The Virtual Office – We’ve Come A Long Way Baby!April 8th, 2010 by Megan McKenzie
It’s interesting to see how the idea of the virtual office has evolved and mirrored the advancement of the technologies available. When I heard that Inc. Magazine had produced an entire issue virtually, I was intrigued. One of Inc. Magazine’s staff writers came up with the notion of making an article idea about working remotely, “The Case and the Plan for the Virtual Company,” more personal by implementing a virtual office for the entire magazine staff for a month. You can read and listen to the results for yourself but the net of it is that they were able to put this issue out without any of the staff members working in the main office.
One of the more surprising aspects of this story is that the entire staff was able to continue to do their jobs remotely without buying any new technology, software or equipment. Ten years ago, when people were just starting to talk about the possibilities of working remotely, the argument often raised was the complication and expense of setting up a home office. At the time there were naysayers who also questioned whether or not effective communication could still take place. Now with just about every home having a computer, or better yet a laptop, and free technologies such as Skype it appears that many of these objections are no longer issues.
Many people working from home have experienced a significant increase in productivity. In the NPR podcast, “Magazine Staff Produces Entire Issue from Home,” Jane Berenston, Editor of Inc. Magazine, substantiates that point saying that staff writers found they were much more productive when they were working at home and often lost track of time while they finished a story. Berenston also reported that her staff was able to utilize the time they would have spent commuting by getting more work done. Talk about a “Green” work lifestyle!
All in all, a great article and podcast.