The idea of virtual offices has evolved with the concept of virtual organizations. Office automation contributed to the introduction of a virtual office concept. A virtual office functions much like a real office, but is free of physical space and equipment.
Employees communicate with others through portable networking resources such as e-mail, mobile phone, thinkpad, voice mail system, desktop, fax machine and audio/video conferencing. Employees equipped with these tools may conduct their work from anywhere—homes, vehicles, restaurants, airports, customer offices, and so on.
These electronic communication tools enable companies to dramatically reduce the office work required for each employee, often allowing them to replace hundreds of desks with a single 'productivity center' that workers can use to conduct meetings and perform other short-term tasks.
Advantages of Virtual Office
A competent business address is the first benefit to a small business or start-up. Professionalism is crucial and cannot easily be accomplished by letting customers and potential customers know that you operate from your kitchen table or from a computer in your basement. The only thing that is worse than using your address for your business picture is to use a post office box. With an address at a prestigious office location, your customers will know that you are serious about your business.
The second benefit is the immense cost savings you do not have to pay for actual office space, and other costs related to a typical bureau, such as furnishing and buying office appliances and telephone systems. This is also significant. With your virtual office in an office company, you save money on office costs and you even save time and money on a frequent shuttle to an office. Consider your time's expense! If you spent two hours a day driving, then you could have focused on your company and earned money for 10 hours a week.
The third biggest advantage of getting a virtual office is the decreased risk of running your small company or start-up. Not having to invest all of your money on furniture and bureau equipment means you are not bound up with all your wealth, and you have less non-operating liabilities. It can also help if you want to diversify or extend your small company to another industry. In another market, you can quickly set up a different, cost-effective virtual office solution and seem to be physically involved.
Another advantage of a virtual office is that you can function flexibly anywhere it is convenient for you. You can also do your usual job from home, shop or road without confining yourself all day to a single workplace. This is particularly true, because you use a VoIP virtual office solution which allows you to access an extension anywhere in the world.
Perceived drawbacks for virtual offices
For a virtual workplace, you don't really have a meeting room of your own to use if you need it. You will ought to take the time to pick up your mail once or twice a week if you don't have to send mail. If one or both is the case, then you do need to take the time to arrange the use of the meeting room ahead of time, or to go to the virtual office to pick up the mail. This may not be a big deal for those who are good at managing their time, or who are not far from the virtual workplace, but it makes it difficult to satisfy a client in a short time.
Lack of interaction can easily be overlaid or taken for granted, particularly for extroverts who thrive on human interaction. With a virtual workplace, human contact is difficult to accomplish, since people may not be there or may be there to work rather than socialize. You also don't have the experiences that come with a typical work environment, such as lunch breaks and talking with your colleagues about the boss or life. If you think this is going to be a matter for you, make sure you find other opportunities for human contact, such as networking activities, volunteering, or getting to know people at the library or at the local coffee shop.
In a virtual office environment, it can be easy to get distracted by outside influences, or to assume that you have all the time in the world to get work done. While taking breaks and working at night (if you're a night owl) can be good for your productivity, don't let yourself be fooled or lazy. Even the most self-disciplined will get out of the way, or have a day to do nothing. There's nothing wrong with taking a break or getting the distraction you need just make sure things don't get in the way of doing your job.
Are You Ready to Find Your New Virtual Office?
We have just what you are looking for! Victory Workspace serves professionals in the Walnut Creek, California area. At Victory Workspace, we offer a variety of Virtual Office packages designed to give you all the benefits of a traditional office at a fraction of the cost. What does it mean to have a virtual office? What would it look like to have one? How would it change your business and your day-to-day work life? We are the leaders in virtual workspaces in Walnut Creek because we have an innovative and comprehensive approach to non-traditional workspaces. To learn more, set up your free tour or inquire about which one of services might be right for you, reach out to one of our amazing Community Guides at Victory Workspace for more information.