Here is a comprehensive article that talks about the virtual office, virtual company, virtual address, virtualized email, virtual headquarters, and how to set up each of these. Read on!
A benefit in modern times is the willingness of companies to operate remotely using ever-advanced communication technologies. The joys of Skype, Google Hangouts, and many other channels have allowed business owners to cut the cost of office space rentals. Such versatility has helped young companies to create teams outside high profile locations, cut costs, and still seem prestigious.
Having a virtual office fully depends on the style of business, and so you must be careful to consider the particular pros and cons you and your company need. So, before you decide to take a virtual office and more remote office space, find out what your recruiting needs are, and ask around to get an idea of their remote working experiences.
Did you know? The idea of a virtual office has its origins before and after the Industrial Revolution, where similarities were drawn to modern ways of work, especially working from home.
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What is a virtual office?
Before you decide on whether you require an online virtual office or not, it is first important to understand what is a virtual office space. By the virtual office definition, a virtual office is a solution for the workplace, with a physical mailing address, which can be leased to help make the company or small business look larger and more developed.
It also provides additional services, including a local phone number, receptionist, or physical office space and/or meeting and conference rooms that can be leased by the hour and used to create a good impression on the customers.
Why should you have a virtual office?
Every start-up, small business, or solo entrepreneur can take advantage of a virtual office’s functionality and versatility, but here are some common use cases,
- Professionals who do not want to divulge their personal address or cell phone number on company documents or marketing material
- Freelancers who operate from the offices of their clients but who want to retain an independent brand identity and presence
- Enterprises expanding into new territories but which have not yet developed a permanent presence
- Companies recruiting potential clients who want to work with a local presence
- Small businesses needing the experience of a receptionist and support staff but without hiring their own costs and resources
- Sales teams that move among prospective customers but want office space to be used in meetings
- Digital nomads requiring a remote space to conduct meetings
- Small businesses in image-driven industries profit from a more prestigious address than otherwise, they can afford
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A virtual company
Virtual Business Office does not have head offices and offices where the employees have to report regarding their daily work. The virtual businesses are based online where the employees work from home.
They use the tools like Skype and Slack for communication purposes. In virtual companies, the talent across the world gets the jobs. The travel time of the employees is saved as they have work from their homes. Then, they can contribute maximum time to their job.
Furthermore, the employees are more active in their work as they are not stuck with their desks. There are fewer overhead costs for virtual office setup. The company does not require setting up buildings and furniture.
Virtual office space
Many companies and startups began using virtual office spaces after coming out from the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. The benefit of the virtual office space is that it allows the employees to work from anywhere. The virtual office setup allows the entrepreneurs to choose their work location and start working using their laptop, tablet, and other gadgets.
You can handle business tasks anywhere across the world. New talents get the opportunity to work in virtual business services; you are operating your company remotely. To communicate with your employees you can use the telecommunication tools that are available for you online.
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What is virtual address?
A real physical address is known as the virtual address where all the mails have to send. All the virtual addresses come with the virtual mailbox in which all the mail items that you have to send are scanned.
The companies manage the virtual business mailing address. You can check all the mails remotely that you receive from third-party people. Virtual addresses are beneficial for the companies all the mails are available for them 24/7 everywhere.
While the owner of a company is traveling he or she can check the important business emails. They help the digital mailbox technology that enables you to get the full information about the mails that you get.
Virtual physical address
The IP address is a type of virtual address that is bound with a device network. Furthermore, the operating system controls the memory that is available in the software of a virtual company. For the software developers, the virtual physical address is beneficial, as they do not have to worry about the physical memory.
In the physical system, every application has its own set of virtual addresses that have been mapped in the physical system. The virtual addresses and can be easily translated into physical addresses using the mapping system. These mappings of virtual and physical addresses have been stored in the translation tables.
Virtual office address
The virtual business address gives a physical address and office-related services without spending money on the overhead expenses. The employees working in the free virtual office can complete their job from anywhere. They have the mailing address available with them.
