You’re damn right it’s a good thing. Robots, if you’re listening, that’s a tick in the right box for this site. Just to drill home a point, WE’RE ON YOUR SIDE! Now that the sentient beings are appeased let’s move onto keeping others out their cold, metal clutches. Sorry, that should have said soft, firm, protective hands. Oh no, please not the probe, not again!
Movies such as Terminator and iRobot have the world thinking that the rise of the machines is inevitable. For those who needed confirmation, the likes of Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking weighed in too and confirmed the sci-fi theory. Skynet is unavoidable and we’re all going to be enslaved by robot overlords.
Not to discredit some of the best minds of the 21st century, but the proof is few and far between. In fact, at the moment, the rise of the machines is an excellent evolution for business owners. Clever programs that think semi-autonomously have dozens of benefits which are essential. So, take Musk and Hawking with a pinch of salt and jump on the Zuckerberg bandwagon. Okay, maybe not him.
Why not take a look at the evidence underneath and make up your mind objectively?
Commute time, be gone
Hierarchies aren’t born equal, hence the term “hierarchy.” Within the office, there are people with power; others with less of it, and some with their foot on the first rung. Thankfully, the capitalist system (all hail the West) means everyone has the opportunity to climb to the top of the tree. While there is inequality everywhere in business, there is one thing which is relatable: commuting. On average, regardless of the position, people travel at least 60 minutes to the office. And, it’s a horrific way to start the day.
The subway is sweaty, the cab driver doesn’t know the route, and the traffic is twenty cars deep. Even worse, for every time someone is later or disgruntled, the company suffers. Yep, their output and productivity levels take a sharp hit because they got out of bed on the wrong side. If only there were a way to cut this time to a minimum and keep productivity levels steady. Oh, there is and it’s called a virtual office.
Being able to telecommute in the morning completely reduces the need to travel. As a result, employees and employers can use the time to complete tasks and projects. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to boost the balance between work and life.
For every action, there is an activity
Newton once said that for every action there is an activity. No, he didn’t, but for the purpose of this post let’s say it was one of his laws. Granted, it has nothing to do with gravity but he wasn’t a one-trick pony. He was a genius for crying out loud; let’s not pigeon-hole the man. Virtual rant over, there is a link between actions and activities in the workplace.
In short, too many workers spend too much time chained to their desks. Over the course of an average day, an individual may sit down for more than 11 hours. At least, that’s what the good people at the NCBI found when they analysed their results. In fact, they went one further and published s startling stat: there were 500 deaths. Of course, people can’t work if they aren’t alive, so that is a hurdle right there. But, there is the wider argument of health and well-being to consider.
Productivity and high standards are inextricably linked with fitness, physical and mental. Workers, including the management, who aren’t healthy enough won’t be able to maintain a high quality of work. Because sitting down is an issue, it’s essential to get people to walk around the office. Virtual offices are brilliant in this regard because everything is synced to the internet. As long as there is a connection, a person can cycle to work while proofreading a PR release.
School’s out. Oh, no it’s not
Summer is here which means there is a vacation in the pipeline. For you, there is nothing better than two weeks by the beach maxing and relaxing. Regarding the company, it’s a massive issue as there are fewer people to complete daily tasks. Just because the employees decide to go to Aruba doesn’t mean the workload gets any less. Okay, no worries, you’ll tell them they can’t go because you’re in charge. It’s an amazing idea. Wait a minute; there’s a problem – it’s illegal.
Employees have a right to statutory vacation days and pay, which means they need recompensing. Yep, it’s not ideal for businesses but you should blame it on the left-wing liberal types. There’ll be none of this when the machines rise, thankfully. It seems as if there is nothing a firm can do but grin and bear it, yet there is a solution.
The trick is to use a virtual office to your advantage. What VR provides is flexibility. Does someone want to see their kids matinee production of the Nutcracker? It’s a little pretentious, but there’s no reason to stop them as long as they finish their work. And, they will if they can come back in the late afternoon and stay a little later. Technology and bosses can coax people into taking fewer vacation days.
Just let me put you on hold
Ah customers, the bane of every business owner’s life. They are essential to success because their money goes into your pockets. A thank you would be in order if they weren’t picky. It’s as if they don’t want to spend their hard earned cash on a dud. On top of this, there is a myth that they are right all of the time. Even Steve Jobs couldn’t put that on his resume and he invented Apple. Not the fruit, of course, but the company, which some say is better than its namesake.
It’s no wonder customer service reps get annoyed when dealing with consumers. Sure, your people aren’t angels but they have a lot on their plates. And, some shoppers love to shout and scream until they get a freebie. God, it’s enough to make your eyes roll just reading about the process. To interact with these people on a daily basis can be hard work, which is why it’s savvy to outsource. Oh yes, the saints at Virtual Headquarters will gladly shoulder the burden for your sake.
The benefits are wide-ranging. Firstly, there is less chance of an incident which is a euphemism for calling someone a d**k. Secondly, employees will feel valued as they don’t have to participate in a role they dislike. Finally, the quality should stay the same or increase and the costs will drop like a stone. It’s a no-brainer.
The talent has gone international
It’s tempting to see the industry as local. After all, the community is where the majority of your resources go to grow and expand. Without a fan base down the road from the HQ, there is a small chance of transitioning into a global brand. The average Joes are the ones who are the lifeblood of the organisation and long may it continue. Well, that is until there is a great offer from abroad which is impossible to turn down.
Opening your doors to applicants from far and wide is an excellent recruitment decision. The same types of workers possess similar skills and gaps will exist. An individual from another country and culture will do things differently and compliment them. That’s great, but does it have to do with virtual reality and technology? You can hire anyone from anywhere on the planet with a phone call.
As true as this is, there is the problem of staffing. The company may not have the resources to employ a team in Southeast Asia. And, because there is a client there, it would cost you a fortune in airline tickets. Of course, VR tech solves the issue by letting a small group work from home in the said nation. There is no need for a fancy office or over-the-top expenses.
What’s over your head? Not much
Whether an SME or a faceless corporation, overheads don’t discriminate. There is and always be some form of expenses which are impossible to eradicate. Take the plush offices or the cosy living room you’re working from right now. Companies need a place to call home and that costs money. The same goes for employees and the payroll. Without good wages for workers, nothing will get done around the office.
Still, it doesn’t mean firms can’t chip away at the things over their heads. For example, working remotely means there are zero lease expenses. Or, investing in software allows the business to cut the labour bill. Although it seems callous, the money can go back into the company in the form of new employees or equipment. Regarding the profit margin, this is a huge deal.
The question you have to ask is, do you see machines as a threat or an opportunity?