In the past decades, businesses across the world have engaged in the largest remote work culture.
The trend for virtual offices has rapidly increased, offering an alternative solution to business professionals or solopreneurs who don't need a full-time office space.
These virtual offices give the impression that businesses have official addresses in a prime location. Business owners get access to the same services offered by a physical office space without being tied up to a traditional lease.
To simplify the concept of virtual offices, here's a simple example.
Let's say you have your virtual office registered at London’s Canary Wharf area, while, in fact, you are working from here:
Interesting, isn't it?
In layman's terms, a virtual office is an element of the flexible workspace industry that provides businesses with a physical mailing address but doesn't exist in one particular location. It gives businesses the combination of space, technology, and services without bearing the cost of leasing or licensing an actual office space.
The flexible workstyle gives the professionals the liberty to not stay restricted to a specific location.
But they still need space to work and have business amenities and meeting rooms. That's how the concept of coworking and virtual offices were introduced.
Virtual offices are a great way for new startups or small-to-medium-sized businesses to appear professional than they actually are by offering services like in-house receptionists, video conferencing halls, and much more.
It largely helps build a business reputation positively and even more, when the location is a prime one.
Most virtual offices offer the following services —
Generally, virtual office providers have different packages that offer all-inclusive or selected services based on pricing. A customer can choose the one that aligns with their needs.
Moreover, they give you the option to add various services as your business starts to grow.
Some of these add-on services include training rooms, product shipping, document shredding, and more.
Over the last few years, business owners and entrepreneurs are reassessing how they carry out their everyday operations.
Moreover, the global pandemic and the need for social distancing have presented businesses with the massive opportunity to offer virtual solutions.
A home-based business is valued at nearly $427 billion USD in annual revenue. Work-from-home entrepreneurs can benefit a lot from the services offered by virtual office space providers.
Let's look at some of the benefits of having a virtual office —
Having a virtual office gives the liberty to work from anywhere — be it your drawing room or from a nearby coffee shop. You can save time by avoiding traveling to your office every day and getting stuck in traffic jams.
Virtual offices give the impression of having an official address for businesses. The companies do not have to pay rent for a full-time physical space, which can be quite costly.
Besides, it saves extra expenses that would otherwise be spent on professional attire, transportation cost, etc.
When you have a full-time office, you need to rent a place depending on the number of employees. The more the employee, the more the space required. This also results in increased rent expenses.
However, in the case of a virtual office, you don't have to worry about the number of employees. There is no limiting factor, and everyone can work from their own convenient place.
Nowadays, every employee is looking for flexibility at the workplace. A stable work-life balance tops the priority for both employers and employees.
People are turning away from a traditional 9 to 5 workplace structure that dictates the whereabouts of an employee and moving towards a modern workplace that offers them time as well as workplace flexibility.
When a business grows in size, the first thing a company has to change is the office space. Again, you don't want to restrict your employees to a physical location.
With the advancement of technology, you get access to global talents. Having a virtual office space makes it easy to collaborate with international talents and work in a team. A great example of this is how medical offices and doctors are already doing it with assistants like a virtual scribe who helps them take notes remotely.
With climate deterioration, business owners are becoming environmentally conscious and finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint. This virtual office space is considered a more eco-friendly choice as it eliminates office waste and reduces pollution from commuting.
First, we need to understand the concept of coworking.
Coworking is an ideal space for freelancers, independent contractors, and other remote workers who want a collaborative environment and don't need private office space. In fact, many coworking spaces even give access to meeting rooms and areas to make private calls.
Furthermore, coworking space allows creating a network quickly. This can be quite useful when you are in need of a designer or programmer, and you can make those connections in a coworking office easily.
In the recent past, coworking spaces have started providing virtual office services. Of course, it comes with a set of advantages.
In other words, the amenities of coworking space are not just utilized by daily members but by a wide range of business professionals too. It helps you create new opportunities to grow.
This allows you to generate more revenue without having to install more desks and expanding your space.
If you already have your coworking operation running, you are already in for a good start.
Having a physical space instills a level of trust in your customers' minds. Even if they are not going to utilize the shared office, they would know that they have access to a physical space in case the need arises.
Once you have the physical space, you can then focus on technology. It goes without saying, but you would need a strong internet connection.
This internet connection will build a foundation for other technologies that are essential for virtual office spaces.
VoIP system is a technology that allows you to make calls over the internet instead of an analog. It eliminates the need to get a local number from a phone company and deliver phone systems via the internet instead. A VoIP system will enable you to receive calls from virtually anywhere across the globe.
It is extremely necessary if you plan to provide live receptionist services to your virtual office customers.
CallHippo offers an easy-to-use virtual phone system that can get you started in less than three minutes. It can provide instant local support numbers from over 50+ countries around the world.
As the name suggests, a unified messaging system integrates different electronic message and communication technologies into a single interface. Generally, it works in coordination with the VoIP system, storing all the incoming messages and communication forms, including emails, fax, video messages, and more — at a centralized platform.
You can transfer all information to your virtual office customers, giving them one place to retrieve all their messages.
Cloud computing will make it for you to easily carry out your business operation, including file sharing, online billing, and creating a backup. In fact, you can even integrate with the CRM (customer relationship management) system for smooth functioning.
These technologies will help you assist your virtual office customers better. No matter where they are located, you will be able to smoothly deliver various services like receptionist assistance, mail forwarding, and meeting schedule.
Also, make sure that the new virtual office services don't impact your in-house members' internet speeds.
With the spread of COVID-19, virtual offices are becoming a necessity. More and more organizations will be in need of a business address without physically renting a desk or an office.
Once you have the technology in place, you can slowly begin to reap the benefits of virtual offices in your coworking space. Bring in new members and drive steady and additional revenue.
Don't forget that building a virtual community is as important as doing it at a physical workspace. Check out 7 virtual event ideas to bring your coworking community together.