As we are in the middle of a pandemic, and businesses are still recovering from the damage that was caused, business owners have switched to virtual offices. The question that arises here is, what is a virtual office?
A virtual office facilitates employees and businesses who are working remotely. These facilities are available through the internet because these individuals do not have a physical address. The services provided by a remote office include a recognized business address where they can receive emails, access meeting rooms while not having to pay full-time. Whether you are sitting on your couch and working, you official work headquarter will have a physical location that you can publish on your business website. People who provide this service will manage your postal business address, access to meeting rooms, and your everyday phone answering service.
Who uses a virtual office?
Virtual offices are used by businesses that want to have a good reputation for their company, without spending too much. For instance, freelancers who are working remotely and also have employees working under them. At one point or another, you would need physical interaction with your team because you cannot do all meetings virtually. Using virtual offices is a common practice among freelancers and startup geeks. They can use meeting rooms, desk offices, etc.
Lastly, virtual offices are also used by established business owners who are looking to try and test a new geological location. They might be operating from their same previous location but start posting about their services at a new location—this all possible with a virtual office facility.
Several advantages come with the facility of a virtual office. Here is a list of advantages of having a virtual office:
Cost-efficient: When we compare the cost of a virtual office to having an actual physical office, you will notice an immense difference in prices. The cost of having a virtual office is very minimal compared to that of a private office or a coworking space membership. Therefore, a virtual office is an ideal approach for startups. It also saves you from the risks of facing any drawbacks when you dip your toes into a new marketplace.
Minimal commitment: As mentioned earlier, virtual offices are a minimal commitment; therefore, you do not have much on the losing end. Virtual offices provide flexibility because if things go south – you can back out easily. In contrast, if things go up and well, you can officially start working in the new place.
Brand Image: Beyond a high quality website and logo, a virtual office will boost the confidence of your customers as they will know that they are dealing with professionals. Moreover, when you meet your customers in an appealing ambiance, with good Wi-Fi and facilities – you are proving the legitimacy of your business.
Convenience: Lastly, a virtual office will allow you to run your business from the comfort of your home, as long as you have internet access. When you use your virtual office with collaboration with communication tools – you can establish a remote business with efficiency.
As everything is not perfect today, virtual offices also have their imperfections. Here is a list of disadvantages of having a virtual office:
When you have candidates or contractors coming to your place, there could be a lack of centralization as it would be difficult for everyone to meet and work together every day. Moreover, this can add up to the fact of not having a disciplined work schedule.
Virtual offices do not allow you to have meetings whenever you want – instead, you have it scheduled. As you do not have your conference or meeting room, the availability of the services will determine if you can have your meeting at the required time or not. You will also need to pick up your mail once and twice week unless you do not have a mail forwarding. It might be easier for those who are good at organizing their time or are not far from their virtual office.
This is a significant drawback for introverts, who have their productivity dependent on human interaction. Most individuals would want to get dressed and show up at an office where they can collaborate with distinct personalities. With a virtual office, this might be impossible to achieve. When you all meet at your virtual office, it would be for work and meetings, rather than everyday socializing at the workplace.
Communication Is Challenging:
Today technology has bought us together through email, texts, and phone calls. While it provides convenience, it has also made communication difficult at the same point. Most communicatons are better when done in person because they can result in miscommunication and delusion when done virtually. For instance, the tone of voice can actually tell how you are feeling about certain things.