It’s no longer the case that the office space is the only place for professionalism when it comes to work as universally this is becoming far from the case. As technology advances, it’s clear that work can be productive anywhere. The virtual office has been around for some time now but there are still aspects of your office that will have a traditional feel. Whether it is your boardroom chairs or your commercial cleaning products, these aspects will always be a part of any workspace. Take for example, a company that offers a business law course or affordable website design course. These will now be able to be delivered via a virtual office and this will have removed the need for a traditional setup.
For those who are starting a new business, start-up capital is usually low so the option of having a base for a business has started to reduce. The virtual office option is on the increase and will probably take over this year. Virtual offices enable businesses to create a reputable and professional presence, whilst at the same time eradicating costs related to commercial property rent. Below we will take a look at what a virtual office offers and what other options there are too.
Explaining the virtual office
A virtual office includes services such as communication and mail forwarding. They are normally run by companies who provide these services to a business. Usually, a lease is not required.
Why are virtual offices on the increase?
The biggest reason why virtual offices are on the increase this year is that they are a perfect way of avoiding overheads such as rent and the maintenance that’s required in an office space. However, the beauty of a virtual office is that a company can still have the benefits of having a real-world presence. A company may not want to use a virtual office for every aspect of their business and it could be that a company uses a virtual office for only one aspect, such as call handling.
More benefits of a virtual office
Below we will highlight some of the ways a virtual office can make things easier for those that own a business.
- Work life balance
Those working virtually usually have more free time as they no longer have to commute to and from work. This means that these employees have more flexibility, which will help to reduce stress, keeping them happy as all of this improves their work-life balance.
- Create a reputation
Home offices are now becoming more commonplace and fashionable when you consider the simple beginnings of sites such as Facebook which started in a bedroom.
- Meeting rooms
If you need to to set up a meeting then you will be able to do this using a high-quality meeting space.
- Reduction of overheads
With a virtual office, you don’t need to spend money on renting a commercial space, buying expensive furniture equipment or employing admin and reception staff. One of the reasons why a virtual office is ideal for those who are just starting up a business.
- Improve communication
You no longer need to feel concerned if you miss an important call if you’re out at a meeting. With a virtual office, you will have a specific telephone number which will be answered by a receptionist who uses your company’s name. This feature also includes the option to forward calls as well as have a personalised voicemail. If items are usually posted out to you, these can also be taken care of as there are postal services included.
We all know that time is money so if you need to take transport to get to work, commuting wastes time. You can save yourself many hours each week when you work from home and this will also help to run your business well.
With a virtual office, you can hot desk in different locations both within the local area as well as internationally.
- Location, location, location
With the virtual office, you can provide your clients with an address which is in a
well respected area, as many clients will have a look at a business’s address and the location that your business is in and this may help your business’s reputability.
The questions to ask when choosing a virtual office service
So if you’ve decided that in 2020 you will start up a business and use a virtual office or you decide to change your current business to use a virtual office, there are some questions that you should ask before you decide which company to use:
- Can you tell me how experienced your employees are?
Ask the company how much training and experience their employees have and what qualifications they hold. At the end of the day, a business is only as good as its employees.
- Can you explain your conference room policy?
Usually, virtual offices provide you with access to a conference room, but their policies do vary. They may charge an hourly or monthly rate. Consider what will suit you best.
- Do you have any additional fees?
Always remember to read through your contract thoroughly and look at all the finer points. There may be some hidden fees that you need to know about and if you’re unsure, you could ask about set up or admin fees or whether there are fees to book conference rooms.
- Can you tell me how your mail forwarding services work?
A huge factor of virtual office services is the mail forwarding service. As with anything, some are better than others so you need to ask questions to find out how mail is kept organised and ensure that it is forwarded to you in good time. You could ask specific questions such as who will sign for your packages, how often will you need to come and collect your mail and whether mail forwarding services be put on hold.
- Can you provide me with any client references?
Before you choose your virtual office, it’s important to find out what other people are saying about the company you are considering. Head online to see if you can find any reviews on the company and don’t feel that you can’t ask for client references. If a company is hesitant to provide this information, then this could be something that you need to think about.
It’s easy to see why virtual offices will take over in 2020 as their benefits clearly outweigh any negativity.