Cutting down on expenses is becoming increasingly important to companies everywhere. At the same time, most businesses are becoming more aware of the need to reduce their carbon footprint. One way to efficiently save on overheads and reduce carbon footprints at the same time is to have a virtual office. Instead of having to pay out on rent, electricity, etc for a physical building, companies take advantage of this technology to allow their employees to work from home, or wherever else they happen to be. This not only reduces the cost incurred through having an actual office complex, it allows for substantial savings on commuting. While this may not save the company much or anything, as commuting costs are typically born by employees, it does reduce a company's carbon footprint. Simply suggesting the use the use of a virtual office typically results in around a quarter of employees taking advantage of this facility, while making it mandatory has shown a 36 per cent increase in telecommuters, subsequently having a much more significant effect on carbon footprint reduction. Related technologies Having a virtual office does not only cut down on general overheads and commuting to and from work. Thanks to related technologies, it is also possible to make significant savings, as well as further reducing carbon footprints, through unified collaboration and communication, video conferencing, mobility and overall presence. Major conferences used to involve a lot of planning in order to allow all required attendees to be at the conference in time. This often involved air travel, hotel bookings, and so on, as well as making it necessary for all individuals to be available. Video conferencing, on the other hand, allows company members to participate in conferences from anywhere in the world, without air fares or hotel rooms having to be paid for. Even individuals on holiday or sick leave are able to attend from their location. Naturally, the removed need for air travel will again cut down significantly on the company's carbon footprint. Increasing efficiency and productivity Unified collaboration and communication increases employee efficiency, as decisions can be made quicker and in a more informed manner. By creating a virtual presence, companies can be reached by clients and suppliers at all times, further increasing productivity and efficiency. Because the need to commute, and thereby the time used to get to and from work, is removed, employees are able to make better use of their time. Rather than spending hours stuck in rush-hour traffic, they are able to get on with their duties as and when required. This, of course, is of advantage not only for the company, but also for the employees, who no longer have to deal with the stress of commuting. They will be fresh, alert and ready to take on their duties and still have more time to spend with their families or indulging in their favorite leisure activities. Overall advantages of virtual office technology In short, introducing virtual technology into the infrastructure of a company, including cloud computing, web conferencing, establishing of a virtual presence, and so on, can effectively save between 20 and 25 per cent on energy costs; substantially reduce travel time and costs for employees and company alike, and significantly reduce cost on supplies, required hardware, software and maintenance. As a result, a company's carbon footprint is dramatically reduced, especially if virtual technology is combined with environmentally friendly energy supplies, such as solar panels or other green energy sources for example. In addition, improved flexibility, shared applications, ease of communication and collaboration reduces stress and increases efficiency and productivity among the work force. Photo credit: searchofficespace.com Bio: Servcorp offers the world's finest serviced and virtual office solutions. Founded in Sydney in 1978, Servcorp now operates an international network of prime city locations including our virtual office in London.