With so many businesses now operating remotely, the one difficult part of this idyllic setup is the lack of a physical address. Virtual offices provide this as well as office-related services without holding a lease or paying for office space. Virtual offices also provide businesses with a phone number, and sometimes even access to meeting rooms along with communication and administration services.
The virtual office has provided the opportunity for employees to work from anywhere. It also allows freelancers to utilize the positive aspects of an office, without spending additional capital on office space. It also provides a professional appearance that can aid in attracting high-profile clients.
How Does a Virtual Office Work?
Typically a virtual office does not have a brick-and-mortar location. Instead, it is a virtual entity that has staff in different locations, and services online. This is a great option for new businesses, such as startups, as well as small businesses and freelancers that are looking to reduce overhead.
Advantages of a Virtual Office
Many small business owners are starting to use virtual offices to make their business seem more professional. Learn 5 key benefits of virtual offices.
When it comes to a virtual office it can be extremely time and cost-efficient. Daily commutes waste a lot of time which leads to less efficient earning. Instead, using a virtual office allows you to use your time more wisely. It also reduces overhead which means you have more money to spend back on the business.
Short Term Leases
Rather than commit to a long-term lease for a single project, or business that is just starting out, a virtual office gives you freedom. It does not require a long-term commitment that could cause debt or financial struggles in the long run.
Virtual offices offer additional amenities that would include a mailing address, telephone answering, and videoconferencing services.
Although home offices are becoming more accepted, corporate clients continue to approve of a professional appearance. Having a virtual office creates that professional image, with an address for your office as well as contact details.
Many virtual offices provide access to meeting spaces in different areas around the country. This can be great for conference calls or meetings with in-person clients.
Disadvantages of a Virtual Office
Although there are many advantages of virtual offices, there are a few downsides to not having a physical office you can truly call your own.
Because a virtual office essentially means you are working from home, this is not the best situation for everyone. Distractions come with working from home, and it could lead to less productivity.
In some cases, you may not have full access to all of the parts of the virtual office space. You may even need to book amenities beforehand, which can lead to difficulties actually using the amenities that you pay for. You may also only have a specific amount of time for conferencing or different services or restricted time on nights and weekends. This can become very inconvenient and give you a lack of control.
Limited Use of Meeting Rooms
Although having access to meeting rooms is a positive part of having a virtual office, sometimes this is limited. If you are someone who needs to have a lot of in-person meetings, then a virtual office may not be the best option for you. Instead, you might want to invest in a shared office space that gives you more office time.
How to Set Up a Virtual Office?
Having a virtual office is basically a rented workspace. There are a variety of different services available online that can provide you a virtual office. It can provide services and amenities if you do not have a brick and mortar location. Starting a virtual office is very simple.
When choosing a virtual office you need to determine what your needs are. Do you need a place for your team to meet? You might only need a virtual office that provides administrative support. This can include answering calls and having a location for your mail to be centralized. Typically this would be the difference between a full service suite or a virtual office with fewer offerings. If you choose an option with less of a full service model you will need to ensure you have the right equipment and applications that you need to function fully. This includes computers, but also cloud-based apps, storage, and collaboration tools.
The next step is getting a virtual business address. This can provide your clients with a sense of stability and professionalism. It will also protect your privacy.
You may even want to choose a virtual assistant. This can be someone who offers support for your business.
Finally, you need to consider what you need in terms of space. If you have a lot of in-person meetings then you may need a virtual office that provides a real location as well. If you get distracted at home you might look for a desk in a physical location.
How much do these services cost?
Typically virtual offices range anywhere from $100 to $200 per month. Despite this, in some cities, it may cost a bit more. You may also pay more for different Suite options such as professional administrative support, a digital receptionist, or desk space.
How long are the contracts for?
You can expect to pay month to month for a virtual office. Sometimes you can get a year membership at a discounted price, but one of the main benefits of a virtual office is being able to rent it without long term commitment. You can choose what is best for you.
Are Virtual Offices Right for Your Business?
If you own an online business or a small business, a virtual office might work for you. In some cases, a virtual office may also work for a larger business as well, if you are looking to have your employees work from home. Virtual offices can help your company save money, and give your employees more freedom.
Whether you want to have an office to go into occasionally, or you simply want to save money on overhead costs, a virtual office might be right for you.