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The virtual office: Is it worth the hassle?

September 9, 2010

Letbs face it—more and more companies are leaning toward the concept of a virtual office, due in part to the current state of our economy. The idea of working from home is very appealing to employees since they can choose the setting in which they work and wear whatever they want. Employers might like the idea that business expenses can be drastically cut. As with any major business decision, there are some serious issues to consider.

As reported on E-Commerce Times, managers are still clinging to the philosophy that working from home results in lower productivity from employees, as well as wasted resources. An additional concern for managers is that when employees work from home they cannot be managed as effectively as they would if everyone were in the same physical location. A shocking discovery from a study commissioned by Citrix Online revealed that one-fifth of U.S. respondents would willingly give up 5 percent of their salary in order to work away from the office one or two times per week.

The biggest challenge for employers is effective management when it comes to the virtual office. Virtual workplace environments should have set standards and be managed like any other business plan. Another big challenge for managers is virtual security. In general, employee-owned devices cause a great deal of concern since they are not controlled by IT organizations and can be improperly figured. Unauthorized or insecure access to the company Intranet raises a great deal of concern over data leakage from notebooks when firewalls have been opened in order to support teleworkers.

Obviously, there are many things to think about before setting up a virtual office. We want to know if it would be worth the hassle. Leave us a comment and tell us what you think.

Photo credit: Commuteconnection.com.

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