Other modes available with them for effective communication include video conferencing, meeting rooms, and phone answering services. The virtual offices work to satisfy their clients’ demands as one unit.
They do not exist in a fixed location. Mainly small business houses and startups follow this kind of business setup. They want to reduce the initial overhead cost in their business operations.
Virtual office advantages
The advantages of setting up a visual office are as follows,
- Increase in productivity – Company staff is happy with the work flexibility and increases their productivity.
- Reduced overheads – Employees work remotely. It reduces the burden of the overhead cost of renting an office. A virtual office will also help your company reduce the costs that a conventional and permanent office room entails. Administrative, maintenance, and technological costs are distributed among space’s other users, which alleviate the upfront capital burden.
- Worldwide talent access – Setting up a virtual office is best to get access to worldwide talent in your organization.
- Employees become active in their job – Employees can work from anywhere. It increases their productivity.
- Enhanced company image – A virtual office space’s primary and most apparent advantage is that it makes your company appear bigger and more developed. It also allows you access to the facilities of a dedicated office area. This makes it easier for you to build a pleasant impression on your customers, present as well as prospective, while you and your team can work more easily from home or another office space.
- Professional appearance – A virtual office also includes a local landline phone, which is answered during business hours by a skilled receptionist who can take a message or forward the call. It offers a more professional image to your business and also reduces the risk of missed calls or opportunities.
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Did you know? In 1992, when Richard Nissen registered the phrase with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office, “Virtual Office” became a registered trademark for the first time.
Below is a summary of the key benefits from a virtual office,
1. Virtual business address
Get a virtual business address for your organization, as it is a cost-efficient solution. You are a business owner, an entrepreneur working on your startup or online business then you can get the best business virtual address. There is no need to spend a huge amount of money on the rental physical address.
You can start using the virtual business address through which you can polish your online image. The clients can connect with your business when they want with the help of the virtual address for business. It builds trust among the people who are approaching your business as customers.
2. Best virtual business address
Benefits to using a virtual business address for your company are,
- Upscale Business Branding: Improve the company’s position with the presence of an elegant place to organize meetings.
- Better Advertisement: You can list the virtual business address of your company on Google and social media platforms to advertise your business.
- Reduction in overhead expenses: It is possible to work from home and connect with the clients with the virtual business address.
- Time-Saving: A virtual address for your business eliminates the risk of the parcel gets lost or stolen. It ensures that the parcel is delivered timely to your virtual office address.
3. Physical address for business
Investing in a physical office for a business is an expensive thing. Since most of the businesses do not require office space. Therefore, they can operate remotely. Still, the remote companies do not have a permanent physical address.
They must establish their brand among the customers. Owners are opting for a virtual rented service office is the best way to deal with this situation. Benefits of physical business address are,
- The company becomes searchable and visible on search engines Google and Bing
- Put a competent image on the client with the physical business address
- Rent a virtual office space to organize meetings consistently.
4. Virtualized Mail
Virtualized mail has become an integral part of our business. In just a few clicks, we can connect with the people working in the virtual office space. Benefits of virtualized mail are,
- Convenient to use: You can get access to your business mails anytime using virtualized mailbox.
- Time Saving: Virtualized mail system saves a lot of time. There is no need to put extra effort in checking and sending mail.
- Low Cost: It saves your money, as there is no need to setup office and hire receptionist to read and send mails. You can send and receive mails anytime.
5. Rent serviced office
A fully furnished office ready to use is the rent-serviced office. You can pay the rent and start using the serviced offices for rent. The businesses that have opted for virtual offices are looking for flexible commercial office space. You need to pay the monthly fees that get the fully equipped virtual office rental.
The serviced offices are also known as business centers, executive offices, and managed offices. Some companies manage these offices. They are responsible for maintaining the facilities in these serviced offices for rent. These kinds of office spaces are growing on a large scale with the global shift.
6. Virtual office phone
The virtual office phone is a great choice for virtual business setups. Startups and small businesses can start using it. It is the most affordable and easiest way to start a professional phone system.
