What is a virtual office?
While we’ve waxed lyrical on the benefits of in-person over virtual meetings in a recent blog, this month we’re turning our focus to some of the more nuanced advantages virtual can bring to businesses who are just starting out or finding their feet with a more stable ‘place of work’. A virtual office is an excellent launch pad for businesses to grow from, especially when located at a thriving business centre. But, what exactly is a virtual office?
A virtual office is…
While we never cease to be amazed at the rapid progress of technology, we’ve still not found a way to create virtual spaces – not yet anyway. A virtual office might sound futuristic, but in its simplest form it is a physical address that businesses can register under, so that:
- They can redirect calls to a dedicated line
- Forward mail and post to a business address
- They can benefit from office related services, such as call handling
- Their business address is associated with a physical location and landline
Why do people use virtual offices?
Virtual offices have become increasingly popular in recent years, as it’s become easier to work remotely and working practices have changed. Many start-ups or remote businesses choose to set-up a virtual office so they have a single point of contact for their customers or suppliers to reach, where their team may be otherwise mobilised across a large geographical area.
- They boost credibility
For start-ups especially, setting up a virtual office can increase credibility. Rather than using a home address or mobile telephone number, to register their business for all to see, a virtual office provides a prestigious business location which not only shields the business owners home contact details, but also helps customers to associate with a physical and professional address.
- They offer more flexibility for digital nomads
Many roles and professions no longer require a static place of work. Creatives, digital specialists and consultants (amongst many more) have an advantage that they can work from anywhere, as long as there’s a reliable internet connection. Setting-up a virtual office means that business owners can work from wherever they want, whether in the UK or further afield.
- They accommodate a work-life balance
As we’ve explored, virtual offices are increasingly popular thanks to a shift in working practices. Many businesses don’t require a physical office to work from, as they prefer to do the work from home, where they don’t have to commute and they can choose the hours that work around their life.
- They keep overheads low
Virtual offices are relatively cheap in comparison to running a physical office space, which is why many start-ups prefer them. However, other businesses may choose virtual offices so they can spend more money on building a team and investing other areas.
Other virtual office perks
Many virtual offices are based at business centres that are well established and offer many more business services that host range of opportunities for growth, such as:
- Co-working facilities
- Meeting spaces
- Private offices
- Networking events
If you’d like to know more about the virtual and flexible memberships available at the Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre, click on the button below.