More businesses are tapping into virtual offices to help them reign in costs. So says a new financial study from the Office Business Center Association International.

The OBCAI survey found that virtual offices offer everything small business owners and entrepreneurs need to conduct business in a professional setting from a permanent mailing address and phone number to call answering services and administrative support to on-demand meeting rooms and various other business services. What’s more, the survey found that virtual offices provide all this for a fraction of the cost of a full-time office space—and do so without harming productivity or image.

"Coworking or virtual space has been the largest growth component of our industry over the past five years,” says Carolina Rendeiro, president of OBCAI. “Most noticeably during the past two years of the global economic downturn; it was the ideal solution for start-ups and companies right-sizing. The virtual office provided a great ROI for these groups, and in turn, for the office business center."

Rendeiro is pointing to numbers that show 18.3 percent virtual office growth in 2009 compared to 7.8 percent growth in 2008. OBCAI credits the impact of the late 2007 recession on businesses, a shift in workplace habits and preferences, as well as the growth of inexpensive enabling technologies, with driving the uptick.

Davinci Virtual Office Solutions helped OBCAI with some statistics. Our virtual working data show that more than two-thirds of U.S. workers are engaged in some virtual work, 46 percent engage in virtual work at least once a week and 14 percent do so daily. The vast majority (91 percent) agree that virtual work saves their companies time and money.
OBCAI also came to some additional conclusions:

  • For years virtual office clients were typically small companies needing a professional front face to appear larger with a business address and receptionist to answer their calls. After the economic downturn the concept's appeal gained ground for business professionals.

  • While the virtual office concept is nothing new, its current application is. Today, the virtual office is the workplace of choice for a number of forward thinking business people.

  • The greatest benefit, especially in the current market environment, is that there is zero out-of-pocket expense and no risk or variable costs involved, including administrative support that's flexible with business needs.