A guide to virtual offices | benefits and uses

Find out why a virtual office could be the perfect solution for your business with our guide.

Traditional office space once meant endless rows of desks, the constant - yet slightly satisfying - sound of keyboards typing and empty meeting rooms. Now, an office can be anywhere.

The explosion of remote working and increased proficiency in online software has meant the popularity of virtual offices has soared recently. With half of the biggest global companies planning to cut office space, virtual offices are now a practical hybrid workplace platform that enables businesses to work remotely, whilst retaining the value of a physical office.

But how do you know if a virtual office is right for your business?

What is a virtual office?

A virtual office is a workspace without the actual space. No desks or chairs, no break rooms to manage, or undercover investigations to discover who stole your lunch - just a location that’s known as your business’s headquarters. A virtual office allows businesses to take advantage of administrative services such as mail opening services, phone answering, and meeting room facilities. Your business address may be hundreds of miles away, but your virtual office can be anywhere.

How can businesses use virtual offices?

Virtual offices are popular with start-ups and SMEs as they keep up a professional appearance while keeping costs down. With video calling software like Zoom and team productivity software like Slack and Monday, renting a physical office space just isn’t a requirement for some businesses. Believe it or not, you can have a virtual office while still having access to the office support services you need including:

  • Reception services via phone and in person

  • Call answering and handling

  • Mail opening and scanning

  • Meeting rooms and conference rooms for hire

  • Office equipment access (Printer, copier, conference call gadgets)

What are the benefits of a virtual office space?

A virtual office space can be a solution to modern working in so many ways. Your business can enjoy the credibility and prestige of a physical address and give your employees a shared resource space without the need to pay costly rent.

Employee satisfaction - Remote workers have more flexibility, increased productivity, the opportunity to work from home, save money on transport and have a better work-life balance.

A professional address - This looks good on your website and as a Google business location. You can have a virtual business address in a thriving city, but, just as glamorously, you’re working from a sofa at home.

Privacy - For self-employed people, a virtual office is a necessity for privacy and security, ensuring that your home address is kept private.

Admin Support - Admin is time-consuming. For a solo entrepreneur, a phone answering service could reduce the risk of missing important calls, and mail opening services turn your physical letters into digital files, so you don’t have to travel to pick up your mail. Just search ‘mail opening service [insert city]’ to find one that works for your business.

Fewer Overheads - Although you will pay a fee for a virtual office, the savings are astronomical. No long-term lease and no need to purchase furniture, hire security or cleaning staff or pay for utilities.

What to consider when choosing a virtual office?

Before you decide to go virtual, consider what you need from a virtual office. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you get started.

  • Where should your virtual office be? Do you need to be able to visit it or is it just for professional purposes?

  • What time does the office operate? Most SMEs and entrepreneurs don't work 9 to 5, so think about when your customers will contact you.

  • What’s your budget? Costs can vary significantly depending on the location.

  • Do you need a virtual office space on a full or part-time basis?

A virtual office is a great solution for business owners that can’t justify the expense of a commercial office space, but still want the benefits of an office. With a virtual office, you’ll get everything you need from an office without your name on the door.

If you’re considering a virtual office and want more information, you can get 1-2-1 support by speaking to one of our V-Hub Digital Advisers.

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