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Written by
Katy Ratican
18 Aug 2021
3 minutes
Benefits of a virtual office for businesses
Understanding virtual offices, their benefits and whether small businesses can shift to a virtual model
Virtual office for business

If having a virtual office with a virtual number was a peripheral idea before the pandemic, it has now become mainstream. If you’re a small or independent business, here are the benefits of making your workplace virtual. But before getting to the advantages, let’s understand the concept.

What is a virtual office?

A virtual office gives you a location that can be your mailing address, phone number, conference rooms and other amenities on demand. You could have a virtual number with phone answering services for your business. The employees will be remotely located and use videoconferencing, teleconferencing, email and phone calls to communicate and collaborate.

How can a virtual office benefit your business?

Lower costs

The biggest benefit of a virtual office is the savings you make. You don’t have to worry about the lease, rent or utility payments. You also don’t have to spend money on interior design or the technology infrastructure.

No need for the commute

From the employees’ point of view, the biggest advantage is that they don’t have to spend hours every day commuting. This saves them time and money. Employees also love the fact that they don’t have to worry about getting stuck in rush hour traffic.

Increased productivity

In the initial stages of remote work, many employers feared that productivity would go down due to the lack of supervision and guidance. But evidence proves otherwise. A study from Stanford University found out that productivity during remote work increased by 13 per cent.

Global access to talent

With a virtual office, you can hire employees from anywhere. With better talent comes better products and services. Importantly, you can also hire them for specific projects and not keep them on your regular payroll. For example, you could get a web designer from California and a content writer from the Philippines to collaborate and build your new website.

No wastage of resources

Things will be more focused in a virtual office. There’ll be fewer unnecessary meetings and bureaucratic red tape. Employees will also be more engaged since they’d be working from a familiar setting while being able to spend more time with their families outside of working hours.

Finding the right virtual office space

If you’re looking for a virtual office for your small business, keep the following parameters in mind:

  • Location: It should be accessible to employees and clients. You could also check whether your virtual office provider would give access to multiple locations.
  • Conferencing facilities: It should have meeting rooms and conference rooms that you can book at short notice.
  • Flexibility: The virtual office should also have several packages; you shouldn’t end up paying for more than you need.

Business phone answering: A crucial part of virtual work

It’s well known that the right phone answering service increases productivity. But they’re even more important when you have a virtual office and so, businesses should carefully compare phone answering services and choose the one that serves their needs.

But a better alternative to consider is to get a second-line app that will give you a virtual number for work. Chalkboard’s missed call auto-reply feature, for example, allows you to set messages for calls that you may miss. This will make your business look professional and show the caller that you respect them.

Importantly, a second-line app such as Chalkboard is more cost-effective than hiring a phone answering service.

In short

The notion of work has changed dramatically over the past 18 months. The business world is realising that you don’t have to be physically together to be an effective unit. With a virtual office, virtual number and remote employees, a significant proportion of businesses can be productive and profitable from anywhere.

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