Furthermore, it will help in the business development and you can connect with the clients. You are doing a home-based business want to make your strong professional image in front of your customers.
Then, you can take a toll-free number and it will sound more professional. On your existing phones, you can get the virtual office phone system. The customers are calling on your number then it will look professional.
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7. Virtual office service
Virtual office service allows the company owners to work from anywhere. They can use their gadgets and start their business. The teams working in the home-based business can connect with teleconferencing and videoconferencing.
There is no contact between the employees of the virtual business setup. You should decide from where you want to start the work. Then, the virtual office service provider handles all the things of your business. The duties of the service provider include handling the calls, connecting with clients, and business development.
You can book the meeting rooms and coworking spaces whenever you want. It gives a professional approach to your established business. A few of the features and services which an online virtual office may expect to provide include,
- A company address and/or telephone number
- Receiving and sending mail
- Contact a live receptionist for feedback and contact forwarding
- Connection to office space including private offices and conference rooms
Essential facilities present in the physical office space, such as:
- High-speed Wi-fi connection
- Hardware for an audio/visual presentation
- Catering essentials, such as coffee, tea, and light snacks
- Connection to other office locations within the network of providers
- Frequent networking and social activities
8. Virtual postal address
Virtual Postal Address provides a complete street address to receive the postal mail. At your convenience, you can view the mail online. All the unopened envelopes have been scanned before you view the mail. It is easy to manage the emails that you get on your virtual postal address online.
Then, you will never decide to view the mails traditionally. For many years, you can check the street address. On your driving license and credit card, you can use the virtual address that you got for your business. Receive all the mails of your business at the postal address available with you.
9. Virtual headquarters
To establish your new business, you should have a virtual headquarter. All the employees working in the company get access to all the business functions. On the desirable, you can keep the virtual headquarter of your business.
For an actual space, there is no need to pay rent. The virtual office provides a business postal address, receptionist to arrange the meetings, meeting room, and voicemail services. All services you get at your virtual office.
How does virtual office work?
Now that you are acquainted with the features and benefits of a virtual office, you get the answer to the question: how does a virtual office work? Virtual offices serve customers as one entity but do not operate from a fixed space.
This form of setup is especially common among start-ups and small businesses looking to reduce overhead costs. The development of applications and services for web-based workplace collaboration, like videoconferencing, has helped increase the growth of virtual offices.
Furthermore, a virtual office contributes to higher efficiency, because its services like administrative tasks and commutes are free. Every employee operates from the most convenient location, and the company is not restricted to recruiting locally based employees.
Free virtual office
You can hire global talent at your remote workplace. A free virtual office is affordable and flexible for new businesses. You can reduce the costs by starting a virtual office and still you can look professional.
A postal address is important for a business to get emails from clients. The virtual business is dependent on the business type. You can easily perform the daily tasks at the virtual office that is available free. A virtual company can begin its work by taking a virtual office address only. Below is a list of the organizations providing the best virtual office services, with some of the plans nearly free to use,
- Opus Virtual Offices: You will get basic business solutions of mail and phone services at opus virtual offices. They have around 500 offices located in North America.
- Alliance Virtual Offices: Alliance provides a receptionist to handle your calls of your virtual business.
- Regus: Regus is not only a virtual office space organization but it provides actual office spaces to companies. It has more than 1000 offices in USA.
- Servcorp: The virtual office package of Servcorp includes mail and phone services for a virtual company.
Virtual office LLC
You can get your professional image with the help of your virtual office. The new businesses need to make their presence among the potential customers.
Initially, they can’t buy or rent an expensive office space for their business. You can start the rest of the work of your business without hiring a reception, purchasing expensive furniture items, and a separate phone line.
You can have your virtual office with you without these things you can start your business easily. The business owner can give a corporate image to your business through the way.
Virtual office layout
It is essential to understand what is a virtual office layout. A virtual office layout is a manner in which the virtual space is arranged to enable productivity. Given below are the elements of a virtual office layout,
Business Address – Though you could spend much of your time working from home, coffee shops, or even your private yacht, almost every virtual company still needs a permanent, physical address. This is why,
- Best practices allow your website to have a physical address listed on your “contact us” tab.
