It's the 21st century—yes; virtual co working is now a concept. Virtual co working spaces provide many of the same benefits as physical co working spaces, but without everyone being in the same place. Those who use a virtual co working space get the same sense of community and other co working benefits, but without constant interruptions or having to go to a specific location. Most virtual co working spaces even have virtual floor plans, so you can feel as if you are truly in the same office and even virtually knock on doors or go to a meeting.
Comparing Virtual and Current Co working Spaces
In most co working spaces, you physically go to the space to get work done, then sit at a desk and interact with people throughout the day, enjoying amenities like coffee and printing. With a virtual co working space, you work from wherever you are, such as your home, so you do not physically sit in the space or get access to amenities. You do, however, virtually sit at a specific desk in the virtual floor plan, go to virtual locations like phone booths and meeting rooms, and get to interact with others in a virtual setting.
Benefits of Virtual and Online Co working Spaces
Many of the benefits associated with online-first or online-only co working spaces are very similar to those of physical spaces. With a physical co working space, you actually have people around you, so you do not feel lonely during the workday. With a virtual space, you get the same feeling even if you are working from home. Just pressing a button lets you interact with others, and you can view the virtual map to see where everyone is at a given moment in time.
Virtual spaces also make it possible to see what others are working on at any given moment or view where they are. For example, you can see if there's a meeting in the virtual meeting room or if anyone is taking a phone call in the virtual phone booth. Most virtual co working spaces even have customizable rooms, making it possible to let others in the virtual world know what you are working on. This is particularly useful for those working on team projects, as everyone can stay on the same page.
One way that virtual co working dramatically improves upon regular co working is by giving users the ability to interact with those who are on the other side of the world. It is physically impossible to share a co working space if you are in North America and someone else is in Europe or Asia, but you can easily do this with virtual co working. As such, virtual co working allows for an extra layer of teamwork, even if you are nowhere near each other geographically.
Future Co working with Virtual Spaces
Virtual co working is already growing in popularity due to its flexibility, low costs, and benefits mentioned above. Future co working is likely to incorporate a virtual element, particularly as virtual reality and other technologies advance.
Recently, more and more companies have begun to offer flexible remote work opportunities, oftentimes spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, as they realize that physically being in an office doesn't always mean higher productivity for workers. The virtual co working trend has also started to grow in popularity as a way for traditional co working spaces to retain existing members—and attract new ones—when many employees and freelancers were forced to work from home rather than physically be with others during the workday.
With all these factors in mind, there's no question that virtual co working spaces will continue growing in popularity. In fact, there are already companies offering virtual co working spaces and many others who use these services.
For example, Lakdi - The Furniture Co. gives you a virtual floor plan with avatars for each employee, so everyone can see where the others are and get an idea of what they are working on. People can still knock on virtual doors before entering a room or shut a virtual door if they do not want to be disturbed.
On a similar note, MyWorkHive lets those who work remotely interact with others, learning together and sharing experiences. It aims to help provide a sense of community to encourage productivity.
As technology advances—specifically virtual reality technology—virtual co working is likely to become even more popular. The number of virtual co working companies has the potential to grow, with many experts predicting that future co working spaces will more than likely choose to include this type of virtual element.
Source of content: https://www.coworkingresources.org/
Source of Image: Google