Today’s fast-changing technology has made it possible for the organizations to do away with the need for a physical location of the office and have a virtual office. A virtual office is nothing but an address without any dedicated space, which is a mailing address where you receive all your mails by paying a very minimal rent. Thus, one of the biggest advantages of this is that a business does not have to invest heavily in a lease or pay rent on a location, his savings can help in expanding the business or cutting the fixed cost.
What is the concept behind a Virtual Office?
A virtual office is apt for a small business run by an individual, but does not have to meet client face to face on a regular basis. It is also the best alternative for businesses which need a private office space in some place to show their presence in that city /country but their physical presence is not required. It is a smart option while testing the potential of the market. If the nature of the business is such where staff can work from home and can connect online with other staff and clients, then Virtual office is a great option. It is an economical option for those businesses which are in expansion mode, as staff can be added to the team as per business requirement without worrying about renting a meeting room or where to make them sit. It is one of the options available to businesses looking to do away with a physical location as it is not necessary.
Benefits Of A Virtual Office:
A lot of startups enjoy advantages of shared workplaces. A virtual workspace too has its own utility. Let’s understand each of these pros one by one.
- Saves Commuting Time- Due to the increase in distances between workplace and residence, commuting to work each day can consume a lot of staff time. Getting ready for work and to and fro to office can take up a couple of hours of the day. By using a virtual office, staff members can save a lot of time by eliminating their daily commute which they can use in some useful way.
- Reduces Travelling Stress- For many people, the biggest problem is dealing with traffic while commuting to the office at office hours. This can eat up a good portion of their day, making work very tiring. A virtual office can help in flexible working hours for staff, depending on how an organization works, a virtual office can give the staff a chance to be more flexible in their working arrangements, which reduces their stress and increases productivity.
- Saves Money- Maintaining an office adds to a lot of expenses. For instance, daily running cost of office (Tea/Coffee), the maintenance cost of office (housekeeping), Electricity, Reception, etc. in addition to the cost of rent/lease of office space. These costs quickly add up and become a huge fixed cost. When you opt for the virtual office, you can save a lot of money.
- Work-Life Balance– The virtual office allows a greater balance between work and personal life of an individual. Working long hours in the office environment, commuting no time for personal relaxation or family can cause stress amongst employees. A virtual office allows quick transition from work back to their family life. Working remotely also reduces the stress arising from office environments.
- Increases Legitimacy– While businesses running from home are starting to become more and more acceptable, several major enterprises have started out as home-based businesses. The physical address of a virtual office adds legitimacy to business since clients are more comfortable to a location which is not someone’s residential address.
To run any business smoothly you have to hire some of the services such as receptionist to handle front office, secretary to answer the call or to fix appointment printers, fax etc. You can also avail some additional services when renting a Virtual office by paying an additional fee. Some of these services are stated as under-
- Reception – Receptionists at the virtual office address can receive and sign for incoming parcels, mails, packages and can also provide the service of document drop-off/pick-up.
- Business Meetings – You can use conference rooms or offices for meetings by hiring as and when required. Meeting space can be rented on short notices as well.
- Casual Workspace – As and when required an office space is available, acting as an alternative to the distractions or the interruptions of a home office, on a “drop-in” basis, either hourly, daily or monthly.
- On-Site Amenities – A full-service virtual office may be able to provide amenities like the kitchen, broadband Internet, conference calling or fax-copier-printer and a business-worthy waiting area.
- Call Answering- It can also provide you with a phone answering service, which saves your time as you don’t have to answer your call yourself. This reduces the cost as you don’t have to hire a secretary.
In the present scenario, demand for a virtual office is growing worldwide whether it’s developing countries or developed countries. These offices are environment-friendly as they reduces the commuting traffic which reduces air pollution and saves other resources too. It is an economical way to run a business/ organization as fixed cost incurred is minimal, this increases the profit and decreases the inflation as savings in cost can be passed to the end consumer. Overall a virtual office is best for everyone.