Have you ever heard of a virtual office? Virtual offices are becoming popular nowadays. With the rise of the gig economy, many freelancers, entrepreneurs, and startup businesses are emerging. Since gig workers and entrepreneurs would like to allocate more time and budget to build their business, a virtual office is a fit workspace solution. Also, the pandemic triggered many companies to shift to virtual work to keep everyone safe from the virus. Now that the world is slowly trying to go back to normal, organizations have appreciated the benefits that virtual offices give, especially the reduced costs.
What is a virtual office?
A virtual workspace offers businesses what they can usually get from a commercial property like an office address, telephone number, communication and administrative services, and access to meeting rooms without a physical office space. With a virtual office, freelancers and entrepreneurs get to have a professional-sounding business address for their company, thus enhancing their credibility and attracting more clients.
Benefits of virtual offices over physical ones
Here are some of the reasons why virtual offices are better than physical ones.
1. Reduced costs
With virtual offices, you get to save a lot on overhead costs as compared to physical offices. You eliminate the costs on housekeeping crew, building maintenance services, utilities, office furniture, and most all, rental fees. You may use the savings in other essential business sectors such as management and workforce, employee welfare, and marketing.
2. Employees gain more flexibility and efficiency
Employees acquire more flexibility in a virtual office setup. Instead of their usual time to commute to and from work, they can spend their time starting work early to accomplish the job fast. Imagine all the saved time from getting up early and commuting! In addition, businesses can benefit from a virtual receptionist as part of their virtual office setup, which can handle incoming calls, manage appointments, and provide professional and friendly customer service, without the need for a physical office space.
Also, with the virtual tools provided by virtual office packages, employees can be more productive even if working remotely. Team members get to focus on strategic goals and essential work, and mundane tasks like handling calls and sorting posts are lessened.
3. Work-life balance
Since teams in a virtual office setting get more flexibility in terms of work time, they can invest saved time resting, spending quality time with loved ones, or enjoying a hobby. With more time to balance work and personal life, you improve your employees’ mental health and well-being and help them stay motivated at work. As a leader, you are virtually taking good care of your employees with this work setup.
4. Expansion is easy
Companies with a virtual office can expand quickly and with lesser costs. If you want your business to grow locally, you wouldn’t need to transfer and lease a bigger space. On the other hand, suppose your company wants to enter another market. Instead of physically traveling to another country to build your presence there, you can simply get a virtual office in the desired location.
5. No long-term commitment
A virtual office is a safer option for freelancers or startup companies as they do not get tied to long-term rent contracts. Most virtual offices are on a month-on-month lease, thus giving you more flexibility, especially if the business is erratic.
6. Larger talent pool
In a traditional setup, companies usually hire applicants near their physical offices to avoid late coming. With virtual offices, companies can have a larger talent pool and hire the best applicant regardless of where they are located. You can even employ worldwide talents!
Virtual offices make you an environment-friendly company as it lessens your carbon footprint. You reduce the emission of greenhouse gases when your employees do not commute going to and from work. You also contribute to saving energy by choosing a virtual office package, as electricity accounts for 25% of GHG in the United States. Imagine all the electricity a physical office consumes every day!
8. Practical and easy to set up
With a virtual office package, you get to choose which combination of services your business needs at the moment. These services include business address, mail receipt, and forwarding, a receptionist, phone answering, conference room booking, or access to a desk. It is more practical as you will be paying for what your company needs at the moment.
In addition, virtual offices are easier and quicker to set up compared with a physical office. There is less paperwork needed, and it can be done fast.
Things to consider
To ensure that a virtual office is right for you, think about the current stage of your business and your present needs. These factors can help you decide what benefits are relevant to you and your company.
You also need to strongly partner with your Recruitment team as you will interview, assess, and hire candidates with a low chance of meeting them personally. You should make sure that you get the best talent and someone who is self-directed and can successfully work remotely.
Lastly, consider the nature of your business and the company culture if this will be effective in a virtual environment.
Going virtual has many benefits, especially if you are a startup company or a freelance worker. This setup can be your company’s great strategy in taking the business to the next level.
Salman Zafar is a serial entrepreneur, digital marketer, writer and publisher. He is the Founder of Techie Loops