Doing business has been taken to a whole new level with the introduction of virtual offices providing valuable services at home and abroad. A virtual office allows an organization to have a physical address and the associated related office services without needing to sign on to a long-term lease or hire support staff.
A virtual office allows workers the freedom to work from any location while still having access to mail addresses, answering services and meeting capacity. While a virtual office may not operate from a single location, it still operates as a unit to meet customer needs.
For organizations that have the need to eliminate large overheads or companies that are just starting up, a virtual office can provide the services. Web-based office productivity programs and other specialized software mean that online offices can increase productivity and facilitate sophisticated communication such as through video-conferencing.
Key facts about Virtual Offices
- A virtual office functions as a single unit with a mailing address; however, the parts which make up a virtual office may not be in a single location.
- With advancements in office software, video-conferencing and other types of messaging services, a virtual office is becoming easily accessible.
- In terms of cost savings, a virtual office provides a professional touch available to small businesses and starting companies.
- Virtual offices provide an alternative option for hiring.
- Although virtual offices are less expensive than the traditional office, there may be certain limitations to answering services or video-conferencing due to accessibility.
One advantage in the use of a virtual office is the increase is operational efficiency. This can be calculated by the advantage of hiring non-local employees and freeing up time away from administrative tasks. Employees of a virtual office can work from the most convenient place as they wish. More and more people are finding better ways of being able to work from a remote location. A virtual office makes it possible. However, working from a remote location does not take away the demand for the job. People working in a virtual office may still find their job time consuming and may conflict with their own schedule.
The Pros’ and Cons’ of a Virtual Office
There are a number of advantages of using a virtual office. For example, the cost of virtual office overheads is much less than a traditional office. A virtual office does not require the standard upkeep or maintenance of a standard office. A virtual office does not need to be staffed. The payment arraignments with a virtual office may simply be a monthly term and have more flexibility than the fear of maintaining a long-term lease. The fee that should be paid to a virtual office may be as little as $50 for membership and monthly fees of $250 or more depending on the services required. With additional services, the monthly fee may increase.
A virtual office may include answering services, physical mailing addresses or video-conferencing. A small business using a virtual office would appear to be much larger than what it actually is. A virtual office may also provide a physical location to meet clients or conduct other business needs. A virtual office can also provide a sense of prestige to the user. This is especially the case if a virtual office has a physical address of a popular location. The use of a professional call answering service will also provide a sense of innovation and class.
However, a number of services offered in a virtual office may require certain arraignments and planning to use to its full capacity. Virtual offices may only offer a limited amount of time to use certain services such as video-conferencing or physical conference rooms.
There may also be limited use for nights or weekends. For many users, packages may seem to be inconvenient or limiting flexibility. There may also be potential distractions for those who are working from home, decreasing the amount of productivity that would normally be seen in a traditional office setting.