#15 - Virtual Offices
Remote work made the positive parts of office life more difficult: bumping into a co-worker randomly, quick chats, spontaneous brainstorming and knowing who's truly available.
Virtual offices bring back the advantages of a physical office by simulating the real-world spatial and audial experience.
Select the right tool for your purposes.
Use the virtual office to your advantage.
Collaboration and communication happen organically in virtual offices. The feeling of isolation is lower. Breaks tend to be more social.
Virtual office apps can act as a meta-coordination layer for other apps and events. As Teamflow puts it, the point is to eliminate the "Cmd + Tab fatigue".
If people hated offices in the first place, why would recreating one virtually solve anything? Synchronous work does not work for all people. In the worst case, there could also be a temptation to control employees. Virtual offices are definitely not a panacea.
Many argue that remote work succeeds best with async methods. Especially so when teams are spread across different time zones.
Multiple virtual office platforms have secured significant funding rounds. Teamflow has raised a total of $14.9 million. Gather got $26 million in March 2021. Teemyco received $1 million in September 2020.
Teamflow is reportedly making hundreds of thousands of monthly revenue only after 2 months of operation.
Gather is making a revenue of $400,000/month.
2D is just the start. Infinite Office, Spatial and Arthur let you create immersive 3D meeting rooms and handle virtual objects that the whole team can interact with. Actual location will dictate less and less where and how we can work.
Can "virtual offices" really foster serendipity and cohesion? - Best practices for getting most out of virtual offices.
Where's the virtual water cooler? - Remote work could favor introverts and those who want to think before acting.
Most office equipment has already been replaced with software. Now the same is happening with the actual office spaces.
2D visual approaches to office layouts are just the start. Next years will see even more immersive office experiences as VR and AR kick in.
Thanks for reading. See you next week!