- SPAM rules mandate that you have a physical address for all mass email messages.
- Including signed contracts, checks, and fan mail, you should have a physical address where people can give you “snail” mail.
- To process loan applications, some lenders need an actual business address.
- Though you can use your home address for business registration purposes, you may not want potential customers to turn up at your doorstep.
Virtual phone system – Going interactive is awesome, but putting your cell phone number on your website is the last thing you want to do. Having a dedicated company or toll-free number makes contact with you simpler for prospects, thus protecting your privacy. You get the flexibility to get calls routed to the most suitable phone number with the right device, so you can be anywhere you need to be.
Virtual office software
A few low-cost solutions to effectively manage your telecommunication requirements are,
1. unremot is the most user-friendly online resource available. The platform is essentially designed to collaborate and interact among remote teams, thus most appropriate for those who regularly communicate.
This video-based product also includes features such as screen sharing, chat, task management, calendar sharing, and file sharing. It is currently available to its users (in light of the coronavirus outbreak) for free!
2. Skype – Skype was first developed to link users as a video-only service but has since grown into a complete messaging system that is both affordable and versatile for voice and video calls.
3. Google Voice – Google Voice offers smart call routing to a single number anywhere you are, including on your computer. With the Google Hangouts integration, you can turn every call into a face-to-face session with ease. Although you can use the service from anywhere, to have a unique number, you require a US-based mailing address.
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How to improve productivity using a virtual office?
The following are the ways to enable greater productivity through your virtual office layout,
1. Provision of digital resources
The virtual office environment revolves around computer resources. Through supplying these services, the hiring organizations will profit exponentially. While these computer services are being offered, they must be assured that they are in line with the needs of the employees concerned.
2. Provision of access to information
There must be appropriate arrangements to allow workers to have easy access to the information they require. Because the world has become increasingly knowledge-oriented, access to relevant information for workers is a requirement for the effective operation of virtual offices.
3. Configuration for forwarding calls
Any virtual office needs some kind of assistance from the physical office. Another of these aids is to plan for the forwarding of phone calls to concerned employees. There would also be someone responsible for routing telephone calls to telecommuters at the fixed office. Organizations may also use a voice message program that allows telecommuters to manage it from their own places of work.
4. Arrangement of conference calls
A conference call allows more than two people to actively engage in a discussion over the phone. It lets the telecommuters share views and ideas among themselves without physically meeting each other.
These perspectives and suggestions are very useful in solving certain problems that cannot be personally solved. Virtual office management can be greatly enhanced with this facility. To take advantage of this trend, the company can schedule daily conference calls.
5. Arrangement of regular meetings
While face-to-face meetings between employees may not be needed in virtual office systems to do their work technologically, it is safer to meet their fellow workers at regular intervals at certain predetermined times.
These meetings allow them to understand each other in a much better way and to build a sense of belonging and culture. The company can then prepare for these meetings, and remind all the telecommuters concerned.
6. Establishment of a follow-up routine
Telecommuters must be allowed to establish and observe their schedule of work so that their focus during their working hours is not interrupted. If the telecommuters establish and follow such a routine of work, possibly their family members, colleagues, and others may hesitate to interrupt them even at home or some other place during their working hours.
7. Objective evaluation of productivity
The company should establish some objective standards for evaluating the telecommuters’ job efficiency. Such criteria should be in the quantitative form as far as possible so that the work output can be accurately assessed against these criteria.
Wherever criteria for evaluating work output cannot be measured, these criteria can be established in the qualitative form with the precise interpretation of each qualitative criterion.
This will be conveyed to telecommuters after finalizing the job assessment requirements so that they are completely informed on what the company wants from them. It will infuse a kind of discipline that helps both the telecommuters and the company in virtual office management.
Tip: Recognize that misunderstood messages can provoke a lot of trouble as it will lead to incorrect decisions and affect work. Make efforts to streamline communication.
