Disadvantages of a Virtual office for Businesses


Whilst a virtual office can save money for companies as well as for individuals, there are however, a number of disadvantages for companies which use a virtual office for some or all of their operations. There are also disadvantages for individuals who choose a virtual office arrangement to work for an employer or as an independent consultant or entrepreneur. Such disadvantages to virtual offices are listed below.


Lack of Interaction

For companies which employ telecommuters, lack of interaction can be a major problem. This is especially true for projects which require brainstorming or input from several members of a project group. Teleconferencing and virtual reality programs such as Second Life attempt to recreate this sense of real-time interaction; however, technical limitations and malfunctions mean that such efforts still often fall short.

Unprofessional Image

Virtual office arrangements to cover such functions as handling telephone messages can result in an unprofessional image for the company. Many services are shared among many companies, which means that the operators are often unable to answer specific questions customers or clients may have. Additionally telecommuters are also often assumed to be less professional by their colleagues in the office as well as by customers and clients. Potential clients may also view entrepreneurs who work from home as being less professional than those who have a physical office in another location.

Decreased Productivity

Without proper discipline, it is very easy for entrepreneurs to become distracted by outside influences such as television, telephone calls or demands from children. It is also very difficult to supervise employees in a virtual office or telecommuting arrangement, which can sometimes lead to abuse. Productivity can also suffer when, for instance, important documents must be signed and they must be shipped or delivered to the person who is authorized to sign them.

  • Isolation

    A major disadvantage of a virtual office is isolation. Employees who telecommute may miss out on hearing about important developments within the company, such as openings for new positions or impending layoffs. Entrepreneurs can also suffer from isolation if their work does not require frequent interaction with clients or others in their fields. They may not hear about opportunities to obtain new clients or showcase their services.

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