The business world is constantly evolving, and as a business owner, it is important to stay in the loop in order not to maintain outdated practices.
As the need for economisation and flexibility increases, more business owners have constantly sought methods to improve business operations. Also, the evolution of technology has made life and business operations easier in general. Technological advancements have made it possible for other aspects to improve, and as such, business owners now embrace the remote working lifestyle.
Remote working simply means working from a convenient location. However, it is not feasible for business owners to work from home because they still need a business address for official purposes.
Virtual offices were created to make business operations easier by allowing business owners to operate flexibly, cut rent costs and promote remote working culture.
Technology has made it easier by offering virtual solutions such as screen teleconferencing, and more improved messaging services, which have led to the rapid increase in the popularity of virtual offices.
WHAT IS A VIRTUAL OFFICE?
A virtual office offers businesses the opportunity to access physical office space without paying huge lease/ownership fees. It offers all the benefits of a physical office and more.
Your team can choose to work remotely and maintain a professional image for customers and investors as long as they do their duties diligently. Remote working is one of the main reasons businesses opt for a virtual office.
Think of a virtual office as a service that provides an official address for the business or establishment in question at a certain location even though they (the companies) are not physically occupying that space. Also accompanying the virtual business address are various office-related services such as virtual assistants or receptionists, mailing services, office equipment, and even conference rooms.
WHAT DOES A VIRTUAL OFFICE PROVIDE?
- Access to physical office space when necessary
Virtual offices would provide access to some of the features a physical office space provides, such as conference rooms, desk spaces, and real-time office spaces to be used when necessarily deemed by you. These are all bookable offers (which must be stressed here) and vary according to your provider.
- Access to in-office receptionists
Nearly all physical office spaces require the services of a receptionist. In the same vein, a virtual office requires reception of its own. As they are often called, virtual receptionists offer live answering services that answer your business phone calls with lightning speed. Customer service agents equally direct calls where necessary, take messages and attend to customers. These online staff are critical to your business’s professional outlook and productivity rates.
- Virtual assistants
Virtual assistants will assist in business administration and can read your emails and attend meetings on your behalf. Laced with experience, they can perform any task assigned to them. Their presence will ultimately improve the productivity of your business.
- Virtual telephone lines
Business owners are entitled to having virtual phone numbers that potential/existing customers can access easily. Instead of using your personal line for your business (and facing the risk of customers using such knowledge to bother you), you can have one created specifically for it. These are up for reasonable prices, so you don’t need to break the bank to get one.
- Virtual Mailbox
A virtual mailbox will give you an address to permanently receive your mails and business-related packages. In addition to these mail handling services, there is also the option of forwarding and scanning mail packages.
WHY DO BUSINESSES NEED VIRTUAL OFFICES?
- Flexibility and Mobility
In general, many workers and businesses relish the opportunity to work remotely and not be restricted by geographic location, which is their ultimate dream. The advent of the COVID19 pandemic made it a reality as many were forced to work from home and ultimately had to opt for the virtual office option. As a business owner, what this signifies is that you can employ skilled workers regardless of their location.
Basically, with a virtual address, you enjoy the benefit a physical office brings with little or no cost. Renting costs are lower than that of conventional office space. When you factor in the would-be maintenance costs of the latter and the salary to be paid to your would-be administrative staff, you will realise how cost-effective the prices of virtual offices are.
- Professional outlook
Startups do not gain stability and popularity until after being around for a while. Having a virtual office in an established location where you can meet and interact with your customers and staff helps to radiate professionalism. It also increases your credibility and makes you more trustworthy to your customers.
- Security and privacy
The added security that comes with a virtual office is another bonus. Statistically speaking, most startups and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) that pride themselves on their ability to work remotely don’t have a true physical office. This means that the business owner would have to list his residential address on all advertising platforms and public business licences. Using your residential address in place of your business address leaves you open to privacy and security risks. Unsatisfied customers with sinister intent can easily find your home address with a quick Google search with your business. Owning a virtual business means owning a physical mailing address that can be listed on business cards and official documents, making it harder to trace you to your residence. Anonymity is ensured.
Virtual offices are fast becoming a favourite because of the convenience, flexibility, and lower overhead that comes with having their team members work remotely.
The addition of virtual reality technology in the realisation and implementation of virtual office spaces is a testament to its growing popularity. Although not devoid of challenges (some of which include limited service, restricted access, and surprisingly high costs in some aspects), its benefits far outweigh the latter.
The Covid-19 pandemic made the world transition to virtual offices as an alternative to the physical office setting, and it has been a huge advantage to many businesses. As a business owner thinking of setting up an office space, a virtual office is your best bet as the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.