5 Industries That Can Benefit from Virtual Office Solutions in 2021 & Beyond
The COVID-19 pandemic completely transformed global economies and changed how many professionals work. While some companies are demanding a return to a pre-pandemic workplace where employees must work in an assigned workspace from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week, the majority recognize the seismic shift that took place over the past 16 months.
Rise of the Hybrid Workplace
In response, few companies are electing to embrace a remote workforce that collaborates virtually and meetings in person once or twice a year. But most are opting for hybrid work arrangements where a portion of the workforce is remote 100% of the time, and another segment works remote part of the time and from a designated workspace with their colleagues the rest of the time. At the same time, many businesses are embracing a more flexible work schedule, where workers have greater work-life flexibility—extending the 8-hour workday and interjecting personal time during the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday.
For those businesses unwilling to accommodate what is being branded as the hybrid workplace, the potential consequences are significant. Some professionals are outright quitting their jobs when told they must return to pre-pandemic work protocols. The work-life balance of working from home outweighs the benefits of commuting—often hours a day—to a fixed office for in-person time with colleagues. And in the case of some, they no longer even live in the same state where their company office based—having relocated during the pandemic to purchase homes and place their kids in better schools. Indeed, a recent study reveals that 35% of professionals plan to relocate to more affordable housing markets this year.
Hybrid Workplace and Virtual Office Solutions
One of the exciting outcomes of the hybrid workplace is the fact that it is not confined to just one industry. Certainly, hybrid work is difficult, if not impossible, for some industries (e.g., manufacturing, retail), but it is the new reality for others. And while predictions indicate we’ll see upwards of a fourfold increase in the number of professionals working remotely post-pandemic, the percentage working remote 100% of the time will remain relatively small. Most professionals—including solopreneurs—will either spend some time working in a designated company workspace or virtual office. The latter will become increasingly prevalent, with a significant number of businesses jettisoning expensive office leases and downsizing on office workspace during the pandemic.
The following is a short investigation of virtual office solution use cases across different industry segments.
1. Real Estate Agents and Businesses
For those professionals in real estate, office space is one area on which they cannot skimp. First impressions count, and clients pay attention to address locations, if there is a lobby greeter, the setup of the meeting room, availability of business services, and more. Plus, real-estate agents are constantly on the go and spending time commuting back across town from a business meeting for a few hours of focused work from an office is wasted time.
In the case of the latter, coworking spaces or day offices are the perfect place for a real estate agent to get some work done—and all without the lengthy commute back across town. You should look for a virtual office solution like Davinci Meeting Rooms that offers quick and easy booking—whether via web browser, live web chat, text, phone, and mobile app. For client meetings, the same virtual office solution works just as well. These are in prime real estate locations with addresses that garner respect and attention; just what a real estate agent requires. They also can be easily and quickly reserved in the same way as coworking spaces and day offices. Business services such as faxing, notary services, and photocopying can be a big plus.
2. Law Firms and Lawyers
Law firms and legal professionals (from lawyers to paralegals) are similar to real estate agents and businesses require office space that garners immediate respect and recognition. Clients associate the ability of a lawyer or legal firm to represent them based on their address location and the professionalism of their office. Many lawyers and paralegals are constantly on the go as well; time spent commuting back to the office from an important client meeting or court hearing translates into lost billable time.
Rather than sinking significant cost into expensive office leases, legal professionals should look to virtual office solutions. Day offices and coworking spaces provide them with a place to work between client meetings. They also come with administrative services like faxing, photocopying, notary services, and more than enable them to be more productive and deliver better service to clients.
3. Marketing Firms
In the past, most marketing agencies and professionals assumed they needed permanent office space. But as marketing has become increasingly more digital and different collaboration and project management software solutions deconstruct the need for in-person interactions and meetings, the need for permanent office space has dramatically diminished.
Virtual office solutions give marketing professionals and firms the ability to offload expensive, long-term office leases in exchange for work from home and flexible day offices and coworking spaces. As these virtual office spaces are often occupied by other businesses, the result is highly productive cross-fertilization of ideas, business partnerships, and even new business opportunities. For businesses needing on-demand day office, coworking, or meeting space due to clients dispersed multiple geographical locations, virtual offices are the perfect solution.
4. Finance and Insurance
Financial advisors meet regularly with clients and host group training and educational sessions. They also need a place to work—whether between client meetings or time to focus on work by escaping a noisy and disruptive home office. The same is true for insurance agents.
Virtual offices give financial advisors and insurance agents and adjusters a professional meeting space for client meetings. As in the case of the above industry use cases, the professional address, lobby greeter, administrative services, and catering options garner positive first impressions while helping them to increase efficiency.
There are different reasons driving the need for healthcare professionals to use virtual office solutions than the above industry segments. They are similar in that they have hectic professional and personal lives—going from one medical center to another and a series of meetings with physicians, nurses, administrators, and insurance companies.
Virtual offices offer healthcare professionals a place for focused work time between these meetings—whether a day office or a coworking space. They also give them a professional meeting space when a meeting needs to take place outside of the medical center. These can be chosen based on the number of participants, room size, required presentation and collaboration tools, and more.
Reconnoiter Your Virtual Office Solution Options Today
Many businesses and professionals began planning their post-pandemic workplace strategies 16 months ago when lockdowns first went into place. For those just waking up, the upside is it’s not too late. Utilization of virtual office solutions do not require months of planning. Solopreneurs and businesses need to start assessing their options now, to determine if virtual offices are the right option for them. Geographical distribution, address locations, availability of administrative services, presence of a lobby greeter, and ease of finding and booking day offices, coworking space, and meeting rooms are important factors to consider.