Bridging the virtual gap: Videoconferencing vs. Virtual Office

We’re looking at the leading tools that help optimize the virtual work process: videoconferencing and virtual offices. Pinpoint which of each eliminates remote work constraints better and provides an easier user experience by considering their respective pros and cons.

· 3 min read
Bridging the virtual gap: Videoconferencing vs. Virtual Office

Where does the rise in remote work leave your company’s location strategy?

Whereas location is indeed one of the most crucial factors, circumstances have shifted the paradigm. The efforts in trying to maximize productivity no longer serve to specific hotspots, or fancy facilities and extensive maintenance costs. As Richard Florida writes in a Harvard Business Review article, even when it comes to location itself, the driving factor behind it is the talented and skilled human capital.

This is where remote work thrives. Giving a level playing field to talent, this manner of work is reshaping the priorities and contributing to productivity maximization beyond location’s abilities.

Today’s tools have been crafted specifically for these positive developments, and as such there is debate in which one of them to invest. We’re looking at the leading tools that help optimize the virtual work process: videoconferencing and virtual offices. Pinpoint which of each eliminates remote work constraints better and provides an easier user experience by considering their respective pros and cons:

Videoconferencing

Within the function of allowing basic video calls and presentations, videoconferences are a pretty solid option to invest in. Here are three top benefits of video conferences:

1. Communication with multiple team members, even in the ‘longest’ distances;

2. Screen-sharing options, as game changing features when presenting to a virtual team;

3. Voice Over Internet Protocol, which most of the videoconferencing tools use to allow frictionless communication.

4. Chat options, to augment any type of meeting with texting.

Virtual Offices

In contrast to the simplicity of videoconferencing tools, we are focusing on office simulations that virtual teams are increasingly using. With the utilization of remote work in the last years, these tools have been upgraded to especially mimic an office function for these teams with multiple additional features:

1. A shared simulation of an office, with all team members sharing the same virtual co-working space for endless communicating and brainstorming throughout the day

2. Microphone features, with mute/unmute options for properly controlling the audio tools while in office

3. Separate conference rooms with screen-sharing options, as the most effective option to remote conference events and meetings

4. Virtual lounge spaces to allow office banter and maintain a sustainable team collaboration beyond video calls and meetings

Which one should you choose?

Both solutions have been vital in accommodating the needs of working remotely for millions of companies, especially throughout a temporary pandemic crisis. They’re both enabling remote work. Doing the job, right?

Remote work is here to stay. Its vast practicality was especially felt during the pandemic, and now millions of companies are reshaping their strategies and compiling long-term plans for remote work.  In this sense, investing in the right communications tools is analogous to investing in all equipment and devices that enable work in a physical office.

There are two key factors to keep in mind when investing in the tools to ensure long-term remote work success for your team:

Sustainability- When being obligated to switch to remote work in a relatively short amount of time, you would go with whatever tool does its job. It is true that any video call or meeting is essentially going to do its job. However, setting up tools for long term remote work goes beyond a temporary period of time in which most of team members are fatigued. Some of the questions to ask in this regard would include: what tools would keep the company resilient for the long run? What tools would the team respond best to? What tools would work best when trying to achieve a unified and standard way for each member to use?

Collaboration- As beneficial as remote work is, isolation from the team can take up more effort when trying to collaborate. Any long term commitment to remote work needs a plan for ensuring collaboration. The tools you use in this regard would have to ensure a more synchronized way of use from the side of the team.