These days of broadband, wireless Internet, and videoconferencing, companies are moving towards virtual office setups, where workers can be mobile, and work wherever the infrastructure supports their needs. The laptop, mobile phone, and even BlackBerry are the “weapons” of choice for today’s mobile warriors. The virtual office has its advantages, in terms of lowering costs of maintaining central offices, and keeping employee costs—travel, meals, etc.—to a minimum.
However, working with virtual offices has its disadvantages, too. Foremost among these are the difficulties associated with not having face-to-face encounters with managers and staffers. For one, human interaction does have an effect on productivity—whether positive or otherwise. For employees, the fact that there are no managers to supervise work may be an excuse to shirk or slack off. For managers, having no staffers around physically to check on might be daunting, as one might keep worrying about the status of projects or work.