Virtual workplace

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A virtual workplace is a work environment where employees can perform their duties remotely, using technology such as laptops, smartphones, and video conferencing tools. A virtual workplace is not located in any one physical space. It is usually 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.[1]

The phenomenon of a virtual workplace has grown in the 2000s as advances in technology have made it easier for employees to work from anywhere with an internet connection.

The virtual workplace industry includes companies that offer remote work solutions, such as virtual meeting (teleconference) software and project management tools. Consulting firms can also help companies transition to a virtual workplace if needed. The latest technology evolution in the space is virtual office software which allows companies to gather all their team members in one virtual workplace. [2] Companies in a variety of industries, including technology, finance, and healthcare, are turning to virtual workplaces to increase employee flexibility and productivity, reduce office costs, and attract and retain top talent.


As information technology began to play a greater role in the daily operations of organizations, virtual workplaces developed as an augmentation or alternative to traditional work environments of rooms, cubicles and office buildings.

In 2010, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 required each Executive agency in the United States to establish a policy allowing remote work to the maximum extent possible, so long as employee performance is not diminished.[3][4][5]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of workers began remote work for the first time.[6]

Research from IWG found that 70% of employees globally work remotely at least one day every week, and more than half do so at least half of the week.[7]

Cities in which the population of remote workers increased significantly were referred to as Zoom towns.[8]


Individual virtual workplaces vary in how they apply existing technology to facilitate team cooperation:

  1. Remote work: the availability and use of communications technologies, such as the Internet, to work in an offsite location.
  2. Hot desking: employees do not have individual desks but are rather each day allocated to a desk where they can access technology services including the Internet, email and computer network files. This is similar to "Hoteling": recognizing that employees spend more time at clients' offices than at the employer's office, they are not assigned a permanent desk.
  3. Virtual team: employees collaborate by working closely together and in regular contact, although physically located in different parts of the world.


There are several factors that drive the interest in using virtual workplaces.

Office space and its cost[edit]

Office space has become a major expense for many organisations,[9] and virtual meetings can save money[10] by being a direct substitute of meeting face to face.[11] One response has been to reduce the amount of space each employee occupies. Another is to increase the flexibility of the office's layout and design.[citation needed] It is not easy to make the most of these approaches and keep employees happy — unless flexible work practices are also used.[citation needed]

Fuel and energy costs[edit]

The expenses of the energy consumption to physically commute are increasing rapidly. Planners and public policymakers share a strong belief that remote work with a virtual workspace is one of the most sustainable and competitive modes of commuting in terms of travel time and cost, flexibility, and environmental impacts.[12]


Some common challenges are:

  1. Failure to leverage the technology that supports virtual workplaces, resulting in decreased productivity[citation needed]
  2. Lack of human contact could cause decreased team spirit, trust and productivity (and researchers indicate trust is a vital aspect)[13]
  3. Increased sensitivity to communication, interpersonal and cultural factors[14]
  4. Cultural diversity is not yet achieving the expected benefits [15]
  5. Virtual offices might cause a lack of social interactions and creativity, since the on-site office is often one of the most important source of stress for employees.[16]

Virtual workplace software[edit]

  • Productivity management(Performance_management): ensures remote workers are doing their work by using time-tracking tools and productivity reports.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Getting started — eXo Platform 5.3 documentation - Space definition". Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  2. ^ Woo, Erin (2021-07-06). "Work at Home or the Office? Either Way, There's a Start-Up for That". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  3. ^ "Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (2010 - H.R. 1722)". Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  4. ^ "Legislation -". U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  5. ^ "Statement by the Press Secretary". 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  6. ^ "'Work from anywhere' is here to stay. How will it change our workplaces?". San Diego Union-Tribune. 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  7. ^ Browne, Ryan. "70% of people globally work remotely at least once a week, study says". CNBC. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  8. ^ Rosalsky, Greg (September 8, 2020). "Zoom Towns And The New Housing Market For The 2 Americas".
  9. ^ Carter Jonas. "With London office rents predicted to increase by 13% by 2017, tenants are seeking ways to reduce their property footprint". Carter Jonas. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  10. ^ Verderber, Rudolph F.; Verderber, Kathleen S.; Sellnow, Deanna D. (2014-01-01). COMM3. Cengage Learning. p. 122. ISBN 978-1-305-43696-1.
  11. ^ Anna, Mellin; Alice, Dahlstrand; Anders, Lewald; David, Mowitz (2021-02-01). Sustainable Nordic cities with focus on climate smart mobility. Nordic Council of Ministers. p. 16. ISBN 978-92-893-6923-7.
  12. ^ Kim, Seung-Nam (2017-02-07). "Is telecommuting sustainable? An alternative approach to estimating the impact of home-based telecommuting on household travel". International Journal of Sustainable Transportation. 11 (2): 72–85. doi:10.1080/15568318.2016.1193779. ISSN 1556-8318. S2CID 156991681.
  13. ^ Harney, Owen; Hogan, Michael J.; Broome, Benjamin J. (December 2012). "Collaborative learning: the effects of trust and open and closed dynamics on consensus and efficacy" (pdf). Social Psychology of Education. 15 (4): 517–532. doi:10.1007/s11218-012-9202-6. ISSN 1573-1928. OCLC 11218. S2CID 40620898.
  14. ^ "25 Tips to Help You Manage a High-Performing Virtual Team". Biz 3.0. 2018-05-03. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  15. ^ Han, Soo Jeoung; Beyerlen, Michael (August 2016). "Framing the Effects of Multinational Cultural Diversity on Virtual Team Processes". Small Group Research. 47 (4): 351–383. doi:10.1177/1046496416653480. ISSN 1046-4964. S2CID 148547063.
  16. ^ Stich, Jean-François (2020-07-02). "A review of workplace stress in the virtual office". Intelligent Buildings International. 12 (3): 208–220. doi:10.1080/17508975.2020.1759023. ISSN 1750-8975. S2CID 218949023.
  17. ^ "Best Project Management Software Of 2023 – Forbes Advisor". Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  18. ^ "What is productivity software?". Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  19. ^ "Best Video Conferencing Software Of 2023 – Forbes Advisor". Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  20. ^ "What is Cloud Storage? Cloud Storage Definition | Search Storage". Storage. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  21. ^ Lu, Yiren; Abella, Derek (2021-02-17). "The Race to Fix Virtual Meetings". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  22. ^ "What is employee engagement software? | Definition from TechTarget". HR Software. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  23. ^ "8 Best Antivirus Software (February 2023) – Forbes Advisor". Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  24. ^ "Using digital technology to support employees' mental health | McKinsey". Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  25. ^ Doctor, Time (2021-04-23). "10 of the Best Virtual Office Software Your Team Needs for 2023". Time Doctor Blog. Retrieved 2023-02-15.