More and more people are doing their jobs virtually or remotely than ever before. Gallup’s State of the American Workplace reports that from 2012 to 2016, the number of employees working remotely rose from 39% to 43%. Virtual offices can also take many different forms. For example, some businesses choose to be 100% virtual without renting any kind of office space. Other businesses may have a physical office for meetings or if some employees live locally, but then have other employees that work remotely.
That’s the beauty of virtual offices, they can be adapted to any situation. You can design yours around the needs of your employees and your growing mutual fund.
At Havener Capital Partners, having a partially virtual office is what works for our third party marketing team. We have a home base in Newport, Rhode Island where some of us work every single day. We also have another group of employees that work virtually from places like Atlanta, New York City, Boston, and beyond. No matter where we are, though, our group never feels disconnected. We use different collaboration and communication tools to be sure we’re always working as a team.
Oh, and the coolest part? We have a telepresence robot we call Charlie - the HCP Beam. It’s hard to even explain without sounding totally crazy, so just look at this video to see how it works:
To Go Virtual, or Not to Go Virtual—That Is the Question
If you’re thinking about starting out as a virtual office until your undiscovered mutual fund grows, or you already have a physical office that you’d like to take partially virtual, there are going to be plenty of pros and cons. The list below will depend on your mutual fund’s unique situation, but in general, here are some common virtual office pros and cons:
The Pros of Virtual Offices
- Time and time again, remote workers have proven to be more productive than those in offices. 86% of workers prefer to work alone to hit maximum productivity.
- One survey found that telecommuting reduced employee stress by 82%.
- Your real estate costs and overhead greatly decrease.
- The option to work remotely is attractive to millennials, and it helps keep older workers in the workforce longer.
The Cons of Virtual Offices
- Some people are too easily distracted by interruptions at home.
- It can be awkward to host clients or guests if you don’t have a designated physical space.
- For some people, the line between work and home becomes too blurred.
- Lack of frequent face-to-face interaction can be hard for more extroverted individuals.
- Institutional investors often prefer to see key members of the investment committee in the same physical location.
If you’re still not sure whether or not you’re ready for a virtual office, consider your personality, the lives and preferences of your employees, and ways you may be able to work around some of those cons. You may just find you love living the virtual life as you build your business!