Growing numbers of business owners and entrepreneurs are switching out their permanent, fixed office space for virtual, on-demand office space. Research shows one-quarter of the workforce works at least some of the time away from their offices, a number expected to hit 40 percent in a couple years.
The reasons are myriad. Let’s recount some of the key drivers. First, permanent office space is expensive. Research shows small businesses spend upwards of 10 percent of their revenue on office space. Second, fixed office space is inflexible. You cannot add more offices when you need them, or eliminate them when you no longer need them. And one conference room size and configuration doesn’t fit every meeting requirement. Third, workers want flexibility. They’re even willing to take less pay in exchange for flexible work hours and the ability to work remotely; recruiting and retaining top talent becomes easier. Fourth, over three-quarters of workers indicate they are more productive if they have flexible work schedules—and this includes workplace flexibility.
When it comes to industry segments, the use cases for virtual offices are quite compelling. Let’s take a look some of the more prominent ones.
Finance and Real Estate.
Finance and real estate professionals are busy and regularly on the go between different client meetings. Sometimes, you need a place to focus on work for a day; think day offices or even coworking spaces. In other instances, you need conference rooms for client meetings—in professional locations convenient to your clients. At the same time, rather than using your home address, a post office box, or a subpar address for a permanent office location you can afford.
Legal professionals have packed, fast-paced schedules—everything from defending a client in a courtroom, to researching and preparing a case, to taking a disposition, to meeting with a client. Law firms that lock themselves into permanent offices may find themselves spending valuable time running between meeting locations and their office—adding up to hours each week or weeks each year. For an organization that literally counts minutes when it comes to billable time, this can add up to a lot of lost revenue. Virtual offices give legal professionals the ability to use day offices, coworking spaces, and conference rooms with state-of-the-art features in professional locations close to courthouses, public transit, your clients.
Media & Advertising.
Advertising and marketing professionals need to spend focused time working on client deliverables. But they also spend time in brainstorming sessions with other colleagues and clients. And as clients have high expectations when it comes to the offices and their locations, permanent office space can quickly add up. Plus, with clients in geographically dispersed locations, media and advertising professionals need professional offices on-demand. Virtual offices give them all of the above, with benefits that range from lower cost, to improved efficiencies, to greater flexibility.
Cost is a critical driver for any entrepreneur who is just starting her or his business. Jettison the overhead of a permanent office and use virtual offices when you need them. Coworking spaces give you a chance to network with other entrepreneurs and small businesses, while conference rooms give you a private, professional space for meetings with customers and partners.
Healthcare professionals have busy professional lives—going from one medical center to another and series of meetings with staff, physicians, and insurance companies. Having one physical office space may not make sense, whether focused time by yourself or those nonstop meetings you attend. This is where virtual offices can be especially useful. For that focused time working on projects or paperwork, day offices or coworking spaces are great places to land. For all of those meetings, virtual offices allow you to review and select the one that best meets your meeting requirements—from room size, to location, to configuration, to presentation tools.
The list of potential industries could go on, but you get my point. The benefits of virtual offices are vast. Even for the business with a permanent office location, virtual offices provide them with a great opportunity to expand to new locations without adding expensive overhead, have a place to work and meet when traveling or meeting with customers and partners, and host meetings when their own facility isn’t the best/right venue