What’s the Strategic Value of a Virtual Office Space?
Digital innovation has transformed virtually every business segment—and this is certainly true when it comes to where, how, and when professionals work. Businesses that still adhere to the 9-to-5 workday and permanent office space where they expect employees to work every day are quickly becoming dinosaurs. And while this transformation applies to many businesses, the deconstruction of the workday affords entrepreneurs and small businesses the greatest opportunities.
Enabling Virtual Office Space
Virtual desktops, voice over IP (VoIP) phone systems, and various Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications—that enable different work tasks and collaboration—make it possible for many professionals to work from anywhere, at any time. These make it possible for entrepreneurs and small businesses to jettison permanent office work space. Yet, even though permanent office space is no longer needed and professionals may not need to go to an office every day, the erasure of fixed office space creates a void when it comes to social and professional connection. As a result, many are turning to virtual office space as an alternative, even if it is not every day.
Virtual office space comes in different configurations and can be booked accordingly in different ways. For some entrepreneurs and small businesses, they may need a virtual office space on a regular/daily basis. For example, one of my freelancers cannot work from home because his wife also works from home, and moreover he has small children. Thus, he needs a fixed location from which to work every day. For entrepreneurs and small businesses, the virtual office space may be needed once a week or even less frequently.
Beyond the above, virtual office space comes in different shapes—day offices for those who need to focus without distraction, coworking space for those who seek collaboration and interaction, and conference rooms for those who need to meet with other team members or with clients and partners.
Strategic Value of Virtual Office Space
There are numerous reasons why entrepreneurs and small businesses should think about using virtual office space:
For entrepreneurs and small businesses relying on permanent office space, lower cost tops the list of benefits. Upwards of 10% of small business expenditures are allocated to office space—rent, utilities, network bandwidth. Depending on how often an entrepreneur or small business requires the use of a virtual office, savings can quickly tally into the tens of thousands of dollars.
2. Location and Perception.
The old real-estate adage applies here. “Location, location, location” is tethered to branch perception. As very few entrepreneurs and small businesses can afford office space in a location that garners positive brand impression. Most can only afford office space that engenders negative brand impressions. Most virtual office space comes with virtual office addresses that earn great brand recognition.
3. Mail Receipt and Forwarding.
For entrepreneurs and small business leaders who travel, receiving notification of received mail and the ability to have it forwarded to specified locations can be a real plus. Dealing with received mail remotely can be time-consuming (if even possible). In addition, the inability to receive mail while traveling can lead to delayed responses to time-sensitive inquiries and notices.
4. Lobby Greeter and Receptionist.
Entrepreneurs cannot afford lobby greeters and receptionists, and very few small business can as well. Most virtual office spaces come with professional lobby greeters and receptionists who can answer questions and even provide administrative support.
5. Peer Collaboration/Networking.
Virtual office spaces give entrepreneurs and small businesses a chance to interact with other entrepreneurs and small businesses. Sometimes, the benefit is simply an opportunity for social connections and interactions. In other instances, ideation with like-minded peers can help solve problems or even foster new business opportunities.
6. Professional Office Space.
Professional workers know virtual office space comes with the technologies that ensures they remain productive and have the tools—wireless internet, presentation and audio capabilities, food and beverage catering—at their fingertips to ensure meetings are effective.
Most virtual office space comes with rented conference room options. Client, partner, and employee meetings that take place in coffee shops, hallways, or hotel meeting rooms suffer from the lack of professionalism, lack privacy, and are often disrupted. Rented meeting rooms in virtual office spaces offer privacy and come with the technology tools needed for a productive meeting.
8. Greater Agility, Faster Expansion.
Virtual office spaces enable entrepreneurs to quickly and cost-effectively secure office addresses in new location and to use day offices, coworking space, and rented meeting rooms in those locations (i.e., no need to secure permanent office space to expand into new locations).
9. Talent Attraction and Retention.
Research shows many professionals seek employers that offer workspace flexibility. Sitting in cars for long commutes and riding trains and buses to and from a physical office location is a huge drag and contributes to work-life balance issues. For small businesses that offer workspace flexibility, this makes it easier for them to attract and retain top talent.
Virtual office space offers entrepreneurs and small businesses the ability to look and act like much larger counterparts. Just as digital innovation shrinks the divide between businesses of disparate sizes, so do virtual office spaces. Entrepreneurs and small businesses can learn more by checking out Davinci Meeting Rooms and Davinci Virtual Offices today.