Virtual offices are a boon to freelancers and small business owners. Why? They can access office space on a budget. Current technology tools make it easy to connect with clients and colleagues.
Demand for virtual offices is rising for reasons such as flexibility and affordable prices. Since the start of the pandemic, many corporate employees are working from home. Businesses are looking at the virtual office option to save money.
Why virtual office?
One major reason is this: Virtual office is far cheaper than a traditional one. The services are available to small and large businesses at affordable rates.
But what do you get with such an office? The short answer is: Everything you can get from a typical office space, basically. In details, here are what you typically get from a virtual office:
- A mailing address of your choice & the related mailing services;
- receptionist and phone answering service;
- call forwarding;
- access to meeting rooms;
- work space – cubicles, desks, etc;
- document faxing & printing;
- flexibility and customized payment plans;
- …and many more!
Such perks make virtual offices very attractive. Curious about the cost of renting a virtual office?
Virtual office plans, inclusions, and prices
There are several plan options and organizations to choose from.
A basic virtual office offers an address and mail receipt. Renters can pick up their mail or have it forwarded for an additional fee. Renters have to pay an initial fee to set up and then a standard fee. The standard fee is payable every month. If you want a prestigious address, then you pay a higher price.
Costs also vary based on the market you are looking at. Rents are usually higher in metros than in smaller cities. The reception team is available for messages during business hours.
Office space package
This includes the items in the basic package. Space can be accessed for an extra fee. This package includes lounge use, free Wi-Fi, and conference rooms at a discount.
This offers all the services of an office without associated costs. A serviced office, a reception team, a dedicated number in addition to office space – this is the perfect choice for many businesses.
Please bear in mind that prices vary from one provider to another. For instance, the price of an answering service is typically a bit more than $1 per minute or about $2 per call. It’s best to shop around and compare multiple plans from different providers.
Reasons to choose a virtual office
Virtual offices offer credibility to any business. You can run your business from home with your team of employees and have an established office address. Think about it – you also build trust and a good reputation based on the business address.
There are many valid reasons for choosing a virtual office; here are eight of those:
- Finances: If you are starting a business, you save money by using a virtual office. Studies have shown that any business can save $10,000 or more per employee. You can access virtual office branches in other cities in your country.
- Multitasking: You don’t have to worry about receiving and checking mail. You can use the receptionist to take messages. Using a virtual office gives you time to concentrate on strategy and growth plans.
- Productivity: With access to every tool a business needs, productivity increases. You and your employees can work from home. Commutes are also avoided.
- Environmental footprint: Virtual offices cut down energy consumption by 80-90% as people work from home. Since virtual offices have office equipment and furniture, there is no need for further investment.
- Professional employees: Many secretaries and admin personnel offer their services to such a setting. This is a boon as owners don’t have to search for good employees. If your virtual office set up has offices in other cities, you can use their facilities when needed. Virtual office models offer project management services if you need it.
- Easy expansion: The best part of a virtual office is that you can expand without moving. You can decide the scale of space and services required and upgrade accordingly. Virtual offices offer businesses the option for multiple offices without relocating.
- Commitments: You can choose to use a virtual office on a monthly or annual basis. The risk is minimal.
- Working on the go: The best part of a virtual office is location. Work from home or from a different location if you have to travel. With an internet connection, you can call and check in for messages and mail.
Advantages of a virtual office
A virtual office is perfect for an entrepreneur and businesses, large and small. You save on rental and employee costs. You can meet potential clients and investors at the address. Receptionists are available to take messages. With conferencing technology, make presentations in person or online to clients. Virtual offices have office equipment to facilitate business transactions. In fact, credit agencies look favorably on businesses with an established address. It becomes easier to get business loans if you need one. The biggest advantage of a virtual office is on the bank balance. Businesses pay only for the facilities and services required.
How the pandemic has changed the business landscape
Except for specific sectors like healthcare and banking (to an extent), the pandemic has led to employees working from home. This scenario is unlikely to change till the end of 2021. Every corporation is rethinking operations and space requirements. An interesting trend to note is that many people started to work remotely even before the pandemic.
The availability of good collaborative software makes it easy for employees and bosses to stay connected. Working from home is easier with video conferencing tools. This has resulted in a change of how a workplace is defined. Employees and organizations have the best of both worlds – use the virtual office and amenities without being tied down. A virtual office offers the legitimacy that a home office does not.
If you wonder whether a virtual office is the right choice, consider the reasons why it is good. And then consider the advantages. Virtual offices offer the perfect balance between finances and required services. An increasingly digital world is cutting down on the need for physical space. Unless a business operates in sectors such as healthcare or manufacturing, most business activities can be carried out efficiently from a virtual office. As a business model, the virtual office is gaining traction and importance across the globe. Flexibility, lower costs, and expandability also help. Even though the virtual office concept has been around for decades, its time has arrived. Let’s see how the concept evolves and what is included in the coming years.