The Complete List of Virtual Office Terms and Definitions
For people who are used to traditional offices as well as those who are new to the remote working world a virtual office may sound like science fiction. Some imagine that such an office only exists in a VR program like the ones used by the most modern real estate agents, others believe that it is a space that exists only in an app or a specialized software you access through your laptop.
The reality is that a virtual office is a concept that was invented in the 80’s, a time when both VR and apps were futuristic ideas, and they offered a business address and a mail reception service only. 40 years later virtual offices have evolved into multi-service office solutions for companies around the world.
Along with “virtual office” there are many other terms specific to the industry that may be unclear as you start navigating the world of remote work and digital entrepreneurship. So in order to help you get acquainted with the jargon here is a complete list of virtual office terms and definitions.
What is a Virtual Office?
The most basic virtual office is, after all these years, one where your business gets an address in an office building and a mail handling service. From there you can add-on a number of additional services, depending on what your business needs, which makes a virtual office a fantastic solution for start-ups and for companies that are looking to expand their operations into more cities around the world. A virtual office provides your business with freedom to grow in whatever way you want it to, without having to take on the risk (and overhead) that comes with a traditional office.
Traditional Office vs Virtual Office
The main difference between these two concepts is that virtual offices provide companies with much more flexibility. When you lease a traditional office you are usually tied to that agreement for 3 or more years, while a virtual office allows you to pay a monthly fee and scale up or down as your needs change. Another important difference between traditional offices and virtual offices is the fact that the latter is serviced, this means that all utility bills, phone lines, internet, and other overhead costs are already included in your monthly fee, whereas a traditional office forces you to cancel all these agreements whenever you need to move out, and you know what a hassle that can be.
Services Available on Virtual Offices
Virtual Business Address
This is the most basic service that comes with a virtual office: a dedicated commercial address for your company. This business address gives your business legitimacy and credibility as you can use it in all your marketing materials (such as your website), and business directories. With virtual offices all over the world you can choose an address that makes your company stand out and transmit to your clients that your business is right in the middle of the action.
Mail receipt and forwarding is another basic service offered with almost all virtual offices and it is especially useful for digital nomads and also for businesses that aren’t located near the office building where their virtual office is.
A live receptionist is available to answer all the incoming calls directed to your virtual office business number. These are highly trained professionals who can forward calls to the appropriate people, solve basic customer inquiries as well as provide you with more advanced services such as bilingual customer service, appointment scheduling, and outbound calls.
A conference or meeting room is a space that allows you to meet your clients, partners, and colleagues in a professional setting. Most are fully equipped with the latest technology for presentations, video conferences, etc.
A coworking space is an arrangement where people from different companies, industries and areas of expertise share an office space. This allows users to reduce their costs significantly when compared to leasing a traditional office, and also provides people with the flexibility of using this space only when they need to instead of being tied up with a long lease.