computing and video conferencing it has never been easier to work from almost anywhere at any time.

For businesses, the development of the virtual office has made geographical restrictions and commuting issues things of the past.

A study conducted by Rackspace and Vanson Bourne in late 2012 found that 74 per cent of IT decision makers feel that access to cloud-based applications boosts their employee’s productivity.

Some 56 per cent of respondents also said that they expect usage of cloud platforms to grow significantly during this year.

New technologies are also helping firms to lower their carbon emissions, be more profitable because they can spend less on hardware and maintenance, and be able to compete in markets which were previously out of their reach.

Organising meetings with clients and suppliers is also a simple process now because they need for everyone to converge on one place at the same time is eradicated.

It also opens up the global market to a more competitive landscape, which is an ideal breeding ground for innovative ideas that are going to benefit potential customers.

The technologies also allow a more efficient recruitment process to be implemented. Indeed, previously firms may have only looked to take on skilled workers who live close to their premises, but now they can consider professionals from around the world.

Research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that flexible working schemes also help to retain skilled staff, improve overall morale amongst employees and decrease absenteeism.

REC also believes that it has contributed to many companies remaining viable during the economic downturn.

“Part-time working, contracting and other flexible solutions have been a significant factor in keeping people in work and companies in business during this recession,” said Kevin Green, REC’s chief executive.

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