Virtual offices are traditionally thought of as being the domain of small businesses and start-ups but with an increase in remote working, a drive to reduce carbon footprints, and an increased focus on improving work-life balance, the benefits of a virtual office are tangible for larger companies too.
A virtual office gives businesses a physical presence in a chosen geographic location without the costs associated with a physical office. They provide businesses with a series of services which include the use of a prestigious business address, mail handling services, call answering services and access to business facilities like meeting rooms, scanning facilities and copying on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Virtual offices allow business owners and employees to work from virtually anywhere whilst simultaneously maintaining a physical presence is a chosen geographic location. You can work in your PJs, sit on the beach or drop in at your favourite coffee shop. Research indicates that having the freedom to work remotely has significant benefits which include:
Taking the daily commute as an example, the impact of removing the necessity of this daily journey to work is enormous. Commuting takes time, costs money and has a negative impact on the environment. Think about the about of time spent commuting and the stress and frustration associated with being stuck in rush hour traffic. Take a 30 minute commute to work as an example, having a virtual office instead of traditional office frees an hour of your time per day, over the course a year this frees in the region of 260 hours of your time – that’s the same as 10 extra days to spend how you choose.
For home-based businesses, publishing your home address on websites and business cards is not always desirable. Using your home address not only impinges on your privacy, it can sometimes give prospective clients the wrong impression about the credibility of your business. A virtual office can help home based businesses to overcome this issue by giving them the freedom to establish their company in the geographic location of their choice, and at a prestigious business address that communicates professionalism and credibility to prospective clients.
One of the most attractive facets of a virtual office is the cost. When compared to renting a physical office, a virtual office is virtually cost free. Most virtual offices operate on a pay-per-service basis meaning that you only pay for the services that your business needs. When you compare this to a physical office where you are liable for rent, maintenance, utility bills, wages for receptionist and cleaning staff and even uniforms and parking costs, a virtual office can bring substantial savings. As businesses grow some will need a physical office space to accommodate staff and, in these cases a virtual office acts as a stepping stone to the next stage of the business’s development.
Virtual offices provide businesses with a virtually risk-free business address. Most contracts have annual or monthly options and unlike traditional office rental agreements, you are not tied in for between 3 and 5 years. This flexibility and pay-as-you-go basis help businesses to reduce risk and limit liability.
Working remotely from a virtual office means that you don’t have to commute to work and this means that you make 10 less car journeys a week; 520 less journeys a year. If you would like to work out what this means to your carbon footprint, you can calculate the carbon emissions of your daily commute here.