The ability of virtual office companies to electronically link people has opened new possibilities in the way office work is performed. This ability has even made it unnecessary for the office work to be done in an office. Instead, that work can be performed at any place where the employee is located. The name given to this extraordinary ability is the virtual office, a term that suggests that office work can be done virtually anywhere while the workstation is linked to one or more of the fixed sites of the company through some form of electronic communication.
The first virtual office activities took place during the seventies accompanying the emergence of microcomputers and data communications equipment that were inexpensive, making it feasible for people to work from home.
This quickly caught the attention of developers, but also architects, engineers, lawyers, and economic-financial analysts and others.
Among the advantages of the virtual office are:
- Lower cost of installation. The company does not have much capacity in an office, as some employees are working elsewhere. This reduces the costs of rent and office expansion.
- Lower cost of equipment. Instead of providing office equipment to each employee, remote workers can share much of the equipment similar to LAN users sharing their resources.
- Formal communications network. Because of the need to stay informed and receive instructions, it gives increased attention to communications networks, thus leading to the development of better communication systems.
- Fewer work stoppages. When storms, rain, floods or other accidents involving illness prevent travel to the workplace, the virtual office makes it feasible to continue activities by both the individual and the company.
- Social contribution. Virtual office companies allow businesses to hire people who otherwise would lack job opportunities, whether disabled, elderly or parents with young children. It also means that high value people located geographically far from the offices of the company can also be recognised.
A virtual office is a service that has gained much popularity around the world because it is cheap and helps give small businesses several key advantages over traditional offices. For example:
Price: Establishing a physical office sometimes requires 50 percent or more of your initial capital. As well as having to pay rent, you must furnish, paint and include basic services such as a contract phone line and internet installation. Instead, going through virtual office companies, you will discover they include everything needed at minimum monthly payment.
Services: Most virtual offices provide telephone answering and mail handled by professional secretaries who can link your customer calls to your phone and take messages as well.
Flexible Spaces: Companies can have virtual office spaces specially designed to be used as workplaces that include personal offices, reception and meeting rooms which can be used when so required. A home worker can use these as when they please as an alternative area when needed. This flexibility is what makes the virtual office option a very appealing one for many.
Location: Renting an office in a quality, modern building in a good area is very expensive. Therefore virtual office companies are there to offer you the choice of one located in a prestigious area, whose business address you can use in your business cards, for correspondence and your customers. Remember that the first impression is what counts and this must project a good image of professionalism for your brand.
Flexible schedules: Because you do not need to spend all day in a traditional office, you can do your daily activities without worrying. Secretaries will communicate to you on the phone and give you all key indications on the correspondence of your business.
Image: With a virtual office, you will project a professional and stable image of your company. This will create a modern looking brand, and one that is not afraid to move with the times. It will achieve this image perhaps quicker than a traditional office, of which takes time to bed in, decorate, and fit in with new staff.
Transfer: Being able to manage your business remotely, you will save many hours of weekly traffic and having to pay for shipping or spend on petrol.
Expansion opportunity: Some large specialised companies have a virtual office service in other countries, so you can expand your business and keep in touch with your customers abroad without having to leave the country.