What is Virtual Working?
According to wikipedia: "A virtual workplace is a workplace that is not located in any one physical space. It is usually in a network of several workplaces technologically connected (via a private network or the Internet) without regard to geographic boundaries. Employees are thus able to interact in a Collaborative Working Environment regardless of where they are located. A virtual workplace integrates hardware, people, and online processes." As such virtually working is essentially employing a virtual workplace to work.
With Remote Work being more and more popular, today we will discuss how Virtual Working works today, and speculate what the future might hold!
Virtual Work Today
In an article by parallels "Virtual workspaces are mainly used for remote work with high performance and low cost. They rely on virtualization software, which abstracts operating systems, applications, and data from a computing device’s underlying hardware". From lists of tools and benefits a virtual workspace will have on your business, like this one from timecamp, we can see that a virtual workspace is starting to be a more popular approach
From articles telling firsthand stories from people that work remotely like this article by the Wall Street Journal to the Verge reporting on the company Square's decision to adopt a more permanent "work-from-home" policy, we can for sure expect a rise not only in companies choosing a more virtual workspace for their employees, but in more software (and maybe hardware) developed to meet the new demands.
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What makes remote working and virtual workspaces so appealing though? In numerous articles, including some of our own, CPL's insight and blogstaff's list, the subject has been talked about in detail. It offers the employees better ways to balance their life and their work, it is more comfortable and according to recent studies, more productive.
After the pandemic proved that working from home not only is a viable choice of operating your business, but also equally if not more productive way, many companies are thinking of moving forward with work from home policies. So lets speculate, what that means for the future of virtual workspace adds.
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There are already numerous programs that allow for remote work between co-workers. From slack, zoom, google meets and even Discord, used as means to create a virtual workspace, its only a matter of time, before better alternatives or more specialized alternatives appear.
It stands to reason that more companies might actually hire their own people to create their own custom platforms for virtual working, with smarter and more customization options for their own needs. What is useful for a tech company after all, might not be useful for an economics or law firm.
With virtual working expanding it might also provide the need for network security to prosper as a field. Already security is a major field of network engineering, and it stands to reason that it might become one of the dominant ones, should remote working become a commonplace thing, and each company starts to create their own virtual workspace.
This would also be a great opportunity for VR to actually do something that is not a nauseatingly horrible experience. VR offers the perfect way for you to be in the office, while from home. With clever interfaces linked to your own databases, workers might combine the whack-y nature of VR forums, with the workplace, creating a more enjoyable alternative to the dreaded "cubicle".
Of course there are many other ways in which VR might step up to fill in the slowly rising need for custom virtual workplaces, but I feel that there is a lot to be said for the future of remote working.
Virtual Work, a slight variation of Remote Working from what I understand, is something that we might see appear more often in the future. Due to the corona virus even previously staunch enemies of the "working form home" mentality had to find a way to make it work, and are thrilled by the results.
As with everything new, there will be plenty of opportunities to fill in the need of the market and so far, the benefits outweigh the risks.