(Free Press Release) A study made by the American company Virtual PBX to representatives of more than 600 SMEs, concluded that 61% affirms to choose virtual offices due to a higher mobility and 54% due to costs reduction. Whether for the mobility, costs reduction or for other reasons, the study proved that in 59% of the cases, the inquiries are more effective when working from home.

Nowadays productivity is the word of the day, efficacy as well, existing a huge will to maximize profits. Many companies invest on the well-being of the collaborators, realizing that it will bring profit to their company. Working conditions have improved for many people but they continue to be the cause of stress for the majority.

A reality which is becoming more common is the adhesion of Portuguese professionals to the Virtual Office concept. As a Clinical Advisor and Instructor and the behavior area, I‘m essentially interested on the effects this kind of work has on people, in emotional and behavior terms. There are several areas very important to be analyzed and developed, like time management, personal organization, motivation, among others. Today I dispose myself to analyze the effect this kind of work has on stress.

I dare saying stress affect us all. What causes it? Without a doubt the way we deal with the situations is determinant. But external causes also perform a significant role. Many of these causes are connected to work: poor space conditions often aggravate by the open space philosophy; traffic (many people take one hour or more between home and work); difficult relationships in companies where there isn‘t the concern to provide for a good training or even coaching; personal look, among others. In the virtual offices situation, many of the causes of stress have already been eliminated or are deeply reduced.

In relation to the work space, one doesn‘t have to deal with the discomfort, reduced space, colleagues‘ noise or other kind of problem. If you work at home, the work space is your own, personalized according to your taste (and not the boss‘s) and organized by you. You also have the major advantage to be able to start working soon after you get up; you don‘t have to displace in transports neither having a special appearance. This point outs to another benefit: who works in its own space spends much lesser money on clothes, and what spends is in clothes one likes and not on the ones needed to use in the company. The same happens in relation to transports, which for the majority of people they represent a considerable expense. These advantages will not eliminate stress, but they will reduce it considerably.

However despite its great advantages, the virtual offices still present some difficulties. The companies adopting them will have to deal with other kind of situations, different from the traditional companies. They need to develop new ways of work planning and performance evaluation. The training continues to be fundamental, but in this case it will be more in the motivation, self-control, personal organization, time management, compromise, distant leadership areas, among others.

Analysing the benefits and the difficulties of working at a distance, we may verify that albeit it is not adaptable to all kind of people and demands a reformulation on the way of work by the companies‘ leaders, this alternative may reduce significantly the sources of stress, besides stimulating a bigger growth and independence of the person, that will be much more responsible and autonomous.

Filomena Santos
Instructor and Clinical Advisor
Author and facilitator of the course To Reduce Stress, e-learning, Moodle Platform
Facebook: Filomena Santos (Clinical Advisor)