Many people who have worked from home for years have discovered that a desk and chair, no matter how ergonomic, cannot truly capture the atmosphere of a traditional office.
For many avid office workers, remote work has no clear boundaries, and some are trying to bring something more elusive to their home offices: the sense of responsibility that comes from having someone watching them while they work. Well, virtual coworking spaces are ready to provide such an opportunity.
What is virtual coworking in a nutshell?
Many remote workers as well as top-notch entrepreneurs absolutely adore coworking spaces. As a rule, freelancers go for them for comfortable working spots, interactive, fun spaces with semi-private areas, expansion of the circle of communication and new opportunities. At the same time business representatives choose coworking spaces along with virtual office spaces as event venues, since in-person events are one of the finest methods to bring in new customers.
However, as internet speeds increase year after year, ever more people get faster connections that open up a world of impossible possibilities. This is how virtual coworkings appeared. In general, these are online platforms where users can work from virtual rooms, everyone has a camera with which all the “inhabitants” of the coworking space can chat with each other as if it were real.
Numerous virtual coworking spaces allow you to be under surveillance and still avoid the boss tracking results or colleagues who may need something. These platforms are particularly well-liked by independent contractors, business owners, students, and ADHD sufferers who want structure and responsibility.
They combine the independence of working remotely with the added attention that comes from having someone close – at a Zoom screen.
Also, different services use different approaches. Some will have productive “cycles” where work is interspersed with regular short breaks, like the Pomodoro timer. Others are more like webcam lobbies where you can log in, do some work, and then log out again.
Since communication and networking is an important part of coworking, some of these services even allow you to “knock” on virtual doors and set up meetings with other people in a virtual office.
What is the effectiveness of virtual coworking?
The dreamy idea is that virtual platforms help recreate some sense of responsibility. You are in a professional environment, people are doing their job, and you have to do it too.
Remote workers typically value autonomy and independence, and that their productivity is negatively impacted by supervision from managers. But when other people are working around you, for example, in a cafe, this is a signal and a sign of work. In recent months, physical coworking spaces have attracted more and more people due to this too.
At the same time, fans of virtual coworking often call productivity an advantage, but not everyone uses this term. Others say that virtual spaces simply help improve relationships toward work as well as at work.
As in a real-life office setting, users of these virtual coworking spaces can develop friendships over time that evolve into professional and even personal relationships.
Along with networking, virtual offices can also be useful to remote teams in strengthening informal and creative relationships as a team.
Most of all, new employees of remote teams have to deal with it – it has become more difficult for them to join the team. They get the feeling of being an alienated freelancer rather than part of the project team. And a long-established team has difficulties due to an inaccurate understanding of tasks, and feedback on them – as if something is missing.
People in remote teams just started to wean themselves from each other.
Virtual offices help to restore the former atmosphere, reduce preparation for online calls, discuss tasks live or just chat on abstract topics without Telegram or Zoom calls.
Thanks to virtual offices, there is a feeling of a working day. In the morning at 10:00 you enter the hall, and at the end of the working day you close the tab with the “office”.
However, no software can replace live communication and direct eye contact, so the optimal solution for teams will be the following formula: one meeting per week in a coworking space and 4 days in an “online office”.
In essence, coworking spaces provide a wide range of advantages, including the following:
● It prevents fatigue, combats loneliness, and gives you more networking opportunities.
● There will be countless social occasions.
● It costs a lot less than actual coworking places.
● You maintain the same coworking area wherever you travel, making it perfect for introverts and those with impairments and chronic illnesses.
● It’s a great method to collaborate with others in a team.
Is virtual coworking a good fit for you?
Now we know that virtual coworking spaces can do wonderful things for career and mental health. However, how can you be certain that virtual coworking is the best option for you?
Until you give virtual coworking a try, you won’t truly know if it’s suited for you. Here are some signs that it could be successful for you:
1. Working alone makes you lonely
2. Your creativity or productivity suffers while you work alone
3. Your internet is stable and quick
4. Your coworkers are located in the same or nearby time zones
Although it could appear to be one of the numerous fads brought on by recent technical advancements, virtual coworking is truly beneficial. When utilized properly, it may improve communication and networking opportunities as well as creativity, productivity, and cooperation in you or your team.
Because of its adaptability, affordability, and the advantages listed above, virtual coworking is already gaining in popularity. Virtual components will probably be included in coworking spaces in the future, especially as virtual reality and other technologies develop.
Businesses are starting to provide flexible remote work options as more people realize that having employees physically present at the office doesn’t always equate into increased employee productivity. The virtual coworking trend is becoming more and more popular as a result of the fact that many employees and independent contractors are forced to work from home rather than contact with other people in person throughout the workday.
Considering all these factors, there is no doubt that the popularity of virtual coworking spaces will only boost. In reality, there are already businesses providing virtual coworking spaces, and many people using these services.
For instance, Sococo gives each employee an avatar and a virtual plan so that everyone can see what others are working on. Virtual doors can still be closed if someone doesn’t want to be bothered or knocked on before entering a space.
Similar to this, MyWorkHive enables folks who work remotely to communicate, collaborate, and exchange experiences. It seeks to contribute to fostering a sense of community to boost productivity.
Virtual coworking spaces are expected to grow in popularity as technology, particularly virtual reality technology, develops. According to many experts, there may be an increase in the number of virtual coworking companies, and future coworking spaces are likely to have this kind of virtual component.
So why not use modern technology to work virtually while being inspired and engaged in your work? In the end, you stand to gain a more successful career and a happier personal life.