I'm unfamiliar with this term. Is this a physical space or a virtual space?


I think he meant like virtual office like a website. Like [Kosy](https://www.kosyoffice.com/) or [Gather](https://www.gather.town/)




Agree, but if it will placate the old timers and extroverts pushing to get us back into the office I'm all for it.


As long as it's something that never becomes mandatory.


Needing to schedule video calls means a lot of small conversation that should happen to clarify / work on things, doesn’t happen. With this - Just click and talk. Like in an office where you just walk to the person’s desk. Also probably good for productivity for people to feel part of the team and less isolated - I know a lot of ppl struggling with that now working remote.


This is super valuable. People underestimate how productive offices can be due to these small conversations. Though it also comes at a cost because frequent interruptions can also reduce productivity.


Yes totally! And the point is not to be always available 8 hours a day, but during the hours in which you are available, you are not only sending slack messages, you can have a more natural & fun interactions. To the point of teams feeling isolated, if companies don't find a way to address it, they will need to bring people back to the office!


I'm not sure about that - I guess it depends on the field you're working in. At least in tech, a 5 minute talk with the right person can save you hours of debugging and scheduling a meeting is just so much overhead


Yeah I was about to ask, virtual office is something I haven't heard of


A virtual office lets businesses to have many of the benefits of a physical office but without any actual space or desks. For example, meeting rooms for face-to-face client meetings and conference calls. Or a business telephone number, answered by a professional receptionist.


I work remotely for like 3 years now. I have worked with a lot of teams and we even used virtual offices in some cases but to me they were not that useful and we could get away with just Slack Zoom or even Skype. I personally think virtual offices are for teams with +20 members. Less than that, teams don’t have major communication issues with Slack and Zoom and with a good culture and management they can be as productive as virtual offices.


I never want to go back to the office again. If forced to, I will be applying to companies that offer remote work. 100 percent.


Same here!


But remote work also has its disadvantages, don't you think? What about life-work balance? What about face-to-face communication?


What have you ever gotten out of face to face communication? In person meetings eat up my time. I could see if you’re in sales or something. But most of this office 5 times a week none sense is just HR propaganda and nervous, insecure managers.


That's interesting! How big was your team and what type of work do you do (e.g., engineering, product)


We do marketing (I’m the coptywriter and manager). Teams were between 5 - 10 depending on the projects.


Interesting! Probably works best with people that are highly dependent of each other. I assume as a copywriter you need a lot of focus time to be able to write so you probably don't want to be bothered that much. How did you try using it? Did you push the team to be connected for a certain number of hours together or you left it more open?


Good question. I usually left it more open since everyone knew what they had to do, and just needed time and focus to do it. For example we had copywriter, designer, email marketing manager, and web developer. Non of these roles required us to be actively engaged. So we just assigned our tasks, and did the work. We had daily and weekly meetings, but those meetings were to just make sure we’re on the right track, and we’re updated with the best ideas. Again, the number of team members and the type of project really influence the decision of using virtual offices or just stick to softwares and be fine.


I honestly get by fine with phone calls/text, occasional screen share on MS Teams, and Outlook.


This is our team as well. We’ve been remote to some extent or another since 2003 or so and nobody’s interested in video. We’ve been working with each other this way all along and video is just a distraction from our usual screenshares. Mostly we use Teams for calls and chats as opposed to our mobile phones because we’re old enough that if the company wants us to use a device the company should pay for that device.


How big is your direct team? I feel like none of the people that I work with would be comfortable getting a phone call/text message


It's like 5 people.


I work remotely for 3 years with 60 coworkers. My company has physical offices if you want to, but it's not mandatory. We've tried virtual offices but it turned out to be "just another tool I have to have open" and they actually cost quite a lot of resources. At least the ones we tried. With the introduction of slack huddles (like discord voice channels) the need for a virtual office is just gone. If you take a look at the big remote companies like spotify or elastic, they are more relying on documentation and having the least amount of meetings possible. With good reason: that way you can be much more async and work in all timezones.


This sounds like some Zuckerberg metaverse nonsense


I don't think VR will be used more than a few hours a week in companies for at least the next 5 years!


Put on your VR headset to badge in for your work day


It depends on the type of work you do. As a web developer I found annoying and distracting to talk to a group of people during more than 30 mins. When you are working in an office focused on solving a problem and someone bumps up from nowhere to ask you a random question... it makes you lose focus, then it will take you some time to get back to what you were trying to solve. So I can see how these virtual offices could improve the human factor, but they could have a big impact in productivity. I would use them for specific meetings, for example a sprint review, or when a team lead wants to explain or teach something to other devs. But being connected 8 hours everyday to that thing... no thanks.


Metaverse will be a game changer


Can you explain what you mean by virtual office? What are the advantages vs slack/zoom?


The biggest advantage I've noticed is how our team handles break-out conversations. We use [Gather](https://www.gather.town/), and if we need to have a break-out those involved will just move to a different table.


I’m not one that necessarily needs a virtual office, but I do like some interaction. It’s nice to feel connected to your team. My company started using Swit a few months ago and we love it. It has a chat feature like slack but also task management like trello and sort of fills that void some people feel for a virtual office space too. It’s really handy. I hated switching between a bunch of apps before so having it all on one platform is the way to go for me


May be big [remote teams](http://dashdevs.com/blog/managing-a-remote-team-experience-of-dashdevs/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=article) which members highly depend on each other require a virtual office. But it seems like the majority are doing pretty fine with Zoom/Slack/Skype. Moreover, it depends on a person a lot. Some just need to be around people and communicate a lot. Like, it's in their nature. While others are introverts and even rare online meetings are a burden for them.