The virtual workplace (a.k.a virtual office, virtual workspace or virtual coworking space) isn’t a buzzword - it’s a growing means of keeping your employees happy, productive, and connected to one another and to their work. According to Buffer’s 2020 State of Remote Report, 98% of remote workers want to continue to work remotely (at least part of the time) for the rest of their careers. At the same time, these workers report that their two biggest struggles are collaboration and communication (20%) and loneliness (20%).
Virtual workplaces are the key to effectively supporting your employees no matter where they work and solving these remote work challenges. Below, we answer several common questions about virtual workplaces and how to use them to effectively support your teams, regardless of their location.
A virtual workplace, also known as a virtual workspace, virtual office or virtual coworking space, is a platform that brings employees together to work, collaborate, and socialize remotely--whether in place of, or in addition to, a physical office. Virtual workplaces can be useful for all work models, including standard companies working from one office, distributed international companies, and full remote companies. [Link to or create a CTA driving to the models of work blog post]
There are many benefits to implementing a virtual workplace. The following are 5 of the top benefits virtual coworking workspaces can provide your teams:
The use cases for a virtual workplace are only limited by your imagination! Across our customers at Kosy, we’ve seen many interesting use cases for our virtual coworking platform, including:
International and Distributed Offices
A virtual office can help your international teams connect in situations where they do not share the same physical office.
For teams that are fully remote, a virtual workplace essentially replaces the physical office, giving teams a place to connect and work together online.
Work from Home Days
For hybrid companies, a virtual coworking space gives employees a way to connect during the days they work from home. This allows teams to collaborate effectively and seamlessly no matter what day of the week it is or where they are located.
A virtual workplace can be used for online office hours, giving your IT, HR, and other teams a dedicated space to be available for questions and support throughout the day. Managers and executives can also use virtual office hours to give employees access to ask questions, creating more transparency and trust in your organization.
When working on a new project with remote/distributed members, a virtual office brings everyone together around a virtual table to cowork and reach out whenever they want. Dedicated project rooms remove communication barriers that can slow projects down.
Start the day with a virtual team stand-up in a dedicated virtual coworking space. If any topic needs to be addressed further, pop into your own room to settle quickly before starting the day.
New Hire Onboarding
A virtual workplace makes it easy to onboard new hires. For example, we train our junior employees by seating them in a virtual coworking space with more senior staff, so they can ask questions at any time. This makes the onboarding process smoother and less intimidating than the new hire having to email or request a meeting every time they need help.
Virtual Parties and Events
To increase team cohesion, host virtual parties and team events in the Kosy virtual office platform. People can talk about their interests, play games together, and more. This helps nurture long-term relationships. Learn more about how a virtual workplace can help increase employee engagement and satisfaction.
The value of a physical office was easily visualizing how your teams worked together and who was doing what from an organizational perspective. In the virtual world, that becomes more challenging. You can try to replicate that with an old outdated organizational structure chart (example below), but it's very hard to imagine.
There is no one right way to structure a virtual office. With the Kosy virtual office platform, you can build your own virtual office and structure it in a way that makes sense for your organization and continuously change it as your organisation evolves! The companies we work with typically structure their teams in 4 different ways:
How often you use a virtual coworking space really varies by team and organization. Some organizations may want to be connected 8 hours a day, while others may get the same value from being connected only 2 hours per week. This really depends on the level of collaboration needed within a specific team. In general, we recommend starting by bringing people on board a few times a week and then increasing or decreasing as needed.
Virtual coworking spaces let your teams work however they want, wherever they want, without skipping a beat. Not sure how to get started with a virtual workspace in your organization? Kosy is here to help. Our virtual office platform makes it easy to create custom virtual offices built to meet your organization’s unique needs.