What is a Virtual Office?
Updated · Jun 07, 2022
Are you a small business, startup, or entrepreneur?
Do you think office rents are needlessly high?
Can most, if not all of your staff, work remotely?
If answering yes to these questions, you are probably familiar with a virtual office.
More and more, companies realize that having an actual physical office might not be the best fit.
This is leading to the rise in the popularity of virtual offices.
But what exactly is a virtual office?
Let's find out.
What Is A Virtual Office?
A virtual office is an online service that gives you the benefits of having a physical office without the associated costs of renting one.
These resources often include fax services, mailboxes, conference rooms, and on-demand meeting space. It also gives you a professional image when dealing with clients or prospective customers over the phone or in person. It’s a great way to save money while still being able to conduct business as usual.
A virtual office often benefits small businesses, companies on shoe-string budgets, startups, and others who generally work remotely.
How Do Virtual Offices Work?
Acquiring a virtual office is simple. You need to contact any provider of virtual office services and sign up for a plan. It can be more than one package, like a virtual address, phone answering, etc.
Simply provide them with your contact info and company details. Then choose an address from their selection of locations.
The bare minimum you need is an email address and access to the internet.
With that, you are good to go.
Benefits Of Virtual Offices
Having a virtual office is not something new.
Improved technologies, including networking, contribute to the widespread use of virtual offices and services.
To help you decide if this fits your business, have a look at this list of benefits:
You don’t have to buy equipment for all of your employees, pay for cleaning, and all other costs related to managing an office. In addition, payment plans are more flexible. Usually, they are monthly, and you pay only for services that you use.
Having a virtual office in a major city greatly improves how your company is perceived. Imagine having a face-to-face meeting with your clients in an office building in New York. When in reality, you work in your living room.
Employees and management no longer have to commute to physical offices. As such, they can use this extra time to improve businesses or provide a more balanced lifestyle.
Hire global talent
A virtual office business allows you to work from anywhere around the world. You aren’t limited to hiring people near your office, and providing the option to work from home makes you attractive to potential employees. Also, you don’t have to worry about relocation costs. Hire the best talent for your business from practically anywhere. Furthermore, it allows you to have more employees without requiring a bigger workplace.
According to a study done by The Economic Times, 82% of employees prefer working from home. The study further revealed that 64% are more productive working from home and feel less stressed.
They also save money by not traveling to work.
When your employees are happy, they generally work better.
Disadvantages of Virtual Offices
To be fair, there are some negative aspects that you should consider.
You have to book a conference room in advance. Because of the increased demand for this service, there will be times when physical offices aren’t available.
Lack of face-to-face interaction can cause miscommunication or misinterpretation. The tone of voice doesn't travel well in written form.
If you work remotely or from home, you often rely on your personal tech. Such as your phone or laptop. If there is an issue with them, it can affect your work, especially if it's for an extended time.
What Does a Virtual Office Include?
Virtual offices offer a variety of services.
Below you will find essential features.
You can use a virtual office business address to register your company for licensing and marketing purposes.
A receptionist or designated person can open your mail and scan it on-site before forwarding it. This saves time, and documents reach you faster. You can choose how frequently your post is delivered.
They usually handle calls and mail forwarding. A receptionist provides essential support to your business. This includes answering the phone, greeting with your company name, and if you have an in-person meeting, it's their job to greet clients.
Access to conference rooms and office space
You can use a physical space to conduct meetings. You can include this in your plan or choose to pay by the hour or daily rates.
Furthermore, you can arrange meetings in different cities, as long as the virtual office provider you chose has a building there.
They perform the same duties as a live receptionist, with the difference that they work from home or in different locations. They are mainly used for the flexible working hours that a regular receptionist won’t have.
With a virtual assistant, you receive office management support, including social media account handling, meeting scheduling, marketing, and many other administrative tasks.
You can have a number with a big city area code that clients can call, which redirects to your personal number. This is another feature that makes you look more legitimate.
How Much Does a Virtual Office Cost?
The virtual office rental price is considerably lower than a regular office.
Let's look at a virtual office provider such as Alliance Virtual Offices and pick a location such as New York.
Office rent prices in New York are usually around $80 per square foot, in some cases even higher. Alliance offers you a virtual office on Wall Street and Madison Avenue for $50 per month.
The math is not hard to see which is cheaper.
Imagine meeting potential clients or partners in those locations.
Depending on your business’s needs, it might be a great idea to pick a virtual office.
Technology is constantly evolving and, with it, the workplace too.
People have never been more mobile regarding where and how they work.
Working remotely is becoming the new normal rather than being an exception.
This is where virtual office services come in. They provide you with all of the essentials of a physical office but without the high rental costs.
Still not convinced?
Does your business need a full-time office?
If you just need a place to hold meetings, receive mail, and have a fixed address, a virtual office covers that.
Maybe this is what your business needs.
What is a virtual office, and how does it work?
A virtual office is a service offered by a company with its own physical offices in one or more locations. It also has qualified staff, office furniture, equipment, and technology necessary to provide quality service to its customers.
What is a virtual office example?
Alliance Virtual Offices, Servcorp, and Opus Virtual Offices are some of the best virtual office services.
Why do you need a virtual office?
You might need a virtual office if you want your company to have a business registration in a prestigious location. Another reason is that you want to save money on physical office rent.
What is the difference between a home office and a virtual office?
A home office is essentially a workplace used by an employee. This is simply where the employee is located and works for an employer.
A virtual office is a tool used by companies that want to have a business address and use quality office services. Also, if necessary, they can use a physical office.
Now that you know what a virtual office is, your company can begin benefiting from this support.
Velina describes herself as passionate media savvy and a versatile individual with numerous different interests, most a result of her Media & Communications BA. She has also developed a keen interest in Digital Marketing and Advertising. Her never-ending desire to constantly learn new things and enrich herself and her ultimate dream to go around the globe before 45 are her driving forces.
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