The success of the virtual office in recent years has been quite remarkable. However, a quick study of the development of technology makes the reasons why the virtual office has been a success quite clear. Broadband availability to the private homes has made it possible for employees to work easily from home and not have to spend time, sometimes hours, commuting from their homes to the city centre in order to start work. Groupware products such as Microsoft Sharepoint mean that teams can work together on projects from remote locations and only need to physically get together on an occasional basis, if ever needed.
At the same time, it is important for the company to promote a strong presence in the country or state where it is doing business and visitors to the company site, suppliers or customers will look for a suitable address in the ‘contact us’ section of the website. However, to maintain a city central office location whilst pleasing is a very expensive option, particularly if it is mainly empty. This is where the virtual office becomes a very interesting alternative.
Virtual office service providers offer mostly a most basic service if you are on a budget with a contact number that callers can use to get in touch with the company with a telephone receptionist who will answer the call in the company’s name during business hours. In addition, it is possible to use the physical address of the virtual office service provider for deliveries such as courier shipments.
Another great advantage is that it is possible to use the virtual office to arrange office space on an occasional basis, for example, you may need to arrange a meeting or training course and the virtual office service providers can provide these facilities at far more competitive rates than using a hotel or conference center. In addition, they are able to provide receptionist facilities for your guests and all the necessary equipment you may need such as projectors, white boards and if required, they can also arrange the catering to make sure the event is a great success.
The real advantage is that you only pay for what you use therefore one invoice, one payment that can normally be arranged on a monthly basis. If however you are responsible for your own premises, you would need to pay attention to the premises’ rental contract and also arrange the contracts with the utility providers including electricity, water and gas as well as making sure to register with the local government for the payment of levies and business community charges.
For companies who are interested in testing out a new market and want to understand its potential, the use of virtual offices is ideal as the costs can be kept to a minimum while at the same time having all the advantages of seeming to have a physical presence. And if the market indicators are positive, it is possible to take advantage of more facilities from the virtual office provider’s services to expand your existing virtual office.