Although coworking spaces started off by being open-plan shared workspaces, coworking has grown and evolved since its early days back in 2008.
In response to market demands and needs, coworking spaces now offer private offices, dedicated desks, hot-desking options, meeting rooms, and specialized services and amenities. Yet, there is one key service that coworking operators have failed to embrace: virtual offices. Offering virtual offices can prove to be a smart and strategic business decision for coworking operators.
Coworking spaces tend to be located in coveted locations and operators should leverage their address and existing infrastructure to provide virtual office services to workspace members and non members alike in order to increase their revenue and grow their business.
Most people and companies use virtual offices as a means to establish a presence in a new market or in the hopes of portraying a more professional image. More often than not, these people already have offices or work from home, which means that they won’t be using your physical workspace. That’s where the name “virtual” office comes from; people pay to use an address, not to use a desk or meeting room (although some virtual office “packages” do include a limited amount of time to use a desk or meeting room).
It’s an easy way coworking operators can increase their revenue, as they won’t need to add any infrastructure or undergo any sort of workplace renovation or design; which means the added service will come at little or no cost at all. An additional benefit, other than revenue generation, is that virtual office users could easily become full time coworking members, especially if the person using the service tends to work from home. In other words, you are generating high-quality traffic for your space, as you can know for sure that these people are interested in the types of solutions you offer.
So, to answer the question: why should you monetize virtual offices? It’s a great opportunity to increase your revenue, operate at a profit, and find new, qualified potential members of your space. You already have the infrastructure in place: you have a location, you have the people, and you have the necessary technology needed to run this type of operation. All that is left to do is for you to take advantage of it and monetize it successfully.