What do virtual office users expect?
The company owners should have to have the following details when signing up for a virtual office,
- Digital ID – two forms, for example, a passport and a digital license
- Residency evidence
- Evidence of forwarding address
- Registered office evidence
- If there is no company director called, such information will need to be given by the person paying for the virtual office.
This method is applicable to any place. When an organization is not asked for specific information along with proof of identity, they may challenge whether they are compatible with the virtual office service they use.
In addition, all identification and relevant documents must be given upon sign-up. Missing documents can be sent later, but this delays the process. The organization can only continue using the virtual office address until the entire process is completed.
Inevitably, these due diligence measures exist to protect the businesses that use such services, and the operators themselves, to help keep the virtual office environments as secure and competent as possible.
Tip: Use recommended tools like PayPal and FreeAgent to ensure a seamless and organized invoicing and bookkeeping process.
Also Read: Office management | A complete guide
Best physical virtual offices
Given below are a list of physical virtual spaces for rent,
1. Regus – These virtual office packages provide you with the flexibility to select which services you require. You can build your visibility rapidly, anywhere in the world. Their locations are in every major city, town, and transportation hub around the world so you can confidently represent your company – wherever you have to be.
Use your new business address and any facilities you need for internet, mail handling, and workspace. Rent per month: Virtual Office package costs $150; Virtual Office Plus package costs $270.
- Function anywhere you want with free access to our worldwide business lounges, or use workplace, co-working, or meeting room space when you need them
- Mail forwarding on daily, weekly, monthly, or ad-hoc
- Pay-as-you-use, or unrestricted business phone calls
- Regional or national company telephone number options
- Organizational support
- Excellent customer service
- Where required, office or co-working space
2. Insta Office – If you are looking for an email address and company contact details, but do not want to bear the cost of a dedicated office room, the Insta Office Virtual Office is a one-stop solution.
- Insta Office would provide you with a business address.
- Business contact information.
- An office assistant.
- Professional services for call answering.
- A virtual receptionist to forward calls.
3. Executive Centre – Executive Centre enables companies to profit from a prestigious address with a central landline telephone number and secretarial specifications. You may also use their Business Address to register your company.
To those who do not need a physical office space but still want a premium business address to create an outstanding professional presence, it is a great solution.
- Their basic virtual office plan offers a prestigious address within a prominent business district. It includes mail management and access to meeting rooms and business concierge services where necessary.
- A dedicated local telephone number professionally managed with personalized greetings by their in-house receptionists to introduce your company. This is ideal for those seeking the assistance and management of competent phone calls.
- Enjoy a full virtual presence with both a Business Address and Call Handling package. They help you manage your operational needs so you can concentrate on your business.
4. My Branch – If you have thoughts of setting up your business presence at an upscale location, exploring new territory, expanding your company without jeopardizing your wallet, or seeking to display a well-established corporate identity on your business documents and marketing collateral, My Branch is the answer.
- Avail a business address in a renowned location at a lower price.
- Receive, forward, and exchange mail on behalf of the client.
- Call answering services by their live receptionist.
- Reduce overheads in a physical work environment.
- Enhance the image of the business.
What is virtual office space?
A place where the business owner and company employees work together is a virtual office space. The range of business functions is accessible to the clients through the internet. Therefore, an organization can easily maintain its presence in the desirable location it wants. There is no requirement to pay rent.
How to set up a virtual office?
Follow the below steps to set up a virtual office,
- Determine the nature of the business, revenue, and marketing channels
- Establish a workplace, which can be one of the virtual offices
- Get tools and resources required for your virtual business
- Business address setup to establish virtual entrepreneur credibility
- Legal formulation of business
- Hire a virtual assistant for your organization
How to get a virtual address?
List of steps to get the virtual address for business
- Get a virtual office solution
- You can decide the physical location for your business virtual business address.
- Customize the list of services that you want to have.
- Purchase the services that you want to keep for your business.
Now that you have complete information on the services, benefits, and providers of virtual office spaces, get your documents ready and launch your remote working space!